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Our Opinion: SDSU-IV expanding right

August 03, 2001

San Diego State University-Imperial Valley campus' new $2.1 million grant will not only bring new courses to the campus but ultimately will create a more prosperous Valley.

Additional courses in speech communication, English as a second language, mathematics, writing and science give many Valley residents an opportunity for an education. More Valley residents coming out of the SDSU-IV campus will produce a better educated society, a society in which graduates from SDSU-IV can bring their skills back into the community.

SDSU-IV campus' limitations on scheduling and course allotment have forced some students to travel to the San Diego campus for some classes or simply go to universities elsewhere. There also have been limited opportunities for students at the campus because of the rotating schedule of some required classes. If a class is offered only one semester every other year, the only two choices for some students are to extend graduation to a later date or take the class at the San Diego campus. Cutting into such hours of travel may entice some people in the Valley who prefer not to drive long distances to pursue higher education.

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And then there's the need to fill the county's schools with qualified teachers. Countless stories have been run about the need for teachers in the Valley. A shortage of teachers, which forces many underqualified applicants to enter the emergency credential program, may be eradicated in the near future by the addition of undergraduate, graduate and teacher credentialing courses at the Calexico campus.

More students entering SDSU-IV, through whatever motive, only forces the campus to continue to grow. In past years SDSU-IV was surrounded by a stigma of only being geared toward teaching and business careers. While the stigma has lessened, there is still room for growth in terms of its degree offerings.

Already the campus is expanding, with an anticipated extension in the Valley's Northend. More money and additional expansion of the campus means offering a well-rounded curriculum.

Perhaps in the future, SDSU-IV, an upper-division, junior-senior campus, will be forced to grow into a university in and of itself, offering four-year university programs to graduating Valley youth.

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