FVCC students return to campus

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Students study inside the library at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell on Wednesday, Nov. 29. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

It’s back-to-school time for Flathead Valley Community College and students are making their way back to campus for the fall semester, which begins Wednesday.

FVCC President Jane Karas said this school year will bring new opportunities, including the completion of the new library and learning commons and the addition of the new Medical Lab Technology program.

Construction on the library is in full swing in the back area of the Rebecca Chaney Broussard Center, but it will not affect other buildings, classes or parking on campus.

“We are looking forward to the beginning of fall semester and welcoming all of our students to campus,” Karas said.

Ben Fisher, 18, will return for his second year in the school’s engineering program.

“Last year was absolutely amazing. The professors here are truly astounding,” he said. “I love this college just because the professors, really, they’ll help you out. They care that you do well.”

The Columbia Falls resident said the 77-credit requirement for the engineering program will require him to spend three years at FVCC rather than the traditional two, but Fisher doesn’t mind. He plans to later transfer to Montana State University to obtain a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. His goal is to have a career in the aerospace industry.

Despite his busy schedule, Fisher has found time to enjoy an aerial drone photography class and benefited from the math and science center when his schedule became overwhelming.

Fisher said he commutes from his home in Columbia Falls, but many nonlocal students opted to live in the dorms on campus, which opened last fall.

The dorms have already reached full capacity, and the waiting list is filling up according to FVCC Public Relations Official Jill Siegmund.

Not all hoping to take advantage of the opportunities at FVCC need the credits or the housing, however.

Non-traditional students Andrew Housman, 32, and Jose Villalobos, 28, of Whitefish work in the insulation and construction industry, but visited the college campus Friday to scope out their options for broadening their skills and education through non-credit courses.

“I already have a solid career, but I’m just looking to maybe look for an exit plan, or look for something different. Maybe take a few non-credit courses and grow some brains,” Housman said with a laugh.

Housman was considering taking some business, marketing, or web design courses to help enhance his current business strategies, better himself and meet new people.

“It’s kind of a college that has a lot of evening classes and non-traditional students. I would be one of those, you know, learning how to better myself and grow my business or grow another one,” Housman said.

Villalobos, Housman’s colleague, said he was more curious as to what the college had to offer him and hoped to use the day to explore those options.

Classes begin Wednesday, but students may still register until Sept. 5. For information visit https://www.fvcc.edu/student-admissions/registration/.

Reporter Mary Cloud Taylor can be reached at 758-4459 or mtaylor@dailyinterlake.com.

Week of Welcome

• Today — Move-in day at the Founders Hall dorm is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Tuesday — New student orientation will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Arts and Technology Building community room and room 139.

A free barbecue is planned from noon to 2 p.m. on the Arts and Technology building lawn.

• Wednesday — A free welcome breakfast will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. in the Blake Hall foyer.

• Thursday — A TRIO open house is set from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Learning Resource Center, room 130. Light refreshments will be provided.

A student organizations fair will be held at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the commons in front of Blake Hall.

MT Souls will perform live from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the arboretum behind Blake Hall.

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