Category Archives: Education

Economy Education General

Victorville’s ComAv Takes the Lead in Local Job Creation and Education Through “Aviation Pathways”

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ComAv

By Lisa Skeels

Aviation_Pathways_Logo

After adding 100 jobs, and expanding to over 300 employees over the past year, ComAv CEO Craig Garrick’s biggest challenge is finding local Victor Valley residents who can handle the type of work that the global airplane maintenance and leasing company excels in.

Last year, ComAv launched “Aviation Pathways” to directly address the issue it was facing in sourcing local employees and, along the way, gear students for promising careers in aviation. The plan was to partner with local educators to gain a better understanding of their interests and needs, leading to the development of aviation-based educational programs while providing aviation field expertise.

“We want to recruit locally as our staffing requirements increase,” Garrick told the Victorville Daily Press when the program was launched. “We’ve found that we are not only helping our own community by providing jobs, but recruiting locally provides our company with a longer-term and loyal employee base. We pride ourselves as a company with low employee turnover, which is unusual for an aviation-based compa­ny.”

On February 20, 2018, ComAv hosted the first “VVC Aviation Tour” with students, joined by fellow aviation companies GE, the VVC Aviation School and Exquadrum, coordinated with the Vic­tor Valley College Bridge Program.

ComAvPhoto

“It was a joint effort, everyone did a really great job,” said Lisa Skeels, ComAv Director of Corporate Marketing. “Victor Valley College Bridge Program did a lot of the heavy work in coordinating us all to make this happen. We’re happy to see the Aviation Tour as a great extension of the Aviation Pathways efforts”

Over 100 students from Victor Valley area High Schools convened at Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA) and held a day-long program at ComAv’s hangar for a tour of aviation facilities and presentations by the companies and Victor Valley College programs. This tour provided students with not only ex­posure to the aviation industry, but with the unique mix of aviation companies, students can learn about different types of jobs and education within the avia­tion/aerospace industry.

Students at this session came from all over, including Serrano High School, Oak Hills High School, Hesperia High School, Victor Valley High School and Barstow High School. College students from Victor Valley College also attended.

At GE, students learned about en­gine testing and jet propulsion; at Ex­quadrum, they learned about rocket science, engineering & testing opportu­nities; the Victor Valley College Avia­tion School showcased its airframe and power plant education program and taught students about the educational requirements needed to pursue a career at the aforementioned companies.

ComAv, in addition to presenting about the job opportunities available at the company, offered students the opportunity to tour a 747.

The program ended at ComAv’s wide body hanger where over 100 students were treated to lunch and gathered to ask questions and get more one-on-one time with the organization they may have been most interested in. Aviation Pathways allows those interested students to seek internships with ComAv and get the hands-on experience needed to become a licensed airframe and power plant mechanic.

Inside_Cockpit

Located right next to Victor Valley Col­lege’s Airframe and Powerplant (A & P) school, ComAv offers paid internships, as well as provides the guidance and in­struction needed to further the intern’s education. Don Dombrowski, ComAv’s Director of Quality and a founder of the Aviation Pathways program, is a long-time teacher at the A & P school.

A part of Aviation Pathways’ program are student internships with a pathway to employment at ComAv. One student from the first Aviation Tour has already been accepted for a ComAv internship, and there are three more slots open for summer internships.

Another Aviation Tour is scheduled in May, with a date to be determined. Educators interested in being a part of Aviation Pathways can learn more by contacting Lisa Skeels at lisa.skeels@comav.com.

Education General

New Era In Public Education For San Bernardino County Schools

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By Ted Alejandre, San Beranardino County Superintendent

As we consider the forces that drive our economy both here in San Bernardino County and across California, public education looks to prepare our students for jobs and productivity that will make our communities vibrant. With more than 406,000 students attending public schools in our county’s 33 school dis­tricts, the challenge and opportunity that educators face every day in their class­rooms and on campuses is to have their students ready to graduate high school prepared for both the rigors of college and the workplace. This is the goal that our schools and districts strive to meet on a daily basis, and in the High Desert, public education is positioned to work with business and civic community part­ners to help all our students be prepared for post-secondary options and careers that will fuel our economy.

To assess how our schools are going to meet those needs and demands, the state is in the midst of establishing its new ac­countability model, called the California School Dashboard. Describing the effec­tiveness of the new measurement system brings to mind an analogy of visiting the doctor’s office. A physician would not just take the temperature of a patient and have a complete set of results to make a diagnosis. It is the same for assessing public schools with the California School Dashboard. Instead of just looking at test scores, the new system checks a variety of 10 indicators to provide a well-round­ed and thorough progress report for not only our schools as a whole but also their significant subgroups of students.

The California School Dashboard does examine testing results – both in English Language Arts and Mathematics. It also provides data, including graduation and suspension rates, progress for English learners, a college/career indicator and chronic absenteeism. There are also four local indicators that measure parent in­volvement/engagement, school climate, implementation of academic standards and basic conditions (such as teacher qualifications, safe/clean buildings and textbooks for all students).

Current trends among High Desert schools and districts show their highest performance in the areas of graduation rates and English-learner progress.

Two schools districts – Silver Valley Unified and Hesperia Unified – scored in the highest percentile (a “blue” desig­nation) on the Dashboard. Silver Valley boasts the county’s highest grad rate at 96.6 percent and Hesperia is close be­hind at 91 percent. Six other High Desert districts – Apple Valley (87.7 percent), Barstow (79.6 percent), Morongo (88 percent), Needles (83.6 percent) and Snowline (87.8 percent) – also received proficient designations (a “green” desig­nation) for their grad rates. Countywide, the grad rate is 83 percent.

In English-learner progress, three High Desert districts – Apple Valley, Helendale and Morongo – all received “green” designations for the progress they have made.

In December 2017, the California De­partment of Education (CDE) posted its most recent California School Dashboard results. Those complete results, as well as all others in our county, are available on the County Schools’ Countywide Educa­tion Open Data Portal at the following website: http://ed-data.sbcss.k12.ca.us

The Education Open Data Portal, which County Schools launched a year ago, is aligned with California’s move toward greater engagement, transparency and accountability. By displaying multiple measurements, our schools and districts can provide a better understanding of how well they are progressing. School districts, government agencies and community stakeholders will be well-equipped to use the data on the portal for decision-making, reporting and engage­ment. The portal is an incredible resource for parents, families and educators to support student learning and provide the support that all students need to progress on the continuum of their journey to be lifelong learners.

As students in our county start that jour­ney, they need early literacy tools to gain a foothold as they begin their educations. Last year, County Schools initiated a countywide early literacy effort with the nationally recognized Footsteps2Bril­liance program.

In the span of less than a year, more than 38.5 million words have been read using a smartphone or similar tablet that gives students and families access to engaging literacy tools, books and songs. For the 2017-18 academic year, preschool learn­ers have read more than 26 million words as a cohort of students in the county. The free program is available in both English and Spanish to support the nearly 1-in- 5 students in our public schools who are English learners. County Schools has been working with County Preschool Services and First 5 San Bernardino to implement the program, using a regional trainer of trainers model to expand use and increase awareness of the program. Research shows that for students’ long-term academic success, reading profi­ciency is a critical trait to support their achievement.

Seeing confident students who have achieved in their schools and now have taken on leadership roles on their cam­puses and their communities is a sterling example of the positive growth all educa­tors like to see as students learn and grow. That was on full display during the third annual Student Advisory Panels that met during the months of January through March this year. Providing opportuni­ties to hear student voices is one of the many positive outcomes from the annual Student Advisory Panels that meet from schools across San Bernardino County.

This year’s class of more than 220 partic­ipants countywide made presentations to elected officials in both the High Desert and for the West End/East Valley regions at the beginning of March. The students have a strong understanding of being good citizens.

“It’s important to help in your commu­nity,” said Tyrell Frederick, a senior at Silver Valley High School. “You always have to find those opportunities when you can give back. That’s what being a good person is about.”

Among High Desert schools, 16 high schools representing eight school dis­tricts had participants. Among those par­ticipating by district were:

  • Apple Valley Unified: Academy for Academic Excellence, Apple Valley and Granite Hills;
  • Bear Valley Unified: Big Bear;
  • Helendale: Independence Charter Academy;
  • Hesperia Unified: Canyon Ridge, Hes­peria, Mojave, Oak Hills and Sultana;
  • Oro Grande: Riverside Prep;
  • Silver Valley Unified: Silver Valley;
  • Snowline Joint Unified: Chaparral and Serrano;
  • Victor Valley Union: Excelsior Edu­cation Center and Victor Valley.

The students researched four priority areas of San Bernardino County’s Com­munity Vital Signs Transformation Plan that promotes a strong quality of life in our communities: education, the econo­my, school safety and health/wellness. Students provided key insights about what is taking place on their campuses and worked together with students from different schools to collaborate on trends and issues affecting their schools and neighborhoods. The culminating activity included student groups presenting their recommendations in front of elected offi­cials. While this was a little nerve-wrack­ing for some, the students appreciated the opportunity to share their thoughts in front of decision makers.

“Once I got over the nerves, it was re­ally empowering to know that what I am saying was being heard,” said Layvin Franklin, a sophomore at the Academy of Academic Excellence in Apple Val­ley. “People are willing to change, and they will listen to us, so changes can be made.”

It was inspiring to witness the students’ commitment to their schools and their strong collaborative nature working with one another. This generation of students in our county truly is making a differ­ence!

In the next couple of months, Gov. Jerry Brown and our state legislature should enact the state budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year. The proposals for K-12 edu­cation include fully funding with an ad­ditional $3 billion the governor’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) two years ahead of schedule. That would re­sult in an increase in per-pupil funding of 5.8 percent.

The governor has proposed $73.8 billion for the Proposition 98 guarantee, which would be a record level of funding if en­acted. While the increased funding is ap­preciated, it is not adequate, as California public schools remain woefully under­funded in national comparisons.

Among other highlights for K-12 public education funding proposals:

  • $1.8 billion one-time discretionary funding or approximately $295 per aver­age daily attendance.
  • $55.2 million for county offices to assist with differentiated assistance for LCFF and Local Control Accountability Plans.
  • $4 million for eight county offices statewide to serve as training centers for technical assistance for schools and dis­tricts that need to improve under the new California School Dashboard account­ability measurements.
  • $10 million for Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPA) to work with county offices of education in providing technical assistance to schools and dis­tricts.
  • $100 million (one-time) for special education teachers.

In Conclusion:

We want all San Bernardino County students to realize and actualize their unique, boundless potential from Cradle to Career and to be engaged, productive citizens who are a voice for positive change in their communities. I appreciate all the support our schools in San Ber­nardino County receive from parents and our many education partners in the community. By working together, we can transform lives through education.

Education General

Victor Valley College (VVC), now in its 57th year

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By Robert A. Sewell, PIO/Director of Marketing/ASB Advisor, Victor Valley College

Victor Valley College (VVC), now in its 57th 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 serves the cities and communities of the High Desert; Adelanto, Apple Valley, Helendale, Hesperia, Lucerne Valley, Oro Grande, Phelan, Piñon Hills, Silver Lakes, Spring Valley Lake, Victorville and Wrightwood. VVC also features a 13-acre Regional Public Safety Training Center (RPSTC) in Apple Valley and an Aviation program at Southern Califor­nia Logistics Airport (SCLA). In to­tal a population base of approximately 420,000 people with over 30 feeder high schools and diploma-granting institu­tions rely on VVC for their educational needs and opportunities.

What’s happened in the last 25 years is an increase in how much community colleges are involved in job training and economic development. “We are the Place to Be” when industry identifies a skill gap. The relationship between in­dustry and Victor Valley College contin­ues to strengthen as we work together as a catalyst to develop career partnerships that provide workers with the skills the economy needs most.

Victor Valley College is the primary source of workforce training in the Victor Valley. Our career technical programs teach fundamental skills that employers in almost every corner of the region need, and they offer more than 100 certification programs to ensure our graduates are marketable employ­ees. Victor Valley College also offers customized training to help companies train up their employees in specialized skills they need in order to be more prof­itable.

A cause for celebration is the recently received 2018 Strong Workforce Stars, a special Chancellor’s Office recognition recognizing career education pro­grams whose students show significant gains in factors important for advancing social mobility – a substantial increase in earnings, attainment of a living wage and a job closely matched with the field of study. Ten Victor Valley Col­lege career education programs were acknowledged: Welding, Automotive Technology, Child Development, Con­struction Crafts Technology, Respira­tory Therapy, Medical Assisting, Office Technology, Nursing, Fire Technology and Paramedic program.

Enrollment

The Dual Enrollment Program at VVC, which has established partnerships with local high school districts to bolster the number of college-ready or career technical education students, has grown from 8 partners to 11 this year. In the Fall 2017 semester, 365 high school students were enrolled, allowing them to take VVC classes at their own school. This number increased to 609 enrollments in Spring 2018 and nearly twice as many class sections.

Announced in February 2018, VVC is pleased to announce the Pathway to Law School Program, which students will be able to enter beginning Fall 2018 as a LAW Scholar. Pathway program en­rollees may select and pursue any major offered at VVC. The program provides the student with special attention dur­ing their time at VVC to develop suc­cess skills as well as during the transfer and application process to undergradu­ate partner schools. Partnering schools include: University of Southern Cali­fornia, Loyola Marymount, Santa Clara University, University of San Francis­co, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA & UC Berkeley. Other benefits include men­toring, recognition as a LAW scholar, transcript distinction, waiver of applica­tion fees to the partner

Since the opening of the Automotive/ Welding Vocational Complex, the Au­tomotive department has been able to open new Engine and Transmission re­building “clean” rooms, modular diag­nostic tool storage, brakes, alignment & suspension rooms and provide a work­ing Service Center lab. In addition, ten new automotive guided pathways have been structured that provide all stu­dents with a set of clear course-taking patterns that promote better enrollment decisions. These are clear curricular pathways that lead to employment and further education.

For the past year and a half, An Intro­duction to Aviation Maintenance four-unit college credit “survey course” has been offered to students from Excelsior Charter School, Victor Valley High School, and students from the Snow­line Joint Unified School District. So far, four academies have been run, sup­porting 100 high school students. This allows students to explore aviation for a semester to see if it is a good fit for them without having to make a two-year commitment to a full blown, technical career training program.

Campus Update

RegisteredNursing.org ranked the Vic­tor Valley College Nursing Program No. 4 in California and praised the college for producing graduates that are “ready to work” as a member of “the health care team.” Registered Nursing also recognized VVC as a leader in educating “generations of individuals while building successful communities.”

The ranking methodology for Regis­teredNursing.org included measuring NCLEX-RN “pass rates” out of the 131 RN programs in the state. Programs reviewed included 4-year schools that offer an Associate degree in nursing or Direct-Entry MSN Degrees. NCLEX-RN pass rates were analyzed going back to the most recent years of data avail­able up to five years. Schools’ pass rates were averaged together and weighted by the recency of the exam.

During Spring Break 2018, the VVC campus will begin to receive a compre­hensive “Signage/Wayfinding” make-over. This will include the removal of existing signage and addition of You are Here (YAH) Maps, Parking Lot Re-naming & Labelling, Vehicular and Pe­destrian Wayfinding, additional building identification and Interior Wayfinding & Room Identification.

Beginning with the November 2018 election, Victor Valley College Board of Trustees will be elected by trustee-area elections. Any candidate running for election or re‐election to the VVC Board of Trustees in 2018 will need to live in the district they seek to represent. Three current members who were elected in 2016 will continue to serve until 2020 and then will run in their new districts.

One “huge” American Cancer Soci­ety Relay For Life is scheduled to take place at Victor Valley College. This year’s two-day event will begin May 19, combining Apple Valley, Hesperia and Victorville relays into Relay For Life of the High Desert.

Construction

This summer, construction will begin on a new 26,860-square foot Student Services Center that will provide a symbolic “Front Door” to the college, beyond just a “One Stop.” The new Student Services Center will integrate support services in ways that make it easier for students to get the help they need during every step of their college experience. Included in this building: Admissions & Records, Assessment, ACCESS, Bursar’s Office, Cal­WORKS, Career Center, Counseling, EOPS and the Financial Aid department. Besides providing greater efficiency between related functions in serving our students, current space will be freed up for reconversion to classrooms – solving the near- term classroom shortage.

Throughout the entire design process, student input was a pivotal factor, including their insight gathered from several visits to other community college campuses. The new building will utilize a “multiple prime delivery method,” which breaks the project up into approximately 16 or more divisions of work. This method eliminates the role of a general contractor and allows the individual scope of work packages to be bid directly to the district. Victor Valley College’s goal is to maximize opportunities for local subcontractors, suppliers and vendors on construction projects at VVC and ensure maximum participation of local businesses and workers in all phases of our campus projects. In early March, VVC, DLR Group and California Construction Management, Inc. held a meeting to allow local contractors to learn about the pre-qualification process, bonding, safety program and additional upcoming partnership opportunities with VVC.

Education General

Meeting the Demands of the 21st Century Workforce for all Students

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By Ted Alejandre, San Bernardino County Superintendent

At San Bernardino County Superinten­dent of Schools, we work collectively with our school districts, inter-agency partners and community to see that all students meet the demands of the 21st century workforce and become pro­ductive citizens who contribute to the quality of life in our communities. As educators we know that work extends far beyond the classroom, which is why we have committed the County­wide Vision goal of partnering with all sectors of the community to support the success of every child from cradle to career. That means reaching out to our business and labor leaders, to govern­ment, to faith-based organizations and community groups, to post-secondary institutions, and of course to our fami­lies to give the more than 408,000 stu­dents who attend public schools in our county the academic and social skills and tools they need to be able to com­pete in a global economy.

As we review recent data and achieve­ments that impact our county and High Desert region, we take note of impor­tant firsts for public education here; we recognize the progress of our students with support from staff, families and community; and we renew our deep commitment to transform lives through education.

With a focus on literacy, we are ad­vocating for a community of readers as part of the Countywide Vision2­Read Initiative. This spring we are launching a countywide literacy proj­ect through the nationally recognized Footsteps2Brilliance program. Using any electronic communication device, young students will be able to access thousands of books, games and pro­grams that will develop literacy in both English and Spanish. The initial pilot for the program targets 1,500 preschool children, but the program will be ex­panded in 2017 to include all county children. The program is free and is available on all mobile devices. We see this as a game-changer for increasing early literacy in our county.

Snowline Joint Unified School District has implemented Footsteps2Brilliance in the classroom already this school year, and the results they have seen have been tremendous. First-graders using the program reported a 5%gain in benchmark scoring for reading from the beginning of the year until Decem­ber. One student reported reading more than 94,000 words after just 40 hours using the program.

Research shows that the ability to read by third grade is one of the greatest in­dicators of a child’s future academic performance and success in life. If our students are able to be proficient read­ers, we know that will make them more likely to be high school graduates and prepare them for either entering the workforce or meeting the requirements to attend college. These are fundamen­tals to meeting our Countywide Vision to have an educated populace that will sustain economic vitality for the region and quality of life for our residents.

We know reading proficiency is criti­cal to the long-term success of our stu­dents in the classroom and their ability to be college- and career-ready when they graduate from high school. For the first time, our county graduation rate reached an all-time high and exceeded 80 %, according to the most recent data released by the California Department of Education. Among High Desert com­munities, Silver Valley Unified saw the county’s highest graduation rate for the Class of ‘15 at 97.5%. With a grad rate of 72.6% in 2010-11, the district moved from 21st among the 24 districts in the county with high school grads to No. 1 in five years! The district attributes the results to site strategic planning, a more positive school culture, professional development in English language arts and math, and a “Triple-A” focus on academics, activities and athletics.

Among graduates countywide, the per­centage of students meeting A-G re­quirements has increased 9.5% points over the past five years, growing to 34%. While we celebrate the growth we have seen, we know we must accel­erate this upward course. The demands of the labor markets now seek a more highly skilled and educated workforce.

One key program that is addressing those demands is Advancement Via Individual Determination–or AVID. It has done a phenomenal job to create a pipeline of college-bound students. Last school year a record number of 2,300 students in our county were recognized at the AVID Senior Recognition event. In the High Desert, Victor Valley High School had the largest senior class of AVID graduates with 99 seniors. There are amazing statistics about our AVID graduates, but the two that stand out are that 99% of our AVID students gradu­ated high school, and 96% met A-G re­quirements for acceptance into the UC and CSU systems. It is worth noting that our region has the largest concen­tration of AVID programs anywhere in the world. Because of the success of AVID at the high school level, it is now growing at the middle and elementary school levels, providing students with early development in the skills and tools they need to be successful for col­leges and careers.

Another effort to boost the college-going rate in our county is a new part­nership with the American Council on Education. Along with the AVID Center in San Diego, University of California, California State University, and 23 of our county’s high schools, they are working in concert to create a schoolwide college application day this academic year as part of the Ameri­can College Application and Success Campaign. The campaign is focused on increasing college and financial aid applications and enrollment to post-secondary institutions by all seniors at the participating schools. Another part­nership aimed at seeing that more of our students are prepared for post-sec­ondary options is a pilot program with County Schools, the College Board, Apple Valley, Chaffey, Hesperia, Mo­rongo, Upland and the College Board to support administration of pre-college testing to the entire 10th grade class.

We are seeing more investment com­ing to our region for college and career readiness–with more than $2 million in grants supporting our efforts. One comes to our Linked Learning Re­gional Hub of Excellence–one of four statewide models selected by the James Irvine Foundation. Participating dis­tricts are expanding career pathways that offer rigorous academics coupled with relevant career-technical educa­tion in the region’s most in-demand industry sectors. School districts and ROPs across our county have benefit­ed from California’s Career Technical Education Incentive Grant program, the largest of its kind in the nation. San Bernardino County ROP received $1.5 million, which will support emerging labor market needs in the field of infor­mation and communications technol­ogy, primarily in the emerging cyber­security field.

The newly formed Mountain Desert Regional Career and Occupational Pathways JPA is working regionally with business and industry to prepare students for college, careers and post-secondary training. Formed on the no­tion of collective impact and working together to create better economic and education opportunities for the region, the JPA’s nine desert/mountain school districts have established career path­ways and academies, proving to equip students with the credentials needed to enter the workforce.

Also, the Desert Mountain Economic Partnership, which involves education, city and county government, and pri­vate industry in the High Desert, has taken a collective impact approach to propel education and the economy in the region.

I am encouraged by the growing sup­port and commitment from partners such as Job Corps, Linked Learning, the College Board, our school districts, higher education, city and county gov­ernments, and community stakeholders in these many collaborative efforts.

In the fall of 2016, we launched the first countywide Open Data Platform, primarily focused on improving stu­dent success outcomes from cradle to career. San Bernardino County is the first county office of education across the state to pursue using the data plat­form to provide transparency of and access to education data with the goal of engaging our publics, informing de­cision-making and providing a contin­uum of services to improve conditions for our youth.

On the statewide level, the transition to a new accountability system is in the process of rolling out in the next several months. This winter the State Board of Education finalized adoption of a landmark accountability system for California public schools. The ac­countability system is among the most rigorous and ambitious in the nation, with the goal of ensuring our state’s public schools are preparing students for success in college and 21st century careers. In March the state is scheduled to unveil its California School Dashboard concept to the public that will provide a wealth of new information to help parents, educators and the public assess the performance and progress of their schools.

Rather than using just one number to measure school progress, as was the case with the former Academic Perfor­mance Index, the new system is driven by a rubric of performance indicators such as student test scores, graduation rates, attendance, and college and ca­reer readiness. Multiple measures will give parents, teachers and community members a better idea of what is hap­pening at their schools and how well schools are meeting statewide educa­tional priorities, as well as goals defined in district Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP).

Among county offices of education statewide, ours was the first to develop a model that provides a multi-faceted team of experts to support districts in the cross-development of their budgets and LCAP and to work collaboratively with districts in continuous improve­ment. Of course, the most crucial and important changes are what is happen­ing in classrooms where teachers are teaching to new rigorous state stan­dards, and students are gaining mastery on higher-level thinking skills. It is be­cause of their hard work that we saw improvements across the board in both math and English language arts when the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress results were released in 2016.

State testing is one measurement of the progress that’s taking place in our classrooms, but another key priority is the social and emotional development of our students. One initiative that is addressing those needs comes from our countywide Student Advisory Panels.

More than 150 students representing over 40 high schools are participating and meet four times annually to engage with their peers and develop presenta­tions in the areas of economy, educa­tion, safety, and health and wellness – areas identified as priorities in the Community Vital Signs Transforma­tion Plan. The culmination of student efforts is realized in final presentations to a panel of elected officials and policy makers who listen intently to student proposals and opinions. When students see that their voices are being heard and influencing decisions, and they are invited to act as leaders in the process, a collaborative community of learners is formed.

Creating strong and healthy school and community environments for students, staff and families is the goal of County Schools’ first countywide Wellness Strategic Planning Initiative. A growing body of research shows that supporting students and families with emotional wellness early on can help students be successful in school and into their adult lives. Research by the National Alliance on Mental Illness shows that behavioral health issues during adoles­cence contribute to more than half of all instances of students dropping out at the high school level.

The research-proven program, Posi­tive Behavioral Interventions and Supports—or PBIS—is making ma­jor strides in creating a more positive culture at our schools and supporting student wellness. PBIS is a proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports and social culture needed for all students in a school to achieve so­cial, emotional and academic success. Countywide, we are approaching more than 250 schools in 28 school districts and County Schools alternative edu­cation settings. With more than 100 schools implementing PBIS in the High Desert, the Positive Behavior Interven­tions and Supports Coalition awarded over 40 schools in 2016 with bronze, silver and gold awards for improving campus culture.

In Silver Valley Unified, Newberry Springs Elementary was the only school to receive a gold award. Newberry re­duced the number of suspensions from 15 in 2012-13 to 1 in 2015-16. All to­tal, 11 High Desert school districts had at least one school awarded, with Ad­elanto Elementary and Snowline Joint Unified school districts each having nine total schools to receive bronze and silver awards. The positive outcomes of such programs have made inroads in reducing discipline referrals, plus help­ing achieve declines in suspension and expulsion rates. The number of suspen­sions has dropped 30% from 2011-12 to the most recent released data for the 2014-15 academic year. The expulsion rate has dropped 23% over the past three reporting years.

We have real opportunity to change the trajectory of our county and launch our schools and communities into a future that provides all of our students with opportunities to fulfill their boundless potential. At County Schools, we will continue our work of collaborating with our school districts, inter-agency part­ners and communities to bring about the skills our students need to be col­lege- and career-ready. Their prepara­tion for the demands of the workforce will impact the economic vitality of the High Desert, our county and the state.

Economy Education General

Launch of First Entrepreneurship Center-Barstow Resource Center

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Entrepreneur

By Paul A. Courtney

ecBarstow.com/Barstow Area Center for Entrepreneurs, 1041 West Main St., opened in January 2017 with a mission to help unlock economic and education­al potential, which are powerful tools to drive economic growth and prosperity. Barstow area Entrepreneurs are integral to the stable and thriving local formal economy but often face disproportion­ate barriers, including travel distances, financial, and professional educational support services, states Paul A. Court­ney, Entrepreneur and formal Educator.

ecBarstow.com is centrally located where students, parents, individuals and business people will have access to essential resources (public computer access, administrative/office support services, education referral, financial planning, business planning, signature training, OSHA training, etc. Service Support: scheduling, billing, collec­tions, employee training, HR, and safety training. All designed to facilitate and develop entrepreneurial and educational enhancement capacities. “The center will provide an entrepreneurial/edu­cational ‘hub’ that will create a robust exchange of communication and ideas that will stimulate growth and benefit the community.”–Paul Anthony Courtney, ecBarstow.com, Ex­ecutive Director.

Entrepreneur1

The Center seeks to augment the educa­tional offerings of the local schools and col­leges by coordinating and offering paid and non-paid internships that require entrepre­neurial training in the areas of customer service, human resources, marketing, sales, employment acquisition, leader­ship, employment re-entry and business planning. The center supports economic diversification and seeks to serve as a catalyst for innovation that will stimu­late Barstow’s business growth and, when fully functioning, will be led, managed and operated by subject matter experts, K-12 grade students and col­lege students.

ecBarstow.com will serve as an example of how private industry can cohesively work with education and community leaders to successfully promote entre­preneurial activity!. J. Adaberto Quijada, Director/SBA, U.S. Small Business Ad­ministration, has agreed to incorporate SBA resources into the center, creating history (in Barstow) and the surround­ing communities that the resource cen­ter will serve. Additional details will be released as they come available.

For further information, please contact Paul A. Courtney / ppaccln2@aol.com / 760-559-8347

Education General

Victor Valley College, Now in its 56th Year

Published by:

By Robert A. Sewell

PIO/Director of Marketing/ASB Advisor

Victor Valley College

Victor Valley College (VVC) 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 serves the cities and communities of the High Desert; Adelanto, Apple Valley, Helendale, Hesperia, Lucerne Valley, Oro Grande, Phelan, Piñon Hills, Silver Lakes, Spring Valley Lake, Victorville and Wrightwood. VVC also features a 13-acre Regional Public Safety Training Center (RPSTC) in Apple Valley and an aviation program at Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA). In total a pop­ulation base of approximately 400,000 people with over 25 feeder high schools and diploma-granting institutions rely on VVC for their educational needs and op­portunities.

What’s happened in the last 25 years is an increase in how much community colleges are involved in job training and economic development. We are the “go to” organization when industry identi­fies a skill gap. The relationship between industry and Victor Valley College con­tinues to strengthen as we work together to develop career partnerships that pro­vide workers with the skills the economy needs most.

The college is responding to labor mar­ket demand with college students earn­ing awards in 13 of the 50 jobs with the most openings in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. A high number of awards can be viewed for occupational titles such as: management analysts, gen­eral and operations managers, registered nurses, and automotive service techni­cians and mechanics. Although some of these titles require a bachelor’s degree, the first two years of study can be com­pleted at the college.

In addition to its well-established career-technical programs, the college’s latest program developments have focused on future prospects in green industry sec­tors. Through general funding efforts, as well as outside funding sources, the col­lege now offers training for the follow­ing: solar technicians, hybrid mechan ics, aviation mechanics, and wastewater technicians.

Victor Valley College is the primary source of workforce training in the Vic­tor Valley. Our career technical programs teach fundamental skills that employ­ers in almost every corner of the region need, and VVC offers more than 100 cer­tification programs to ensure our gradu­ates are marketable employees. Victor Valley College also offers customized training to help companies train up their employees in specialized skills they need in order to be more profitable.

Enrollment

Great strides have been made in the past year to complement our Academic Pro­grams and offerings as enrollment re­mains healthy.

Two areas of note: the Victor Valley Col­lege Nursing and Paramedic Programs.

This Spring 2017, VVC entered into a cooperative relationship and agreement with Desert Valley Hospital, allowing 64 students to be taken off our nursing waiting list with all expenses paid. The program began this February with 16 students, and we will continue adding 16 each fall and spring term until the full 64 are served.

Additionally, we’re proud to announce the inaugural offering of an accelerated, hybrid, shift-based paramedic program that began January 7, 2017. This program is in addition to the two traditional para­medic programs currently offered and delivered by the EMS faculty and staff. The initial class demographics comprise 24 diverse students from four counties and employed by nine fire departments (state, county and municipal), two am­bulance companies and local hospital emergency departments. The delivery model takes advantage of traditional and innovative on-line education methods, utilizing new national partnerships and existing, proven methods that produce the highest-quality paramedic graduates who will pass their national licensure ex­ams and who will gain employment as paramedics within three to six months of completion.

Offering this style of paramedic program clearly benefits the employer and student by allowing departments and employers to maintain a consistent staffing pattern and a theoretical reduction of overtime coverage behind an employee attending class meetings. By only meeting on “B” shift days, students can meet their full or part-time employment obligations with­out straining or negatively impacting the system. This provides students with a buffer to maintaining their income and benefits (one of the largest strains and leading stressors contributing to unsuc­cessful completion by students in the traditional program). The benefits to the community are primarily focused around keeping these working professionals “on the floor” while attending school and, more importantly, keeping the students who work in this county in school in this county. Projections indicating demand for licensed paramedics in California for the next decade exceed 24% growth (ref­erence: www.onetonline.org). Within San Bernardino County this is magnified significantly through the creation of new employment opportunities for paramed­ics (i.e. – San Bernardino County Fire’s ambulance operator program). These op­portunities directly contribute to positive employment upon successful completion of an accredited paramedic program.

Accreditation

Victor Valley College Emergency Medi­cal Services (EMS) and Fire Technology departments received their reaffirmation of accreditation notifications in 2016. The nursing department had their Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) Accredita­tion visit on November 8th and 9th and was granted another five_year accredita­tion.

The Victor Valley College accreditation site team visit, during the week of March 6th by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (AC­CJC), went well and the college looks forward to a positive response, final no­tification to be provided after the June 2017 ACCJC meeting.

Campus Updates

The next stages in supporting student suc­cess are well under way as VVC students have the benefit of new facilities and ser­vices and more coming this summer.

Interactive Student Orientation Video, VVC student email and a mobile applica­tion to access campus registration & stu­dent services will be rolling out Spring 2017. VVC has also partnered with EAB to enhance the onboarding process for students that will include Online ed­ucation plans and allow for sustainable campus-wide change, benefiting student retention and persistence.

The opening of the Math Success Cen­ter complemented the successful Writ­ing Center, in the Advanced Technol­ogy Center providing students with an increase in tutoring and support. Student tutoring will further expand with Foreign Language tutors and an Athlete study hall later in the spring.

A new look and feel to Victor Valley College is near as comprehensive cam­pus and wayfinding signage has been approved by the Board of Trustees, a vendor selected and the initiation of the process beginning in April 2017.

This summer, beginning June 19, 2017, VVC will offer a “pilot” First Year Ex­perience (FYE) program to our local high schools. Students in first-year pro­grams are:

  • twice as likely to earn their associate degrees within a three-year time peri­od than students who are not in FYE.
  • more likely to persist into their second year at Victor Valley College than stu­dents who are not in FYE.
  • more likely to transfer to four-year universities than students who did not participate in FYE.

www.vvc.edu/first-year-experience/

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

some­ VA education benefits, the VRC provides counseling services, tutoring, a computer lab, and community workshops.

In January 2017 our Veteran Services moved to a much larger space on lower campus, offering our veteran students a much more open and comfortable space for them to be successful in college.

Construction

In February 2017 the new Automo­tive/Welding Vocational Complex was opened, providing a new vocational lab building on lower campus. It addresses the 2015 Master Plan recommendation to expand automotive labs, replace the original welding lab, and add classrooms to support vocational programs. The project, comprised of both new and re­modeled construction, provided 4,677 ASF of remodeled auto/diesel mechan­ics labs; 5,040 ASF of new welding labs; 6,293 ASF of new lecture classrooms, a service writer area, and a state-certified smog program. The automotive build­ing (Bldg 64) was built in 1970 and the welding building (Bldg 61) was built in 1980. These buildings are among the oldest on campus which placed them in dire need of an upgrade. 2011 Fall Se­mester research determined the welding lab was used at 150.6 percent of capacity and the auto lab was used at 546.3 per­cent of capacity. In a future project, the original welding lab (at 2,862 ASF) will be remodeled to provide additional auto repair space.

An architectural firm has been selected for a new Student Services “One Stop” Building sufficient to provide greater efficiency between related functions in serving our students, thereby free­ing current space for reconversion to classrooms–solving the near-term class­room shortage. This new building will include counseling services, admissions & records, fiscal services, bursar’s office, EOPS, CalWorks and DSPS. Construc­tion to begin in Spring 2018.

Education General

Victor Valley College Serving the High Desert for 55 years

Published by:

By Robert Sewell, Director Marketing & Public Information Officer/ASB Advisor/Public Relations/ASB Victor Valley College

Victor Valley College (VVC), now in its 55th 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 serves the cities and commu­nities of the High Desert: Adelanto, Apple Valley, Helendale, Hespe­ria, Lucerne Valley, Oro Grande, Phelan, Piñon Hills, Silver Lakes, Spring Valley Lake, Victorville and Wrightwood. VVC also features a 13-acre Regional Public Safety Training Center (RPSTC) in Apple Valley. In total, a population base of approximately 400,000 people with over 20 feeder high schools and diploma-granting institutions rely on VVC for their educational needs and opportunities.

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. TheUniversity offers degrees as part of a 2 + 2 program.

Enrollment

For the 2015-2016 academic year, enrollment is approximately 13,000 students with a Full-Time Equivalent Student target of 9,245. 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. VVC was able to offer a successful Winter 2016 Intersession, serving 3,054 students who were enrolled in 3,730 classes. Students were/are enrolled in an average of 2.5 classes in both the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 Semes­ters, 11,860 students taking 30,499 courses in Fall and 11,375 currently enrolled in 28,845 Spring classes. VVC employs over 1,000 full and part time employees.

During the 2014-15 academic year, VVC conferred more than 1,100 As­sociate Degrees and Certificates and looks to improve on that number dur­ing the 2015-2016 academic year.

Programs 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 Teacher.

Accreditation

Victor Valley College’s accredita­tion status was confirmed June 29, 2015, from the Accrediting Com­mission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) with no sanc­tions. On March 29, 2016, the AC­CJC approved a substantive change which will allow the college to in­crease access and offer more classes and programs at the Regional Public Safety Training Center (RPSTC) in Apple Valley.

Campus Updates

VVC students will have the benefit of a new interactive Student Orienta­tion Video this Fall 2016.

In the first of an ongoing collabora­tion, the trustees from Barstow Com­munity College and Victor Valley College held two joint meetings in 2015. The meetings helped to high­light existing partnerships and iden­tified new opportunities to leverage resources to benefit students in both Districts.

Victor Valley College was selected as one of nine community college districts and 14 colleges to partici­pate in the Education Planning Ini­tiative (EPI). EPI is an innovative statewide project in the deployment of a new academic advising and plan­ning platform. Community college students throughout California will soon have access to new technology that will help them identify their aca­demic goals, develop structured per­sonalized Ed Plans for success, and make informed course choices about their education.

A Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Ma­chine (NMR) was acquired by Victor Valley College, thanks to the VVC Foundation, Mitsubishi Cement, Cemex, A Family Pharmacy, the Mojave Environmental Education Consortium (MEEC), and Southern California Edison. The NMR is be­ing used for the first time in the 2016 spring semester for students in up­per level organic chemistry classes and will make a huge difference for students intending to transfer to the university system like Cal State San Bernardino. Until recently, CSUSB would only accept the theoretical work accomplished and not the prac­tical work. Because of the investment of our industry partners, CSUSB will now accept both, alleviating a bottle­neck in their system where hundreds of students are currently sitting on waitlists for Biology and Chemis­try classes requiring a lab with the NMR.

The Victor Valley College Math De­partment this year embarked on sev­eral major changes to their program that could significantly increase col­lege completion rates for area resi­dents. Math has been a hurdle for many students who were previously required to take a multi-course se­quence of remediation before ac­cessing a degree-applicable course. In Fall 2016 new practices for place­ment will begin, allowing the ma­jority of students to enter the math sequence within one class of their degree requirements instead of the up to five they previously encoun­tered. Following proven models that have worked at other institutions, in­cluding just-in-time remediation and a statistics-based alternative to alge­bra, VVC expects significantly more students to successfully advance through math. Removing the barri­ers in math will make graduation a reality for more VVC students.

In 2014 Victor Valley College was awarded a grant to facilitate career pathways pipelines throughout theregion in five key industries: Auto­motive, Aviation, Energy/Utilities Healthcare and Manufacturing. One goal of what has become known as the RAMP UP project is to maximize the input of employers by establish­ing advisory councils that include all local schools and Victor Valley Col­lege together, rather than the previ­ous practice of multiple independent meetings at individual institutions. This work was initiated in 2015, and today nearly all targeted advisory councils have been identified or are in active development for the local area. This strategy is expected to help streamline curriculum, allowing local students to complete training that more quickly meets employer needs.

Another goal of the RAMP UP proj­ect is to link schools and colleges together through technology, allow­ing them to share classes and learn­ing experiences with one another. In 2016 the installation of these class­rooms was completed, system tests successfully conducted, and the first multi-site connection allowed stu­dents at eight high schools to partici­pate in a healthcare industry lecture last month. RAMP UP also includes linkages to the Antelope Valley, Barstow and San Bernardino, where similar activities are in develop­ment.

Expanding its relationships with lo­cal high schools, VVC embarked on a new partnership with Hesperia High School in Fall 2014. In the Fall of 2014, 53 students were enrolled in predominantly General Education classes delivered by VVC’s depart­ment of Humanities, Arts, and So­cial Science (HASS) on the Hesperia High School campus. By the end of that semester, 98% of the students passed all classes with a “C” grade or better, and a total of 414 college credits were earned in courses in­cluding English, Sociology, History, and Philosophy.

In the Fall of 2015, the cohorts grew to a total of 84 students enrolled, with the results demonstrated that 95% of the cohort passed all classes with a “C” grade or better, totaling 612 college credits earned.

The Hesperia High study also re­vealed that the pass rate in the Early College courses surpasses traditional Hesperia High courses by 20% (Eng­lish) and 10% (History). It should be noted that these classes, where appli­cable, count toward the high school student’s A-G high school gradua­tion requirements.

Student Athlete Success

In 2015 Coach Dave Hoover guided the Rams Football Team to a 9-1 re­cord as they got the privilege to play in the American Division Champi­onship Bowl Game. The Rams, 19-1 during the past two seasons, had five players named to the All-California First Team and All-American DL Dougladson Subtyl was named De­fensive Player of the Year.

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, and Wal-Mart for their gen­erous grant which helped buy com­puters and furniture.

Construction

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. Over the last seven years, Measure JJ Bond dollars have touched each of these areas: the Re­gional Public Safety Training Center in Apple Valley (Spring 2012), Mu­sic Building (Fall 2014), and the Dr. Prem Reddy Health and Sciences Building (Fall 2015).

In 2016 another Measure JJ project gets under way as we turn our atten­tion to the remodel and expansion of our Vocational facilities. Ground­breaking takes place May 16, and the new additions will be ready for student use Spring 2017. The proj­ect includes a new Automotive/Diesel Mechanics lab space, new Welding Lab, public restrooms and an additional 6,240 ASF for lecture classrooms. Additional Automotive space will provide for a service writ­er program, machine shop and bay space for car lifts. Welding Technol­ogy will be equipped with an entirely new welding facility with state of the art equipment.

In July 2015 the Facilities Master Plan update was approved which identified a need for a new Student Services ‘One Stop’ Building suf­ficient to provide greater efficiency between related functions in serving our students, thereby freeing current space for reconversion to classrooms and solving the near-term classroom shortage. In addition a study was presented outlining a future Stadium and Conference Center that will seat 3,500 and 3,000, respectively.

Education General

Victor Valley Community College Serving the High Desert for 54 years

Published by:

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.

Enrollment

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.

Accreditation

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.

Campus Updates

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.

Construction

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.

Education General

Victor Valley College Preparing Students for the Future

Published by:

By Bill Greulich
Public Information Officer
President’s Office
Victor Valley College

VVC, now in its 53rd 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. VVC now offers Associate in Science and Associate in Arts degrees in 23 different disciplines plus more than 100 certificates.

Enrollment

Enrollment for 2013/2014 is approximately 17,000 students, with spring numbers reaching 3.900 Full-Time Equivalent Students (FTES). A full-time equivalent student is a person taking more than 12 credit units or three part-time students taking a single 4 credit class. VVC employs over 800 employees.

During the 2012/13 academic year, VVC conferred more than 1,100 Associate Degrees and Certificates of Completion. Programs that are featured include but are not limited to: Nursing, Liberal Arts, Science and Math and other Transfer Courses, and 16 Career Technology Programs such as Computer -Aided Design, Airframe and Power Plant Technology, Fire Technology, Administration of Justice, Digital Animation, Respiratory Technology, Paramedics, Construction Technologies, etc.

Accreditation

Victor Valley College has also received approval from the Chancellor’s Office to offer six new transfer degrees to California State Universities. Currently, VVC offers an Associate in Science for Transfer in Administration of Justice, An Associate in Science for Transfer in Mathematics, an Associate in Arts for Transfer in Sociology, Associates in Arts for Transfer in Communication Studies, Associates in Arts for Transfer in History, and Associates in Arts for Transfer in Early Childhood Education.

Victor Valley College’s accreditation has been reaffirmed; however, a follow-up report was requested and submitted in March. This report includes a provision for the college to submit a long-term financial plan that guarantees future balanced budgets based on the current year levels of revenue being allocated by the State. VVC also delivered a required midterm self-study report that addressed continued progress on all standards established by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, (ACCJC). In April the college will host a visit by an accrediting team who are charged with the responsibility to validate the information contained in these reports. A letter from the Commission will be forthcoming in June.

Search for a new Superintendent/President

In the interim period, the College Board will proceed with the search process to select a new Superintendent/President for the college. The selection process should be completed by the first week in July.

The Music Building Upgrade and Construction

The Board of Trustees approved the modernization and construction project for the Music building that was built about 1965 for an amount of 3.8 million dollars as part of the Measure JJ bond Funds projects to bring current buildings up to current day standards. During construction, the Music department was relocated to the lower campus until the project is completed. Initially, the building was first abated of all asbestos-containing material and cleared safe for demolition and construction work. Construction should be completed this June and ready for students at the start of the Fall semester. The project consists of new construction of restroom and office areas; the rest of the project involves the modernization of the existing building and bringing it up to current ADA compliance.

New Science and Health Building

The next major project to be constructed on campus for Victor Valley College is the new Science and Health Building. This Building is being funded by Measure JJ Bond funds. The 25,000 square foot building will feature several new labs and faculty areas dedicated to the study of Science and Health. The plan features highly specialized training labs for the Nursing program that includes a simulation lab and fundamentals lab, a Chemistry lab, additional Life and Physical Science lab (digital), an Anatomy lab, a faculty suite and Dean’s office. The plan for this free-standing building also includes an outdoor, covered courtyard area for student and faculty interaction to promote a collaborative and technology-driven learning environment.Victor Valley College has selected Balfour Beatty Construction and NTD Architecture to construct this project. It will be a one-story structure located adjacent to and on the west side of the existing Science Building 31. The college has instructed the builders that they will contract with local consulting firms and contractors to provide training and jobs for the local community.

Future Projects

The expansion of the vocational complex will create a diesel facility and enhance classroom space for both automotiveand welding. Cost is $6.5 million. Completion is expected in 2014-15.

Future Hesperia Campus

VVC owns 55 acres at Main Street and US Highway 395 for a future campus. At this time VVC is focusing on building future enrollment and goodwill. Currently, VVC offers classes at both Silverado High School and Hesperia High School as a means to meeting current academic needs in this region of the High Desert. All of these projects are funded by Measure JJ.

Recently Constructed – now in Service

In 2012 the college opened the Victor Valley College Regional Public Safety Training Center in Apple Valley. The center is located on the corner of Navajo and Johnson roads near the Wal-Mart Distribution Center. The $31.4 million center is the first construction project funded by Measure JJ that was approved by voters in 2008. The center features a multi-agency learning environment to maximize disaster training by incorporating Fire Science, EMT, Paramedic training, and Administration of Justice & Corrections.

Education General

Victor Valley Community College

Published by:

By Bill Gruelich
Public Information Officer
Victor Valley Community College, President’s Office

Victor Valley College is in its 52nd year of service to the students of the High Desert. Currently, the college is serving approximately 13,500 students. For apportionment purposes, these numbers equal about 8,895 full-time equivalent students. Each full-time equivalent student (FTES) represents one student taking 15 credit hours per semester or five students each taking a course that equals 3 credit hours per semester. The college is funded on these FTES at about $4,564. The total budget for the college is approximately $50 million. Currently, the college employs about 800 people. Due to the economy, the college stepped up and enrolled more students than it is being compensated for. The High Desert needs to increase the overall number of residents who have a college degree to raise the economic level of the area. This is a profound goal for the college. This pronouncement is based on data that was presented by an area economist during several economic summits hosted by the college.

The college is currently in the process of re-inventing itself to meet the standards for accreditation established by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). It has been a challenge to change the entire culture of the college. It is much like a group of overweight people trying to lose pounds. They know they love to eat, but are unwilling to change their lifestyle to accomplish the goal. At VVC, everyone is on a diet and is making lifestyle changes that will make it a continuous quality improvement institution. The college has made great strides as has been noted in an article recently appearing in an area newspaper.

“While we believe we were further along than the ACCJC was able to verify during their visit in October 2012, we recognize that more work in all three of these areas is needed and we have continued to focus on getting them done.

These three areas relate to assessments of student learning outcomes, program review, and elimination of a structural deficit.

Today we can report 100% of all Student Learning Outcomes have been identified and all 100% of active course outcomes will have been assessed by October 15, 2013. As not every class is offered each semester, some of what is required to assess Student Learning Outcomes in all courses is simply the passing of time, such that a course can be completed on its planned schedule. We also implemented a comprehensive tracking system, known as TracDat, for compiling this assessment data and are confident that the ACCJC will acknowledge our full compliance with this standard when they next visit.

The second reason for being retained on probation was that the ACCJC visiting team did not believe that the college had identified and reviewed all of its current programs, both instructional and non-instructional. Program review had been an on-going activity at the college for many years; however, the ACCJC review gave the college an opportunity to establish teams for both parts of program review, instructional and non-instructional. These teams have reviewed every program review report completed by all areas of the college. The ACCJC requires that there is “robust dialog” in the program review process which will move the college forward in closing the loop between planning, implementing, and correcting. The establishment of interdisciplinary program review teams has enabled that dialogue and we are confident that the ACCJC will acknowledge our full compliance with this standard.

The third issue that remains to be resolved is the assertion that Victor Valley College faces a “structural deficit.” The college has reduced spending sufficiently, and implemented cost saving measures, and accessed reserves to balance its budget. This cannot continue indefinitely and the college is examining options for restoring a structural balance to its budget. Some relief will come in the form of additional revenues from the State as our economy improves, but the college is taking other proactive steps to evaluate programs and expenditures.

There has been a significant culture change within the ranks at VVC and the college faculty and staff has embraced the benefits of proper planning and proper assessment. Future students of the high desert will be ultimate beneficiaries of this culture change.”

Construction

The next major project on the drawing boards for Victor Valley College is the construction of a new Science and Health Building. The 25,000 square foot building will feature several new labs and faculty areas dedicated to the study of Science and Health. The plan features highly specialized training labs for the Nursing program that include a simulation lab and fundamentals lab, a chemistry lab, additional Life and Physical Science lab (digital), an anatomy lab, a faculty suite, and dean’s office. The plan for this free standing building also includes an outdoor covered courtyard area for student and faculty interaction to promote a collaborative and technology driven learning environment. The college has selected Balfour Beatty Construction and NTD Architecture to construct this project. It will be a one-story structure located adjacent to and on the west side of the existing Science Building 31. Together Balfour Beatty and NTD have completed over 30 educational projects totaling over $600 million throughout Southern California. The team will contract with local consulting firms and contractors to provide training and jobs for the local community.

Education

Victor Valley Community College-Fall 2012

Published by:

By Bill Gruelich
Public Information Officer
President’s Office

Victor Valley College, established in 1961, has undergone many changes since its inception. Most significant is student population. From humble beginnings, the college has grown from serving 500 students to more than 17,000 per year. Throughout this period, the college has managed to meet the higher education needs of the people of the Victor Valley. This educational experience has allowed students to reach one or more personal goals that include transfer to four-year colleges and universities , receive an A.A. or A.S. degree, earn an occupational career certificate,or access career training that expands his/her ability to meet current industry standards.

VVC offers Associate in Science and Associate in Arts degrees in 23 different disciplines and more than 100 certificates. Three new degrees have been approved for VVC by the Community College Chancellor’s office to include an Associate in Science for Transfer in Administration of Justice, an Associate in Science for Transfer in Mathematics and an Associate in Arts for Transfer in Sociology.

Today, the college’s budget is approximately $47 million after suffering more than $12 million in cuts over the past four years. The college employs 770 in faculty, management and classified positions. Year-to-date, the VVC budget has been cut by a total of $4.9 million ($2.7 million budget cut was imposed at the beginning of the year and two subsequent cuts in the amounts of $925,000 and $1.2 million, respectively, were implemented in January and February 2012.) This year the college also absorbed another cut of approximately $1 million due to the Redevelopment Agency’s tax revenue shortfall, which brings the total budget cuts to VVC for the current fiscal year to $5.9 million.

Cuts caused the workload to be reduced from 9,404 FTES (Full-Time Equivalent Students or approximately one student taking a full-time load of 12 credit units) in FY 2010-11 to 8,829 FTES in the current fiscal year as the result of the mandated budget cuts. However, VVC staff has continued the plans that were recommended by the Budget Committee, Enrollment Management team and approved by the Board of Trustees to generate approximately 9,600 FTES. The level of workload production contributes to two positive results: 1) more course offerings to local students and 2) the District receives an additional one million dollars in state funding for meeting the mid-size college standard. VVC will continue receiving the additional one million dollars through fiscal year 2014-15 because we met the mid-size college threshold this year.

VVC has used the budget reserves to balance the current year budget despite the large aforementioned revenue cuts. An anticipated current ending balance of approximately $14 million will help with the balancing of next year’s budget.

VVC’s main campus encompasses 253 acres and the Regional Public Safety Center in Apple Valley that encompasses 13 acres. The college dedicated the new Regional Public Safety Training Center on April 21, 2012. The center is located on the corner of Navajo and Johnson roads near the Walmart Distribution Center. The $31.4 million center is the first construction project funded by Measure JJ that was approved by voters in 2008. The center features a multi-agency learning environment to maximize disaster training by incorporating first responders programs that include Fire Science, EMT, Paramedic and Administration of Justice and Corrections.

VVC also owns 55 acres at Main Street and US Highway 395 for a future Workforce Development Center. Victor Valley College (VVC) has always placed a high value on workforce development through the support of strong vocational or career/technical education (CTE) programs. These programs are critical to the community and to the local economy, as they provide entry level employees and incumbent workers with the skills necessary to both improve their own standard of living, and to contribute to the growth of local businesses and industries.

VVC currently holds a 70.2 percent success rate for completion of credit vocational courses (2010-2011 year/ARCC 2012 Report).

At this time, VVC is focusing on building future enrollment for the Workforce Development Center by offering classes at both Silverado High School and Hesperia High School as a means to meeting current academic needs in this region of the High Desert. This project will be funded with Measure JJ bonds once the market improves. VVC serves a population base of approximately 400,000, and has more than 20 diploma granting institutions in its service area.

Construction Project Plans

Every year, Victor Valley College is required to update its five-year facility plan for submission to the California Community College Chancellor’s Office and the Department of General Services. Once the plan is approved, it is presented to the College’ Board of Trustees for approval. Projects at the top of the list include the modernization of the music building, the construction of an additional Science/Health facility and the expansion and refurbishment of certain vocational buildings. The funding source for these top three prioritized projects is Bond Measure JJ, passed in November 2008 by the voters of the District.

Music Building Modernization

This project is currently underway and calls for modernization of 8,308 Assignable Square Footage (ASF) / 10,002 Gross Square Footage (GSF) comprising the existing Music Building built in 1968. This building has not been updated for 43 years. The project includes bringing the building into compliance with the ADA code, updating the sound system, improving room acoustics, updating electronics, and creating additional practice rooms.

For the fall 2010 semester the Music Building laboratories were utilized at 110% of capacity (Capacity/Load Ratio of 91.4%). Project Cost: $3,800,000 Net ASF: 9,708, Occupancy Year: 2014/15

Science/Health Building

This project constructs a new permanent 14,880 ASF / 21,200 GSF science and health/nursing laboratory building on the main campus at Victor Valley College. It will be in the form of a one story building located adjacent the existing one story Science Building. The original design for the Science Building was based upon enlarging the lab capacity as enrollments grew by adding an additional row of Life and Physical Science Laboratories on the west side of the building. The existing science prep spaces (lab service) are unchanged, as their location and present size were anticipated to meet this expansion.

Across a hallway from the new science labs are new laboratories and offices for the Health/ Nursing programs, including Skills labs and SIM (simulation) labs for training in various health specialties: OB/Gyn, Pediatrics, ICU, Medical/Surgical Patient Room, and Psychology. Each SIM Lab will have a control room and a group Debriefing Room using one way glass and video cameras for observation and critique.

The new building will be free-standing and will be situated to provide convenient access from the new science labs to the existing science prep spaces. Concurrently, the new nursing/ allied health labs will be close to the existing Nursing Building, which will continue to accommodate part of the nursing program. It will be remodeled as a future secondary effects project with some vacated labs converted to lecture space for these programs.

For the 2011 Fall Semester, the existing Science Building laboratories were used at 121.9 percent of capacity. The Allied Health/Nursing Building laboratories were used at 314.4 percent of capacity. In addition, the Health programs also used the Technology Center Lab room 143 and Lower Portable room 7 (at 176.7 percent of capacity). These use data demonstrate a clear need for additional science and health laboratory classrooms. Concurrently, classrooms on campus were used at 121.4%, representing an immediate shortage of 11,000 ASF, approximately 14 classrooms.

It will incorporate new labs in the health and science fields including:

  • Nursing
  • Allied Health
  • Health Simulation Labs
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science

Project Cost: $14,400,000 Net ASF: 14,880, Occupancy Year: 2015/16

Expand/Refurbish Certain Vocational Buildings

This project reconstructs 2,862 ASF / 3,720 GSF of existing space and constructs 6,732 ASF / 9,357 GSF of new expansion or replacement space for the Auto/Diesel Mechanics and Welding lab programs on the lower campus. The project will also result in moving the Digital Animation Laboratory currently located in a portable building that occupies the location of the Diesel Mechanics Lab expansion. The Auto and Welding facilities are among the oldest at the VVC Campus and in dire need of updating/upgrading.

For the 2011 Fall Semester, the Welding laboratory was used at 150.6 percent of capacity, the Auto laboratories were used at 546.3 percent of capacity, and the Agriculture laboratory was used at 594.2 percent of capacity. Project Cost: $6,500,000 Net ASF: 6,732, Occupancy Year: 2014/15.

Education

High Desert-Mountain Leaders Are Re-Engineering their Workforce STEAM 2020-a Local Initiative for Economic Success

Published by:

By Dale Marsden, Ed.D., Superintendent Victor Elementary School District

Imagine a Desert-Mountain region where every student graduates from high school concurrently with their community college degree or a vocational, technical or trade school equivalent certificate in a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, or Math) related career field. Well that is exactly what is happening in this region! From Victorville to Hesperia, Apple Valley to Adelanto, and Baker to Big Bear, leaders from five key sectors – Public, Private, Higher Education, K-12, and Service and Faith-Based Organizations – are entering into a collective effort, which will align regional resources to ensure a systemic approach that ultimately re-engineers its workforce.

What does this look like on the ground and in the trenches? It all started with a kick-off event last summer when a score of community and educational leaders came together to draw a line in the sand and make a commitment to this goal:

By 2020, every child and adult in the Desert-Mountain region will be prepared for the 21st Century workforce by achieving their high school diploma concurrently with their community college degree, or vocational, trade or technical school equivalent certificate, in a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts or Math) related field.

Every person who attended the event pledged their commitment, including Mayor Ryan McEachron, Community College President Dr. Christopher O’Hearn, Chamber of Commerce CEO Michele Spears, and several other key community and educational leaders. From this meeting, and with the assistance of Inland Empire Economist, Dr. John Husing, and leading Commercial Real Estate Broker, Joseph W. Brady, CCIM, SIOR, President of the The Bradco Companies and Trustee for the Victor Valley Community College, the stage was set in November for a Solutions Summit.

Nearly 300 key sector leaders joined together during the Summit to hear presentations from: Craig Garrick, CEO of Aviation Assurance, explaining how his business is prepared to grow from 250 employees to over 2,500; Dr. Gary Thomas, County Superintendent of Schools, on just how desperate things are in our current educational system and a high school diploma is no longer enough; Joseph W. Brady, highlighting the potential for the region and what every leader must do to take advantage of the opportunities in their own backyard. The keynote speaker for the event, Dr. John Husing, left the audience with an unquestionable understanding that the key to the region’s success is a re-engineering of its educational system to ensure a prepared workforce. Key leaders then divided into groups to establish strategies or “Solutions” to achieve the STEAM 2020 Goal, and to better align regional resources to this end.

Some of the solutions developed during this inaugural Summit included the development of a Speakers Bureau of leaders from the community, Increasing parent knowledge about educational opportunities in the region, Creating Virtual Field Trips to local businesses, Increased Internships, and Increased Access to Certificate programs at Victor Valley College. This was a passionate group who all wanted to participate in following up on next steps to ensure implementation of these key strategies to achieve the goal.

Since the November meeting, much has taken place. Later in December, a workgroup of about 60 key leaders came together to draft strategicobjectives, metrics and action plans to achieve STEAM 2020. In January, a smaller representative group hammered out the details to include three key strategic goals for the initiative: Career Readiness, Communication, and Funding. Action steps outlined plans for a K-16 student tracking systems to electronically monitor the success of each child; there was a call for comprehensive “soft skills” training, including financial life planning; a plan to survey employers to assess gaps in the school curriculum; a plan to establish a communication center for STEAM goal engagement and development; and a plan to target regional resources and develop key sponsorships and funding for programmatic goals.

In addition to these meetings, education and business leaders participated in several workplace tours of local manufacturing and research and development firms. During the tour of Scott Turbon Mixer in Adelanto, students from Sultana High School in Hesperia filmed the entire tour to begin a series of virtual field trips so more students can experience the real world of work in their own community. Craig Garrick, CEO of Aviation Assurance, asked us to be sure when kids come to tour local businesses, we bring their parents with them! Once leaders finished the first half of the day at Scott Turbon, they headed over to Exquadrum, a small but very powerful Research and Development firm in Adelanto and listened to Vice President & Chief Operating Office Eric Schmidt explain about the skills needed for developing the latest technologies for the Warrior. This is rocket science!

Now with action plans established, next steps include having a community cabinet in each city or town comprised of key sector leaders who will meet regularlyto monitor progress. Additionally, representatives from each participating city and town will attend regional meetings where all resources will be presented and aligned to fit the tailored needs of each area within the region. As this work continues, the Desert-Mountain region is already looking ahead to build capacity for long-term strategic success. Several national models for community engagement have been studied and the region, under the leadership of the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Alliance for Education, plans to align itself to the nationally recognized STRIVE Together Model out of Ohio. Its slogan is “Cradle to Career” – what an amazing testimony of one community’s efforts to ensure success for all. For additional information, you may contact Dr. Dale Marsden, regional lead for the STEAM 2020 initiative, at dmarsden@vesd.net.

Dr. Dale Marsden is superintendent of the Victor Elementary School District, one of the county’s highest performing districts, and member of the executive board for the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Alliance for Education. Dale and his family have lived in the High Desert since 1990.

Education

Victor Valley Community College

Published by:

By Bill Gruelich, Public Information Officer, Presidents/Office

The big news for the college was the dedication of the new Victor Valley Regional Public Safety Training Center. The 41,500 square foot building is now on line and serving students and the community. The multi-purpose facility functions as a training center for four distinct programs, including Fire Technology, Administration of Justice, Emergency Medical Services and Corrections. The future looks good for community partnerships that will potentially benefit the services in which these students will eventually transfer. The $31.5 million structure and prop yard also includes a CERT City that will be used to train community volunteers in disaster preparedness scenarios. The real advantage of this facility will be its ability to provide cross training/cooperative real-life training that involves everyday emergencies. This unique factor permits VVC students to take the giant leap from physical training to actual service duty.

The building features an indoor combat shooting range, a gun cleaning room, training simulators, and defensive tactics/physical training areas for Administration of Justice Programs.

Indoor Combat Shooting Range

The size of the combat shooting range is 90’ by 42’ and covered completely in a bullet proof material which by design, will partially absorb stray rounds, eliminate ricochet projectiles, and facilitate expended rounds down range to the collection pit. This material is on the side walls, doors, and ceiling of the range facility to ensure safety for shooters. The collection pit spans the width of the range and holds over 40 tons of rubber fragments along with coating of fire retardant material covering a hardened steel backing. The range was designed as a combat range and therefore, has no target retrieval mechanism or shooting booths. This open floor designed combat shooting range offers more flexibility in developing real-life shooting experiences for law enforcement officers as mobile props can be placed anywhere on the open floor area of the range and moved as necessary.

The range has a state-of-the art air filtration system, which virtually removes all expended lead and ancillary particles from the air through a whole air flow system which begins at the rear of the range and flows to the front ventilation system. This system is designed to remove any air particles forward of the shooter and filter out the ventilation system, reducing exposure to the shooter.

Gun Cleaning Room

The range is also equipped with an adjacent gun cleaning room, which also has a similar vacuum ventilation system, stainless steel work benches and gun repair and cleaning equipment. It also has a range master office, which houses all weapons and associated range equipment including: “state of the art” noise reduction communication ear phones, accompanying radio and push to talk microphone. The range master office also serves as the distribution center for all equipment to be used on the range and it houses several technological devices, i.e., “Milo Shoot-Don’t Shoot” simulator and the “Super Trap” targeting system.

Training Simulators

Milo is a 3 “D” projection scenario program when projected on a screen in the range, students decide which course of action to take “shoot or don’t shoot” based on the circumstances demonstrated. These scenarios may be altered by the instructor with a hand-held control device while adjacent the student. This flexibility in programming serves to challenge the student’s analytical and problem solving skills while offering a “real life like” exigent circumstance decision making experience. Scenarios may be run by the instructor in laser format with range weapons or in live fire with the student’s weapon.

The Super Trap targeting system consists of ten hardened steel (adjustable) electronically controlled target holders mounted vertically on the ceiling adjacent the target trap. These holders are designed to deflect oncoming projectiles into the range trap and they also hold the targets in place. The range master has the option of pre-loading a program to turn all or selected targets in a pre-designed manner to show “good guy” vs. “bad guy” images by the touch of a remote controlled button. The targets have the option of turning 180 or 360 degrees to show either image. Students then must decide to “shoot or don’t shoot” based on their observations and analysis of the target. The Super Trap target holders are designed to re-set themselves in the event of a malfunction caused by an unbalanced target or when the holder is struck by a projectile. This technology allows the range master to continue with the shoot and he/she is not forced to delay the shoot to repair or re-set the target device. Super Trap will also be installing a “Running Man” horizontal target system, which will run the width of the range in the range trap area. This system will allow students another shooting (target acquisition) dimensional challenge as the target moves in the manner a person would while running from a crime scene. The range trap area also contains sensors to evaluate the amount of lead building up in each area (lanes). The sensor sends an electronic message to the range master regarding the condition of the accumulated lead and recommends that lane or lanes be shut down and evacuated.

Additionally, the combat range has two large doors, which open to the exterior of the facility and are used for the ingress of police vehicles for shooting props and other large movable props. These doors weigh approximately 1200 pounds apiece; however, they can be manipulated quite easily by anyone. The range office safety windows and exterior windows (hall way) are made of level #7 glass, which will withstand several rounds of high caliber weapon strikes, yet they are clear for the purposes of auditing any firearms training in the range. The range ceiling has several layers of lighting, which may be dimmed by the instructor to simulate various lighting conditions found outside. It also has two emergency lights on the ceiling near the rear of the range that may be used to simulate a law enforcement traffic stop or emergency situation. The range also has an intercom system to communicate with observers not wearing head gear who may be in the range area. The range ingress is limited to one door near the range master office and notwithstanding the aforementioned exterior doors and one emergency exit, the only egress is through the same door near the range office. This ingress-egress system was developed to ensure the safety of all students and equipment.

Defensive Tactics/Physical Training Area

The Defensive Tactics/Physical Training area is approximately 1200 square-foot class room with 14 ‘ceilings. The room contains a ceiling-mounted projector for the use of the “Milo System” offering presentations in use of force decision making scenarios projected on a wall. This training area also contains permanent combat mats with fifty storage “cubbies” for student clothing and equipment. This area is also equipped with audio and visual surveillance equipment recorded in the center’s computer hard drive for safety and historical purposes. Adjacent the training area are two instructor offices, which have windows for auditing capabilities in both the range and the Defensive Tactics/Physical Training areas.

The complex also includes office space, classrooms, conference rooms, four apparatus bays, a fire tower, burn rooms, a prop yard with a tanker rail car, an overturned tanker truck, a low angle rope rescue prop, a collapsed building, and a confined space/trench prop.

Fact Sheet

Victor Valley College Regional Public Safety Training Center (VVCRPSTC)

Cost: $31.5 million; financing from Measure JJ bond funds

Location: 19190 Navajo Road, Apple Valley, CA 92307

Project awarded: August 11, 2009

Construction start: August 12, 2010

Project completed: October 2011

Architect: Carrier-Johnson Architects

Contractor: Highland Partnership

Opening: February 2012

Facility Size: Nine-acre campus including a four-acre prop yard for training; 41,500 square feet of building complexes, classrooms, etc.

Building Features

  • Recognized as a Gold LEED facility by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)
  • Facility features a 230kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system, consisting of rooftop panels and solar covered carports providing up to 80 percent of the building’s total electricity demand.
  • 4692 SF apparatus bay
  • (4) bay doors east/west (drive thru)
  • (2) 567 SF storage rooms
  • Solar Panels located in parking lot and on roof of Building A and C
  • Prop yard
    • 5 Story Fire tower 4+ burn rooms Propane and Class A
    • Drafting Pit with Cone water flow calibration
    • Standpipe trainer
    • Fire training Connex trailer
    • Roof ventilation prop
    • Rail Tanker Prop
    • Collapsed Building prop
    • Confined Space/trench prop
    • Underground tunnel prop various size pipe
    • Low Angle rescue prop
    • Rubble pile
    • CERT (Citizens Emergency Response Team) City
      • House with Bedroom/living room facing West
      • Café with outdoor patio seating NW corner
      • Office N
      • Bank N
      • Warehouse N
      • Convenience store NE corner
      • Jail East
      • 2 cells
      • Processing desk
  • 15 classrooms, including 12 smart classrooms, providing seating for 368 students
  • Two student lounges
  • Computer lab
  • Video production lab
  • Outdoor courtyard
  • “N” level wireless network

Purpose

The VVCRPSTC offers a state-of-the-art facility that facilitates a dynamic, multi-agency learning environment for disaster training by incorporating the following disciplines: Fire Science, EMT, Paramedics, Administration of Justice, SWAT and Corrections. Future plans for the VVCRPSTC include the development of cooperative and contract ventures to expand educational and training opportunities for local and regional public safety entities, corporate safety personnel, community organizations, and governmental agencies.