Located in Fresno, California within the San Joaquin Valley, Heald College-Fresno is a premier career college in the western United States. The college was established in 1906, forming one of the 11 campuses that make up the entire Heald College institution itself. It offers programs in healthcare, business, law and technology and is located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, an area with a growing job market.
HC-F is unique in its career-focused approach. Degree programs are meant to be short and efficient, providing students with a real-world, hands-on education that will lead to success in the working world. The most popular fields of study at the school are Clinical Assistant, Accounting, Business Administration, medical Administration and Criminal Justice, though many other areas are offered.
A strong emphasis is placed upon the brevity of the programs, with some degrees taking as little as six months to achieve. The availability and timeline is as follows:
Associate in Applied Science: 18 to 24 months
Associate of Arts: 9 to 12 months
Short-Term Diploma: 12 to 16 months
Certifications: 6 to 12 months
Many of the Associate of Arts degrees available can be used for transfer into four-year-programs (depending upon the requisites of the four-year institution, of course). A second Associate of Arts degree can also be achieved in six months, rendering students especially competitive in and prepared for the job market.
As mentioned, the school forms a part of the larger Heald College system. Heald College itself was established in 1863 in San Francisco, California as one of the first business colleges in the western United States. Today, the system includes eleven campuses in Oregon, Hawaii and California and thousands of career-ready students.
Regionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (an association accredited by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and U.S. Department of Education), the Heald College system is now one of the most highly-respected colleges of its type in the area.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The goal of the school is simple: preparing talented professionals for entry into the business world. In order to achieve this goal, the college encourages employment before students are finished with their studies. Internship and externship opportunities are abundant and provide students with the opportunity to work while earning college credit. Interesting and challenging work-study jobs on and off of campus are also offered to those looking to gain both money and experience.
Career fairs and on-campus interview sessions are held throughout the year, and students are provided with guidance and support in areas like resume-writing, interviewing and job-searching.
Because it is a career-oriented institution, the excellence and efficiency of the Career Services Department should come as no surprise. What is especially unique about the Career Services Department of HC-F is its provision of job placement assistance for life. In other words, the school promises to aid all graduates in finding employment from graduation to retirement. These policies render students quite successful. Many find employment in top companies.
HC-F is set apart from other schools of its kind by its unique admission policies. Whereas many schools rely on the sending of bulletins and informational packages to attract students, Heald encourages all prospective students to visit the campus itself. The institution suggests that those interested in attending meet with an admissions advisor for a free college planning session. These encounters are purely informational. More than anything, they are meant to guide potential undergraduates in choosing a program that is right for them.
The admissions process is composed of several steps. After attending an approximately one-hour interview with an admissions advisor, students are asked to complete an admissions application (the cost of this is $40 for American students and $250 for international). Though no ACT or SAT scores are required, students are asked to provide proof of a high school diploma or GED and also take an entrance placement assessment test. Finally, an admissions advisor must recommend the student to the campus director.
The college places a great amount of importance on the personalized aspect of its admissions process, making sure to point prospective students in the right direction.
More than 95% of students receive financial aid, rendering the institution uniquely accessible to a wide demographic of students. Grants, high school scholarships, government and private loans, payment plans and work study are forms of financial aid available to all students in need. The school also utilizes a program of employer reimbursement, encouraging businesses to financially support their employees enrolled at the institution.
The Financial Aid Department pays special attention to veterans and military servicemen. It provides educational benefits to veterans and dependents of veterans. HC-F is also a member of the Serviceshipmembers Opportunity Colleges, a group of schools working in cooperation with the Department of Defense, National Guard, Coast Guard and other military entities to provide servicemen and their families with a solid education.
Currently, around 1000 undergraduate students attend classes in the 38,000 square foot educational facilities. The student population is highly diverse, though many of the students are from the area.
The school is primarily a commuter college as the institution itself provides no on-campus housing. It does, however, offer free and plentiful parking to all of its students, faculty and employees. Students are also provided with a Learning Resource Center, including a library, which is open six days per week. Food service facilities and book stores can also be found on campus.
While the bonds formed among students may not be as socially strong as at other institutions due to its status as a commuter college, its business-oriented community provides students with prime opportunities for networking. Campus buildings are meant to facilitate professional contact among students. The institution furthers these business-type relationships by imposing a “Dress for Success” policy on certain days in order to promote professionalism.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The college is located in Fresno, California in the San Joaquin Valley. California’s fifth largest city, Fresno’s population is around 500,000. It is the home to several higher education institutions, giving it a youthful, college town quality.
This somewhat urban location of Heald Fresno renders it a perfect home to students looking to enter into the working world. As of late, Fresno has become known for its growing presence of business incubators that serve as resource hubs for business entrepreneurs and new companies. Students looking to balance both a working and academic life should have no problem with all of the businesses popping up in the area.
With famous alumni such as A.P. Giannini (founder of the Bank of America), Hiram Johnson (former California governor) and “Grader Vic” Bergeron (renowned restaurateur), it is not difficult to understand why more and more students are choosing Heald to continue their education.
Brooke Bright graduated with her Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She currently resides with her family in Northern Illinois. When she is not chasing her two sons around you can find her organizing something or reading a mystery novel.