Program aims to give back

City’s Institute for Human Development is a program that links existing certificate of performance and associates degree programs, including Alcohol and Other Drug Studies (AODS), to prepare students for entry level work experience.

The program was conceived by Veronica Ortega Welch, a professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and psychology, and assisted by a committee that consists of faculty from Child Development, AODS, Peace Studies, Youth Development Work and Community Health Works.

“The Institute brings together instructors from different disciplines and departments creating a unique opportunity for academic exchange that facilitates collaboration and innovation,” Welch said. She also stated that, “The interdisciplinary exchange also exposes students to a broader range of knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in today’s global community and workplace.”

All certificate of performance programs require about 17 units, according to City College website. Community Health Works require 16 units and youth development worker 17, while child development requires between 17 and 39 and AODS 33.5 units.

When asked how the human development program will benefit the school, Montez Belcher, the institute’s administrative assistant, said, “It is beneficial to the school because it’s a program that involves community involvement.the program represents the people that want to make a difference in people’s lives with social services, ensuring positive human development in our immediate communities.”

The interconnectedness provided by the Institute’s interdisciplinary faculty has encouraged students in one certificate program to pursue courses in other programs, or to complete two or more certificates.

Antolin Rodriguez, who is the first student to receive certificates from Peace Studies, Youth Development, and Community Health, said, “The institute covers the different stages of life.” He added that he was able to achieve the certificates while fulfilling his, “spiritual calling as a singing clown, performing for the less fortunate.’

According to Welch, the institute’s certificates also attract individuals who have been working in the community and now see an opportunity to further their education through a related certificate.

Welch added that other benefits of being enrolled in a certificate program are conferences with nationally-recognized speakers, film screenings and discussion forums offered to the students. Recent conferences have focused on community health, international relief efforts, and youth engagement in community development and activism.

At a recent board of trustees meeting, Welch introduced the human development program to the trustees and they had only good things to say about it.

“I just wish (there was)some way we can have the San Diego population here listening to this presentation; if they understood what their tax dollars are doing. This is phenomenal. So impressive,” said trustee Rich Grosch.

District Chancellor Constance Carroll said that she is also, “very impressed,” and that, “City College is one of the leading 19 institutions in the country because of professors working together to package such programs that serve the community.”

For more information regarding the Institute of Human Development program, go to

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Program aims to give back