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Student Government of Cerro Coso (SGCC) representatives Mia Guzman president (front); Mary Piatt, finance manager; CCC President Dr. Sean Hancock; Catey Boyenga, secretary; and Dianne Espindola, vice president; are excited to welcome students back to campus this fall. / Courtesy Photo

New semester brings flurry of activity

Cerro Coso Community College Natalie Dorrell–  Fall semester marks the start of a new academic year and carries a sense of renewal as students return and classes resume on campus.  Fall 2022 is no exception, yet it carries far greater significance following two years of pandemic-induced shifts to virtual and hybrid learning and working. 

At Cerro Coso, the upcoming fall semester will mark the in-person debut of exciting changes to the gymnasium, lecture hall, and classrooms.  “The college has been busy preparing an exciting and engaging academic experience that will help our communities thrive,” said Cerro Coso President Sean Hancock.  “As our students begin their classes this fall, they will see that there is an entire Cerro Coso community that is supporting them throughout their journey.” 

The semester will officially kick-off with Cerro Coso Rocks, a welcome back event slated for Thursday, August 18th from 3 to 7 p.m. in the courtyard between the Main Building and West Wing.  Open to the public, activities will include tacos for schedules, counseling assistance, student IDs, games, a photo booth, music, popcorn, ice cream social with the President, tours, information, workshops, and orientation.  CC Rocks provides an excellent place to meet new faculty and staff and to catch up with those who have been away during the summer.  It is an opportunity to get a real sense of what it is like to attend your local college. 

A series of workshops are being held in-person and virtually, to assist students with applications, registration, and financial aid.  Cerro Coso is here to help students make the most of their time at the college.  For information on programs of study, classes, or resources available contact the Counseling Department at 760-384-6219.

President Sean Hancock, who began his role as Cerro Coso’s eighth president in September of 2020, is eager to see the college campuses come alive.  “Since joining the Cerro Coso team in 2020, I have long awaited the day when we would all return to our campuses, interacting in-person once again. While we have experienced many challenges over the last couple of years, together we continue to stand strong in our commitment to our mission to transform the life of every student we serve. The start of a new academic year always brings a sense of enthusiasm and anticipation, but this year is uniquely special; I’m very excited to see our campuses come alive again as we welcome new and returning faculty, staff, and students”

The college is welcoming eight new full-time faculty members this fall:  Frank Guevara, Child Development (Ridgecrest), Richard Garrett, Academy Coordinator (Tehachapi), Paul Kuttig, Computer Information Systems (Ridgecrest), Deanna Campbell, Business (ESCC), Rachel Barksdale, Counselor (Ridgecrest), and Jewell Ludwigsen, Librarian (Tehachapi). 

In athletics, the college is expanding its athletic offerings to include a new cross-country team.  “The fielding of a cross-country program represents the next move for Cerro Coso athletics,” said John McHenry, Athletic Director.  “Cross-country is a natural fit for our local community.  Our current student-athletes make a significant contribution to our student experience and campus culture, and I look forward to welcoming a new team into the Coyote athletic program.” If you are a full-time student at Cerro Coso and interested in representing the college on the cross-country team contact athletic director John McHenry at 760-384-6148.  Women’s soccer will be on hiatus this year.  The past year witnessed major success for Coyote athletics as both the men’s basketball and baseball teams finished the season with high rankings.  “Adding the cross-country team is the next step in furthering Coyote success in the classroom and on the field,” said McHenry.    

Cerro Coso is excited to welcome students back beginning Monday, August 22, for the Fall 2022 semester.

Preparing students for life-long success, it’s all about the future. Whatever the career goal, a college education can help. The College offers a variety of Associate Degrees and certifications, Associate Degrees for Transfer that guarantee acceptance to the California State University system, and community education. “Whether you want to earn an associate’s degrees and transfer or want to improve your job skills, we are here for you,” said Hancock.

New this semester are programs of study in: Cloud Computing, Linux Operating System, Addiction Counseling, Digital Media and Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and the Child Development Associate Teacher Certificate taught in Spanish.  The College is also offering a new Associate of Arts Degree for Transfer in Law, Public Policy, and Society. 

Every member of the Cerro Coso campus community plays a part in keeping campuses safe.  They are reminded to take precautions, follow COVID-19 protocols, and most importantly, stay home if they aren’t feeling well. The Safety and Security and Human Resources departments are still monitoring positive cases and performing required contact tracing, and we’ll be sending out updates to the ever-changing protocols for employees and students as needed.

A leader in online education since 1997, students can also take classes from the comfort of their home or office through CC Online. A virtual campus of Cerro Coso, CC Online offers 24 accredited online associate degrees, 25 online certifications, and more than 160 courses per year. The College also offers high school students the ability to finish college faster through dual and concurrent enrollment programs offered through their high school. Interested high school students are encouraged to contact their counselors for more information.

“There are many exciting educational programs and initiatives to support our students’ success,” said Hancock. “Low tuition, no distractions, small commute, expert faculty, and friendly atmosphere…it’s a great time to be a Coyote and we look forward to everyone’s return.”

Registration is still ongoing and there are classes still open. From anthropology to welding, Cerro Coso truly has something for everyone.