Modesto has a diverse workforce of over 100,000 just within its city limits, and about 35% of the population speaks Spanish as a first language. Over 30,000 residents have an Associate’s Degree or higher, and over 20,000 have a Bachelor’s Degree or higher, with approximately 7,000 holding graduate degrees. Modesto residents are known for their hard-work and career-minded attitudes complimented by their down-to-earth personalities. Many of our youth go on to higher educations at premier institutions in California and the Country, and they and their families seek opportunities to return to jobs in the Central Valley.

Modesto Junior College (MJC), founded in 1921, is one of the oldest community colleges in California with 2 campuses in the City serving approximately 19,000 students. The college provides 82 Associates Degree Programs, 54 Certificate Programs, and is planning to add Bachelor Degree programs in respiratory care soon. Their popular academic programs include nursing, business administration, social and behavioral sciences, child development, administration of justice, athletic training/sports medicine, medical assisting, art and natural sciences. It also provides a community education program that serves more than 8,000 participants. This fully accredited college provides full credit transfer to four-year colleges and universities, and is approved for training veterans as well as authorized to enroll non-immigrant alien students. The College houses the Great Valley Museum of Science and Natural History along with a planetarium.

MJC anthropology professor Debra Bolter was recently on a team that cataloged and categorized the remains of a new human species Homo naledi, which was covered by National Geographic. The college offers lectures by professors of Ms. Bolter’s caliber to the students and the community. They recently also presented a lecture by astrobiologist Lynn Rothschild, who studies life in extreme climates in conjunction with NASA.

California State University, Stanislaus, located in nearby Turlock, has been ranked for over 10 consecutive years by Princeton Review as a top university for student life and academics, and serves approximately 9,000 students. Money Magazine also ranked it as a top public value-add university. It provides over 189 majors, minors, concentrations and teaching credentials as well as 23 master degree programs, 6 graduate certificate programs, and Executive MBA program and a doctoral degree program in educational leadership. Popular majors include business administration, nursing, psychology, biological sciences, criminal justice, education, social work, and public administration.