Campus Spotlight – San Jose, CA

San Jose CampusDid you know that our Carrington College California – San José campus offers more programs than any other campus in the Carrington family? We sat down with Dr. James Richey, the Dean of Academic Affairs and acting Executive Director of the San José campus. We were joined by Davina Hernandez, Manager for Academic Success, and Robyne Dorr from Enrollment Services as we discussed the campus, its programs and their extensive involvement in the community. The academic home of 465 current students and 65 faculty members, the San José campus offers 14 allied health, business, technology, and legal programs, ranging from Accounting, to Criminal Justice, to Vocational Nursing. The campus is an inviting and inspiring 53,000 sq ft learning environment and according to Robyne Dorr, it’s an amazing place to study and work.

“It really is a wonderful campus, with wonderful students and a wonderful staff! We do a lot with our community and the students take a lot of pride in that.”

The campus has a great location, close to numerous grocery stores and restaurants that allow students to maximize their busy schedules. Sitting just off the intersection of the 85 and 101 freeways, not far from the 87, accessibility to the campus is excellent.

“People come in from all along the 101 corridor. It’s a pretty good freeway system. We have students who come from San Francisco to the north, and from as far as Salinas, 50 miles to the south.”

Veterinary Technology is the most popular program by enrollment at San José, closely followed by the Dental Hygiene and Medical Assisting programs. But quantity doesn’t matter to James; it’s the quality that counts…

“The Veterinary Technology program group is the largest; we currently have about 120 students studying to become veterinary technicians. But from the largest to the smallest, we’re very proud of all our programs and how they interact with the community. It’s hard for me to single out any one program to be honest.”

The campus is located in a building that has been remodeled over the years as new programs and new facilities have been added. The labs and clinics on campus are highly rated by students, faculty and staff, and by the community as James explains…

“We have a dental hygiene facility where we provide a complimentary clinic to the public Monday through Thursday.  When you walk in you feel like you’re in a dentist’s office; it really is an impressive set-up with approximately 30 dentist chairs. It has a large waiting room that can be completely full some mornings – it’s a service that is welcomed by the community. It’s a win-win; the students get valuable real-world experience, and members of the local San José community have access to treatment that they might not otherwise be able to afford. “

But Dental Hygiene isn’t the only program that gets involved with local residents, far from it. There are numerous allied health programs at San José with community involvement. Not least the Veterinary Technology program which has a great facility that benefits both students and the wider community.

“If anyone needs help with their animal, our students and staff will do their very best to help them any way they can. We have a full-time resident veterinarian here, and a surgeon who comes in every week to perform surgeries in our fully functional operating room. We offer complimentary shots to cats and dogs, take care of spaying and neutering; we work very closely with Silicon Valley Animal Control. It’s a very loving program, they really do care. It’s a perfect environment for students to complete their clinical hours.”

Students in the Vocational Nursing program also volunteer their time to attend fairs and events whenever possible, giving flu shots, manning first aid stations, and more…as Davina explains.

“In addition to the numerous events our students get out to, we also work closely with the Gardner Family Health Center where our LVN students carry out complimentary diabetic screenings, and blood pressure screenings. We also work closely with a local Alzheimer’s center.”

The list of community involvement programs goes on…Massage Therapy program students hold open clinic days for the public, they provide chair massages for school districts on Teacher Appreciation Days and at local community events. Dental Assisting students volunteer their time at California Dental Association events, sometimes going as far as Sacramento and Modesto to offer their services and help dentists provide complimentary services. All this community involvement is a great benefit to the students, but it does take a lot of work from faculty and staff to arrange these numerous opportunities. But it’s worth it as Robyne explains.

“The students are very appreciative, they love it. They talk about it a lot, they tell us all the time how proud they are to do this kind of volunteer work.”

San Jose Dental StudentsAt Carrington we believe that the best way to learn something is often by trying things out; doing something first-hand rather than just reading about it in a book can be very empowering and exciting. The facilities at our San José campus certainly allow that. In addition to the dental hygiene clinic and the veterinary technology facility, the Pharmacy Technology group also has a complete simulation lab where students can practice their skills. The campus also has a full simulation lab for students in the Vocational Nursing program, including a range of fully functioning simulation manikins. It’s not just the allied health programs that enjoy great facilities, the business, accounting and technology classrooms are filled with computers that offer up-to-date industry appropriate software. Despite the excellent facilities and the caring faculty & staff, there are moments when students need something more, and that’s where Davina Hernandez, Manager for Academic Success, comes in…

“We have a newly formed ‘Student Success Center’; an area where students can come when they need some extra help. It’s a program dedicated to helping students be successful and achieve their educational goals. We have a lot of computer terminals where they can work in a quiet environment, and we have staff on hand who can provide one on one tutoring or just help out with a math problem. It’s a fabulous student resource that we are delighted to offer.”

James Richey, the Dean of Academic Affairs, closed our interview with a  statement from the heart:

“I believe that we have one of the best schools in the area. Why? It’s not just because of the facilities, it’s because I think we have great Program Directors and Instructors…and you can quote me on that!”

Our thanks to James, Davina and Robyne for their time. And our congratulations to the 170 San José students who graduated last Friday, watched by more than 2,000 family and friends at the San José Center for the Performing Arts.   Program availability varies by location.

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