Hancock College is expanding its offerings at the Lompoc Valley Center so that starting in the fall Lompoc residents won't have to commute to the Santa Maria campus to complete their degrees. 

For many years, the Lompoc Valley Center has offered Hancock students from Lompoc and the Santa Ynez Valley a chance to complete some of their coursework closer to home.

Now, students will be able to receive two-year degrees in business administration, behavioral sciences, psychology, math and science without attending another campus. 

"Our staff came together during the pandemic and said we can figure out a way to put together a degree plan so when a student graduates from a high school in the Lompoc Valley or even the Santa Ynez Valley if they want to come to the Lompoc Valley Center, they will be able to complete their degree here," said Hancock President and Superintendent Kevin Walthers during a Tuesday night presentation at the Lompoc campus. "That means no online classes, no going to Santa Maria, no substitutional classes." 

Over the last three years, 349 students have completed over 500 degrees through the Lompoc Valley Center, according to Hancock staff. However, in that time, more than one-third of those classes were completed at the Santa Maria campus. 

"We are seeing a lot of interest here. All of our English classes for the fall are full here; we’re going to have to add some sections. Our math classes are filling up also," Walthers said. "We’ve hired some new faculty to be here at the Lompoc Valley Center to be prepared for that. We want to make this campus more accessible and more vibrant and try to make it so that students don’t have to go back and forth to Santa Maria from Lompoc."

Walthers announced the additions during a presentation held at the Lompoc campus, where Lompoc Mayor Jenelle Osborne and Santa Barbara County 2nd District Supervisor Gregg Hart were among those in attendance to celebrate the campus's expanded role.

According to the presentation, the degree paths will be offered with day and nighttime schedules, and classes will not be canceled due to enrollment size. The Hancock Promise will apply to recent high school graduates who wish to attend class in Lompoc.

To learn more about the new offerings, visit www.hancockcollege.edu/lvcdegrees/.

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