Verified Programs

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Verified Programs are recognized by employers as delivering top-quality training for high-demand jobs across San Diego and Imperial counties.

Through a competitive application process, programs are assessed in five key areas:

Technical Skills

Employability Skills

Industry Engagement

Diversity & Inclusion

History of Collaboration

Verified Programs are supported by the K-16 Collaborative grant and include 13 colleges in San Diego and Imperial counties

The K-16 Collaborative, San Diego Regional EDC, and Imperial Valley EDC invite post-secondary institutions within San Diego and Imperial Counties to apply to become a Verified Program.

Through an employer-led process, and using the established model, Advancing San Diego verifies educational programs that are meeting (or exceeding) industry expectations in five key areas. Programs that meet the standards set by employers are publicly recognized as Verified Programs of Talent (formerly called ‘Preferred Providers’).


  • Employer-recognized curriculum.
  • Teaching in-demand skills and preparing students for high-wage jobs in San Diego and Imperial counties.
  • Networking opportunities with regional employers and workforce partners.
  • Access to paid internship opportunities for students.
  • Ability to keep your programs current as technology advances and new skills are required for career success.

How colleges can become a verified program

Participate in the verified program process meetings

Engage in curriculum alignment to industry standards using Talent Demand Reports

Collaborate with faculty to determine which program(s) to verify

Submit your verified program application(s)

“Pitch” your program idea to employers in San Diego and Imperial counties


Each college program seeking verification should submit one application following the instructions below. If an educational institution has multiple programs seeking verification, it must submit an application for each.

  1. Read the talent demand reports to fully understand what employers are looking for in a Verified Program.

  2. Email at the San Diego EDC  to receive a unique application link. This will allow you to save and return to the application, and enable multiple users to collaborate on a single application.

  3. Use the resources on the right to complete and submit the application by Monday, October 9 at 5 p.m. PST.

  4. If named an official Verified Program, the EDC team will invite you to the Verified Program Pitch Fest/Designation Day in-person event on Wednesday, November 15. The event presents an opportunity for educators to share what makes their program unique, and to network with companies that may want to hire their students. More about these final steps.