By Geneva Gámez
The UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies Dare. Dream. Do. campaign showcases individuals who have achieved—or are working toward—personal and professional goals through DES programs and certificates. It highlights the built-in breadth, variety, and scope of the division’s programs by featuring students and alums who dare to dream and do. This profile is the third in an ongoing series.
For over 20 years, Lorena Quiroz has worked in career services, helping college students decide on a career path. She has held many roles and transitioned from many different industry sectors. Her last transition from the community college sector to higher education involved some adjusting as it came to the student populations that differentiated the two education paths.
The Career Advising Certificate Program
offered by UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies was the perfect fit for Quiroz’s continued professional goals. The program has three core courses: Foundation Principles for Career Advisors
, Skill Development for Career Advisors
, and Specialty Areas for Career Advisors
. Each course has a strong focus on workforce, career development, and diverse student populations, with the added convenience of being offered online.
“During the first course, It was really nice to be able to hear the history of how career development has evolved over the years. The second course involved a lot of research; there was a lot of reading books and publications and getting to know the different programs that exist out there and how to make the connection with working with people. The third course was more about the specialized population, like how do you work with veterans, individuals in the foster care system, mature adults, and college students. It was really interesting to see the dynamic of all three courses,” said Quiroz.
In her role at UC San Diego, Quiroz works with students of various backgrounds—including veterans, foster care, first-generation students and others. These students often require different combinations of career programs and services. She helps lead them in the career path that best suits their professional goals while also assisting them in finding the right programs to support their endeavors.
“The program impacted my life, not only from the career aspect but also to find out what programs exist for workforce development, from the nonprofit sector to the education setting to maybe a program that is for someone who is going through mental health services,” said Quiroz.
Quiroz recommends the Career Advising Certificate Program to anyone who wants to work with diverse populations in all industry sectors. “I can see these courses for people in virtually any job role; specifically, roles in administration, human resources, mental health, counseling, nonprofit, healthcare, education, technical programs, and state and government programs. For students who are thinking about going to grad school, this would also be a great program in helping them decide what route to follow.”
As a lifelong learner, Quiroz always seeks ways to enhance her professional experience. In her more than two decades of experience in the field, she knows how to anticipate new trends and changing career service needs that follow. She enjoys incorporating what she learns from the program into the services she provides to students exploring career paths.
“The certificate program definitely helped me achieve my career goals. I also was able to learn from different local programs, as well as state and nationally funded programs.”
Career Development is an interdisciplinary field that takes into account workplace dynamics and individual growth and change. Career advisors help focus clients’ skills, interests, and values while teaching them how to gather information about workplace options and helping them develop strategies to reach their career goals.
During the term of the courses, students can expect education to impact day-to-day and long-term productivity and professional growth; share and learn from peers, gaining best practices, new perspectives, strengthened relationships, and new contacts; develop skills to serve an increasingly diverse customer base with widely varying needs and to learn the competencies of the Certified Workforce Development Professional (CWDP) national credential.
UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies’ Career Advising Specialized Certificate Program is designed for Career Advisors (including WIB/Workforce Partnership Career Advisors) and professionals in career advising roles to bring them the latest information on current economic trends, coaching techniques, career-building strategies, and interpersonal communications.
Students completing the program are eligible to receive the Certified Workforce Development Professional
CWDP) certification through the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals
(NAWDP). The CWDP is a nationally recognized credential for individuals who have demonstrated what it takes to provide the highest quality services to our nation's job seekers and businesses.