Sierra College: Economic education on a new "green" campus
October 9, 2008
Parents and students from Incline Village, Tahoe and Truckee flocked to College Night Tuesday, Oct. 7 in the Truckee High School cafeteria. More than 30 colleges were present with academic information and attention-getting schwag. The area-wide event, sponsored by Sierra College, was a fine barometer of interest for the American dream a college education.The people want it. And they can get it here in Truckee. The Tahoe Truckee campus of Sierra College, a longtime resource for curriculum directly oriented to transfer to the CSU and UC systems, meeting the needs of workforce training, and lifelong learning is moving to new digs.From night classes at Truckee High School, to a place in the Pioneer Center, the Tahoe Truckee Sierra College McIver Hill campus is ready to open its doors.Sierra College officials invite the public to attend a Grand Opening Celebration, Saturday, Oct. 11. After nearly four years of planning, design and construction, the 28,000 square-foot green building will be revealed.We offer education across the board. From high school students and academic enrichment, to general credits for transfer to the UC system, to out-of-state students looking for affordable credits, said Cindy Flores, Sierra College counselor during College Night. Weve lived here for 27 years. Its so exciting, everyone I have spoken to is excited.Evidenced by the crowd gathered at the Sierra College Mechatronics booth, students are excited, too. Mechatronics prepares people for good jobs in technology, said Marshall Lewis, Mechatronics program coordinator. There is a dirth of technicians, and its only going to get worse as the baby boomers retire a 20 to 30 percent drop in trained technicians.What, you ask, is Mechatronics? Its a skill that leads to positions in the ski industry, golf courses, hotels and public utilities. Through Sierra Colleges Mechatronics course, you come out with a skills certificate and nine credits. Its a good way to save money on general education credits and build skills, said Flores. Were hoping a lot of our local students stay in the area to attend. So many go away, and after a semester come back.Who wouldnt want to stay? The new campus is nearly complete with doors open for class Monday, Oct. 13.Visitors and students will enter a space that takes full advantage of natural light, is built using recycled materials, has excellent indoor air quality and is very energy efficient, said Rob Koster, project manager. Were still anticipating and fully expect to receive a LEED (Leadership in Energy andamp; Efficiency Design) Silver certification for the building. Instead of a contentious land use battle over condominiums on McIver Hill, as once planned, we get a state of the art green Sierra College campus that blends wonderfully with our town, commented Perry Norris, executive director of the Truckee Donner Land Trust. The open space campus boasts a public trail transecting the property with connections to Truckee, and a newly-placed pedestrian bridge over Donner Creek. And the surrounding recreational opportunities say no more.Ever since weve been enrolling out of state, whole groups of students found out its the place to be, said Flores. They are enrolling to get affordable credits, and ski.Flores recommends signing up early for classes, as they have filled up quickly in the recent past probably in anticipation of the new campus.More than showing off any particular feature like the open space and trails or the beautiful new green building, Im looking forward to greeting the public that day Oct. 11 will be a great day to celebrate! said Sierra Colleges Interim Dean, Kurt Heisinger.
Tahoe-Truckee Campus Sierra CollegeCommunity Open HouseSaturday, Oct. 119 to 11 a.m.11001 College Trail, TruckeeFor information, call (530) 550-2225www.sierracollege.edu
Sierra College was officially founded in 1936 and is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Transfer students from Sierra College do better academically than students who began as freshman at those same universities. Sierra College has agreements with 11 top universities throughout California, allowing students guaranteed admission to transfer as juniors.