FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno City College is starting to see enrollment rise, reaching pre-pandemic numbers.
But FCC says there's still more work to be done.
Abraham Hernandez is still adjusting to becoming a college student.
"It was a quick change, you know," Hernandez said.
Fresh out of high school, he's starting his first semester as a culinary arts major at Fresno City College.
His parents both didn't go to college and now, he's ready to make a change for his family.
"I always thought to myself, 'Well, they didn't go to college and they're fine.' But now that I'm older, I'm looking at it and I'm like, maybe if I do have my degree, maybe if I do have a paper saying that I know what I'm talking about, life will go by 10 times easier." Hernandez said.
Fresno City is hoping more students like Hernandez will also decide to enroll.
When the pandemic hit, enrollment dropped at FCC -- especially with recent high school graduates and men of color.
Since then, the institution has been working to get those numbers back up.
"Our priority right now is getting people back to school," FCC President Robert Pimentel said.
Pimentel says this fall semester is showing promise.
They set a goal of increasing enrollment year over year by 8.2 percent, and they did.
"We already met those numbers and exceeded those numbers," Pimentel said.
The college is continuing to expand to be able to offer more for students.
That includes the new West Fresno Campus, which recently opened and is currently offering general education classes.
Career Technical Education will begin there in the Spring.
All of the expansions and efforts are in hopes of drawing in more students and changing their lives for the better.
"We serve some of the most marginalized communities in Fresno, so we want to make sure they understand the importance of education to get out of poverty," Pimentel said.
Enrollment numbers may continue to rise as short-term classes start in October. There is still time to register for those you can do so by clicking here.