CalWORKs there for welfare students

Jose Martinez

The California Community Colleges’ CalWORKs Program is a state-funded program that assists current welfare recipients in achieving long-term self-sufficiency through the attainment of higher education. 

This program focuses on providing CalWORKs students with special support services in order to assist with educational and career planning, as insuring compliance with the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) welfare-to-work requirements.

It has highly-skilled staff members that are willing to help in every way possible toward meeting your career and educational goals.

The Cerritos College CalWORKs Program provides:

  • Orientation/application workshops – especially helpful for those returning to school after a long break,
  • Open entry/open exit courses – enter at any time during the semester and leave when work is completed,
  • Short-term courses and labs to assist in brushing up on skills,
  • Cooperative education programs – get academic credit while working,
  • Childcare is covered, whether on campus or off, for CalWORKs participants,
  • Employment assistance – from job listings to résumé preparation and interview practice. Internships – on-the-job training,
  • Work-study – learning to work while working to learn,
  • On-campus childcare – Montessori and Early Learning Programs are available,
  • Counseling – from educational plans to coping with life,
  • Tutoring – the place to go for help before the going gets tough,
  • ESL assistance – classes and tutoring available to assist students with limited English proficiency.

“This is a great program for a mother like me who is in need,” said Alejandra Sandoval.

Sandoval is mother of three and has been taking advantage of the program for four years now. 

She stated that it helps out a lot, especially with childcare.  This program has provided her with childcare, transportation, money, and, most important of all, with an education.

When students are employed and are off cash aid, they may be eligible for the Career Advancement Program (CAP), which may extend supportive services for one year, so long as the participants are working at least 32 hours per week in unsubsidized employment.

There is greater flexibility during this phase of the program. Students may apply for further training, or to work towards a degree or credits to transfer to a four-year institution.

The CAP is part of the post-employment phase of the CalWORKs program, which assists participants to advance in their field.

“I am a mother of a beautiful boy, have no job, and no money to either support my kid or go to school, but CalWORKs is changing all that in a great way by helping me with financial aid and getting me job training while getting units at the same time,” stated Karina Jara.

CalWORKs is very helpful in every meaningful way. If it wasn’t for CalWORKs, I’m certain that I wouldn’t be in school today.”

For any student that has questions relating to the CalWORKs programs, contact the Coordinator of CalWORKs Services, Norma C. Rodriguez, M.A. at (562) 806-2451, Ext. 2358 or go to the web page www.cerritos.edu/calworks.