Columbia College Apprenticeship Initiative Columbia College Apprenticeship Initiative


The Columbia College Apprenticeship Initiative is a grant-funded program that supports the development and implementation of new and innovative apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship models. These programs support the local workforce and provide educational opportunities to current and future Columbia College students.

Fire Science Pre-Apprenticeship

Interested in a career in firefighting? The Fire Science Pre-Apprenticeship is designed to provide an introduction to careers in fire science through hands-on experiences, workshops, field trips, and more. After completing the Pre-Apprenticeship and the Columbia College Fire Academy, either simultaneously or consecutively, participants will have the opportunity to apply to Cal-JAC, the state's only registered apprenticeship in firefighting. The Fire Science Pre-Apprenticeship is open to everyone ages 14 and up.

How to Apply

  • Fill out the application, print, sign, and send it to: or 11600 Columbia College Dr., Sonora, CA 95370
  • Call 209-588-5269 for questions!

Apprenticeship Programs

Apprentices have the opportunity to complete coursework at Columbia College while working as paid apprentices at one of our approved apprenticeship employers, resulting in a Certified Apprentice certification through the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards as well as Certificates of Achievement and/or Skills Attainment Certificates through Columbia College. Students will be set up for career advancement and/or higher education at Columbia College and beyond.

Current Apprenticeship Programs:

Child Development

A two-year program that results in an Associate Teacher Permit and a Certificate of Completion as a Registered Apprentice through the Division of Apprenticeship Standards. Apprentices work as aides, assistants, or associate teachers in infant, toddler, or preschool classrooms or elementary after-school programs and are strongly encouraged to pursue additional coursework toward an Associate of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education.

Forestry and Natural Resources

A two-year program that results in a Certificate of Achievement in the Management and Restoration of Fire-Adapted Ecosystems as well as a Certificate of Completion as a Registered Apprentice through the Division of Apprenticeship Standards. Apprentices work as Forest Conservation Technicians and are given the opportunity to take additional coursework toward Certificates of Achievement and/or an Associate of Science Degree.

Hospitality Management

At this time, all Hospitality Management apprentice openings have been filled, but we are still accepting applications. 

Jackson DE Cohort

Benefits of Participation

  • Hands-on work experience while attending college
  • Paid on-the-job training
  • Tuition and fees paid (after financial aid is applied)
  • Textbooks provided for apprenticeship-specific courses
  • Program staff available for support

How to Apply



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