Thousands of students flocked to central San Joaquin Valley community colleges and centers Monday for the first day of the fall semester.
Reedley College held an opening day ceremony on Aug. 11 to celebrate its 90th anniversary. Around 10,400 students are expected to enroll at Reedley and its satellite centers in Oakhurst and Madera. Exact enrollment numbers vary as students add and drop courses in the first few weeks of each semester.
Monday marks the beginning of a new agricultural business program at Madera Community College Center. It is offering two courses in the field.
Fresno City College, which began in 1910 with 20 students, will likely have more than 24,000 students this semester. Fall enrollment numbers grew from just under 23,000 in 2014 to 23,680 in 2015, and similar growth is expected in 2016. The college has increased the number of afternoon and night classes available, including adding an evening course for the auto body and collision repair program.
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This semester will be the first for Fresno City under new president Carole Goldsmith. The former West Hills College Coalinga president took over on Aug. 1.
Fresno City’s central hub, the Old Administration Building, is also celebrating a birthday this year: The building will officially be 100 years old in November.
Clovis Community College also has a new leader in Lori Bennett, who took over in July. She inherits California’s newest community college, which saw an enrollment increase from 6,668 in fall 2015 to 7,094 this year.
Clovis Community unveiled a new mascot, a sky-blue bull for its Clovis Crush moniker. About 400 new students attended Crush Days, a new orientation event, last week.
The Clovis Crush men and women’s soccer teams will start their first seasons next month. Both will play College of the Siskiyous on Sept. 6.