Valley College could serve as satellite location for other schools

With sparse traffic on campus and low transfer rates, the push for educational partnership agreements gains traction.

By Isaac Dektor, Managing Editor

An empty classroom with computers in the ACA building on a Tuesday night on March 29, 2022, on Los Angeles Valley College campus in the Valley Glen neighborhood of Los Angeles, Calif. (Griffin O'Rourke | The Valley Star)

Initial steps are underway toward creating an educational partnership agreement at Valley College to host bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs from outside universities.

National, Laverne and Pepperdine Universities were floated as potential renters, though no official offers have been made with the concept still in its early stages. Valley President Barry Gribbons asserted that, if such a partnership does come to fruition, it will not be with a for-profit university. Educational partnerships are not without precedent as the University of Phoenix rented space for its nursing program before the pandemic forced Valley to close its campus. Gribbons floated the idea of leasing vacant space on campus at the latest Academic Senate meeting and was met with positive feedback.

“I do have a lot of experience with these programs and university partners and I expect that there will be a lot of interest,” said Gribbons. “We are likely a little ways away from the point where we will actually be offering classes of bachelors, masters and doctorate programs on campus, but the initial steps have been very positive.”

Older, full-time working and other non-traditional students usually take advantage of partnerships with universities on campus, so enrollment will not likely be affected. Not only do educational partnerships increase access for students, but such a deal would create teaching opportunities for Valley’s staff.

The goal is to fill facilities at night and on weekends, when many classrooms and offices are vacant. Generating more traffic on campus would likely have downstream effects, such as extended hours for the Monarch Cafe.

Campus Center, which has been closed for nearly two-years, is expected to reopen this summer and is being eyed as potentially leasable space. The revenue generated through leases will be reinvested into facility maintenance and advertising. Gribbons said that some of the money would be earmarked to add more janitors to Valley’s staff.

Community colleges are able to lease out unused space and reinvest the proceeds as stipulated in the Civic Center Act or through educational partnership agreements.

“Really the reason to do it would be to create access to higher education for more folks - another option for students to pursue bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees,” said Gribbons. “As long as a student meets the eligibility requirements they get in - unlike CSUN, UCLA and other places where it can be a bit stressful for students to worry about if they’re going to be accepted into impacted programs.”

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