Mar 23, 2019
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South Valley students benefit from off-campus center

In a rustic portable on the College of the Sequoias campus in Visalia lays a piece of Fresno State history. For more than 20 years, students have sought guidance for their academic future from this facility.

The Fresno State Center is a joint venture between COS and Fresno State. Student outreach services such as pre-admission counseling, class offerings and a computer lab help students reach their goal of attending Fresno State.

Desiree Molyneux, an outreach counselor for the Fresno State Center, handles all the preadmission counseling. She said that more than 80 percent of the students she helps get to Fresno State. She also said that helping students pick the right courses is only part of what she does.

“Deadlines are firm and strict, especially with the budget cuts,” Molyneux said.

Students are given reminders of important dates, shown how to navigate the Fresno State website and are given a packet containing information about events such as Dog Days before and after the application to Fresno State is submitted.

Pricilla Gonzalez completed the nursing program at COS last semester. She planned on attending Fresno State, but decided on California State University, Bakersfield.

“I’m glad I have her [Molyneux] because I had a lot of rumors to clear up and needed direction,” Gonzalez said.

Rumors are half of the reason that Gonzalez made an appointment at the Fresno State Center. She was worried that South Valley students get second priority over Fresno students. Some of her classmates told her that there is a wait list. Molyneux reassured her that Visalia students are the target priority.

Shirlene Major, a coordinator at the Fresno State Center, said she hears plenty of strange rumors that plague students.

“One person called in assuming that if there was one family member that was already at Fresno State then another family member wouldn’t be eligible to transfer,” Major said.

Similar to Gonzalez, many students need to have things cleared up. It’s because of this that the center has such good foot traffic.

“On average our outreach students per week will be anywhere from 20 to 25 students,” Major said.

This estimate of students is calculated by the appointment cards used by outreach students and does not reflect other students that walk-in for help. On average, there are at least 720 to 900 students benefiting from the Fresno State Center each year, each semester.

If the budget crisis subsides, more degrees and course offerings are the next step to enhance the Fresno State Center. Molyneux said that the vision of the center has always been to expand services and continue helping South Valley students make their way to the Fresno State campus.

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