Increased Technical Schools Enrollment

March 6, 2009 10:35:18 PM PST
With rising unemployment numbers in the Central Valley, many are leaving industries that have taken huge hits and hitting the books at technical schools instead.Lately the halls of higher education at the Institute of Technology in Clovis are becoming even more crowded.

Joe Haydock said, "A year ago our student population was just under 700 today it's just under a thousand."

At Heald College in North Fresno they've seen a 26 percent increase in enrollment since last year.

Pete Cercone said, "We are now up to 1100 just here at the Fresno campus."

Technical schools specialize in career training for people interested in medical, culinary, business, and technical careers. Administrators say the higher numbers have a lot to do with today's economy.

"More and more people are finding themselves displaced or about to be displaced so they are coming back finding out a college degree will make all the difference in the world," said Cercone.

The Institute of Technology is even expanding its campus because it's running out of room. Campus President Joe Haydock says students of all ages are using technical schools to start over in new careers.

"They range in age to just out of high school to 50's even in their 60, coming in to reinvent themselves," said Haydock.

Leann Rasmussen is now studying to become a Medical Assistant, after she was laid off from her job as an Administrative Assistant. "I have two little ones who depend on me solely and I thought to myself what am I going to do go back to this dead end job," said Rasmussen.

Rasmussen says receiving hands on instruction--is vital for her chance at a new career. She said, "I thought am I crazy for doing this? But that drive kicked in and I thought I want to do this I've always dreamed of doing this, so why not now?"

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