Gavilan's campuses teem with students as fall semester beginsby on Sep 8, 2017
During the final week of August at Gavilan College the welcome tents were up, Dr. Kathleen Rose, Superintendent/President visited each of the campuses, and eager students flocked to classes and caught up with classmates.
Theater instructor Cherise Mantia, right, answered questions at the Welcome Tent.
The tables were stocked with information, and students located classrooms,
counselors and support services the first two days of the semester.
In the newly renovated Welcome Center, students could meet with counselors and financial aid advisors. Between classes, they enjoyed the new Student Center furniture purchased by the ASGC.
Ray Lopez and Elaine Estrada stopped by the Financial Aid office to pick up their
textbook vouchers. The ASGC funded $5600 in textbook grants for Fall 2017, with
most applicants qualifying for the full $200 scholarship.
At the Hollister campus, students filled the classrooms and computer lab.
Julianna White, SBHS grad and first semester Gavilan student, enjoys the convenience of the Hollister campus in the downtown Briggs Building. A 10 minute drive from home, she can catch a ride with a family member or take the bus to class. Her Fall 2017 schedule has classes at both the Hollister and Gilroy campuses.
She is interested in working with children, and her schedule includes a Child Development class on the Gilroy campus. "It's big, really feels like a college, surrounded by lots of nature."
Julianna White, center, works with her math study group at one of the round tables
lining the halls of the downtown Hollister campus in the Briggs Building.
Her first day of school she met with other SBHS students taking the same math class in Hollister. While they did not know one another at the high school, they immediately formed a study group, tackling homework and helping one another after the first class.
White's older sister attends UC Santa Barbara, where her brother also wants to attend, so college is a family tradition. Her besties from high school attend UOP, and CSU Sacramento and Chico. She has her sights set on transferring to CSUMB after two years at Gavilan.
Aaron Duarte, a Gavilan College Supplemental Instructor Assistant/Leader, assists
students in the computer lab at the Hollister campus.
Tina Hudson returned to Gavilan after attending one year in 2009 before moving out of state. She works as a peer mentor at the Hollister campus, helping students navigate the newness of college: EOPS, CalWORKS, financial aid, counseling, the Career Transfer Center, the print cards and anything else that comes up.
For now, all her classes are in Hollister or online. "The Gilroy campus is nice, but traffic on the highways is always slow," she said. A full time student, working 24 hours a week and parenting a six-month-old daughter, Hudson loves the local campus.
"Because it's smaller, it's more personal here," she said. "Judy Rodriguez, the Hollister campus director, has been here 20 years and knows everybody's name. So do all the teachers."
Hudson travels to the Gilroy campus to see CalWORKS staff Annette Gutierrez and counselor Ozzy Zamora once or twice a month. A business administration major, she will have classes at the main campus beginning her third semester. In four semesters, she plans to earn her transfer degree. "The support from everyone helps make this all possible," she said.
Brianna Russell works on an assignment at a quiet study table at the Gavilan
College Hollister campus.
Russell, a SBHS 2014 grad, moved to Georgia after high school, working and traveling around the state. She enjoyed meeting new people, the water and scenery, but didn't feel she had enough support to succeed at college on her own.
Back at her parents' home now but still independent, she enrolled in the kickstart orientation to get a jump start on her college career. A liberal arts major, Russell plans to earn her transfer degree and explore four year colleges.