College of the Sequoias (COS) is a community college based in Visalia, CA, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It is dedicated to helping its students prepare for a career after graduation or transfer to a four-year college.
COS began as a subdivision of a local high school in 1926 and moved to a college campus in 1939. Originally, the school focused solely on helping its students prepare for four-year institutions. Following the Great Depression, the school expanded its mission to include classes and programs for ‘terminal’ students who hoped to enter the workforce directly after graduation.
In the latter half of the 20th century, a push for community engagement led the college to reach out in more ways than ever, through arts development, interactive community education, service activities, and more. From its original narrow focus, it developed into a multifaceted education hub for the residents of the community college district, a mission which is secondary to its transfer and vocational goals, but still fundamental in the college’s functions.
Today, the college has a campus in Visalia, CA, and an education center in Hanford, CA. It offers courses spanning 11 academic initiatives in topics ranging from language arts to industry and technology.
Through the Science Division, you can earn an associate’s degree in biology, chemistry, or mathematics. The Social Sciences Division offers more than ten different degree opportunities, including associate’s degrees in geography, history, philosophy, and economics.
The Fine Arts Division provides training in art, photography, communications, drama, and music. The drama department alone produces more than three full-length features each year, and the music and art departments both give students opportunities to showcase their work in local and statewide presentations.
Students also have free access to the Library and Resource Center. Library resources include a complete book catalog, a children’s book section, and access to online scholarly databases. Students can also attend tutorials or get help with assignments from the staff at the writing center or learning skills lab.
Agriculture students have the unique opportunity to work hands-on at the campus farm, which is located in Visalia and helps teach agricultural and horticultural skills.
There is a special program dedicated to helping students find internships in their chosen career paths. The Internship Program website has resources and tips to help you in your search for work experience, including a resume tutorial, links to job databases, tips on business and e-mail etiquette, and applications for different internship opportunities.
For students who excel academically, the Honors Program offers extra opportunities for study and growth. Honors scholars enjoy an enriched curriculum, a special one-unit colloquium, smaller class sizes, priority enrollment, and specialized attention from academic planners and honors faculty. In order to be eligible for the Honors Program, a student must have graduated in the top ten percent of his or her high school class, have at least six hours of college level classes, and complete the Honors Program application, in addition to other requirements.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The certificate program includes nearly one hundred different certifications. Accounting, Child Development, Veterinary Technician, and Fashion Design are just a few.
The Bridge program lets high school students enroll in college classes concurrently with the classes required for their high school diploma. Students who qualify can have enrollment fees waived for up to six classes. This is a great opportunity for students who want to get a jumpstart on their college studies or explore career opportunities.
Similarly, the Kids College Program and Summer Camp program reach out to local children and teenagers to involve them in interactive learning and education. Both seek to reinforce basic skills and abilities while introducing children to new hobbies and different career possibilities. Kids College classes run for one-week sessions and are broken up by age range. The Summer Camp experiences each focus on a particular hobby or activity, like architecture or equestrian training.
To apply for admission, fill out the web application and submit it online. Next, complete the online orientation or participate in on-campus orientation through the Giant First Step program. Once you’ve finished orientation, take the placement test and meet with a counselor to help plan your college experience. The last step is class registration!
The first step in earning financial aid is completing the FAFSA, which is a free application that determines your eligibility for different federal grants and financial aid programs. This can help you get money for tuition, books, work-study programs, and more. It is also a required component for many other need-based scholarship and aid programs.
Once you’ve filled out the FAFSA, visit the Scholarship Office to find other kinds of financial support. You can apply for Institutional Scholarships, which are sponsored by the college, or seek outside funding from third parties.
There are over 40 different student clubs and organizations on campus. You can participate in career-related groups like business management and the automotive club, or special interest groups like the anime club and the philosophy club.
There is also a student government, called the Associate Students of College of Sequoias. This is an opportunity to get involved in determining campus policy and interacting with the administration.
The Campus is the student newspaper, run by students for students.
There are no on-campus dormitories, but there is a health center, library, and dedicated Barnes and Noble College Bookstore.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student athletes are encouraged to participate in the athletics program, which has eight different men’s sports teams and eleven women’s teams, including soccer, basketball, cheer squad, tennis, and golf.
Students can also learn about injury care and performance enhancement through the Sports Medicine Program. Students who enroll in this program can further specialize their sports knowledge by focusing on physical therapy, athletic training, sports nutrition, or a number of additional programs.
Additional School Information
COS has an extensive community outreach program, which encompasses a wide range of opportunities for different groups of people. Lifelong learners or adults seeking an extra career skill boost will enjoy Community Education courses, which can include professional training, certifications and renewals, and various skill growth classes. Other options include fitness classes, crafts and hobbies, art, and personal development. Certain programs are also available online.