CCC Advisor: Trade-skills training leads to jobs

By: Michael Lancaster, The Charter News – 

Pretty much no matter what career you may want, the Clackamas Community College is a great place to start, according to a CCC advisor who presented to the CRLE class January 11.

Britany Ellerbrook is CCC’s Career Technical Education Admissions Counselor. She was invited to the Career Related Learning Experiences (CRLE) class by teacher Val McCormack to share information about CCC’s more than ninety different career programs. In addition to the class’ enrolled students, the audience included other high school students, a parent, two Educational Specialists, and a recent ACA graduate.

“I’m not here to really sway you either way as an admissions counselor,” she said. “I just want you to make the best choice for you, and we always talk about the right fit, like what college is going to be the right fit for you?”

Ellerbrook’s hour-long presentation gave a thorough introduction to the many ways CCC tries to fit the needs of students. She discussed the similarities and differences between jobs and careers. She compared and contrasted the community college with universities and other trade programs. She explained the community college’s various apprenticeship, certificate, licensure, and degree programs and their general requirements. She shared how easy enrollment is at CCC. She shared some information about program costs, scholarships, and financial aid. She explained how credits earned at CCC transfer to most public universities in Oregon, as well as how it’s prudent to first consult with private and out-of-state universities.

She highlighted some CCC programs that require a year or less of specialized training that are almost guaranteed to provide a “high wage” job with good benefits. In some cases, she said, students are snatched up by employers even before the program is completed.

“We’re not going to offer a program and train somebody in something that you can’t get a job in that field right now,” she said.

She pointed out how education has shifted over the years and how that’s affected the workforce in certain skilled trades.

“What we’ve kind of done as a society, we’ve over-educated our society, but under-skilled them,” she explained. That’s a good reason to now “pursue a trade or career technical program because that’s where most of the jobs are,” she said.

She will attend the CRLE class scheduled on Monday, January 29 to present again, though the next presentation may offer a different focus. Juniors, Seniors, Parents, Educational Specialists, and other interested parties are welcome to attend. It will be from 2-3, in room 209.


Firsthand observations, recordings, and photographs.