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In The News

Santa Rosa Junior College Welcomes Back The Community

There's big news at Santa Rosa Junior College. Since fall, we've been restoring hundreds of classes to our schedule. Many readers will remember that during four years of the recession, we made a difficult choice to cut back on many popular classes. But now we welcome the community with open arms. We're encouraging local residents to reinvent their lives by taking classes at SRJC. Registration has already begun for spring classes.

The Sonoma County community rallied around us last fall to help pass Proposition 30, the 2012 ballot measure that restored more than $300 million per year in funding for community colleges statewide. That means there is money for us to offer hundreds of classes that are important to the community, at times and locations that are convenient for any schedule.

This year, our course schedule includes more than 160 career training certificates such as veterinary, health care, fitness instructor, certified nurse assistant and dental assisting programs. We've added more online and hybrid classes, weekend and evening classes, so students of all ages can easily fit in a course of study to help them reach their career goals. We've brought back favorite classes such as dance, painting and music, agricultural science, wine studies and fire technology.

We're responding to the changing Sonoma County population. We've added more English as a second language classes to help the immigrant community and others improve their language skills.

It all adds up to a great deal of flexibility. There are more classes at the downtown Santa Rosa campus, Southwest Santa Rosa, the Petaluma campus, Shone Farm in Forestville and the Public Safety Training Center in Windsor. You can study to achieve a degree, choose a vocation, add a certificate to your education or take a class for personal interest. Everyone is welcome at Santa Rosa Junior College -- your college. It is our mission to help people reinvent themselves, no matter their age or background.

We continue to keep education affordable. Santa Rosa Junior College has one of the lowest annual fees in the U.S. Our students pay just $46 per credit, which is less than half the cost of other states. Financial aid is available, and Board of Governors fee waivers help students in economic need (see santarosa.edu/bog). The Doyle Scholarship is also back, granted to every high school senior who graduates with a 3.0 average, applies for this scholarship and enrolls at SRJC with 12 units. So classes are available, and a great SRJC education or class is more affordable than ever.

We are grateful to our generous donors, alumni and local businesses that support SRJC. They, too, enable us to provide a quality educational experience for the people of Sonoma County.

And here's a little-known fact: high school students from Sonoma County can now take college classes at SRJC with no enrollment fee. That can save their parents and the students themselves thousands of dollars. Many of those students will go on to four-year schools such as UC Berkeley, Stanford, UC Davis and Sonoma State University. Many others will finish their one- or two-year studies and begin new careers shortly after completing their certificates.

Santa Rosa Junior College is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a 2013 recent survey conducted by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Only two California colleges earned this distinction: Stanford and Santa Rosa Junior College. SRJC was the only California community college to earn this distinction and was named to the Chronicle's honor roll.

Recent statistics show that nearly 80 percent of SRJC applicants to the University of California were accepted, the third highest UC acceptance rate from California community college applicants. This means our students are highly regarded by the UC system, including Berkeley. A recent survey showed that students who completed their certificate or vocational program at SRJC earn an average of 41 percent more in hourly wages.

So we encourage readers, your children, your parents and, yes, your grandparents, to come back to your community college. We encourage you to register today and reinvent yourself this spring.

More information is available at www.santarosa.edu/startnow.

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