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North County’s Higher Ed: Fueling the future

Together, the region’s colleges and universities create a pipeline of thousands of graduates annually who provide lasting economic impact across North County’s innovative industries and growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. Education remains a critical predictor of economic mobility, and access to career exploration and opportunities are key to student’s success.

North County is proud to be home to three universities, two community colleges, and a variety of non-traditional training and certificate programs that from 2018-2019 alone produced over 13,600 degree completions (Emsi). Five of these programs have been assessed and designated as Preferred Providers of talent by Advancing San Diego. Preferred Providers of talent are programs who have been recognized by employers as delivering top-quality training for high-demand jobs.

Below, we’ve composed a list of some of North County’s higher education institutions training the region’s workforce of tomorrow.

California State University San Marcos (CSUSM)

North County is home to one of the two California State Universities in the greater San Diego region. In addition to 43 bachelor degree programs and 38 minors, CSUSM offers 23 master’s programs, 11 credential programs and a joint doctoral program with UC San Diego. CSUSM’s College of Business Administration was recently accredited by the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, joining the top five percent of business schools in the world. CSUSM also produces alumni whose skill sets and impact remain in the region. A survey conducted by the university found that 80 percent of CSUSM alumni stay to live and work in the local community. From cybersecurity to biotechnology to the fine arts, its post baccalaureate degrees provide an excellent academic and professional education.

MiraCosta College

MiraCosta College is a diverse community college known for its highly successful transfer rates, degrees, career planning support, and skill building. With locations across the 78 Corridor in Oceanside, Carlsbad and San Marcos, MiraCosta offers students unique programs including its one-of-a-kind craft brewing certificate program, which is the only community college program in the State recognized to meet the standards set by the Master Brewers Association of the Americas. The College also ranks among the nation’s best nursing schools for its Associate Degree Program. Between its 108 degree and 56 certificate programs and extensive support services, it’s no surprise that the college is currently serving over 17,000 students. 

University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences

Conveniently located in the heart of San Marcos, University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences offers North County graduate students career-accelerating graduate degrees in physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, nursing, education and health science, as well as continuing education programs. St. Augustine students have access to state-of-the-art clinical simulation laboratories, allowing them to work with healthcare technologies of the future. With a 24:1 student to full-time faculty ratio, the intimate and individualized educational setting encourages student success and personalized learning experiences for careers in high-growth industries. 

Palomar College

Palomar College Comets can choose from more than 200 associate degree and certificate programs, complete the first two years of a bachelor’s degree, train for a career or enjoy personal enrichment classes for lifelong learning. On average, the college charges California residents $45 per unit, making higher education financially accessible. Recognized for expertise in the arts, Palomar College film students have acquired 54 Student Emmys and 71 Student Emmy nominations for their work over the years. The college is headquartered in San Marcos, with Education Centers in Escondido, Fallbrook and Rancho Bernardo. 

John Paul the Great Catholic University

John Paul the Great Catholic University is a private university in Escondido, offering students exceptional programs in creative arts and business innovation, combined with a Catholic liberal arts education in humanities, theology and philosophy. The university is famously known for its Bachelor of Science in Communications Media program, which prepares students for creative careers in industries such as film, television, animation, game development and graphic design. Its hands-on approach gives students an abundance of project-based opportunities to hone their craft and build their creative portfolios.

From cleantech or life sciences innovation to craft brewing or the fine arts, North County’s higher education institutions are molding our region’s future CEOs, healthcare leaders and environmental advocates to fuel our rising industries. Visit our education page to explore the region’s universities and colleges or visit Advancing San Diego’s website to learn more about the program.

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