As Silicon Valley seeks to grow and diversify its tech workforce, one obvious solution is overlooked: The 15 community colleges in our region.

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They are educating the next generation of the Valley workforce. With 250,000 students—about 70 percent people of color and more than half of them women—community colleges in Silicon Valley and surrounding areas serve a diverse talent pool of potential engineers, computer scientists, bio-tech researchers and advanced manufacturing technicians.

Besides offering a wide range of educational credentials and technical training, community colleges also serve as a gateway to California’s world-class public universities.

Community colleges are part of America’s largest and least expensive higher education system. In Silicon Valley they serve a diverse student body including many students with low incomes who are first in their family to attend college. Students are passionate about their education and determined to build a career, but too often, systemic barriers prevent them from completing their certificate or degree.

One major barrier is math preparation. The need for high-level math skills is a critical barrier to advancement in science, math, engineering, and technology (STEM) careers. Currently, more than 75 percent of entering students test at a math level that typically requires two to three years of course work to reach the calculus threshold …read more

Source:: East Bay – Business

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