MJC College Awareness brings out a crowd
by Maddy Houk | Patterson Irrigator
Feb 01, 2014 | 293 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At a glance

- Guidance 110: offered one day a week over three week period gives students ½ college unit and puts them in the college system as an enrolled student. Students can submit their application packet and apply with their high school guidance counselor.

- Adults can apply at MJC www.mjc.edu and complete the online orientation and test for English math and reading. Adults can then call to meet with a counselor at 575-6080.

Pattersonites of all ages filled the Patterson High Teacher Learning Center to the brim while many other attendees stood in the hallway for the Modesto Junior College Awareness Night on Wednesday, Jan. 22.

Local folks came out to learn about career opportunities and additional classes that will be held in the Patterson community this spring and summer. Yosemite Community College officials have been working with the Patterson Joint Unified School District to bring 10 classes to the area by summertime.

Pedro Mendez, MJC Dean of Career Technical Education, Community Education and Workforce Development, conducted the informational session and provided a basic overview for classes made available to local high school students, parents and adults.

Mendez also thanked the leadership in Patterson for helping MJC open opportunities to neglected areas within Stanislaus County as well. Phil Alfano, superintendent of PJUSD, and Patterson Mayor Luis Molina have met with Yosemite Community College District officials over the past few years to procure a permanent MJC campus for West Side residents.

“Your school board is committed to getting classes started here,” Mendez told the crowd.

This fall, the local school district, city of Patterson, city of Newman and Newman-Crows Landing School District passed resolutions to open the satellite campus in Patterson. Although PJUSD is offering classroom space at no cost, MJC currently lacks the funds for staffing the facility. Schooling will begin when the necessary staff is available, which is believed to be during spring. MJC and local school officials plan to work with a team of West Side teachers to offer summer classes that could include such subjects as art, history, science, speech, communications and music appreciation.

One of the first classes that will take place is a Guidance 110 class, which enables students to learn more about the college and their classes while earning college credit.

Alfano said it was important for freshmen in high school to start earning credits while at an early age in order to have a “leg up” above the competition.

Two additional classes scheduled to be held in March are World of Electricity and Electrical Safety, both of which will be taught at the Stanislaus County education building on Walnut and Hartley streets in Patterson.

School board president Bruce Kelly currently teaches an MJC math class at the local high school and is glad things are coming to fruition within the West Side.

The (school) board has been asking for these classes for some time now,” Kelly said.

“It’s nice to see they are going to have a selection of classes offered here.”

Kay Silva Johnson, school board trustee, also attended the meeting and was thrilled with the turnout.

“I’ve been waiting for this,” Johnson said. “We’re really excited that we can offer classes here to students and adults.”

Tiffany Manuel, a registered MJC student, and Heather Manuel, a local mother, were among the hundreds of individuals attempting to seek information about the satellite campus. They were happy to find that the campus location will be within a few blocks of their home. Heather Manuel said having a campus in town will be less stressful for her and her elementary student, and will help ease the gas expense and strict time schedules for her and her children.

Although the satellite campus is a grand venture, the idea has been in the works for quite some time. The first instance began when Bond Measure E passed in 2004, which suggested an MJC satellite campus to be built in Patterson.

Measure E allocated $5 million to the Patterson site and $1.4 million was spent to buy land for the campus.

The site includes four acres of land north of Frontier Communications and east of Patterson Fire station No. 2 on Keystone Pacific Boulevard.

Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187, ext. 22, or maddy@pattersonirrigator.com.
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