National University and Cuyamaca College Team Up to Support Workforce Development in one of San Diego’s High-Demand Industries

Partnership of the two San Diego County education institutions advances training and education of local water and wastewater professionals

La Jolla, CA – January 15, 2020 – Cuyamaca College and National University, San Diego’s largest private, nonprofit University, announced today that they are partnering to offer degree pathways aligned with workforce needs in water and wastewater management. The partnership is designed to increase access to high-quality, affordable degree programs to train and educate the next generation professionals in this sector, as industry experts anticipate a shortage of up to 20,000 workers throughout California in the coming years.

The new collaboration allows students to complete both an associate and a bachelor’s degree while significantly reducing the associated time and cost. Holistic student support services at both Cuyamaca College and National University help foster a seamless process for students to transfer from the two-year to the four-year institution. Upon successful completion of general education and preparatory courses at Cuyamaca College, students will have met the requirements to begin the upper division coursework for a bachelor’s degree at National University in Public Administration with a concentration in Waterworks Management. This concentration, which was developed through a collaboration of National University faculty and industry experts, consists of four upper division electives in the following areas.

  • Waterworks Management in California
  • California Waterworks Law & Compliance
  • Human Resources & Labor Relations in Waterworks Management
  • Leadership in Waterworks Management

“Working collaboratively with National University, we can help our region and state respond to the need for skilled and educated water and wastewater professionals,” said Cuyamaca College President Julianna Barnes. “We know that with impending retirements in the industry, there will be a need for 12,000-20,000 water and wastewater professionals throughout the state in coming years.”

Cuyamaca College’s innovative Center for Water Studies program is the oldest and most comprehensive of its kind in the state’s community college system and prepares students for careers at water agencies as technicians, mechanics, electricians, engineers, plant operators, information technology specialists and more. Alumni of the program are eligible for the National University program as well.

“National University is thrilled to partner with Cuyamaca College to advance workforce development and educate the next generation of leaders in the waterworks industry,” said Dr. Joseph Allen, Director of Community College Pathways at National University.

National University’s program offers an accelerated academic pathway for students to finish their bachelor’s degree in a shorter amount of time and with fewer expenses. This program also opens doors for career advancement to management and supervisory positions in the industry. This partnership further reflects National University’s strategic focus on access, affordability, workforce relevance, and holistic support of the University’s diverse student population. Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, the University offers four-week courses taught in flexible online learning formats to meet the needs of the University’s students, including working adults and members of the military community.

As a Veteran-founded institution, National University is dedicated to serving servicemembers, Veterans, and their families. The new partnership is particularly well-suited for Veterans using their GI benefits to further their education. Additionally, Veterans are eligible to apply their military experience and education toward certifications in the water industry.

Classes start February 2021. For more information about this program please visit NU’s Information Page

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 over 75 online and on-site programs and flexible four-week courses designed to help students reach their goals while balancing busy lives. Since its founding, the NU community has grown to over 25,000 students and 230,000 alumni around the globe, many of whom serve in helping industries such as business, education, health care, cybersecurity, and law and criminal justice. Learn more at

About Cuyamaca College’s Center for Water Studies

Established in partnership with industry leaders, the curriculum and hands-on training prepare students to be workforce ready within a year. Courses prepare students for certification examinations administered by the State of California and water and wastewater  professional associations. Current instructors are experienced water and wastewater professionals, experienced in up-to-date industry practices. A two-year associates degree program provides for seamless transfer to National University for a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration.

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