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Community Education - Inspiring a Love for Lifelong Learning

Jun 1, 2019

Community education programs teach new skills to students, and create a more enriched life experience. While Diablo Valley College is perhaps best known for its higher education offerings, DVC Community Education fills a special piece of the college’s mission to promote “growth and lifelong learning.”

Community Education

Flexible options

“DVC Community Education offers not-for-credit, short and low-cost classes for ages 9 – 99. Programs range from chef-led demos and tastings in the DVC culinary demo classroom to family shows in the DVC Planetarium,” said Jacklyn Lorenz, Director of Community Education at DVC.

Community Education“We have online classes through Ed2Go, a perfect option for those who work full-time, have a family, and need programs that fit within their busy lives. This is also a great place for degree-holders to find short-term, low-cost skills training to grow in their current career or pivot to a new one,” said Lorenz.

Community Education classes are taught by DVC faculty, as well as members of the local business community, local residents and skilled DVC students. Classes are taught on the DVC campus, enabling students to access all that is unique to DVC.

Something for everyone

Jacklyn Lorenz“My hope is that DVC will be viewed as not just a place for higher education, but also an arts and culture center, a job skills training center and a hub for social engagement. We seek to engage degree-holders, youth, families and retirees by offering options designed for them that are not currently offered by credit-bearing classes,” said Lorenz.

Programs serving children and teens are of special interest, as they offer what is often the students’ first visit to a college campus. Connecting youth to programs on a college campus can be a key first step in creating a pathway to college.

“We recently started ‘Experimental College’ for youth, where we offer STEM classes for middle and high school students. Classes include coding and robotics, Girls Who Math and MatLab. And for the past 30 years, we have offered ‘College for Kids,’ a summer program for kids entering grades 4 – 9,” said Lorenz.

“We have top faculty, unique offerings, state-of-the-art facilities and resources. We provide a long and strong thread from youth programs to degree programs to career programs. Many College for Kids students have been with DVC from the age of 9 to 21. There aren’t many other community programs that have similar success,” said Lorenz.

How to enroll

DVC Community Education class fees range from $10 to $150. Classes are offered year-round, and may be scheduled during the week, a weeknight or a weekend depending on the class. Programs are offered at the DVC Pleasant Hill and San Ramon campuses, as well as in Rossmoor, at John F. Kennedy University and online through Ed2Go. To view available classes and register online, visit For further information, call (925) 969-4600 or email

College for Kids

College for KidsFor over 30 years, Diablo Valley College has offered College for Kids (CFK), a unique summer enrichment program that invites children entering grades 4 – 9 to take classes on its campus. Classes include a variety of math, writing and art topics, along with more recent options in science and technology, including coding and robotics, crime scene investigation, environmental science, 3D computer modeling and printing, chemistry, physics and MakerSpace.

“My goal is to create summer classes that highlight what DVC has to offer any future college students. This summer I introduced a TV broadcasting class and an intro to music production class,” said Jacklyn Lorenz, Director of Community Education at DVC.

College for KidsCFK students are able to see first-hand that college is something they can attain. Students are exposed to activities that enable them to explore careers while accessing software and equipment that are rarely offered in their own school.

“CFK provides kids an entry to college life and learning. For most of our students, College for Kids is the first time they have ever stepped onto a college campus,” said Lorenz.

“It is hard to find anyone in the nearby area who has not been touched by College for Kids, or who doesn’t have friends whose children benefited from it. I know parents who were CFK students who now send their own children to the program. And many of these kids have come back to the campus as DVC college students. In fact, some of the instructors in our program were actually CFK participants themselves. What an amazing legacy!” said Lorenz.

College for Kids begins in mid-June and concludes at the end of July. Classes are scheduled between 12:50 pm and 4:10 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, enabling students to have 4-day weekends all summer. The cost for each class ranges from $70 to $150 depending on the subject. Registration begins in April, and is available online, by phone or in-person on the DVC Pleasant Hill campus. For further information or to register for classes, visit or call at (925) 969-4600.


College for Kids

Jacob Lacuesta

Jacob LacuestaJacob Lacuesta was a student in College for Kids (CFK) in the summer between 5th and 6th grade.

“I wasn’t good at math so my mom enrolled me. To sweeten the deal, in exchange for me taking algebra, she let me take one fun class. I picked cartooning. I thought it was cool to be able to wander on a college campus at that age,” said Lacuesta.

Like so many other former CFK students, Lacuesta found himself back on the DVC campus later in life.

“When I was in high school, I really wanted to go to a for-profit art college because their recruiters gave us the feeling that a ‘proper college would be no place for the arts.’ I was reminded about my College for Kids experience and then took a look into the DVC catalog. I started taking film classes in my junior year and I fell in love with it,” said Lacuesta.

Lacuesta completed his associate in arts in film at DVC while also working in career-related jobs and internships, and then transferred to UC Davis to earn his bachelor’s degree.

“I am double-majoring in cinema digital media and communication with an emphasis on information communication technology. I will finish this year but will go to grad school to obtain a Ph.D in film and media,” said Lacuesta.

Lacuesta has also returned to give back to the program that first sparked his interest in college.

“For the past two summers, I taught for College for Kids. I wanted to have my class taught entirely from smartphones and related devices. The quality of hardware and software is tremendous. For my first summer, I taught students the basic process of pre-production, photography and post-production. On the final day, I invited the parents to come over to watch the final pieces together. In my second year, I added film analysis,” said Lacuesta.

Lacuesta feels that both the College for Kids program and DVC have helped him get to where he is today.

“College for Kids helped guide me to DVC, and DVC helped guide me to a great university. I would recommend College for Kids. It’s a good program that is held up by a lot of people who not only care for the students but who also have passion for their fields,” said Lacuesta.