West Hills College-Lemoore grew out of an extension office for the main campus of West Hills College in Coalinga. In 2002, the King County Center began the process of becoming an independent community college within the West Hills district. Accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges came in 2006, with construction of new facilities continuing through 2008. The town of Lemoore is a mere thirty miles from Fresno and a few hours from both San Francisco and Sacramento, yet the atmosphere of the region is thoroughly rural and agricultural.
The health sciences represent one of the most popular tracks for students at Lemoore. Students with an interest in nursing should enroll in the Intro to Nursing course so as to get acquainted with the rigors of the curriculum. Once accepted into the program, students can pursue the Associate’s Degree in Nursing. Professional certifications are also offered to quickly prepare graduates for a number of health-related careers, including EKG technician, sterile processing technician and emergency medical technician. West Hills-Lemoore provides licensed vocational nurses the opportunity to follow an intensive one-year program in preparation for the NCLEX, an exam required for all aspiring registered nurses.
West Hills-Lemoore provides several options for students wishing to earn a degree or certificate in the area of business. The Associate Degree in Business gives students a broad knowledge of basic practices and prepares them for entry level work in numerous business-related careers. Certificate programs in bookkeeping, business management and retail business management allow participants to quickly gain specific skills. Students who plan on continuing their education past the two-year degree should consult the catalog of their chosen four-year institution and tailor their studies at Lemoore to their advantage.
The Associate of Science Degree in Engineering demonstrates proficiency in mathematics, physics, chemistry and problem-solving. Several corporate partners offer internships to students working through the program. Students typically transfer their credits to a four-year college and pursue the bachelor’s degree. Among the possible concentrations for engineering students are computer engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.
Most Popular Fields of Study
West Hills College-Lemoore practices open admissions; anyone who meets the basic requirements can enroll. The process begins with an admissions application. First-time college students must supply high-school transcripts or GED scores.
Placement testing determines which levels of math and English a new student can skip over and whether any remedial coursework is necessary. An appointment must be set up to take the tests, which can take up to 4 hours.
International applicants must fill out a paper application. High-school transcripts in English should be forwarded to the International Students Program. Prospective international students also need to demonstrate financial ability to meet all of their first year expenses at West Hills-Lemoore.
After applying for admission to West Hills College-Lemoore, the next step will be to acquire a PIN (personal identification number) from the United States Department of Education. The PIN will be used to electronically sign the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. The information provided by the student and her parents on the FAFSA will help federal and state agencies determine the financial needs of the student. Students at West Hills-Lemoore can receive three kinds of aid: grants, scholarships and loans.
The Federal Pell Grant and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant are awarded to students with financial need. Additionally, the state of California offers Cal Grants on the basis of need. National SMART Grants are geared towards students majoring in a scientific or technical field. Grants represent gift money and will never have to be repaid.
A financial aid counselor or academic adviser can help students identify sources of scholarship funding. The Admissions Office website at West Hills-Lemoore has a listing of all available internal scholarships. Academically talented students are encouraged to seek every possible avenue of funding.
West Hills-Lemoore students can take advantage of the work-study program to help pay college expenses and build their resume. Generally a part-time position, a work-study placement includes funds directed towards the student’s tuition and fees, in addition to a biweekly paycheck.
The federal government administers both subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans. The maximum loan amount is determined by the student’s class. Eventually, loans must be repaid, plus any accrued interest.
For short-term emergency situations, West Hills-Lemoore financial aid officers can loan out small sums of money which must be repaid within 30 days.
Of the more than 4,000 students enrolled at West Hills College-Lemoore, over 60 percent are women. An ethnically diverse campus, nearly 40 percent of students identify as Latino or Hispanic. A significant number of students at the Lemoore campus have a physical or learning disability. Student services are in place to address any accommodation a student might need.
The Career Center at West Hills-Lemoore helps students transition into their chosen career. Resumé help, mock interviews, job search advice and career fairs are just some of the services provided. The Career Center also proctors the placement tests that all new students must take before their first day of class.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Teams for West Hills College-Lemoore compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association and are known as the Golden Eagles. Intercollegiate teams include cross-country, soccer, golf, and men’s wrestling.
Lemoore is a modest Central Valley community of just under 25,000 people. About 40 percent of permanent residents are Hispanic or Latino. The Lemoore Naval Air Station sits just outside of the city limits. The economy of the community is based around agriculture, though the downtown business district has proven resilient even in tough times. As with most locales in California, exciting outdoor recreation is never far away. Both the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Nevada mountains are a few hours’ drive from Lemoore.
The College Board. West Hills College: Lemoore. 2011. Web. 26 July 2011.
Gale Group. The College Blue Book. 37th ed. Detroit: Macmillan Reference, 2010. Print.
West Hills College Lemoore. West Hills College Lemoore. 2011. Web. 26 July 2011.