When Yuba Community College’s Woodland campus first opened, many district trustees believed that it would one day be capable of becoming a separately accredited college within the district.
Dr. Angela Fairchilds, President of Woodland Community College, explained that although there had been a framework for the transition from a Yuba College extension campus to its own college, it was not until the Woodland campus changed its name to “Woodland Community College” that the foundation for change was built.
The name change later became a symbol for re-starting the planning for the transition. Dr. Fairchilds stated that the name of the campus “was changed prematurely because you can’t just arbitrarily change your name.” But she added, “The administration at the time was allowed to keep the name because it started the planning process.”
Although the transition is not expected to be final until Fall 2007, changes on campus have already begun. Beginning January 1, the Yuba Community College District adopted a new organizational structure, shifting Dr. Fairchilds from her previous position as the Executive Dean of Woodland Community College to its President.
Other changes have included the addition of two new deans to the administration, and a new Learning Resource Center.
Faculty and staff are already busy, working on an analysis of the campus, identifying any strengths, weaknesses, and possible improvements to present to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Board of Directors meeting in June 2007, when it is hoped that the Woodland campus will be accredited as its own college.
Funding for the campus has changed as well. The Learning Resource Center was the last building to be nearly fully funded by the State Chancellor’s office.
“Now the way they fund buildings across the state at community colleges,” Dr. Fairchilds pointed out, “is that there has to be some level of matching funds by the district.”
This change in funding may not appear to be drastic, but as Woodland moves away from the Yuba College, it will also say goodbye to the drawn-out competition over which college gets its projects funded. Every year colleges request funding for construction projects, the problem is that only one construction and one renovation project are allowed per year, per college.
Unfortunately, Woodland, Clear Lake, and Marysville’s campuses had to compete over which campus would be awarded the funding for their project, as they are all campuses of Yuba College.
The U.S Census Bureau reported in 2000 that the population of Woodland was 49,151. But with new housing developments planned for the surrounding areas, the city of Woodland is expecting a major growth in size and population. Woodland Community College has followed in the belief that this growth will also mean a larger future student body.
The administration wishes to build what Dr. Fairchilds calls, “a campus life.” With the Learning Resource Center under construction, it is hoped that new services and programs will follow, expanding student activities and programs to help keep students involved on campus.
“If we could only have one more thing right now,” Dr. Fairchilds said, “it has to be some kind of food service facility for our students. No matter what else we plan, that has to be in those discussions.”