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Apprenticeship Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a "state registered apprenticeship"?

A "state registered apprenticeship" is comprised of two components:

  • On-the-job learning
  • Classroom and lab learning via a community college or one of the California Department's of Education Regional Occupational Centers and Programs (ROCP).

Q. How long is an apprenticeship program?

Apprenticeship program can run from 1 to 5 or more years.

Q. Are apprentices paid very low wages, provided no benefits, and are used to do menial tasks?

NO. The beginning wages are usually about one-third of what an entry level journeyman earns. The beginning wages must be approved by the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS). The wage plan includes increments at set intervals like once every six months.

Apprentices have a benefit package.

With respect to "menial tasks", state registered apprenticeship programs have written "standards" approved by the Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS). The standards include specific work processes to be mastered on the job, and how many hours will be spent on the job performing each work process.

Q. Does the classroom and lab learning have anything to do with what the apprentices need to learn for the work that is to be done on the job?

Yes. With respect to the classroom and lab learning:

  • The employer, not the college, specifies what is to be taught.
  • The classroom and lab instruction" instruction is referred to in the law as "Related and Supplemental Instruction" (RSI) because the instruction is "related to", and is "supplemental to", the apprentices on-the-job work experience and what they will be doing on the job in the near future.
  • Approximately 145 classroom/lab hours (about 4 hours per week) are taken during the academic year.

Q. Can apprentices taking their RSI community college courses earn certificates and degrees?

Yes, if the employer requests, and the college and CCCCO agrees, that all of the RSI courses will be credit courses. To get the degree, the apprentice must pass all of the required general studies courses. An apprenticeship program can be approved by CCCCO for granting an Associate of Arts degree, an Associate of Science degree, or both degrees can be approved by CCCCO and the apprentice will decide which degree he/she wants to complete the degree requirements.

Q. Do apprenticeship programs cost the community colleges lots of money and thus limit the ability of community colleges to serve the skilled workforce needs of employers?

No. Many community colleges do not have the exact, up-to-date equipment and facilities to teach the RSI courses specified by the employer. In many instances, the employers already have excellent up-to-date training facilities and equipment. Many community colleges offer all of the RSI instruction at the employer's training facility. Thus, such apprenticeship programs do not limit the ability of community colleges to serve the skilled workforce needs of employers, but rather allows the community colleges to offer apprenticeship programs that could not otherwise be offered by the colleges.

Q. Approximately how many apprentices are taking RSI in the community colleges?

In excess of 22,000

Q. Is it true that only union trades have apprenticeship programs?

 No. Both union and merit shop apprenticeship programs are in community colleges. Both are treated equally by the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, and follow the same standards.

Q. What are five examples of the apprenticeship occupations offered via community colleges?

  • Professional Firefighters, Psychiatric Technicians (State Mental Hospitals)
  • Electricians, Field Iron Workers, Plumbers

Q. What are the costs?

At Foothill, the apprentices are exempt from paying student fees.

Q. Who is eligible?

Any student over the age of 18 with a high school diploma or GED is eligible to apply for an apprenticeship program. In order to comprehend instruction in related training classes and ensure safety on the job, a student must also demonstrate the ability to read, write and speak English. Students must also have a valid CA Driver's license and transportation.

Q. How to apply to the Apprenticeship Program?

Contact one of the 15 training locations listed under Apprenticeship Contacts to schedule an appointment to fill out an application (*bring a valid ID and high school transcripts to the appointment). At the appointment, sign up for the entry examination. Check back with the training location periodically to find out if you passed the entry exam. Final step is to pass an oral interview prior to being accepted in the program.

Q. How can I sign up for classes?

After you are officially accepted to the apprenticeship program, staff members at the training location will provide you with further assistance with your enrollment process with Foothill.

Q. Who should I contact for more information?

For information about a specific apprenticeship program, including its availability, requirements or application process, see the Apprenticeship Contacts page.
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Please Contact Us!

Apprenticeship Office


Virtual Zoom Meeting Available Upon Request
Chris Allen, Division Dean
Email: allenchris@foothill.edu
Phuong Tran, Apprenticeship Program Coordinator
Phone: 408.745.8018
Email: tranphuong@foothill.edu

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