OAKHURST – Oakhurst Community College Center has announced a change of name to Madera Community College at Oakhurst. The State Center Community College District Board of Trustees voted to adopt the name change at its October 6, 2020 meeting.
State Center Community College District includes Madera Community College, Oakhurst Community College Center, Clovis Community College, Reedley College and Fresno City College. With the name change also comes a repositioning of the former Oakhurst Community College Center.
The purpose of the change is to better align Oakhurst Community College Center under the newest California Community College, Madera Community College, which became a full college in July of this year.
Previously, as centers and not full colleges, Madera Community College Center and Oakhurst Community College Center fell under the umbrella of Reedley College. State Center Community College District Chancellor, Dr. Paul Parnell said, “When Madera Community College became a stand-alone College it made sense to officially merge the two campuses which serve the residents of Madera County.
The governing rules of California Community Colleges do not allow campuses with Center status to govern other campuses with Center, Outreach Center or Off-campus site status. However, now that Madera is a full college we are making the transition.”
The State Center Community College Board of Trustee representing Madera is Bobby Kahn who added, “The citizens of Madera County are extremely proud of the fact that Madera Community College is fully accredited and they appreciate the fact that State Center Community College District wants to provide easy access to all residents whose wish is to obtain a higher education. This name change is just another way we can show our pride in Madera Community College and Madera Community College at Oakhurst.”
Because Oakhurst was under the umbrella of Reedley College, graduates received a diploma from Reedley College. Madera Community College President Angel Reyna said, “The name change serves to reduce confusion and reflects our commitment to all of our residents in Madera County. The two campuses have shared resources for years and now they are officially one. In addition to the name change we will also reveal a new logo, which is currently being created.”
Oakhurst Center Director, Darin Soukup, has worked with the community gathering input during this process. Soukup said, “This name change is reflective of the many years of strategic planning and work to support Eastern Madera County and ultimately improve the college services available to our surrounding communities. We are truly one college, with a shared college culture, providing opportunity and access to higher education through two campus locations.
Our local students attending the Madera Community College at Oakhurst campus along with the foothill communities continue to benefit from the strength of Madera Community College as well as the State Center Community College District.
In the future, we will work collaboratively with the community in identifying new programs which reflect the needs of our local economy and the goals of students.”