Enrollment more than doubles; child care, tech centers added
NOVATO – The College of Marin’s Indian Valley Campus has more than doubled its enrollment from 769 students in the fall of 2005 to 1,553 in the fall of 2009. Continuing this trend, opening day enrollment for the 2010 spring semester was up 16 percent compared with the same period last year.
“Dramatic growth at IVC is the result of several years of hard work to reinvigorate curriculum and broaden the range of course offerings,” said College of Marin Superintendent and President Frances White, who is planning to retire in June after a 38-year career in higher education, including the last six years at COM.
These increases have occurred despite the elimination of the Cal Grant program and cuts to Extended Opportunities Programs and Services.
[caption id="attachment_19059" align="alignright" width="432" caption="Site Supervisor of the College of Marin Indian Valley Campus Children’s Center Maureen Biggart works with Lyla Magana on an art project in the new infant and toddler child care center. "][/caption]
The IVC campus, located at 1800 Ignacio Blvd., recently opened a free infant and toddler child care center with 16 fully funded Head Start slots for children from birth up to age three with priority going to low-income student families. This program will run year round with no cost to eligible families.
The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act provided grants to refurbish and reopen a child care facility on the IVC campus that was shuttered several years ago for lack of funds.
“The infant and toddler center gives people a chance to move out of poverty and be able to have a good job that supports their families,” said Lyda Beardsley, director of child care programs at COM. “It also means that psychology, nursing and child development students will have access to on-campus observation and training programs involving infants and toddlers.”
The new Early Head Start infant and toddler care program is only the latest renovation on the Novato campus.
This facility, in the same building as a preschool center for children three years of age and older, is adjacent to a large classroom that will eventually serve as a child care learning hub for College of Marin students.
Parent fees for the preschool center are subsidized by the California Department of Education and the Marin Education Fund and are on a sliding scale that ranges from no cost to full cost, depending upon family income and size.
“In the midst of this unprecedented growth and facility construction, a philosophy of sustainability has been woven through work force development classes,” said Dr. White.
Evidence of this renaissance can be seen among students in traditional trade courses, such as auto technology and auto collision repair technology (a $30 billion a year industry), that have been working with students in machine metals technology and environmental landscaping to design and build alternative-powered vehicles.
This center will help students learn about the automotive future, such as electric power, hybrid fuel cells, compressed natural gas, synthetic fuels and bio fuels.