One of the fastest-growing community colleges in California is hoping that a new program will allow it to grow even faster.
Antelope Valley Community College in Lancaster, beginning this summer, will allow students to earn associate's degrees while taking classes only on Saturdays.
Enrollment at Antelope Valley Community College is 9,980 and growing by between 5% and 6% annually. The area's population is growing at nearly twice that rate, and college officials would like to see more of them enroll as students.
Students enrolling this summer could graduate by the fall of 1993 with an associate's degree in letters, arts and sciences. The degree would satisfy the requirements for the first two years of a liberal studies major at Cal State Northridge, the major transfer school for Antelope Valley College students.
School officials said the Saturday program is uniquely appropriate for the Lancaster school's students, many of whom attend classes part time while commuting to jobs in Los Angeles. Officials said the degree program is aimed at attracting students who are otherwise unlikely to attend college classes.
"We feel these are people that work in L.A. and commute two to three hours a day," said Rae Yoshida, vice president of academic affairs for the college. "They are obviously people that are employed and . . . interested in improving their educational experience. So I think the college would be really remiss if we didn't at least provide an . . . opportunity."
If the Saturday-degree program proves popular, administrators said, a second program that prepares students for entrance to the business administration major at CSUN will be considered.
College President Allan Kurki said the Saturday degree studies will make the college more accessible for students. "I applaud increased flexibility," he said. "There is no one thing that's best. You have to do as many things as you can across the spectrum" to attract and educate students.