DVC ranks high for adult learners

Supports in place for success


Marcel Scott

Rob Peters, DVC councilor goes over some academic planning with Putri Karania, 19, a computer science major. Services availableto students was one of the judges criteria.

Nagisa Tsukada, Staff member

Diablo Valley College ranked 12th best two-year college for adult learners, according to an article in Washington Monthly’s September/October edition. 

The rank was determined by a government-sponsored survey of college students over the age of 25 from over 7,500 postsecondary schools between 2014 and 2015, according to Washington Monthly.

Jennifer Tejada, a director of the Program for Adult College Education, said DVC’s rank is reasonable.

Among the criteria of the survey were: ease of transfer/enrollment, flexibility of programs, services available for adult students, the percent of students over age 25, and tuition and fees for in-district students. 

According to the survey, 35 percent of DVC students were over 25, which ranked 906 out of 1,178 two-year colleges. Earnings of adult students ten years after entering college was $44,300, which ranked 58 out of 1,178. Loan repayment rates of adult students five years after entering repayment was 72 percent, which ranked 125 out of 1,178. Tuition and fees for in-district students was $1248, which ranked 59 out of 1,178.

“I think that’s really good. We have a lot of programs that help all types of learners, of all ages,” Nicole Siverson, an English tutor at DVC, said.

Program for Adult College Education supports returning students who want to transfer. PACE offers returning students classes for transferring to four-year universities to earn a bachelor’s degree. PACE saves seats for the students who take classes and helps them prepare for their transfer plan.

“We offer a lot of hybrid and online classes, which means that people who have young children and need child care, people who work during the day, can take three or four classes during the semester, and not be coming to campus every single night of a week,” Tejada said.

Students taking online classes can take lectures on their own time. Flexibility of online classes help adult students who are busy or live in far from DVC.

Times for classes on campus are flexible because classes start at 8:00 a.m., and the latest classes start at 8:00 p.m. for the fall semester. Students can choose their classes based on their schedule.

Also, most on-campus classes for PACE are weekday evenings or Saturday mornings, so working students can attend classes easier.

PACE students should take offered classes to finish their program in three terms. When they don’t want to take offered classes, there is a possibility that they may not be able to enroll because those classes are not guaranteed. PACE is not flexible in terms of class choices.

Adult learners at DVC have access to the same services as younger students, such as financial aid, counseling, and tutoring.

Sarah Guzzaldo, an English tutor at DVC, said many adult students use a tutoring to deal with their classes.

“Sometimes they come in and they’re nervous because they have been gone from school for a very long time,” Guzzaldo said. “I think coming in just having somebody tell them that they’re on the right track or just giving them a hand with that kind of stuff can be really useful.”  Also, adult students often need time for “making sure they’re getting used to the school environment again.”