West is part of the accredited California Community Colleges system that powers the California workforce and opens doors to higher education for students from all walks of life.
The students West serves each year reflect the broad diversity of the Los Angeles region, with a vibrant mix of Latinx, African American, Caucasian, Asian and other individuals drawn to the opportunities West offers. Many come from working class and working poor backgrounds, and most are the first in their families to attend college. Sadly, some also reflect another milestone of modern living in Southern California: Nearly 20% of West LA College’s students have no permanent home, and many are completely homeless – either couch surfing, living in cars, motels or on the street, constantly searching for a place to live. In addition, nearly half of West’s student body (particularly our transitional age foster youth students) report that they often experience “food insecurity” – that is, going hungry.
The Foundation and its board strive to raise the funds and awareness necessary to ensure that availability and access to a West LA College education is open to all, regardless of financial circumstance, as well as support the endeavors of the College’s leaders and educators as they further build institutional capability and excellence by:
- Becoming an environmentally sustainable campus that also models environmentally-responsible behavior. Using our first-of-its kind Climate Change Studies program and our conservation certificate as an initial academic foundation, we seek to become a model for sustainable actions on campus and in the community;
- Expanding our Basic Needs Services to include the provision of food, clothing, and housing and mental health referrals to support our hardworking students and remove as many barriers as possible in their pursuit of their academic and career goals;
- Building upon our current unique signature Workforce Development programs, such as our Motion Picture and Television Training Program (Hollywood CPR) and Creativity Studies Lab, to act as a springboard to build “creative economy” pathways that directly align with and feed into the Entertainment Industry – the region’s second-largest employer;
- Instituting clear Guided Pathways — an integrated, institution-wide approach for student success, providing all students with a set of clear course-taking patterns that (1) promotes better enrollment decisions and prepares students for future success in college and career, and (2) integrates support services in ways that make it easier for students to get the help they need during every step of their community college experience;
- Growing our Allied Health Programs — with the bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene as a centerpiece—to create additional workforce development pathways in the growing and thriving medical field, while also expanding upon our partnerships in area high schools to offer academic pathways and access to college;
- Updating the footprint of the campus to reflect its role as a 21st century institution of learning and creativity, with the addition of two new buildings housing our Computer Sciences and our Motion Picture and Television Training/Creative Studies Programs opening in 2021, as well as plans for another new building -- an integrated learning complex that will form an anchor to our campus and serve as a hub for student life.
Supporting these and our many other transformative programs and curricula will enable even more deserving students to GO WEST. GO FAR!