Nursing students worked in smaller groups Monday afternoon at the California State University San Marcos at Temecula campus, practicing techniques on true-to-life patients as local officials peeked in while perusing the halls for a grand re-opening.
Two years after the four-year university began offering classes in the city, it now has a new home adjacent to the Sparkman Alternative Education Center and is offering more degree programs.
About 115 students are enrolled in nursing and kinesiology bachelor degree programs, with another 50 taking professional development certificate classes.
Standing in the school’s Kinesiology Lab, student Sasha Scofield, 23, said she moved to Temecula from La Mesa to enroll in the two-year program. The kinesiology program was impacted at Cal State San Marcos, she said, so when she heard about it being offered in Temecula, she jumped at the chance. In spring 2012, she will graduate with a bachelor’s degree, along with 23 others who started the same time she did. Another cohort of students will start in January.
Formerly of Santa Ana, 27-year-old nursing student Ana Nava said she moved to Temecula specifically for the program. She met her roommate at orientation. Nava and her classmates split their time between the Temecula site and the Hemet Valley Medical Center, where they do their clinicals.
“I like the area. Everything is nearby,” Nava said about her new city of residence.
City and school district officials, as well as university officials, hope the center will continue to attract professional individuals like Nava and her classmates, and that they will settle in Southwest Riverside permanently. They are also excited about the new four-year education options for current residents and those coming of age.[Gallery not found]
“Before you know it we are going to have 500 students here,” said Temecula City Councilman Chuck Washington during a grand re-opening ceremony.
The 15,000-square-foot facility is housed on the southern end of what was formerly Joan F. Sparkman Elementary School, off Margarita Road.
With the help of $3 million in redevelopment funds from Temecula, $200,000 from Murrieta and a $1-a-year lease from the Temecula Valley Unified School District, the campus moved to the remodeled site from its former location on Tierra Alta Way.
“I could not be more pleased with the partnerships. We should all be very proud of what we’ve accomplished so far,” Washington said.
The site houses five classrooms, a student lounge, wireless internet connection, a chemistry wet lab and nursing simulation lab.
Cal State San Marcos President Dr. Karen Haynes said the degree offerings were a product of the university working with local officials and Mt. San Jacinto College to decide which were most needed.
“Eleven percent of our students come from Riverside County. We know the demand is here, so it is just a matter of developing more programs (locally),” Haynes said.
The Temecula site currently offers an accelerated bachelor’s in nursing, a bachelor’s of science in kinesiology, a master of science in nursing, a registered nurse to bachelor’s in nursing and a registered nurse to master’s in nursing. The site celebrated its first graduating class of nurses in May, and expects another class of 50 to graduate this May.
A bachelor of science in business administration will be offered beginning in January, and a master’s in business administration program is set to begin in August. Information for both business degree programs will be held Oct. 25 and Nov. 16.
Certificate programs offered include human resources management, meeting and event planning, registered nursing refresher and supervising employees.
Lifelong learning courses offered include art history and religious studies, as well as others.
“We knew it would only thrive. So many have played a tremendous role. The excitement has just begun,” Haynes said.
She said future degree offering may include marketing, hospitality, public health care, viticulture and tribal management.
She thanked the Temecula Valley Unified School District for the very affordable lease, paying them in full with a framed collage of 10 $1 bills.
Temecula City Councilman Mike Naggar called it a dollar well spent.
“The district’s investment of $1 planted a seed for a four-year university in Temecula,” Naggar said.
Tim Ritter, superintendent of the Temecula Valley Unified School District, called the partnerships that helped in quickly opening the new site the product of a perfect storm.
Not the type of storm that is catastrophic, he said, but one whose influence will greatly benefit the community.
“We all benefit. There are no losers — we are all winners,” he said.
To get more information about degree programs offered at Cal State San Marcos at Temecula, visit csusm.edu/temecula or call 800-500-9377.
Maggie Avants is the education editor for SWRNN. Reach her at email@example.com. Follow SWRNNedu on Twitter!