#CYProud: Kimberly Worl, Mortuary Science

Student success comes in many different forms, and Cypress College is proud to recognize and celebrate the variety of paths our students take to achieve their dreams. Whether it’s transferring to a four-year institution, or receiving an associate degree or certificate and heading into the workforce, we are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2017.

Kimberly Worl
Cypress + Mortuary Science

Worl is a mortuary science major looking to become a funeral director and embalmer following her graduation from Cypress College. She is a top-15 scholarship recipient from Service Corporation International, the largest funeral service provider in the country, and the first Cypress College student to receive the scholarship. She recently passed the state exam for her funeral director license and will take the state exam for her embalming license this summer.


Please tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests? What is your story?

I grew up in south Orange County and attended high school in Mission Viejo. When I was little, I used to say I wanted to dig up bones, and most of the books I read came from the true crime section of the bookstore. My plans to pursue work in forensic anthropology came to a halt while attending Golden West College. I was elected president of Circle K and from there I met a funeral home owner through Kiwanis International. I learned that being a licensed embalmer could lead to a career at the coroner’s office. Something just tugged at me and the only thing I could think of was getting a job at a funeral home.

I landed a six-nights-a-week on-call position, which entailed driving to a person’s location of death and transferring the deceased to the funeral home. During the day I worked a normal desk job and attended night classes. Soon, desk work became meaningless and I asked for a full-time position at the funeral home. I was very fortunate to have them sponsor my embalming apprenticeship, as well. Time flew by and I dedicated nine years to the profession before I finally got the courage to resign and dive into the rigorous Mortuary Science Program at Cypress College to obtain my degree.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

Cypress College is one of two schools in California that offers a Mortuary Science degree. The other school is located in Sacramento. Despite the fact that Cypress College was an obvious choice as far as distance is concerned, I fell in love with the campus while taking general education classes. Every single faculty member I have come in contact with is outstanding.

What have you been involved in at Cypress College? How has your path unfolded?

The Mortuary Science Program is nothing like anything I have ever experienced. In order to be successful, you must be active. By being active, I mean showing up every day, being engaged in each lecture, and being supportive of your cohorts. It is truly a team effort and we all help each other throughout the process.

I learned the hard way that sometimes your mind will get the best of you. I remember the first day of orientation, I was looking at the class load and thinking, “I can’t do this.” It hit me hard when I realized that I was my biggest obstacle. Since then, I have gained more confidence in myself, having faced what I had been putting off for all those years. I have so many opportunities that are opening up for me that I otherwise would not have had. I work hard, but I also owe my success to the amazing support system I have here. I just hope I can be an example to other students who are coming back after a long break. I want everyone to know, it is better late than never.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

I am absolutely passionate about the funeral service profession. It is an interesting line of work because it incorporates so many different aspects, including sociology, psychology, chemistry, anatomy, business, and law. There is never a dull moment. I know why I gravitated toward this career and it is not because I was curious about death as a child. It is because I live for helping others.

Who are the faculty and staff that have helped you get where you are today?

First I want to recognize Armando Garcia, who is a partnership counselor at the Cypress College School of Continuing Education. If it was not for Armando, I would have been lost when I got back to school. He was the one who counseled me through Math Co-Lab, which put me on a fast path to get to where I needed to be to apply for the Mortuary Science Program. I am forever grateful for his help and encouragement.

Second, I want to recognize the amazing faculty of the Mortuary Science Program:

  • Prof. Glenn Bower, for never letting your class be silent and always engaging us;

  • Lori Collins, for your care, patience, and encouragement in the embalming lab;

  • Dr. de la Cruz, for your uninhibited enthusiasm for chemistry and embalming;

  • Prof. Jolena Grande, for always keeping us on our toes and pushing us to do our best;

  • Prof. “Mac”, for your amazing talents in restorative art and for being my mentor; and

  • Stephen Nichols, for your tireless dedication to our success.

What are your immediate plans after completing your studies at Cypress College (at your transfer institution, in the workforce, etc.)?

I just passed the state written examination for my funeral director license. I plan on taking the written examination to obtain my embalming license this summer. My goal is to be working as a licensed funeral director and embalmer by August. I already have funeral homes reaching out to me about work after graduation. The funeral profession in California is a small corner of the world. Everyone knows everyone and Cypress College is the place to be for Mortuary Science. So many opportunities will open up for you here.

What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to?

I would like to continue my education to obtain a bachelor’s degree and eventually my master’s degree. I would love to go full circle and come back to Cypress College to teach in the Mortuary Science Program.

What are you most proud of?

I am honored to have been selected as a top-15 scholarship recipient for Service Corporation International, the largest funeral service provider in the U.S. Being in the top 15, I was flown to Houston, TX for a two-day event, one of which included three rounds of panel interviews. We were coached on our resumes and networked with over 30 SCI representatives, including recruiters to help place us in a funeral home after graduation. I am the first student from Cypress College to receive this scholarship, so it was a great feeling to be able to represent our school.

What one bit of advice would you give to current and future Cypress College students?

Try not to compare yourself to others. Your success is your own. Go at your own pace. If you feel discouraged, reach out to a faculty member. Lastly, please ENJOY the process because it will be over before you know it!

#CYProud: Crystal Neer, Radiologic Technology

Student success comes in many different forms, and Cypress College is proud to recognize and celebrate the variety of paths our students take to achieve their dreams. Whether it’s transferring to a four-year institution, or receiving an associate degree or certificate and heading into the workforce, we are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2017.

Crystal Neer
Cypress + RadTech

Neer is a radiologic technology major graduating from Cypress College Spring 2017. She will be receiving her rad tech license in the summer and hopes to spend time doing x-rays and become licensed in administering CAT scans as well. She hopes to attend a four-year instutition in the near future to pursue a bachelor’s degree.


Please tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests? What is your story?

My name is Crystal Neer. I grew up in Garden Grove, CA. I graduated from Rancho Alamitos in 2004 and immediately started working. I went to college, but found it was not for me. After having my son in 2011, I knew it was time to go back to school to better myself, not only for me, but my son as well. Being a single mom is not easy, but the hard work is worth every minute and I would not change it for the world. I enjoy volunteering at the OC Food Bank, studying, and spending time with family and friends.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

I chose Cypress College because it is close to me, and I love the campus. The school also provided the Radiologic Technology Program. There aren’t any other schools in the area besides OCC that offer the program.

What have you been involved in at Cypress College? How has your path unfolded?

I am part of the CalWORKs program, as well as EOPS and CARE. These programs have provided financial aid, daycare for my son, books, counseling, guidance, transportation, and moral support throughout this journey.
Originally, I was interested in the Ultrasound Program, but after finding out some things about the program, I quickly changed to Radiologic Technology. I worked hard to be on the President’s List and was also honored to be a student mentor for Biology 210. I was accepted into the Radiologic Technology Program in 2016 and will be graduating in May of 2017 with high honors.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

I am passionate about helping people. When my mom had breast cancer, the people in the office were so kind. They were always supportive and helped my mom as well as me through a tough time. That was when I grew a real passion for helping people. I want to help guide people through what may be a very difficult time in their lives.

Who are the faculty and staff that have helped you get where you are today?

Where do I start? There have been so many who have truly helped me. When I first came to Cypress, I went to see Connie Boehler in the CalWORKs office. She helped me figure out the classes I needed to take. I visit her at least once a semester, sometimes more when I come across a problem or need advice. She has always been there to provide moral support and guidance.

Ms. Boehler referred me to Doreen Villasenor, the counselor for EOPS. She was very welcoming and warmhearted, just what I needed during this tough time back to college. I visited Ms. Villasenor three times each semester. She helped me stay on track by creating my educational plan. I always enjoyed speaking with her as I would leave feeling motivated and on the right track, which I was.

Lili Perez, the EOPS/CARE program coordinator has helped me tremendously. She always welcomed me to the office and offered her help and advice if I ever asked. Ms. Perez encouraged me throughout my time at Cypress. She played a huge role in my scholarship achievements, persistently asking if I had applied. Finally, I did, and I won. Not only did I get one, but I received five scholarships. They include the Soroptimist Scholarship for women, Kaiser Permanente Scholarship, Gay Hannah Scholarship for single parents, Bruce Family Scholarship for Health Science, and the Cypress Foundation Scholarship. The EOPS/CARE program also provided grants for attending workshops, as well as school supplies.

Eva Palomares is another one of my amazing counselors. After Ms. Villasenor left EOPS, Ms. Palomares took her place. Ms. Palomares is another person I owe many thanks to; she has always been there for me during any issues. She always worked me into her schedule when needed, especially with my busy schedule during my internship. Ms. Palomares encouraged me, along with Lili Perez, to apply for scholarships. I always thought little old me, why would I get awarded anything like that? I was wrong, and Ms. Palomares taught me to be proud of myself and celebrate every accomplishment.

Dee Ann Sato, my Biology 160 and 210 professor, taught me what it really means to love anatomy and physiology. Not only does she love her students, but she will do anything she can to help them. Anytime I did not understand, she would stay after class and explain things to me. She gave me ideas of how to understand and remember concepts that I found difficult. Ms. Sato also gave me an opportunity to help other students. She helped me get out of my comfort zone and most importantly, helped me grow.

Anne-Marie Beck, a career counselor, has helped me create my resume starting from scratch. Ms. Beck encouraged me to find my strengths and learn how to use them. She also taught me about one of my biggest weaknesses, interviewing. I now feel confident for any future interviews.

Kelly Carter, the counselor for Health Sciences. I remember the first time I went to speak with her, I was so nervous. She was very direct and to the point. I really like that about her, which is when I realized she was there to help. She helped me overcome my fears and put the past behind me. I entrusted my future in her, and she never let me down. She has been here to guide me throughout my college career.

Last but not least, Lynn Mitts. She is the program director of Radiologic Technology as well as Ultrasound. After taking a class with her, she has been there every step of the way. She goes above and beyond to help me. Ms. Mitts has always made time for me out of her busy schedule and has helped me through a time I found to be very difficult. For that, I am forever grateful.

What are your immediate plans after completing your studies at Cypress College (at your transfer institution, in the workforce, etc.)?

I will wait for my license to come in the mail. It usually takes about two months. During this time, I will be off and enjoying the time with my mom and my son. Family is so important to me, and I would not be where I am today without them

What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to?

Long-term goals, I am not sure what is next. I want to spend some time doing x-rays and hope to get my license in CAT scans. I would like to get some time in these areas and possibly return to school in the near future to pursue my bachelor’s degree.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of myself. I have not always been focused on school. There was a time when I was very unsure of what I wanted to do. After having my son, my life drastically changed; everything I have done is for him. I have been focused, motivated, strong, responsible, positive, and committed. It has been very hard, but with my family, friends, teachers, and counselors, it has all been made possible.

What one bit of advice would you give to current and future Cypress College students?

Do not give up. Sometimes it feels like it will never end, but all it takes is a little hope. See a counselor and get an education plan. Apply for financial aid and scholarships. You never know, you might actually qualify! I did!

Most importantly, if you don’t understand, seek help. You will find it.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to showcase some of the biggest hearts we have at Cypress College. The people I have mentioned above have played a critical role during my time at school. If not for these people, I may not be where I am today. They all hold a special place in my heart and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to learn from them. I will miss you all as I continue on, but you will always be considered as my family.

#CYProud: Phuoc Vo, Culinary Arts

Student success comes in many different forms, and Cypress College is proud to recognize and celebrate the variety of paths our students take to achieve their dreams. Whether it’s transferring to a four-year institution, or receiving an associate degree or certificate and heading into the workforce, we are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2017.

Phuoc Vo
Cypress + Culinary

Vo is a culinary arts major joining the Marriott Voyage Global Leadership Development Program following his graduation from Cypress College. He was the top choice in the nation for the program, which prepares participants for hospitality and culinary management positions, and will start working at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa this summer.


Please tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests? What is your story?

I was born and raised in Orange County. I was always fascinated by food and how new trends are constantly evolving cooking and plating techniques. I originally went to the University of California, Santa Barbara for pharmacy, but once I actually started working in a pharmacy, I quickly realized that it wasn’t for me. After I graduated in 2015, I returned to Orange County and heard about the Cypress College School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management program. From then on, I decided to pursue my passion in culinary and enrolled in the program.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

I chose Cypress College because of the good student-to-faculty ratio and small classroom settings. In these classroom sizes, you are treated like a student and not just another number. I was able to build a great student-faculty relationship, which is very difficult to do in larger institutions like the UCs and CSUs. Cypress College was also an affordable option that fit my budget perfectly.

What have you been involved in at Cypress College? How has your path unfolded?

As a part of the Special Events class, I served as the supervising chef for Cypress College School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Program Advisory Board Meeting and Career Fair of Spring 2017. In this leadership role, I facilitated communication among the student body while executing a luncheon for our hospitality employer partners.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

I am most passionate about cooking and creating new dishes for others. There’s just something about seeing the smiles on people’s faces as they enjoy the food I make. The sense of satisfaction I get is indescribable and something I always look forward to.

Who are the faculty and staff that have helped you get where you are today?

  • Lisa Clark, the department coordinator and professor of hospitality management, is someone who is genuinely passionate about hospitality and dedicated to her students. She has always supported me and pushed me past my limits to challenge and develop me.

  • Chef Jeremy Peters always nurtured my curiosity and pushed me to be creative by allowing me to experiment in class. If I wanted to try something new with a dish and he didn’t have the equipment, he would try his best to get it.

  • Chef Stephanie Rosati pushed me through Baking I and Garde Manger. She has high expectations of me, which pushed me to constantly improve myself to deliver.

  • Chef Tracey Heine is the backbone of our program and is always around, ready to give tips and tricks on how to improve my dish or how to be more efficient.

  • Although Chef Amanda Gargano just joined this semester, we were able to connect through our shared interest in food. She inspires me to stay up to date on food trends and learn from them to boost my creativity.

What are your immediate plans after completing your studies at Cypress College (at your transfer institution, in the workforce, etc.)?

After I graduate from Cypress College, I will be joining the Marriott International team as a Culinary Voyager. I will be immersed in their culture built on putting people first and constantly pursuing excellence during a one-year internship at the JW Marriott in Palm Desert. I will get hands-on training and learn about managerial responsibilities from the property’s executive chef and team.

What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to?

My long-term goal is to become an executive chef of my own restaurant where I can pass on the knowledge I picked up through the years and bring out the potential in others.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of representing Cypress College at the Marriott International Voyager Program final interviews. This was the first year that Marriott decided to partner with a community college and I was lucky to receive the honor of being the best of 20 culinary students across the United States applying for this internship. I astounded recruiters and chefs with the plate I presented to them, and I strongly believe I’ve opened a world of possibilities for students majoring in culinary arts and hospitality in community colleges.

What one bit of advice would you give to current and future Cypress College students?

Enjoy your time at school and network with as many students and faculty as possible because you never know where that can get you. Most importantly, always stay humble in your endeavors.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

This is a quote that I live by and keeps me going. Whenever I feel like I’m in a rut, I remind myself of this quote and it gets me out of it.

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” – Lance Armstrong

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

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

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…

aviation 13

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