Fresno City College President Dr. Robert Pimentel and his leadership team painted a rosy picture of Fresno City College on Friday morning during the annual “State of the College” event.
Several hundred people gathered at the Old Administration Building auditorium as the college honored this year’s Ram Champions — including the Sikh Council of Central California and retired Kerman Police Chief Jeff Golden — and produced a highlight reel of accomplishments.
- Enrollments were up last year after dipping during and after the pandemic. The unduplicated headcount for 2022-23 was 36,439 students, 7% higher than the year before.
- Enrollment on the newly opened West Fresno campus is primarily from southwest and southeast Fresno ZIP codes, giving residents a neighborhood college option.
- Both Design Science Middle College High School on the Fresno City campus and Fresno County’s Career Technical Education Charter High School, which have college pathways and dual enrollments through Fresno City, had 100% graduation rates.
- Students earning degrees and certificates grew 33% from 2017-18 to 2021-22.
- Transfers to a four-year institution increased over a five-year period for students of color. Hispanic students led the way, growing from 1,089 in 2016-17 to 1,409 in 2020-21. Fifty-four percent enrolled in a California State University, with the No. 1 destination being Fresno State.
Earning College Credit in High School
Dual enrollments are on the rise, reported Dr. Donna Cooper, interim vice president of education services and institutional effectiveness. High school students can enroll in college-level English, math, and history classes and earn college credit. The number of dual enrollment students has grown from 2,446 in 2018-19 to 4,551 in 2022-23, an 86% increase, Cooper said.
“And that is great because they get a little bit of a head start, a taste of what it means to go to college,” she said.
Fresno City College also is working with UC Merced to transfer students through the Merced Promise Pathway program, said Dr. Lataria Hall, vice president of student services.
“Our goal is to transfer 150 students by the end of 2025,” she said.
New Campuses, Buildings
Omar Gutierrez, vice president for administrative services, joked that he could have talked for an hour about new campuses and new buildings either just finished or under construction.
Both the West Fresno and First Responders campuses are open to some classes while construction continues; the new Child Development Center will open later this fall, doubling the space in the current center; the new Science Building is under construction; a new softball field opened “with restrooms close to the field”; and a new Welcome Center next to the new Science Building will provide a one-stop center for new and returning students for student services, he said.
The capital improvements are due to a combination of funding sources and not just from the college itself, Gutierrez said, adding, “We don’t do anything alone. We need your assistance.”