OC Pathways and RoadTrip Nation Bring Virgin Galactic to Campus


OC Pathways and PBS’ RoadTrip Nation will stop at Cypress College Tuesday, March 28 for a filmed engineering road trip event with Virgin Galactic to inspire students to define their own roads in life.

Virgin Galactic VP of Operations Tim Buzza and Caitlin Curtis, a Virgin Galactic composites manufacturing engineer, will meet with Cypress students to share career and life experiences. Following a presentation, students will have the opportunity to participate in a discussion and Q&A with Buzza and Curtis.

RoadTrip Nation’s bright green RV will start its trip at Los Alamitos High School for a morning presentation, then make its way to the College for the 1-3 p.m. event in the CCCPLX 216 lecture hall. The event will be broadcast on PBS at a later date.

RoadTrip Nation has been traveling around the world for 15 years interviewing people from various backgrounds about their careers and how they determined their paths in life.

OC Pathways is a collaborative organization dedicated to connecting educators and industry leaders to provide students with the necessary tools for college and career success, particularly in STEM fields.

College Hosts Quirk-Silva’s Career Pathways Roundtable


California Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva convened a Career Pathways Roundtable at Cypress College Friday to discuss education and workforce development with Orange County education, civic, and business leaders.

Quirk-Silva, whose district includes Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, La Palma, and Stanton, chairs the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy.

Around 30 Orange County leaders discussed issues including state CTE funding, skilled workforce challenges, and cybersecurity and technology education. Several North Orange County Community College District leaders participated, including Chancellor Cheryl Marshall and Cypress College President Bob Simpson.

The Assemblywoman also toured Cypress College’s Mortuary Science laboratories, home to the College’s first baccalaureate program in Funeral Services, which will be starting classes in Fall 2017.

Cypress College is one of 15 California community colleges offering a baccalaureate through a pilot program signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014. Under the pilot, selected community colleges offer baccalaureates in areas that do not compete with UC or Cal State schools.

For more on Cypress College’s Career and Technical Education programs, see our CTE and health science pages.




Cypress Bistro Opens for Spring Semester


Love food? Love food that also looks good on Instagram? Then our Cypress Bistro is the place for you! Operated by Cypress College Culinary Arts students, the bistro offers a fine-dining experience at a casual-dining cost.

Beginning February 23 and open every Thursday from 12-1 p.m. through May 18, Cypress Bistro offers outstanding service and trending regional cuisines — from New England to Texas Buffet to Mexican to Pacific Rim and more. Click here for the Spring semester menu.

Check out some of the delicious meals that were provided last semester:

The Appetizer


The Entrée


The Dessert


Looks good, right?! Cypress Bistro is located on our Anaheim campus at 1830 W. Romneya Drive. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made via email at theine@nocccd.edu. See you there!

Engaging the Next Generation in Cybersecurity


As the recent election season proved, cybersecurity is a constantly evolving, high-priority field that demands an experienced and qualified workforce full of innovative, critical thinkers—and job opportunities abound.

In an effort to create cybersecurity education opportunities for K-12 Orange County students, a team of current and former Cypress students mentored nearly 90 middle and high school students since last April to compete in the CyberPatriots National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.

Six teams advanced to the semi-final rounds of the cybersecurity contest hosted by the non-profit Air Force Association, putting their knowledge to the test in this fourth round of competition against teams across the country Saturday, Feb. 4.

Eunice Lee, an eighth grader from Lexington High School, said of being mentored by Cypress students, “I think I’m more of a person that learns better one on one, personally, and I think having that mentoring, mentorship, really helped me understand what we were doing.”

Eunice is a member of a Lexington team that advanced to the semis.

Lee’s team member, Charlize Panganiban, also a Lexington eighth grader, said she’s learned valuable general and technical skills as part of the program, like teamwork and identifying system vulnerabilities.

She added, “I definitely think this is one of my career options, and I’m just happy that CyberPatriots has opened that door for me.”

Cypress College is a member of the SoCal Cybersecurity Community College Consortium, a collaborative effort between seven community colleges striving to create pathways to success in cybersecurity for K-12 students in Orange County. Schools train and mentor students from area middle and high schools to compete in CyberPatriots.

The competition tasks teams with finding and fixing vulnerabilities in provided simulated operating systems over a six-hour period. Teams are awarded points for fixing vulnerabilities and answering questions about the process; they lose points for making systems less secure.

If the semi-final teams advance, they will compete at Nationals in Baltimore, MD in April.

Student competitors, Cypress mentors, program advisor Dr. Ben Izadi, a Cypress CIS professor, and others in the community were celebrated and recognized at the College’s first awards ceremony for the program on Friday, Feb. 3.

Two Anaheim Union High School District Board of Trustee members, Randle Trejo and Brian O’Neal, and two participating school principals, Amber Houston from Lexington Junior High School and Ricardo Lois from Fedde Junior High School, were in attendance.

The John F. Kennedy High School team placed first in the high school Gold Tier category, beating out 650 other high schools across the nation in the state round of competition. Gold Tier teams do not advance to nationals.

One team from Fedde, a middle school team from Whitney High School, and three teams from Lexington were also recognized for advancing to the semi-finals.

Jasper Chen, a spring ’16 graduate with an A.S. in computer programming, has been volunteering as a mentor since last April.

“I think the program is a good experience, mainly just to teach kids, open up the field to them,” he said. “It’s good to make them understand that there is this field. When I was younger, I didn’t pay attention to the field at all.”

Program advisor Izadi added, “What we’re trying to emphasize here is teamwork, being able to do critical thinking, troubleshooting, working together, and getting excited early on in any information technology. Anything above that as they move up, perform, and do better, is just icing on the cake.”

Cypress Bistro Opens for Fall

roast beef

Attention foodies! Did you know that Cypress College offers gourmet cuisine that not only tastes amazing, but that is also quite photogenic? And at a reasonable price?

roast beef

CC Bistro33.1

Welcome to the Cypress Bistro, where talented students from our School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management prep, cook, staff and manage a fine (yet casual) dining experience on Thursdays, mid-September through early December. Under the guidance of an incredible team of faculty (who are also leading industry professionals), the Bistro serves up delicious themed lunch fare. For this season’s opening on September 15, the menu will feature New England cuisine: Chowder with fresh clams, potatoes, and cream as a starter, Yankee beef pot roast with baked acorn squash, succotash, whipped new potatoes, and Cabernet jus lie for an entree, and sticky toffee pudding with vanilla bean Chantilly cream and salted caramel sauce for dessert. Next week it’s on to a regional taste of the South.

Located at the Anaheim campus, the Cypress Bistro serves lunch from noon to 1 p.m. (last seating is at 12:15). The cost is $13, with beverages an additional $2. Lunch service will continue on Thursdays through December 1. Check out the complete list of featured cuisines for the semester here.

For reservations, please email Chef Tracey Heine with your full name and contact information. Come experience the fantastic food and delightful service provided by our outstanding students!

The Cypress Bistro is located on the first floor of Anaheim Campus, 1830 W. Romneya Drive Anaheim, CA 92801. 

Learn to Fly: Private Pilot Ground School

Pilot License-01

Did you know that Cypress has one of the very best aviation schools in SoCal? Our program is a hidden gem. In just two years of training, Cypress graduates go on to well-paid aviation careers (upwards of $60K). Want to know more? So did we. Edilberto Valdez – an industry expert, experienced captain, professor, and instructor to NASA pilots (!) – gave us a bit of info on our pilot certification program and aviation course offering…

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aviation 5(Captain Edilberto Valdez) 


What is your career background?
I have a total of 35 years experience in aviation. I’ve served as a commercial pilot for United Airlines, and chartered private planes for corporate clients. In addition to teaching courses at Cypress, I also instruct NASA test pilots training to fly Gulfstream jets and teach international flight procedures (how to fly throughout the world).

How did you start teaching at Cypress?
I started to get involved in local education as an aviation program advisor at another institution. Through that experience I was offered a teaching opportunity, which then opened the door to a full-time faculty position here at Cypress. I think Cypress is a fantastic place to work and great community resource. I feel fortunate to be in a position where I can connect my passion for flight with my love of teaching –it’s rewarding to help others find careers in the field.

What makes our aviation program stand out?
We really do have the best, most innovative flight-training program around. Our technology is the most advanced you’ll find in the Greater O.C. / L.A. region, and our curriculum practices are proven. We are known in the industry for producing great pilots… and quickly, too. In fact, most of our graduates save around $6,000 in obtaining their private pilot license – they acquire and build their skills so efficiently and solidly that they are able to launch careers immediately with certification as a flight instructor.

What kind of jobs do students get after certification?
There’s a large need for pilots across private and commercial industries. Our aviation program has been around since 1967. Over the decades we’ve built strong relationships with area employers so there’s a direct path for Cypress graduates to high-paying careers with commercial airlines, charter firms, military operations, or private instruction companies.

What is the industry pay like?
It varies depending on the niche. As a private instructor, hourly pay can range from $20 on the low starting end to $50+. If you work in the charter or commercial sectors, however, that scale will look different – salaries tend to range between $100,000 – $300,000. And the hours are relatively favorable.

Pilot License-01

What are the perks of pilot life?
You get to fulfill a desire to fly; travel; have a flexible and variable schedule; enjoy different scenery; work with people of many backgrounds; and have a good income – that last factor is important… regardless of the job you take, you’ll be able to make a livable salary.

What kind of individual does well in the program?
Those who have always had an interest in flying do well. That’s for starters. What differentiates the best students from the rest is natural drive, curiosity and a broad interest in a variety of subjects (aviation is a multidisciplinary field that touches on physics, navigation, trigonometry, mechanics, as well as technical and procedural details).

What attracted you to flying?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with flight. As a kid my eyes were always scanning the sky…. I’m grateful to work in a field that I’ve always loved.

I would encourage anyone with an interest in flying – of any age or background – to sign-up for one of our classes. February 1, 2016 will kick-off spring semester so it’s the perfect time to start. We still have a few spaces in our beginner ATC – 132 Private Pilot course as well as our Commercial Pilot Seminar.

Class schedules and registration can be accessed via MyGateWay.

For those new to the College, register via: http://www.cypresscollege.edu/admissions/admissionsAndRecords/OpenCCCapply.aspx

For additional information on the Cypress College Aviation Program, please contact Captain Edilberto Valdez at evaledez@cypresscollege.edu

Also, check out the CC Aviation Program’s official, newly launched Instagram page for cockpit views and landscape beauty! @cypresscollegeflighttraining

aviation 3

(Captain Edilberto Valdez)

Cypress College’s Career Technical Education Division programs are among the highest ranked in the country, contributing to Cypress College’s reputation as one of the very best public community colleges. Recent 2015-16 accolades include:  

#1 in the U.S. | Top Toyota T-TEN Auto-Tech Program in the Nation.
#2 in C.A. | Top Two ESL & Basic Skills English Programs in California.
#3 in C.A. | Ranked as a Top Three California Community College (Schools.com)
#3 in the Region | Ranked Top Three in Greater Los Angeles & Orange County for Student Transfer and Graduation Rates (EdSmart.org)
15 of 113 | California Community Colleges piloting a Bachelor’s Degree (Mortuary Science)
#17 in the U.S. | National Ranking on MTV-U’s website “Rate-My-Professor”
Top National Licensure Exam Pass Rates | Perfect state licensure pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Hygiene, Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Abdomen; Diagnostic Medical Sonography (OB/Gyn); Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Physics; and Mortuary Science: Sciences. 90+% state licensure exam pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Assisting; Mortuary Science (Arts); Radiology Technology. And85%+ state licensure rates for students in: Health Information Technology; Nursing; and Psychiatric Technology.
2/3ds of the Class of 2015 qualified for transfer to a UC or CSU institution.
75 Orange Empire Athletics Conference Titles
25 California Community College Athletic Association State Championship Titles

SEMA Holds 2nd Annual Auto Event for Cypress College Students



Cypress College hosted its second annual SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association) Career Day event today. SEMA Career Day is intended to inform students of alternatives in the Automotive Technology and Transportation industries of opportunities extending beyond traditional auto tech skills. The event also focused on attracting women to these careers.

This year’s event also engaged participation from the College’s Marketing, Management, Art and Computer Graphics, and Photography programs, along with the Automotive Technology and Auto Collision Repair departments.

The event, with ran from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., featured a host of prominent speakers from the industry who presented about the diversity of careers in the automotive aftermarket. Students from the automotive, business, and arts programs participated in educational sessions geared towards specific career paths.


  • Randy Lorentzen, Planet-R Inc. Photography
  • Theresa Contreras, L&G Enterprises, Designer & Painter
  • Matt Gamble, Edelbrock, Engineer
  • Max Grundy, MaxGrundy.com, Art & Design
  • Von Hot Rod, Pin stripping and Merchandising
  • Erin Gilhuly, Toyota Motor Sales, Project Administrator
  • Melanie White, Hellwig Products, Vice President
  • Tracie Nunez, PWA President,
  • Jim Liaw, Formula Drift, President/Co-founder, Motorsports and Promotion
  • Myles Kovacs, DUB, President/Co-founder, Publishing
  • Dan Kahn, Kahn Media, President, Public Relations




Summer Career Academy



The School of Continuing Education and Cypress College have teamed up with the Orange County Department of Education to offer a Summer Career Academy series. This dynamic learning opportunity continues next week on Monday, July 6th, with two content-focused classes for teens:

Intro to Computer Networking- Grades 7-12

Students will learn both the conceptual and practical skills that build the foundation for understanding computer networking. You will learn IP addressing and OSI layered model. You will be enrolled into the Cisco Academy site, make cables, configure devices and trace packets using network monitoring tools.

Dates: Monday-Thursday, July 6-9

Time: 1:00 to 5:00pm

Location: Cypress College Business Education, Room 116

Fee: $30 –


Cyber Security- Grades 9-12

Students will learn and work in teams competing to secure a windows machine from hackers and get a hands-on sneak preview into CyberPatriot, a national cyber security competition created by the US Air Force. Students will become familiar with best practices for ensuring a computer is secure for use. Beginning to advanced students welcome. Please bring paper and pencil.

Dates: Monday-Thursday, July 13-16

Time: 9:00am-1:00pm

Location: Cypress College Business Education, Room 116

Fee: $30 –


REGISTER ONLINE at: www.sce.edu and follow the link to Kids’ College.

For further information please call: 714.808.4909


The Cypress College Career Academy is funded, in part, through the Orange County Department of Education Career Pathways Trust grant.

Cypress College #3 in California Community Colleges



Cypress College ranks third of 112 California Community Colleges in a Schools.com assessment. The report, published Tuesday, May 5th, is derived from key indicators of student success based on metrics from the National Center for Education Statistics, the University of California and California State University systems.

As the third-highest scorer, Cypress College places behind Saddleback College and Santa Monica City College. It is followed by Pasadena City College (No.#5), Golden West College (No.#6), and El Camino College (No.#10). The independent review praises Cypress College’s educational accessibility, affordability, and student success.

School.com’s methodology analyzes six criteria to assess an institution’s ranking: transfers to the University of California and California State University systems (30 percent), affordability (30 percent), student-to-faculty ratio (15 percent), distance education (15 percent), retention rates (5 percent), and graduation rates (5 percent).

“California community colleges are important — not just to California, but to the entire nation…. [they] are vital for the state’s future economic success,” state the report’s authors. The California Community College system is the state and nation’s largest workforce training provider. Nearly 70% of CA nurses and 80% of firefighters, law enforcement personnel, and emergency medical technicians are trained at a CCC. California Community Colleges are also a smart financial pathway to four-year institutions; students can save at least $40,000 by completing their general education requirements at a CCC before transfer to CSU or UC campuses.

Cypress College is one of 112 community colleges in California, which together comprise the largest system of public higher education in the nation. The College was founded in 1966 with a vision to support and advance the diverse academic and professional pursuits of local residents. With more than 50 university-transfer majors, 138 career certificate programs and degrees in 61 areas of study, Cypress College provides nearly 20,000 students each year access to a top-quality education that lays the foundation for future success. For more information, please visit: www.cypresscollege.edu

To view the report in its entirety, please visit: http://www.schools.com/articles/top-25-community-colleges-in-california (link is external).

OC Weekly: ‘Stick a Fork in it’ Profiles Alum Gio Bolivar

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Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 8.06.01 AM

The May 18, 2015 edition of OC Weekly features Culinary Arts alumnus Gio Bolivar of Dory Deli in Newport Beach. In the piece, authored by OC Weekly’s Anne Marie Panoringan, Bolivar discusses, food, the culinary industry, and his educational preparation to go into the field.

From Panoringan’s column:

Where did you attend culinary school? And did you learn anything that you might not have been taught if you didn’t attend?
I attended Cypress College; they have an amazing culinary program headed by Chef Jeremy Peters and Lisa Clark. I feel that culinary school really got me ready for a life in the kitchen and put me on the right path for the future.

The full piece is available at: http://blogs.ocweekly.com/stickaforkinit/2015/05/dory_deli_newport_beach_gio_bolivar.php.