Columbia College Apprenticeship Initiative Columbia College Apprenticeship Initiative

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, access to Columbia College is restricted to students with in person labs and essential personnel only.  CTE Division employees are working remotely to serve students and our community.  To reach us, call (209) 588-5142 or  email


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.

EMS Pre-Apprenticeship

Columbia College has received formal notification of the intent to award a three (3) year grant to develop a new pre-apprenticeship program in Emergency Medical Services, beginning in Spring 2022. More Information Coming Soon...

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. 

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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