Programs in high school that can help students with their college studies are important. Classes that can be taken in high school that can be used for college credits are even better.
Cerro Coso Community College is doing that at Tehachapi High School, as well as other high schools in the college’s 18,500-square-mile service area.
“We have the largest college service area in the California,” said Jill Board, president of Cerro Coso. “We not only offer programs to get a two-year degree, but also dual enrollment classes for high school students toward their college degrees.”
Speaking at the Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council meeting on July 6, Board said CCCC offers classes all around Kern County from Edwards Air Force Base, to Mojave, Lake Isabella and Tehachapi, and beyond, including Bishop. Cerro Coso offers classes for the regular day student, as well as high school students and evening classes.
“Our mission at Cerro Coso Community College is to provide tailored programs and services to the students in the communities and rural areas we serve,” Board said. “We demonstrate a conscious effort to produce and support student success and achievement through traditional and distance delivery.”
Board said they have a staffed office at the Tehachapi Education Center that is open from August through June.
“We’ve seen our enrollment grow there from 22 students in 2014-15 to 43 this past year,” she said. “Because of that growth, we will be increasing the number of classes we offer for all types of students.”
She said students at THS can take a variety of classes under the dual enrollment programs that have been worked out with the Tehachapi Unified School District. Students earn college credit toward their eventual college degree program. It saves the students time and money.
Board reported that adult education also plays a big role at CCCC.
“People need the skills to get jobs and we give them the tools to fulfill their goals,” she said. “We work also with both inmates and staff at the prisons in Tehachapi and California City. It gives everyone an incentive to be better.”
Board said the college is working on developing a possible bond measure to help upgrade some of the current facilities.
“Things like electricity, water and other maintenance issues cost a lot of money,” she said. “A bond measure would help address those needs.”
The measure still is on the drawing board, but she said the bond probably would cost property owners about $25 per year, per $100,000 of assessed property value.
“We’ll have more information in the future,” she said.