The facility's mission is to “promote human development and education by providing people with marketable skills, training and supportive services that contribute to self sufficiency.” It was first started in 1967 in San Jose, helping a number of non-English speaking citizens gain employment in heavy machinery and industrial jobs. Most of the school's services today are geared toward immigrants in need of vocational skills that will help them to secure good jobs and become eligible for promotions within their fields.
The students who attend CET are primarily high-school dropouts and other students unable to flourish in a traditional academic setting due to language barriers, family obligations, income, or disability. This particular location serves a largely Hispanic population, although other centers around California and the East Coast have different demographic compositions.
This particular campus offers training in a number of professional fields, including Accounting Clerk, Automotive Specialist, Building Maintenance, Early Childhood Teacher Assistant, Medical Administrative Assistant, Medical Assistant, and Electrician. It is the only location in California to offer training in the Culinary Arts.
CET calls its teaching method for the Culinary Arts program the “contextual learning model.” It involves a combination of specific skills education and core educational courses that all students must master.
The Culinary Arts program at the San Jose location prepares students to perform the duties and responsibilities needed for entry level positions such as Cook, Pantry/prep cook, Cafeteria cook, Cook helper, Baker helper, Pastry cook helper.
Students study both safety and sanitation with an opportunity to earn a Servsafe certificate. They will study and practice kitchen related math and vocabulary along with methods of cooking including stocks, soups, sauces , starch and vegetable cooking.
Baking and pastry skills are also part of the program along with pantry and nutrition concepts.
CET is accredited by the Council of Occupational Education. This accreditation permits students to apply for federal financial assistance programs (Pell and SEOG Grants, Student Loans, Work-Study) to help students with tuition and basic living costs.
Many CET students utilize Federal Financial Aid grants and/or loans to cover a portion of their tuition and living expenses while completing their training program. Other forms of financial aid are also available at some centers or for students with specific qualifications. CET’s trained Financial Aid Staff work with each applicant to obtain the maximum assistance.
All instructors at the school have experience in their respective industries. They are chosen for their ability to build the exact skills necessary for successful employment in the real-world setting, as well as their understanding of training for a traditionally under-served population. All instructors work in teams to better facilitate learning within the framework of the contextual learning model.
Although the pace of education is flexible, CET is actually strict in the amount of time required by students. In an attempt to simulate the real working world, students are expected to come to classes on a full-time, Monday through Friday schedule. The classrooms and facilities are not traditional, meaning that students don't sit at a desk and listen to lectures. Instead, the school's environment draws from hands-on training equipment, computer-driven learning, and self-set pacing.
Located in San Jose, California, this CET campus is populated primarily by the local Hispanic demographic, although people from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The area's economy is ideal for this kind of training, since students are put into the workforce as soon as they are ready, oftentimes working in some of the most active restaurants and hospitality companies in San Jose.
The weather in Sacramento is beautiful and the climate is mild. It’s close to the ocean and mountains. The rivers and nearby Lake Tahoe provide plenty of opportunity for water sports and outdoor recreation. There are cultural activities, professional and semi-professional sports, museums, historic downtown and many other activities.