San Diego Continuing Education’s current student population of 44,000 now has access to County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) public assistance services at SDCE campuses.
HHSA offers a broad range of health and social services including CalFresh, CalWORKs and Medi-Cal.
The five-year pilot partnership with SDCE is focused on enrolling eligible students for financial, nutrition, and healthcare coverage services such as CalWORKs, CalFresh and Medi-Cal as well as provide resource referrals.
Staff from HHSA’s Central Region will be at three SDCE campuses beginning this month: the Education Cultural Complex, César E. Chávez Campus and Mid-City Campus in the Mountain View, Barrio Logan and City Heights communities in San Diego.
Walk-in appointments will be available on campuses every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon.
“During a walk-in meeting, students receive immediate and real-time eligibility determination and resource referrals right on campus. If a student does not qualify for an eligibility program, the Eligibility worker will provide information on resources that might be available to them,” said Maureen Rubalcaba, SDCE’s Dean of Student Equity.
The new partnership is part of both organizations’ efforts to support individuals and families in San Diego County to achieve a better quality of life.
The partnership supports the County’s Live Well San Diego vision for healthy, safe and thriving communities by bringing services right to the community where residents live and work.
“By partnering with SDCE, we will better connect students with critical services that will help them succeed academically,” said HHSA Director Nick Macchione. “Research demonstrates that people are more successful in education and in achieving long term-goals when they are healthy and in stable living environments. We provide a diverse range of health and social services for individuals and families that promote wellness and support becoming self-sufficient that SDCE students will be able to access.”
Carlos O. Turner Cortez, Ph.D., SDCE President said, “This new community collaboration is about providing all students the resources and support they need to be successful.” President Turner Cortez came to SDCE in 2015 and since then has led the charge for more on-campus resources that support the social and emotional success of students beyond the classroom. Cortez has also advocated and led the recruitment of new contract faculty members to best serve SDCE’s annual enrollment of 44,000.
SDCE offers California residents age 18 and over more than 60 free short-term career certificate programs and thousands of free classes including Citizenship, English as a Second Language (ESL) and High School Diploma/Equivalency.
SDCE is the adult education institution within the San Diego Community College District. Many adults start at SDCE and then transition to an SDCCD college, City, Mesa or Miramar, the most affordable, high-quality higher education in the nation.