Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC) on Aug. 28 will open its doors for the 2023 fall semester, with a host of new offerings on the docket, including expanded career and technical education programs, customized transfer options, classes for high school students and continuing learners, and community events.
“I think this place is really magical because we serve the whole community,” FVCC Dean of Student Success Amber Paulson said.
Paulson said that this fall, the college is excited to offer an expanded course catalogue to both full-time FVCC students and community members looking to gain specific skills or continue their educational journeys alongside “top-notch” faculty “with PhDs and industry experience.”
Beginning this fall, FVCC’s career credential program is expanding to include Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC) Fundamentals. Students in the HVAC Fundamentals program, according to a press release from the college, are able to “learn the skills and get the experience to move directly into the HVAC profession before graduating from high school or into FVCC’s two-year HVAC Certificate of Technical Studies.”
“We are excited to be partnering with local schools and HVAC companies to advance the futures of our young adults while meeting long-standing community workforce needs,” FVCC Executive Director of Workforce Development Lisa Blank said.
Beyond learning valuable trade skills, Paulson highlighted the opportunities that students have to chart their own academic journey, both at FVCC and beyond, as many of them consider continuing their education at a four-year institution.
“We’re not just training people for the valley, we’re training people to go to universities locally and across the state,” she said. “The advisors and the professional staff look at where you want to go, and we make you a plan.”
For Paulson, the flexibility offered at FVCC allows students from all walks of life to complete degree programs while saving thousands of dollars in tuition.
“It’s really hard if you’re an adult and you have job here in the valley or a home here in the valley,” she said. “It’s not like you can just leave.”
Paulson and her team of academic advisors have helped students complete degrees at FVCC, and through transferring to four-year colleges and online programs.
“If you’re considering college but don’t know where to start, we are here to help you with all the details like financial aid, application instructions, tutoring and more to get you where you want to go. And our support services go beyond educational – we’re here to support your health and well-being as college life is more than attending classes,” FVCC Dean of Students Kelly Murphy said.
In addition to new academic offerings, FVCC this summer opened its new Furlong Smith Fitness Center, which includes a fitness area with equipment and machines, a yoga and multipurpose classroom, as well as locker rooms and showers. Access to the fitness center is free for students enrolled in six or more credits.
Paulson encouraged students and community members to drop by the college to see the many ways FVCC’s programs can fit into their life — whether it be pursuing a degree, picking up career skills, or simply taking a class for fun.
“There are so many resources here for our community and our students,” she said. “Come here, come talk to us. You don’t have to be a student. You can be a community member.”
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