1. Find Your Field
  2. Why Choose CTE?   |
  3. Certificate vs. Degree?   |
  4. Questions? 


Career, Technical Education (CTE) describes a wide variety of specialized programs created to get you job-ready within two years or less.  Mendocino College offers a wide variety of CTE programs.

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Start your career sooner

Spending four years to get a bachelor’s degree may not be the route you want to take.  Maybe you want to be a chef, a registered nurse, or work in law enforcement.  Not all jobs even require an associate degree -- many programs have “stackable” certificates so that once you earn one, you can enter the industry and work while you earn additional certificates as you enhance your skills.

Spend less

Community college is an affordable way to get your education and not be saddled with a ton of student debt when you finish.  Paying off college loans is definitely not what you want when you’re just starting your career!

Choice of programs

When you’re checking out all the program choices at Mendocino College, you will be amazed at the diverse options that you have to choose from!  You could study everything from healthcare to horticulture, auto technology, or culinary arts.   You have a wealth of opportunities to find a career where you get to pursue your passion.

Hands-on training

A major benefit of CTE training is that many of your classes include labs where you are in front of the actual technology and tools you will be using on the job.  In the labs, you’ll be able to immediately apply knowledge gained from reading and lectures.  Later, this knowledge will help you when you’re out on the job.

Experienced instructors

The instructors here are dedicated to helping you work toward your career goals.  Many of our faculty are working professionals in their industry, which means they are able to give you the up-to-date skills that employers are looking for right now.   You will feel prepared to be successful in a career, and their connections in the community may even link you to your internship or job.


What's the difference?

A Certificate of Achievement consists mainly of major-specific courses and can usually be completed in two years or less.

An Associate Degree usually has General Education requirements in addition to major-specific courses.  This type of certification can usually be completed in two years and can be a stepping stone for transferring to a four-year university.

There are four types of Degrees: Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Arts for Transfer, and Associate of Science for Transfer.  Majors in fields such as engineering, physical or biological science, or career curricula (e.g. CTE) earn one of the Science degrees.  For other majors, an Arts degree is conferred.  Transfer degrees are specifically for transfer to California State Univerisities (CSUs).

For further details about Certificates and Degrees, see the Academics section of the Course Catalog.


Explore the departments in the "Find Your Field" tab for further details and specific contact information.  For general inquiries, you can contact:

Office of Instruction