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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Kevin Fleming, Norco College

Community Colleges Partner to Meet Regional Industry Need

  • Type of Practice: Regional Collaboration
  • Type(s) of Users Served: Associate Degree Students, External Certification Seekers, Returning Students, Skills-Builders Students
  • Sector(s): Advanced Manufacturing, Information & Communication Technologies (ICT)/Digital Media
  • Momentum Point(s) & Leading Indicators : MP 12, MP 15, MP 16, MP 20, MP 33, LI 1 (click here for description)
  • Regions Involved: Inland Empire/Desert
  • Colleges Involved: Mt San Jacinto College, Norco College
  • Other Organizations: International Rectifier Corporation; Riverside Community College District’s (RCCD) Office of Economic Development

The Challenge

In October 2012, International Rectifier Corporation (IRC), a Fortune 100 company and semiconductor manufacturer, contacted Norco College (NC) with a request to provide training to develop and upgrade the skills of IRC’s workforce. IRC reached out to NC because it was the only community college in Inland Southern California offering a degree in Digital Electronics. IRC wanted NC to provide training leading to a Certificate and Associate of Science (A.S.) in Digital Electronics. Due to variations in IRC employees’ work shifts and availability, IRC wanted a program that would be convenient and accessible for its employees, allowing them to easily enroll and successfully complete coursework.

The Solution

Because IRC is physically located in the service area of NC’s neighboring community college, Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC), NC administration contacted MSJC regarding IRC’s request. Multiple planning meetings were held between the two colleges and Riverside Community College District’s (RCCD) Office of Economic Development to discuss ways in which the institutions could collaborate in providing IRC employees the credit classes needed to complete the certificate and degree programs. In the end, a contract education model was agreed upon. NC agreed to provide the digital electronics courses, while MSJC agreed to provide the general education courses required for the A.S. NC agreed to act as the certificate and degree-granting institution.


A certificate and degree program in Digital Electronics was successfully implemented to meet IRC’s needs. As permitted by California Education Code, NC and RCCD entered into a contract with IRC to provide the Digital Electronics certificate courses in IRC’s training classroom, thereby optimizing access and the potential success of participating employees.

To date, the first year of the three year program has successfully been completed. Employees will have the opportunity to complete their A.S. in Digital Electronics. Additionally, since many CTE courses in electronics also articulate to courses at Cal Poly Pomona, employees will have the option to continue their education there and attain a bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering.

The Data

35 IRC employees are currently participating in the program.

Supporting Information

Read more about this collaboration here

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Common Metrics

Leading Indicators

LI 1 Alignment of skillsets within a program (or set of courses) to a particular occupation and the needs of the labor market
LI 2 Regionalization of stackable certificates aligned with a particular occupation ladder
LI 3 Alignment of a certificate with state-, industry-, nationally-, and/or employer- recognized certification
LI 4 Creation of a credit certificate from non-credit certificate
LI 5 Curriculum articulation along a career or multi-career educational pathway
LI 6 Updating the skills of faculty, teachers, counselors, and/or “supporting staff to student” to reflect labor market needs
LI 7 Integration of small business creation and/or exporting modules into for-credit curriculum in other disciplines

Momentum Points

Middle School Cluster
MP 1Completed an individual career and skills awareness workshop in middle school that included a normed assessment process and was in a Doing What Matters priority or emerging sector
Transition from Middle School to High School
MP 2Completed a bridge program between middle school and high school and revised student career/education plan
MP 3Completed a student orientation and assessment program while in middle school or high school
High School Cluster
MP 4Completed one course in high school within a CTE pathway
MP 5Completed two or more courses in high school within a CTE pathway
MP 6Completed a CTE articulated course
MP 6aSuccessfully completed a CTE dual enrollment course or credit by exam, with receipt of transcripted credits
MP 7Completed a program in high school within a CTE pathway
Transition from High School to College Cluster
MP 8Completed a bridge program between high school and college in a CTE pathway
MP 9Completed college orientation and assessment as a first-time community college student who entered a community college CTE pathway
MP 10Transitioned from a high school CTE pathway to a similar community college CTE pathway
MP 11Transferred from a high school CTE pathway to a similar CSU, UC or private/independent university CTE pathway
MP 12Completed a counselor-approved college education plan, for first-time community college students who enter a CTE pathway
MP 13During high school, participated in an internship, work-based learning, mentoring, or job shadowing program in a CTE pathway
MP 14Percentage of community college students, who participated in a high school CTE pathway, whose first math or English course was below transfer-level
Community College Cluster
MP 15Completed two courses in the same CTE pathway
MP 16Retention rate between Fall and Spring within a CTE pathway
MP 17Completed a non-CCCCO-approved certificate within a CTE pathway
MP 18Completed a CCCCO-approved certificate within a CTE pathway
General Education and Transfer Progress Cluster
MP 19Completed a work readiness soft skills training program (either stand-alone or embedded) within a CTE pathway
MP 20Completed college level English and/or math, for students in a CTE pathway
MP 21Completed the CSU-GE or IGETC transfer track/certificate for students in a CTE pathway
MP 22Completed requirements in a CTE pathway, but did not receive a certificate or a degree
MP 23Completed an associate degree in a CTE major
MP 24Completed an associate degree in a major different from student’s college CTE pathway
MP 25Transferred from community college to a four-year university in the same CTE pathway
MP 26Transferred from community college to a four-year university in a major different from their CTE pathway
Community College Transition To Workforce Cluster
MP 27Participated in a college internship or workplace learning program within a CTE pathway
MP 28Attained a job placement in the same or similar field of study as CTE pathway
MP 29Acquired an industry-recognized, third-party credential
Workforce Progress Cluster
MP 30Attained a wage gain in a career in the same or similar CTE pathway
MP 31Attained wages equal to or greater than the median regional wage for that CTE pathway
MP 32Attained wages greater than the regional standard-of-living wage
MP 33Participated in incumbent worker training or contract education in a CTE pathway (for example training for layoff aversion, meeting heightened occupational credentialing requirement, transitioning employees whose occupations are being eliminated, or up-skilling existing employees)
MP 34Exception


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