City wel­comes SJVC

Vo­ca­tional col­lege will grad­u­ate first class in De­cem­ber

Porterville Recorder - - FRONT PAGE - By MATTHEW SARR msarr@porter­villere­corder.com

Porter­ville of­fi­cially wel­comed San Joaquin Val­ley Col­lege to the com­mu­nity with a rib­bon cut­ting cer­e­mony at its new Porter­ville cam­pus on Main Street Wed­nes­day. The event was at­tended by rep­re­sen­ta­tives from lo­cal govern­ment, Cham­ber of Com­merce and City Coun­cil mem­bers, stu­dents and com­mu­nity mem­bers.

The vo­ca­tional col­lege, which be­gan in­struc­tion on May 15, was given a warm wel­come by a suc­ces­sion of speak­ers from around the com­mu­nity.

Stephanie Cortez, Porter­ville Cham­ber pres­i­dent, wel­comed at­ten­dees to the event, and City Coun­cilmem­ber Martha Flores gave open­ing re­marks and pre-

sented to­kens of ap­pre­ci­a­tion to Joseph Holt, chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer for SJVC, and Adri­ana Ruiz, pres­i­dent of the new cam­pus.

“I am a strong sup­porter of ex­pand­ing lo­cal ed­u­ca­tional op­tions,” said Flores. “Hav­ing San Joaquin Val­ley Col­lege in Porter­ville will help stu­dents ob­tain the nec­es­sary skills to be suc­cess­fully em­ployed. You are a valu­able ad­di­tion to our com­mu­nity.”

Assem­bly­man Devon Mathis was in at­ten­dance for the event, and pre­sented SJVC staff with a cer­tifi­cate of ap­pre­ci­a­tion. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives for Se­na­tor Andy Vi­dak and Con­gress­man Kevin Mccarthy also pre­sented cer­tifi­cates and wel­comed the school to the com­mu­nity.

“I’ve had fam­ily mem­bers go through this pro­gram, and I’ve seen it change lives,” said Mathis. “On a per­sonal level, I’m re­ally ex­cited to have [SJVC] here in my home­town, be­cause I know what a game-changer this is for peo­ple who are try­ing to get a step ahead and pro­vide for their fam­i­lies.”

Ch­eryl Mar­shall, cur­rent med­i­cal as­sis­tant stu­dent at SJVC Porter­ville, of­fered her per­spec­tive on her ed­u­ca­tion ex­pe­ri­ence thus far.

“The school has be­come a sec­ond home to me. The in­struc­tors gen­uinely care and want stu­dents to suc­ceed,” said Mar­shall. “They have taught me that it’s never too late, and you’re never too old to learn.”

Holt and Ruiz presided over the rib­bon cut­ting, and then in­vited at­ten­dees to tour the new fa­cil­i­ties, where stu­dents ex­plained their course­work and even of­fered to demon­strate their newly ac­quired skills by per­form­ing blood sugar tests.

“We have cam­puses from Sacra­mento all the way down to San Diego, but our heart is in the Val­ley,” said Holt as he gave a brief sum­mary of SJVC his­tory. “SJVC was born and raised in com­mu­ni­ties just like this one.”

The Porter­ville site is the 15th SJVC cam­pus. The 7,320-square-foot cam­pus is lo­cated across from City Hall, and in­cludes a re­cep­tion area, ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fices, class­rooms, a med­i­cal lab, break room, stu­dent lounge, li­brary/re­source cen­ter and am­ple park­ing.

The cam­pus cur­rently of­fers three pro­grams, which were de­ter­mined to be most ben­e­fi­cial based on an SJVC fea­si­bil­ity study and com­mu­nity out­reach: clin­i­cal med­i­cal as­sist­ing, med­i­cal of­fice ad­min­is­tra­tion and busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Grad­u­ates will earn a cer­tifi­cate and may choose to con­tinue their pro­gram at the Visalia or Bak­ers­field cam­pus and earn an As­so­ci­ate of Sci­ence de­gree. Cur­rent en­roll­ment is at 95 stu­dents, and fu­ture stu­dents will bring that num­ber to well over 100 by the end of the year. The first class will grad­u­ate in De­cem­ber.

Joseph Holt

RECORDER PHOTO BY CHIEKO HARA

Assem­bly­man Devon Mathis, left, was among at­ten­dees tour­ing the new SJVC cam­pus in Porter­ville dur­ing its rib­bon cut­ting cer­e­mony Wed­nes­day.

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