Chapman University Expansion

July 14, 2008 8:15:41 PM PDT
Another university expanded its campus in the South Valley, marking more higher education options for students. On Monday, Chapman University opened the doors of its new building for students. Officials say Chapman's expansion is part of a growing trend for university satellite campuses in the South Valley.Brand new computer labs and classrooms await students enrolled at Chapman University's new satellite campus in Hanford. Campus director Glen Parsons says, "these students have the abilities, they've just never had the opportunities and so we feel we fill that gap at least to an extent."

Parsons says the university's enrollment has doubled over the last ten years in the South Valley. Previously, Chapman offered higher education classes at Pioneer Middle School in Hanford. But Parson's says they've far outgrown the space because of the need for a four-year institution in Kings County.

Parsons, says, "In part, there's been a vacuum here because they've been underserved. The community colleges have really stepped up and are providing more service to students here so there are more people coming to the point where they have a two year degree and need a place to go to continue."

Visalia city councilman Bob Link says the increased educational opportunities will lead to higher paying jobs for people in the South Valley. Link, "High school graduates or people that are out in the workplace that are trying to improve their educational background, it gives them an opportunity for a place to go to school."

Right now, construction is underway to expand the private, Christian-based Fresno Pacific University's new satellite campus off Plaza Drive in Visalia.

The university quadrupled in size since it came to Visalia four years ago. Recently, Fresno State offered more four year degrees at College of Sequoias in Visalia with plans to construct their own building on campus. More universities are also expanding in Visalia. Bob Link says, "Chapman has built a facility and I understand [University of] Phoenix is also looking for property to build a facility."

Fresno Pacific's new satellite campus is expected to open next spring. The city also wants to bring a gas station, several fast food restaurants and office buildings near the school.
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