Thursday, July 13, 2006

SCC works to keep Solano County students local

July 13, 2006

SCC works to keep Solano County students local

By Susan Winlow

FAIRFIELD - Online classes, shorter courses and training in industrial skills are just some of the ideas that came up during recent forums discussing the future of Solano Community College.

A lot of students from Solano County go to college elsewhere. College officials want to find ways to keep students in this county, and attending SCC.

Topics at a recent interactive forum between the public and Solano Community College included ways to stem the tide of students attending colleges outside of Solano County.

"We received lots of valuable input today," said Paulette Perfumo, superintendent and president of SCC, after a meeting in Fairfield Wednesday. "Lots of thinking outside the box."

SCC is attempting to cater to Solano's changing society by offering customized training in industrial skills, more online classes and fast track college, which offers shorter courses and enable students to finish college quicker. The public also wants more courses correlating with Solano County industry so they can find good jobs within the community.

A peer-to-peer program where college students speak about the merits of SCC at area high schools and new facilities in Vacaville and Vallejo are some of the ways the college is trying to keep Solano County residents in Solano County.

About 2 percent of Dixon-area students attend SCC, said Roberto Salinas, superintendent of the Dixon School District. Most students head into Davis or Sacramento to attend school because in previous years the college did not make its presence known to Dixon students, he added.

"You need to market your product," Salinas said. "Solano Community College is not the name that they see."

Both Salinas and Perfumo believe continuing the student ambassador program will eventually turn the tide of students heading east for school.

"We need to combat the ideology that staying local is like (attending) a glorified high school," Perfumo said.

SCC is also contracting with the University of California, Davis, California State University, Sacramento, and St. Mary's College in Moraga to offer some bachelor's degrees in business, liberal studies and teacher's education.

Because the college serves a diverse student body in terms of age, goals and ethnicity, a workable plan to accommodate the students and the community is important to those putting together the final master plan in order for the college to become a more integral part of Solano County.

"We're really changing the way we deliver in a variety of fashions," Perfumo said.

Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or

At a glance

Who: Solano Community College planners and officials

What: Forums to gather input on the future of the college

Where: USA World Classics Event Center, 1525 Sonoma Blvd., Vallejo

When: 7:30-9:30 a.m. today, 7-9 p.m. today

Info: 864-7112


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