Founded in 2004, Folsom Lake College (FLC) is one of California’s newest community colleges. The college is the fourth member of the Los Rios Community College District, a massive network serving roughly 85,000 students in central California. The school also administers the El Dorado Center in Placerville and the Rancho Cordova Center near downtown Sacramento.
The academic programs include over 30 associate’s degrees and 30 certificates. The curriculum is divided into the following units:
- Business, Library Science and Information Technology
- Languages and Literature
- Math, Science and Engineering
- Physical Education and Career Technical Education
- Social and Behavioral Sciences and Humanities
- Visual and Performing Arts
- General Education
The natural resources program of study lays the foundation for future study in the fields of ecology, resource management and conservation. All courses in the program transfer to any University of California or California State schools. With an abundance of state and national parks and wilderness area, the career potential of this academic program is promising.
Journalism courses are popular in the department of visual and performing arts. These courses detail the history and evolution of print journalism up to and including desktop publishing. Students can enroll in a journalism independent study course and effectively write their own syllabus.
The field of economics presents students with a wide variety of future career options. Budget analyst, labor economist, accountant and arbitrator are just some of the potential job titles that are filled by economics graduates. Both for-profit and non-profit organizations rely on economists to chart the course of their fiscal decisions.
Numerous classes are offered online through its eLearning portal. Students planning to enroll in a distance education course should be certain that their hardware and software are up to the task.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The basic requirements for full admission include the possession of a high-school diploma or GED. Prospective students can complete the application online. College entrance exams, such as the SAT or ACT, are not required. However, students are advised to sit for placement exams in English, reading and math. These exams indicate which general education courses a student may enroll in. Low scores may necessitate remedial coursework, but no student will be denied admission simply because of test scores.
Students who have completed college work at another institution must forward official transcripts to the Office of Admissions and Registration. Transfer of credits is handled on a case-by-case basis. In all other respects, the process of enrolling is no different for transfer applicants than high-school applicants.
Because international students are ineligible for many types of financial aid, proof of financial responsibility must be presented with all international applications. The applicant must show that they can fund the entire amount of their two-year program. International applicants must also hold the appropriate student visa.
All students interested in receiving financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. The FAFSA can be filled out online, which is the fastest process, or mailed in as a paper application. Information contained on the application will be used to estimate the student’s expected family contribution (EFC). When the EFC falls short of the total cost of education, an aid package will be generated to help the student make ends meet. Any financial aid awards are first applied to the student’s bill. An award package that exceeds the cost of attendance will result in a refund to the student.
Grants represent gift monies that do not have to be repaid. The federal government awards the Pell Grant and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant to students with demonstrated financial need. Cal Grants are a set of programs offered by the state of California. Cal Grant B covers fees and incidental expenses for eligible undergraduates, while Cal Grant C goes toward actual tuition costs. High-achieving students are eligible for Academic Competitiveness Grants, awarded over and above any need-based grant payouts.
Federal Work-Study programs allow students to earn money while building job experience. The number of these jobs are limited, and students must have their admissions file completed before asking for an interview. The school’s website lists departments and offices currently seeking student workers.
The Los Rios Community College District offers many scholarships, thanks to the generosity of alumni and the charity of local organizations. The Folsom Lake College bookstore awards 12 book scholarships each year by way of a drawing. The winners receive a voucher for in-store credit. External scholarships are available from countless sources. Students investigating outside sources of funding are cautioned to be wary, as Internet scam artists often pose as scholarship information centers.
Stafford Loans from the federal government are non-need based. Yearly limits are based upon the student’s academic classification. Independent students have higher loan limits than dependents students. After leaving school or graduating, borrowers have a minimum six month grace period before repayment must begin. Loans are considered a last resort for community college students and should only be taken out when other sources of funding have been exhausted.
Student Financial Aid Details
Nearly 10,000 undergraduates take classes here. About half of those students qualify as non-traditional, being 25 years of age or older. A third all students identify as members of a minority group. While there are no college-affiliated housing options, FLC does make available several dining options on the main campus. The Campus Dish provides meals, while Java City and the Falcon’s Roost offer a laid-back atmosphere with a variety of food and beverage choices. Hours of operation may vary from one semester to the next.
In 2011, the Folsom Lake Visual and Performing Arts Center opened to the public. The 42 million dollar facility includes an 850 seat main theater hall, a 200 seat city stage and a 100 seat recital hall. The center was funded primarily from district and state bonds.
Th Main Library, along with the El Dorado Center Library, offer a range of services to students, faculty and staff. An online catalog allows searchers to identify needed materials before setting foot in the library. Research assistance services are available in person, by email or over the phone. The course Library 318 acquaints students with the organization and function of libraries and information centers. One of the library’s missions is to train all graduates in the careful selection and appraisal of information, especially that which is communicated through modern media.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The Falcons wear teal and black as their official team colors. Intercollegiate sports got their start here in 2010, with the introduction of tennis and golf teams for both men and women. The college plans to add many more sports in the near future, as new sports facilities are constructed. Basketball, soccer, volleyball and baseball are some of the sports that will soon be offered.
More than 250 faculty members deliver course content at this school, with over half of them working only part-time. The student to faculty ratio is 32 to 1. Because community colleges concentrate so heavily on general education courses, the importance of that ratio is diminished relative to four-year schools.
The Western Association of Colleges and Schools has given FLC its seal of approval by accrediting the institution from the beginning.
Josh is a full-time professional writer and organic farmer who lives in rural Kentucky.