Skip to main content

Pasadena City College and PO College formalize agreement to collaborate on cohort program

May 7, 2012

Categories: News

Published: May 7, 2012

PASADENA, Calif. – Students at Pasadena City College (PCC) will have a new option to pursue a career in education this fall thanks to a partnership announced today by Dr. Mark Rocha, PCC superintendent/president, and Dr. Ezat Parnia, president of Pacific Oaks College (POC).

The leaders of two of Pasadena’s most deeply rooted education institutions finalized the agreement by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish a B.A. in Early Childhood Education cohort. With curriculum developed and instructed by POC and PCC faculty, the cohort bachelor’s-completion program will be offered at a discounted tuition rate for PCC students.

“Providing PCC students as many educational opportunities as possible is a top priority,” said Dr. Rocha. “During these difficult budget times in California, it is important to expand the options our students have, not restrict them.”

“While we have been welcoming PCC students to our campus for years, this agreement will bring our faculty together with the PCC faculty to strengthen our institutions while providing a new pathway to a career in education,” said Dr. Parnia. “It’s a perfect match for our academic mission and our focus on serving adult students.”

One of the program’s chief benefits, according to POC Dean Kalani Beyer, will be its flexibility. “Pacific Oaks is the only college in the state to offer a dual-credentialing option,” he said. “Candidates completing our bachelor’s-completion program will enter the education field with the credential to be hired as either a general teacher and/or a special education teacher, which creates more pathways for jobs.”

According to the Drs. Parnia and Rocha, the agreement portends future partnerships between the colleges including a possible cohort program in human development, collaborating on joint-recruitment initiatives, and Pacific Oaks working with PCC to build capacity for more general education courses offered online.

“Well-designed, public/nonprofit partnerships such as what we’re announcing today can make a big difference in providing more access and controlling costs,” said Dr. Parnia. “I’ve seen it work firsthand and see this agreement as the beginning of a long and beneficial relationship with Pasadena City College.”

About Pasadena Community College

Established in 1924, Pasadena City College has been serving the San Gabriel Valley and Southern California for more than 87 years. PCC enrolls more than 30,000 students each semester and offers 60 academic and 76 Career and Technical Education programs. The main college campus occupies an idyllic 53-acre site, while the Community Education Center and Child Development Center are located in separate facilities. The college is renowned for its high student transfer rate, national mathematics and forensic honors, and extensive study abroad offerings. PCC is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. For more information, go to

About Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School

Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School has played a crucial role in the development of early childhood education in the United States for more than half a century. Founded in 1959, Pacific Oaks College is dedicated to the fundamental principles of inclusion, social justice, and the valuing of every human being. The college’s faculty advances an innovative curriculum that is effective with adult students who are returning to classroom to gain additional competencies in early childhood, human development, and teacher credentialing. Pacific Oaks is well-known for its leadership in andragogy and for its ground-breaking anti-bias curriculum, which has been implemented in schools throughout the country and is often required reading in early childhood teacher training courses.

An accredited non-profit institution, Pacific Oaks College offers bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs in human development, counseling, and teaching credentialing. Founded in 1945, the Children’s School is widely recognized today as one of the finest preschools in the Los Angeles region. For more information, see and

In 2010, Pacific Oaks affiliated with TCS Education System, a nonprofit service organization that supports institutions each backed by a model of education that prepares socially responsible professionals in applied fields such as education, psychology, and law.

Dr. Parnia was named president of Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School in January 2012, arriving in Pasadena from the birthplace of higher education in the United States, Cambridge, Mass., where he was a key leader at one of the region’s great success stories at Cambridge College, a nonprofit institution that saw its enrollment rise from 200 students when he arrived in 1989 to more than 9,000 when he left for Nichols College in 2007. Dr. Parnia is a graduate of what is today Claremont Graduate University where he studied under iconic management scholar Peter Drucker, ultimately earning M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in government and business administration.

Categories: News