National University Recognizes 2022 City of San Diego/National University Professional Development Scholarship Award Winners

San Diego, CA (August 11, 2022) – National University (NU) has the distinct pleasure of recognizing the following employees of the City of San Diego; Sarema Valenzuela, Joseph Coratti, and David Martinez as recipients of the 2022 City of San Diego/ National University Professional Development Scholarship. This award celebrates the extraordinary achievements hard work and dedication of these recipients from the city of San Diego Department by assisting them in achieving success in pursuing career development through higher education.

In the City of San Diego’s effort to expand educational and professional opportunities to its employees, collaborated with, and named National University as its sole Preferred Employee Education Program Partner for the City of San Diego in 2014.

“National University is proud to be the preferred education partner of the City of San Diego,” said Chris Graham, president of Workforce Education Solutions at the National University System. “We are thrilled to offer dedicated City employees like Sarema, Joseph, and David access to quality education so they can meet their education and career goals to better serve the community.”

The scholarship recipients will receive certificates signed by the Mayor of San Diego, Todd Gloria, and the President of Workforce Education Solutions, Chris Graham.

Through this partnership, City of San Diego employees are offered a 25 percent tuition scholarship to be applied toward National University courses.

National University, which is the second largest private, nonprofit university in California behind USC, is committed to developing its educational partnerships with the community by providing additional education benefits and scholarships to upskill and support the city’s workforce. Employees of the City of San Diego have the opportunity to apply for the competitive City of San Diego/National University Professional Development Scholarships presented jointly with California Coast Credit Union. Annually, three employees who have demonstrated exceptional public service and have given back to the City of San Diego community are awarded this scholarship.

As the 2022 winner of the City of San Diego/National University Professional Development Scholarship Sarema Valenzuela will receive a full tuition scholarship to National University. The two other finalists, David Coratti and Joseph Martinez, who were partial scholarship winners in 2021 are once again among the very highest rated candidates and will each receive a $2,500 scholarship from National University. They will also receive matching scholarships of $2,500 from California Coast Credit Union  for a total of $5,000 each — in addition to the 25 percent tuition reduction on all their remaining classes.

The candidates passed through an interview process with senior leaders from NU and senior leaders from the City of San Diego in partnership with the California Coast Credit Union Senior Vice President of Community and Public Relations, Rene McKee. At the end of the interviews, the finalist scholarship awards were determined.

Ms. Valenzuela serves the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System (SDCERS) as an administrative aide (call center supervisor/lead) and has demonstrated excellent commitment to public service to over 20,000 members.

“I strive to enhance my overall skills by regularly taking LinkedIn courses, attending CALAPRS seminars, requesting internal training, and recently completing the Public Service Mgt. Certificate,” said Valenzuela.

She currently intends to go back to school and will be enrolling as a first-time college student at National University.

“I always knew I needed to get a degree, but I had kids and I just never thought it possible,” said Valenzuela. “I wish to continue this public service journey and utilize this degree to further enhance my knowledge and advance in my career.”

Joseph and David are current students at National University and are about a year away from completing their degree programs.

Mr. Coratti is a water system technician supervisor who has served with the City of San Diego Public Utilities Water Delivery Branch for almost a decade and teaches multiple classes in water distribution applications for the training center. He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in public administration at National University with a concentration in waterworks management. NU is one of the only institutions in California to offer a waterworks management concentration in its public administration program. With his degree, he aims to move into more leadership roles and offer support fellow employees to provide quality service to customers, advance water management techniques and skills within the city, and collaborate with multiple different divisions on large-scale projects.

Mr. Martinez serves as an administrative aide in the City of San Diego Department of Finance and is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in accounting at National University. He’s pursuing this degree to reach his goal of becoming a finance analyst to improve, protect, and assist grow the City’s budget and other financial projects.

The National University workforce development partnership with the city of San Diego offered a tuition reduction scholarship of 15 percent to City employees in 2014.  The scholarship increased to 20 percent in 2019 and has now been increased to 25 percent. The City of San Diego employees can choose from over 75 program offerings at National University with the chance to pursue their education and career goals.

City of San Diego employees who wish to take advantage of this program can learn more learn more here.

About National University: National University, a Veteran-founded nonprofit, has been dedicated to meeting the needs of hard-working adults by providing accessible, affordable, achievable higher education opportunities since 1971. As San Diego’s largest private nonprofit university, NU offers more than 75 online and on-campus programs and flexible four-week classes designed to help students reach their goals while balancing busy lives. Since its founding, the NU community has grown to more than 30,000 students and 190,000 alumni around the globe, many of whom serve in helping industries such as business, education, health care, cybersecurity, and law and criminal justice. National University’s merge with Northcentral University will be complete on September 30, 2022, growing the institution by over 10,000 students and 80 graduate and doctoral programs.

About the National University System: The National University System (NUS) is a network of accredited nonprofit education institutions serving a diverse population of students including pre-K-12 students and working professionals. NUS higher-education institutions serve more than 45,000 students through National University, Northcentral University, and City University of Seattle. NUS education-focused initiatives include Workforce Education Solutions, Harmony SEL, Inspire Teaching & Learning, and Fundraising Academy Cause Selling Education. National University’s merge with Northcentral University will be complete on September 30, 2022, growing the institution by over 10,000 students and 80 graduate and doctoral programs.

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