A photo of an ESL class working on an in-class assignment

North Orange Continuing Education (NOCE) has been serving the community since 1973 with free, noncredit educational programs and services to empower our community.

Mission, Vision, and Values and Institutional Pillars


NOCE serves our diverse community by providing holistic programs and services that are relevant and accessible to all learners in achieving their goals. NOCE is dedicated to offering a transformative educational experience that builds lasting foundational skills and promotes student success.


NOCE commits to enriching lives through education to meet the evolving needs of the community.


Accountability – We strive to utilize data-informed decision-making processes.

Diversity – We celebrate our diverse community by committing ourselves to an inclusive institutional culture.

Equity – We actively address achievement gaps and systemic racism to ensure equal opportunity and access for all.

Excellence – We strive for excellence by providing evolving, dynamic, high-quality instruction.

Innovation – We challenge the status quo by finding creative solutions.

Integrity – We cultivate a collaborative equity-minded culture of mutual respect, honesty, and responsibility.

Learning – We commit to offering holistic programs that promote personal and professional growth.

Approved by NOCE President’s Cabinet on April 20, 2021.
Approved by NOCCCD Board of Trustees on May 11, 2021.

Institutional Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Empowerment to be lifelong learners. Students can demonstrate the confidence and courage to learn how to learn, as well as appropriate research, study, inquiry, and goal-setting skills.
  2. The ability to function effectively within their community. Students demonstrate appropriate effective interpersonal communication, critical thinking, and problem solving skills as well as an understanding of the value of diversity.

Institutional Pillars

NOCE Brand Pillars Pillars focus on what the organization delivers and are typically more about benefits and differentiators.

  • Empowering

    In higher education, the phrase “knowledge is power” can seem like a mere truism; that is, until you witness the many ways our students literally empower themselves through their NOCE educational experiences. They overcome language barriers, earn citizenship, pursue meaningful jobs and careers, bridge cultural divides, and thrive as productive members of the community in real and tangible ways. By recognizing and seizing the new opportunities their education makes available to them, NOCE students transform themselves, their families, their communities and their futures. 

  • Pathways to Opportunity

    In all our programs, we offer pathways to help students pursue and seize opportunities beyond what they may have envisioned for themselves. Meeting students where they are, we work together with students to set goals and chart pathways to achieve them, mentoring them as they walk step-by-step along those pathways at NOCE and beyond. We also actively partner with other institutions and organizations to make sure comprehensive educational pathways are readily available across the full breadth of our curriculum.

  • Celebrating Diversity

    The NOCE family is a diverse, multicultural community composed of students, faculty and staff who come from a variety of backgrounds. Our diversity reflects and emerges from the diversity of our surrounding community. Beyond just the demographic fact of our diversity, though, we actively cultivate and celebrate our diversity. We build relationships across racial, ethnic, national and socioeconomic lines, celebrating and learning from our differences even as we are united in pursuing better opportunities for ourselves, our families and our community.

  • Dignity of Every Student

    Not only do we celebrate our collective diversity, we appreciate and value the dignity and the inherent worth of every individual student and every educational pursuit. Each member of the NOCE family has a unique story. We all have obstacles, fears, hopes and aspirations that are personal and real. We welcome students without judgment or pretense, and we challenge and hold them to high standards, confident in each student’s capacity to achieve.   

  • Accessible and Flexible

    We strive to ensure that every student – no matter the circumstance, challenge or perceived barrier – can not only pursue but thrive in a quality educational experience at NOCE. We keep costs and prerequisite requirements low, offer a tremendous and growing variety of courses, operate at more than 100 locations, ensure flexibility in our scheduling, and even vary our delivery to suit the various and changing needs of our students. We are also intentionally flexible and nimble in our curricular planning in order to better anticipate and serve the ever-changing needs of our community. 

  • Leadership and Innovation

    Over the decades, we have established a reputation not only for deep investment and responsive leadership within our local community, but also for innovative leadership in the continuing education realm at large, both in California and across the country. Governing bodies, other community college districts, K12 schools and educational organizations recognize and praise the quality and relevance of our offerings and our approach, and they look to us to be trail blazers, to pioneer new programs and new approaches and share the fruits of those pursuits with the larger educational community.

NOCE Institutional Attributes

Attributes can be seen as personality traits that help define the personality or culture of the organization.

  • Totally Committed

    Our faculty and staff are united by their total devotion to our mission, our students and our community. Likewise, NOCE students themselves demonstrate the same measure of tenacious dedication to their educational pursuits, building their futures through the opportunities NOCE makes available to them.

  • Warm and Inviting

    Not only do we nurture a warm and inviting atmosphere, we also make a focused effort to actively invite people into the NOCE family. This goes beyond just being welcoming or demonstrating great customer service, though we certainly do those things. We also strive to be engaged and present in our community, to meet people where they are, to assuage any fears or hesitations and to invite them into an educational experience that can help them achieve goals beyond what they might have imagined.

  • Determined

    Members of the NOCE family share a persistent dedication that comes from facing and overcoming adversity. Some of us have experienced bitter failures. Others have suffered injustice. Still others have left family, friends and a familiar way of life to pursue new opportunities in an entirely different culture. At NOCE, students find a community willing to help them overcome any limitation, a community ready to offer that second (or third, or fourth, or fifth) chance to succeed.

  • Enthusiastic

    NOCE faculty and staff are marked by an enthusiasm that is pervasive and infectious, a sense of excitement rooted in our confidence in our students’ capacity to achieve and accomplish. That enthusiasm makes for an environment that is optimistic, vibrant and fun, and it motivates our students to keep moving forward even and especially in the midst of challenges.

  • Supportive

    If our enthusiasm motivates students, then our supportive approach sustains them throughout their educational journey. Like any worthwhile pursuit, that journey won’t be without its challenges. Rather than shy away from those challenges, we guide and support our students through them with a robust set of support services and an attitude of genuine patience and empathy.

Download the NOCE Institutional Pillars and Attributes