Located in Porterville, California, Porterville Colleges serves the local communities of the central valley. A stones throw from everything, Porterville College lies within commuting distance of not only the Pacific Ocean beaches, but the Los Angeles area. Set amongst stunning natural scenery, this friendly, tranquil community provides students with an opportunity to enjoy natural and mountain recreation within the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, all while receiving a top education.
At Porterville College, associate degree and certificate granting programs are offered in order to prepare students for either directly entering the working world, or completing an associate in arts degree. After the satisfactory completion of such a program, the student is awarded either an associates degree, a Certificate of Achievement. Programs of study are available in exciting areas like accounting paraprofessional, administration of justice, applied design, commercial art, studio art, the child development associate teacher certificate, the child development teacher permit, human services, information systems, instructional aide, office technology, psychiatric technology, technical illustration art graphics, technical illustration photography and vocational nurse.
While studying at Porterville students have made available to them a wide variety of academic resources. The Library media services department holds nearly 30,000 books and archives of printed materials, as well as scholarly magazines, journals, and newspapers. Students have access to top media technologies like DVDs, CDs, and VHS videos. Students can access eight databases of online periodicals as well as 22,000 textbooks available in the NetLibrary, from either the Anthropology Library or the Health Careers Library. In addition to a wide variety of academic resources, students may use free tutoring services available from Porterville, as well as the Learning Center which provides English, math, reading, vocabulary and spelling assistance. An innovative program, Writing Mentors pairs students with strong writing skills with students in need of assistance on a drop-in basis in the Learning Center offices. All students may receive assistance in transitioning to a four-year college or university via the campus Transfer Center.
Highlights of the Porterville College course and cultural enrichment offerings include the music program and the campus art gallery. A strong choral music tradition, as well as voice, piano and guitar instruction are behind the musicality of this community campus. With classes geared towards all skill levels, students leave courses prepared for transfer-level musical study. The unique structure which houses the Porterville College Art Gallery exhibits not only local and student art work, but professional and semi-professional artists as well.
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges is the accrediting organization of Porterville College. Porterville is approved by the Board of Governors, California Community Colleges
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In order to integrate local community history with experiential student learning, Porterville runs a student program called CHAP, or the Porterville College Cultural and Historical Awareness Program. Since 2002 CHAP has allowed student members to choose a theme related to local history, and complete a year-long investigative research project under the guidance of Porterville faculty and staff. Highlights of the program include field trips, guest speakers, panel discussions and video and other presentations.
Prospective Porterville students must begin by completing and admissions application online. Then, applicants must complete assessment testing in writing, reading and mathematical skills should the student plan on taking any such course, earning a degree or certificate, or transferring. Next, students complete the student orientation and academic advising stages of the application process before registering for classes.
While the cost of attendance at Porterville is kept economical to encourage wide community participation, nonresidents of California should expect to pay much higher tuition and enrollment fees than residents. Students may qualify for a variety of federal and state financial aid packages including grants, loans, federal work study, and merit based scholarships. Interested students should begin the process of applying for financial aid by filling out the FAFSA online. Students interested in applying for scholarships should fill out an application available at the Porterville College Financial Aid Office.
Other forms of financial aid available specifically to Porterville College or California colleges and universities include the Cal Grant, the CalWorks Program, the Extended Opportunity Program and Services, Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education, and/or the Board of Governors Waiver.
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Life on campus can cause students to require a bit more guidance, which can be sought out through the Student Services department. Advising and counseling is available on both an academic and personal level from counselors, advisors, and faculty advisors. All students may access Career Services, for computerized career assistance on everything from job openings to resume writing. Those students with children may be able to take advantage of campus child care facilities if they are taking 12 or more credits, and the child is at least 3 months of age. Additional campus resources include the disability resource center, and the wellness center.
While on campus Porterville students have many opportunities for relaxing, socialization and out of the classroom learning. Whether just grabbing a bite to eat from Food Services, or participating in one of many student activities, there are plenty of chances to mingle and get involved. All students are encouraged to participate in student government, campus activities, recreation, cultural and social events all overseen by the Student Senate. While students are always encouraged to form new clubs, current Porterville clubs include the anthropology club, the Native American club, the Pirate athletic council, support on wheels, Phi Theta Kappa, and entrepreneurs of the future. Additionally, the SWAT Team, or the Students with Anthropology Training group is a special organization that visits area elementary schools to teach the cultural practices of the Yokuts Indians who once occupied the San Joaquin Valley.
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The Porterville College Pirates field intercollegiate competitive sports teams in baseball, softball, volleyball and mens and womens basketball. The Pirates compete in the Central Valley Conference, and are members of the California Community College Athletic Association governed by the California Community College Commission on Athletics.
Some club sports like Water Polo may also be available during certain academic terms or years.