State Assemblyman Rudy Salas tours SJVC’s Delano campus
Assemblyman Rudy Salas recently toured the Delano campus and got to see first-hand how a private junior college can directly benefit the community in the district he represents.
Mr. Salas’ office arranged the visit in response to an invitation extended by Sue Montgomery, SJVC’s Director of Institutional Partnerships. “Our goal is to reach out to everyone who is an elected official in all of our campus areas,” says Sue. “That includes 11 senators and approximately 24 lawmakers in our campus jurisdictions.”
It is time well spent for both California lawmakers and SJVC campus administrators, staff and faculty.
“We want to make sure that elected officials in our district know who we are, what we do and, most importantly, who our students are and the experience they receive when they enroll in our programs,” says Anthony Romo, Vice President of Enrollment and Graduate Services.
Although the visit occurred on a Friday when students are not on campus, Assemblyman Salas took his time touring the campus and talking with instructors from the Medical Assisting, Medical Office Administration and Business Administration certificate programs. “He was able to see the hands-on environment that our students are able to work in to build their skills before they are sent out for externship and job placement,” says Brandi Hammons, Campus President. SJVC classrooms expand the desk-and-computer model to include a simulated, equipment-appropriate work environment.
Assemblyman Salas had a lot of good questions about how students got funding to go to college, SJVC class schedules, why students seek their education and training at SJVC, and what specific needs the college meets. His tour guides were happy to answer all questions, as well as provide an overview of the impact well-trained employees have on a community.
“It was important for Assemblyman Salas to know that, as an institution, our goal is to reach students with education options,” says Romo. “There are not a lot of educational resources in Delano, and we meet an important need,” he says. “We want them (government representatives) to see what our students and graduates bring to the local economy and to business and industry. And we want the type of education we provide to have a platform so that the success stories of our students and graduates are shared and heard.”
Visitors and hosts enjoyed an important conversation about legislation in process to improve health care in the Valley where valley fever is a constant threat. “We have Respiratory Therapy programs on several of our campuses whose graduates will benefit the Valley by providing quality health care,” says Romo. “We need decisions made at the state level to get the resources to provide care for valley fever.”
SJVC has long made a commitment to communicate with legislative representatives and invite them to participate in new campus openings, graduation ceremonies, ribbon-cuttings and all major celebrations in each campus area.
“It is extremely important that lawmakers visit all of our campuses to see not only how we are helping individuals that want to start their careers, but how we are helping the community,” says Brandi Hammons. “We partner with employers to find out what skills they are looking for in employees and we incorporate that into our curriculum.”
San Joaquin Valley College wants to partner with all business, industry, community and governmental representatives who hold the success of its people at the heart of their interests and actions.