VIDEO from Westwood College and Synaptic Digital: Westwood College Grads Succeed With Skills-Based Training

New York, New York, UNITED STATES

Denver, July 23, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Securing a job after college is more difficult than ever before. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the unemployment rate among young college graduates was 10.4 percent in 2010 and 9.4 percent over the last year (April 2011 - March 2012). In the face of this statistic, Westwood College recently announced its Westwood Success Stories - a group of 100 graduates who, despite the current economic situation, have graduated and found successful employment in their field of study after receiving skills-based education and degrees from Westwood

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ABC News reports that technology companies are unable to fill 300,000 jobs because they can't find qualified candidates. Fields such as health care and manufacturing continue to add jobs, creating opportunities for graduates with the right skills needed to secure employment and hit the ground running. Not all state and private universities focus on the real-world skillset needed to succeed in these industries. Career colleges like Westwood are designed to deliver the hands-on, technical skills and training in a wide variety of fields from technology and design to healthcare and business.

The Westwood Success Stories demonstrate how, even in the face of personal challenges - lack of family and peer support, single-parent childcare obligations, juggling multiple jobs or lack of transportation to and from campus - obtaining a degree and employment are possible. From a variety of degree programs and located across the country, this group's collective determination and dedication are an inspiration to current Westwood College students, faculty and staff showing them through personal accounts how the hands-on training students receive from a career college education pays off.

Nearly half of the students attending Westwood are single parents and most are working either full- or part-time while getting their education. More than 60 percent of students are the first in their families to pursue a higher education degree, and more than half of Westwood's students have tried, but have not been successful at traditional universities or community colleges prior to enrolling at Westwood.

"We recognize that finding employment upon graduation is challenging for all college students in today's economic climate, but our Westwood Success graduates demonstrate what can be achieved when students are given hands-on education or instruction in their fields, significant support and embrace taking personal responsibility to overcome obstacles and challenges," said Dean Gouin, system president and chief executive officer of Westwood College.

One Westwood Success Story, Efrain Gastelum of Los Angeles, is a graduate of the Information and Network Technologies program with a bachelor's degree in Network Management, and is now working as the manager of network operations and emerging technologies at Tangram Interiors. While in school, working full time as a manager at an oil change shop, having a full course load, balancing the birth of his first daughter and being a mentor to younger students tested his commitment to Westwood. "I learned that if you fail to plan, well, plan on failing," Efrain said. "Westwood worked for me because they had an individual plan for success. The availability of online and evening classes allowed me to continue to work and support my family and the instructors became mentors-more than just teachers."

Other success stories include:

• Rosie - a graduate from the Graphic Design & Multimedia program, is now working for Hybrid Design. From a large family with a single mom, Rosie didn't have the resources to attend a traditional university.

• Casey - a graduate with an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting, is now working for a large health care office. Casey transferred from another college, and worked to balance time for school and her family while attending Westwood

• Armando - a graduate from the Computer Aided Design/Architectural Drafting program, is now working as a CAD Designer. He decided to make a change from working evenings and weekends, to pursuing a career.

To learn more about the Westwood Success Stories program go to You can also watch testimonial videos of select Westwood Success graduates on Westwood's YouTube channel.

About Westwood College
Westwood College is an institution of higher learning with 14 campuses located in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois and Virginia. Westwood offers a hands-on, career-focused curriculum in fields such as healthcare, technology and business. Westwood is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). A 2012 survey conducted by Noel-Levitz showed Westwood students are significantly more satisfied than the comparison group of approximately 125 public and private colleges, particularly in the areas of course content, quality of instruction and the school meeting their career goals. For more information, visit


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