By Robert Sewell
Director of Marketing & Public Information Officer | ASB Advisor | Public Relations/ASB
VVC, now in its 54th year, serves an area encompassing roughly 2,200 square miles and is located on a 253 acre campus at the center of the three major communities of the Victor Valley (Apple Valley, Hesperia and Victorville). VVC also features a 13 acre Regional Public Safety Center in Apple Valley. VVC serves a population base of approximately 400,000 people and has over 20 feeder high schools and diploma-granting institutions.
Great strides have been made in the past year to complement our Academic Programs and offerings. In addition to the degrees, Associates in Science and Associate in Arts, offered in 23 different disciplines the Chancellor’s office approved, beginning Spring 2015, four new Associate Degrees for Transfer. These degrees (Political Science, English, Geography, and Psychology) provide students guaranteed admission with junior standing to the California State University system.
Nursing students have three new opportunities to affordably obtain their Bachelors of Science from Cal Baptist, Azusa Pacific, and Grand Canyon University. In addition, VVC Students can now take on-campus classes with Park University. The University offers degrees as part of a 2 + 2 program.
For the 2014-2015 academic year, enrollment is approximately 17,000 students, with a Full Time Equivalent Student target of 9,661. A full-time equivalent student is a person taking more than 12 credit units, or three part-time students taking a single 4 credit unit class. As the economy is rebounding and state funding has improved, VVC was able to offer a suc cessful full and comprehensive Winter 2015 Intersession, serving 3,217 students who were enrolled in 4,196 classes. Students were/are enrolled in an average of 2.6 classes in both the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 Semesters, 11,655 students taking 30,535 courses in Fall and 11,515 currently enrolled in 30,336 Spring classes. VVC employs over 800 employees.
During the 2013-14 academic year, VVC conferred more than 1,100 Associate Degrees and Certificates.
Programs that are featured include but are not limited to: Nursing, Liberal Arts, Science and Math, and other Transfer Courses, along with 16 Career Technology Programs such as Computer-Aided Design, Airframe and Power Plant Technology, Fire Technology, Administration of Justice, Digital Animation, Respiratory Technology, Paramedics, and Construction Technologies, etc.
Certificates of Completion were issued in Administration of Justice, Child Medical Assistant, Paralegal Studies, Horticulture, Auto Specialist, Business Administration, Building Inspection, Advanced Business Real Estate, Construction Technology, Firefighter, Public Works, Welding, Restaurant Management, and Pre-School Teaching.
The Accreditation Report was submitted, on time, to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) on March 13, 2015. There is a high level of confidence that the Accreditation Report is on track, as it includes a balanced budget (as submitted and approved by the Board of Trustees) and solutions, rather than a plan, that will provide nearly $1,000,000 in savings in the first year alone.
On March 25, 2015, the college will host a visit by an accrediting team who are charged with the responsibility to validate the information contained in this report. A letter from the Commission will be forthcoming in June 2015.
A new partnership between the Auto Park at Valley Center and the Victor Valley College Automotive Program is providing semester-long internships for future automotive service technicians. Building an economically viable Victor Valley is not only beneficial to the Auto Park at Valley Center and the residents of the Victor Valley as a whole, but it is also a core principle the organization holds as a goal for the entire community. The pledge of $50,000 through the VVC Foundation was designed to enhance the efforts of VVC to build a better work force in the region.
Last fall the Board of Trustees approved a Transportation Fee and agreement with Victor Valley Transit Authority, providing VVC students access to public transportation for $6 a semester.
In 2014, Victor Valley College was awarded one of 40 California Career Pathways Trust grants statewide for its RAMP UP consortium project. This project was the only one funded in the Inland Empire region and within the top 12 funded at the highest level of grant awards. It coordinates the efforts of 5 community colleges, 19 high schools and dozens of employers in establishing and streamlining career preparation pathways in five industries important to our region. These include: Automotive Repair, Aviation Maintenance, Energy, Healthcare, and Manufacturing. The grant, which connects all education partners with a robust network of immersive teleconference classrooms, was secured by the VVC Foundation.
VVC is also participating in the Inland Empire Regional Training Consortium (IERTC) grant project led by Chaffey College. This project was chosen by the US Department of Labor for funding through its Trade Adjustment Assistance for Community College Career Training (TAACCCT). This project, backed by California Steel, will help Victor Valley College and all Consortium Members to improve its training programs in advancement manufacturing. VVC’s participation specifically focuses on improvements to the college welding program and establishing a new machining curriculum. The VVC Foundation worked with Chaffey College to secure this opportunity.
Expanding its relationships with local high schools, VVC embarked on a new partnership with Hesperia High School last fall to offer college courses to high school students as part of their regular school day. This program allows high school students to earn up to 30 units of general education credit before they graduate high school. Studies showing that students who complete their first year of college are far more likely to complete a degree were the impetus for the new partnership. The college has implemented similar partnerships with local charter schools,including Excelsior and Options for Youth.
Student Athlete Success
Under 2014 Coach of the Year Christa White, the Rams Volleyball Team earned their 7th Foothill Conference Championship. Outside hitter Courtney Klein was named Foothill Conference MVP and 6 Rams players were named to the All-Foothill Conference team.
2014 Coach of the year Dave Hoover guided the Rams Football Team to a perfect 10-0 record as they won the American Mountain Conference Championship and finished as the 25th best team in the nation. Led by 2014 Offensive Player of the Year QB Paul Mroz, the Rams had twelve players named All-Conference.
Veteran’s Resource Center
In Spring 2015, Victor Valley College opened a much-needed Veterans Resource Center (VRC), located in the Student Activities Center. In addition to helping veteran students with certifying VA education benefits, the VRC provides counseling services, tutoring, a computer lab, and community workshops.
This could not have been possible without the dedication of the Veterans Services staff, VA student workers, Veterans Club, VVC Foundation, as well as Wal-Mart with its generous grant that helped buy computers and furniture.
Victor Valley College Main Campus and the Regional Public Safety Training Center are valuable community resources. The college offers relevant programs and services to help students prepare for transfer and address workforce needs through career technical education and basic skills instruction. And over the last six years, Measure JJ Bond dollars have touched each of these areas. Examples are the newly remodeled Music Building, which opened Fall 2014, the soon-to-open Dr. Prem Reddy Health and Sciences Building, opening Fall 2015, and state-of-the-art Regional Public Safety Training Center in Apple Valley.
Groundbreaking for the new Health and Sciences facility took place on May 16, 2014, and is on schedule to be completed by Summer 2015. The 25,000 square foot building will feature several state-of-the-art labs dedicated to Health Sciences. The project features highly specialized training labs for the Nursing Program that include: an anatomy lab, chemistry lab, digital life and physical science lab, and a simulation and fundamentals lab. The project will be integrated with indoor/outdoor gathering and study spaces for student and faculty interaction to promote a collaborative and technology-driven learning environment.
In the coming year we will turn our attention to the remodel and expansion of our Vocational facilities on the lower campus. Welding, Automotive, Animation, Electronics, as well as additional classroom space, will all see new, expanded or remodeled facilities within the next two years.