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Higher education comes to West Fresno with opening of city college satellite campus

The West Fresno Center opened its doors for instruction on Aug. 7, 2023.
Fresno City College
The West Fresno Center opened its doors for instruction on Aug. 7, 2023.

FRESNO, Calif. – Fresno City College is debuting its new campus in West Fresno as students kick off the fall semester.

On Monday, Gurminder Sangha rushed in and out of his office, making sure things were running smoothly. The parking lot began to fill up early as the West Fresno Center opened its doors to instruction for the first time. An open house was held over the weekend.

“I'm very happy with the opening and the support our staff is giving to our students,” said Sangha, who is the campus’ dean of educational services and pathway effectiveness.

The campus has garnered lots of attention. It’s part of a wider effort to help bring resources to underserved neighborhoods. Sangha said with the campus located near residents in West Fresno, the potential for higher learning is “right in their backyard.”

“Just by us being here, I feel that it is going to bring in a lot of attraction from other investors to serve and improve West Fresno,” Sangha said.

The campus offers courses in teaching, social justice, and public health — all intended to educate future community leaders.

“There will also be an elementary teacher education program that students will be able to complete right here and the purpose behind that is that students from the local community will come here,” Sangha said.

Sangha said students can get their elementary teacher education certificate from the West Fresno campus and transfer to Fresno State, then teach within the community.

The West Fresno Center also offers the Future Health Care Professionals program, which helps high school students in west Fresno easily obtain priority registration for the Allied Health Program.

Cassie Fang is a first-year student looking to become a medical assistant.

“I was thinking of taking online classes, but now I don't want to – since I like it in person. I learn better in person,” Fang said.

The campus is in its first phase of development, and will continue to grow as construction resumes. The Advanced Transportation building will be open to students in January.

The campus will continue to grow as Fresno City College revisits its plans with district staff and the community to see what should be improved by 2035.

Rachel Livinal reports on higher education for KVPR through a partnership with the Central Valley Journalism Collaborative.