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Learning centers reopen, support adult learning

This fall YVC’s College and Career Readiness division announced the reopening of learning centers in Ellensburg and Toppenish — an effort to return to pre-pandemic class offerings throughout YVC’s service district.

Dean Marc Coomer noted the return to in-person instruction is critical for student success and the advancement of the entire Yakima Valley region.

“Based on enrollment trends, students prefer in-person learning to online,” said Coomer. “Physically being in the classroom helps build a sense of community for students and engages them more fully in their learning. Faculty and staff are eager to re-establish a teaching and learning environment that addresses students’ needs and preferred learning styles.”

Step Up to College Coordinator Lorinda Anderson said rural communities, like Ellensburg, Toppenish and Sunnyside, sometimes have limited access to recovery and certification programs. By having locations throughout the valley, YVC is able to share resources with students in the communities where they live, something Anderson thinks is important as part of a wide-ranging approach to academic success.

“YVC’s Learning Center in Ellensburg fills the critical need to provide those services to students who find themselves in need of our academic support programs,” said Anderson. “Additionally, when we think holistically about student academic success, it may also involve addressing other potential issues such as housing, food insecurity, healthcare, transportation challenges and access to mental health/substance abuse counseling. These wraparound support efforts and academic pathways can be far more easily accessed and addressed when provided within the context of the local communities where our students live.”

The small class size at learning center locations also helps instructors work closely with students, school districts and local agencies, tailoring services to the specific needs of each student.

“Students are surprised by the one-on-one support they receive from our instructors,” Anderson said. “Students also enjoy a very inclusive environment that is close to their home [and] surrounded by other students who are working towards similar goals, which develops a strong circle of support both inside and outside the classroom.”

The Ellensburg Learning Center, located at 401 E. Mountain View Suite #2, is open this fall Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The Toppenish center will reopen in January.