Gina Sandoval wants people to know exactly what the Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) campus in Buckeye has to offer, starting with the distinguished faculty.
“Our faculty are outstanding and dedicated to providing a positive teaching and learning environment to all students and improving student learning and success,” said Sandoval, student services supervisor for EMCC Buckeye Educational Center (BEC).
She said the faculty, many of whom also teach at the main campus, are supportive of students’ success and will even meet with them before or after class to provide additional assistance.
The EMCC Buckeye campus opened in the fall of 2011 in the former Buckeye Union High School building at 902 E. Eason Ave. in downtown Buckeye. EMCC leases the building from the city of the Buckeye.
“The Buckeye campus was opened to meet the educational demands in the far West Valley, giving residents the opportunity for higher education close to home,” Sandoval said. “It’s an opportunity to start their educational journey without the struggles of a long commute or time away from family.”
The first courses offered at the BEC were eight weeks long running from October to December. Two hundred and three students enrolled in 19 courses that first semester.
The campus features six classrooms, each equipped with HP laptops for every student. Class sizes are small, maxing out at 24 students. The campus also has three student study rooms, testing areas, computer stations, an outdoor patio with tables and chairs, and even a student lounge where students can study or relax between classes.
General education courses such as English, math, reading, humanities, and social sciences, all needed to complete an associate’s degree, are offered at the Buckeye location.
“We also try to incorporate other courses, such as accounting and business management, for students who may be seeking a specific pathway, such as a business transfer degree,” Sandoval said.
She said the campus also received several inquiries for an English as a second language (ESL) class, so it started offering one a few semesters ago.
“We are working to build that program,” Sandoval said. “Our goal is for students to progress through the non-credit ESL program and move on to the credit ESL classes, and eventually come back to begin taking our courses toward a degree.”
The Buckeye campus also offers many of the same amenities as the Avondale campus, including access to financial aid information.
“The staff at Buckeye is cross-trained in multiple areas related to student services, including financial aid,” Sandoval said.
Just like the Avondale campus, the Buckeye campus is truly a one-stop shop for students to get a lot done in one location without having to travel, Sandoval said.
“Students can get admitted to the college, register for classes, see an adviser, get a student ID card, use our testing services, get assistance with financial aid, submit documentation, or use our student computer stations or mini computer lab as we like to call it,” she said.
Sandoval said she’s proud of the service the team at the Buckeye campus provides to its students.
“We are a small team, but dedicated to sharing what we know with students, teaching them along the way as they work through each semester, reminding them of their responsibilities, and celebrating their successes with them,” she said. “The best part is when they come in to apply for graduation and you know that in some way you helped them get there.