November 7, 2003
INFORMATION: John McElwain or John Green, (661) 362-3494 or 3684
Interim University Center Graduates Nearly 300 in First 18 Months
The Interim University Centers educational institutions have granted degrees -- most of them at the graduate level -- to nearly 300 people during the centers first year-and-a-half of operation, illustrating the critical need for access to higher education in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Two-hundred-eighty-seven people completed their studies during the period beginning in January 2002, when the interim center opened, and ending in June 2003, according to reports submitted by the centers educational institutions.
In the first year, 140 students earned credentials, bachelors and masters degrees, while 14 others completed language training at English Language Schools (ELS). In the last six months of the reporting period, 133 more students were awarded similar credentials and degrees.
The Interim University Center is a temporary facility housing dozens of educational programs offered by eight partner institutions until a permanent facility can be built. The idea is to eliminate long commutes to distant universities by bringing the universities here.
Partner institutions include ELS, Chapman University, University of La Verne, Woodbury University, California State University Bakersfield, California State University Northridge, California State University Fresno and California Lutheran University.
The data suggest that the number of graduates for the second year could easily surpass 200 students. Increasing enrollments, coupled with participating universities graduating their first students after the reporting period, indicate graduation numbers will continue to increase.
But only to a point, said Tom Orr, a staff member at the interim center. The interim center has obviously met some immediate educational needs within the valley. But theres little -- if any -- room in the current facility to grow.
Construction of the permanent University Center is critical if we are to add new programs to meet those additional needs, Orr said.
The majority of enrollments and graduations are at the graduate level through California State University Bakersfield and University of La Verne. Chapman University will report its first graduates in the next reporting period, and Cal State Northridges first cohort will complete its program during the July-December 2004 period.
Meanwhile, other public and private universities are being recruited to join the University Center partnership, particularly in anticipation of completion of the permanent center. Dr. Diana Watkins, the centers interim director, continues to meet with potential partners to explore additional programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
For more information on the enrollment and graduation data of the Interim University Center, contact Orr at (661) 362-5474. Additional information about the center, as well as the educational partners and their programs, can be found at www.canyons.edu/offices/UnivCtr/