Our Carrington College California Pomona campus opened just a little over 3 years ago. In that short time, our Greater Los Angeles area campus has grown dramatically. Colleen Capitano, Executive Director, gave us a brief introduction to herself and the campus.
“I joined Carrington in 2011 as Career Services Director for the Pomona campus; I’ve been the ED for about 18 months now. I started my education career as a Front Desk Receptionist at a small school when I was about 20, so I’ve definitely worked my way up through the system in the last 15 years.”
So start by giving us a quick overview of the campus…
“Pomona is the first Carrington campus in southern California. It’s also the first California campus to be co-located with DeVry University; we share a 98,000sf facility. Carrington students have access to almost 60,000sf of that space, including shared access to the DeVry Academic Success Center.
We currently have 270 students enrolled across five programs; we’ve had tremendous growth in the last 18 months and we’re continuing to see that spike in enrollment. We hope to be able to start adding extra sessions to some of our programs in 2014.”
How have you managed to grow the student body so quickly?
“We’ve taken a real hands-on, pound the pavement, approach to creating awareness, by contacting local employers and community partners. We have them come down to the school, see our facilities and meet our students. As we’ve become more established in the community and more well known in the area, and as our first few graduating classes have moved out into the workplace, enrollment has grown.”
It seems like there’s a genuine college feel here, why is that?
“It helps that we’re in a ‘college community'; in addition to our immediate neighbors, DeVry University, we have Cal State Poly down the street and another couple of colleges close by. We try to give our students a true college experience while they’re here. It’s focused, professional, but it’s fun too.”
Tell us something fun about the campus…
“We have activities going on for our students all the time! It’s so important for us to keep our students engaged with the campus; they’re only with us a few hours a day then they rush off to their jobs or families. We really want to capture their attention while they’re here. All through the summer we did a bunch of fun events and had vendors serve lunch. For Halloween we had a costume contest, a pumpkin carving contest, all kinds of goodies and treats…so many people came…it was just great fun.”
It’s Holiday Season. What do you do for the community this time of year?
“We really focus on charity. We started ‘Casual for a Cause’ a few weeks back – a non-perishable food drive. For every item of food that students donate, they can opt-out of wearing scrubs for a day. It all goes to a local food bank that helps the less fortunate it our immediate community. We do it every year, and last year we delivered a couple of car loads of food items just before the winter break.”
I understand that the staff does something pretty special for students too, out of your own pockets?
“We know that many students don’t work while they’re going to school; so it can be a real financial strain for some, especially during the Holidays. We told them that if they were struggling and their family wasn’t going to have a Thanksgiving dinner, we would like to help. So this year we put together ten Thanksgiving baskets – a turkey and all the fixings – for students who came forward. We try to keep it discreet, and they’re very appreciative.”
Tell us a little about the programs offered at the campus?
“We have five programs available in Pomona – Dental Assisting, Medical Assisting, Medical Billing & Coding, Pharmacy Technology, and Veterinary Technology, the most popular program by enrollment. We have people travel from over an hour away for our Veterinary Technology program.”
It’s a relatively new campus, so could you give us a brief overview of the student learning facilities?
“Our Veterinary Technology lab is very well equipped with industry current equipment. It includes a surgery suite, dog run, and a veterinary pharmacy, and even has animal manikins.
Our Medical Assisting (MA) students have a classroom/lab with four separate operatories set up exactly like a doctor’s exam room, as well as a simulation theater for Medical Assisting students to work in. Many Nursing programs have simulation theaters, but it’s rare to have one exclusively for MA students. Students have manikins to practice on. They work their way toward working on live patients, but they aren’t intimidated working on the manikins.
Our Dental Assisting program has a terrific dental lab/classroom combo as well, with four large dental operatories each equipped with X-ray equipment and Dexter head manikins. They also have a sterilization area where they learn the importance of making sure everything is compliant in the dental world.
In the Pharmacy Technology facility, students input prescriptions into computers on one side of the room while others fill those prescriptions using placebos in mock retail & hospital pharmacy settings. They can compound creams, fill IVs; they go through the entire process, learning about formularies and insurance, what’s covered, what’s not. They do a lot of simulation to ensure they’re always being safe.”
If you would like to find out more about the Carrington College California Pomona campus, or if you have friends or family in southern California who may be interested in our programs, please have them visit carrington.edu/schools/pomona-california for more information. Classes will be enrolling early in 2014!
For comprehensive consumer information on our programs, visit carrington.edu.
Program availability varies by location.