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ROCP Program Summary


Regional Occupational Centers and Programs (ROCP) have been an integral part of California’s educational system for over 35 years. California’s 74 ROCPs provide high school and adult students with valuable career technical education so students can (1) enter the workforce with skills and competencies to be successful in life, (2) pursue advanced training in higher educational institutions, and/or (3) upgrade existing skills and knowledge. In addition to the specific skills and comprehensive career education offered, ROCPs also offer employment survival skills in many aspects of the 15 industry sectors, placement assistance, counseling and guidance services and other critical support services to students. ROCPs in California also collaborate with other public and private agencies and associations to develop and offer important instructional classes and programs for students. Examples of these programs include the following:  Certified Nursing Assistant/Home Health Care Aide, Automotive Youth Educational System, Apprenticeship Related and Supplemental Instruction, California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), and the SkillsUSA Youth Organization. ROCPs offer education/training in the following industry sectors:  Agriculture and Natural Resources; Arts, Media and Entertainment; Building Trades and Construction; Education, Child Development and Family Services; Energy and Utilities; Engineering and Design; Fashion and Interior Design; Finance and Business; Health Science and Medical Technology; Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation; Information Technology; Manufacturing and Product Development; Marketing, Sales and Service; Public Services; and Transportation.     


Career and Workforce Innovations (CWI) Unit staff members provide technical assistance and support for the operation of ROCPs in California. Staff members certify instructional programs to insure Education Code compliance and provides critical technical assistance to the ROCP superintendents, directors, business managers, coordinators, and teachers. Staff members also work with the California Association of Regional Occupational Centers and Programs (CAROCP) to advise, recommend, and implement improvements in state and local operations.

The services provided by California’s ROCPs are the following:

  • Training, retraining, and advanced training programs.
  • Courses that are responsive to current local labor market demands.
  • Courses taught by experienced business and industry experts.
  • School to career transition elements to allow a smooth entry into the workforce.
  • Courses that are articulated with other educational institutions.
  • Courses that are state-certified and award students statewide transferable and portable industry certification.
  • Programs specifically tailored to business and industry needs.
  • Training which is typically provided in actual business and industry sites.
  • Additional collaborative programs and services provided through a network of business, industry, and educational resources and contacts.
  • Direct business and industry involvement with over 50,000 companies through local and statewide advisory committees.
  • Collaboration with industry apprenticeship programs in providing related and supplemental instruction to the state’s 25,000 apprentices.
  • Courses designed and offered in every career field and sector available.
  • Programs designed to meet high wage, high skill employment demands and also that of new and emerging occupational fields developing for the future workforce of California.
  • Courses certified by the California Department of Education.
  • Job placement assistance and follow up provided.


Students receive training at a variety of venues from regular classrooms to actual business and industry facilities such as automotive dealerships and hospitals. In most ROCPs, courses are offered throughout the regular school day, the late afternoon, evenings, and in some cases during summer session. ROCPs provide high quality programs which contribute to students’ academic and career educational achievement and the future economic development of the State.  Students gain a unique “edge” in the workforce by obtaining ROCP training. ROCPs provide certificates of completion and industry-based certification for successful completers. ROCP courses provide the motivation to students to be successful in school, thus reducing the dropout rate and helping to close the achievement gap.


Funding for ROCPs are generated by actual student hours of attendance in class in excess of the minimum state mandated time. The Budget Act appropriates approximately $450 million annually from the state General Fund to support operation of ROCPs in California. ROCPs are state funded, however they may access federal funding under certain circumstances, and are unique to California.

Students Served

Approximately 470,000 students are served each year in ROCPs in California. Approximately 80 percent are high school students and 20 percent are adults. Enrollment varies from small numbers in rural northern California to thousands in large urban areas. 


ROCPs are a major resource for career development and workforce preparation of California’s youth and adults and a necessary part of addressing the shortage of a highly qualified, skilled, and diverse workforce for the future of the state.

There are key benefits to business and industry, the educational community, and parents and students collaborating with ROCPs:

Benefits to business and industry include:

  • Reduction of business training and hiring costs.
  • Evaluation of student interns before employment through community classrooms.
  • An opportunity to contribute to the career development of youth and adults in the local community.
  • Employees trained to the specific employer-tailored needs.
  • Strong partnerships formed with education.
  • School-based learning opportunities.

Benefits to the educational community include:

  • Work-based learning opportunities.
  • Acquisition of current business skills.
  • Access to business facilities and up-to-date equipment, materials and supplies.
  • Business and industry instructors to share expertise with the educational world.
  • Strong partnerships formed with business and industry.
  • Courses that are integrated with academic skills in addition to career skills.
  • Donations of equipment and materials from business and industry.
  • Sponsorship of special events by business and industry.
  • Involvement of business and industry mentors to work with students.
  • Business and industry participation in the course development process.

Benefits to labor apprenticeships include:

  • Active support of local trades.
  • Curriculum integrated with technical and academic skills through the educational agency.
  • Labor representatives on curriculum advisory committees.
  • Validation of industry standards and certifications.
  • Strong partnerships formed with the educational community.

Contact Information

Regional Occupational Centers and Programs are administered by:

Career Technical Education Leadership and Instructional Support Office
Career and College Transition Division
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 4202
Sacramento, CA 95814

Clay Mitchell
Education Programs Consultant
Southern and Central Regions

Michelle Oliveira
Education Programs Consultant
Northern, Southern, and Coastal Regions

Questions:   Career Technical Education Leadership and Instructional Support Office | 916-322-5050
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, November 4, 2014

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