College students in the high desert appear to have an unquenchable thirst for education. And drinking from the fountain of knowledge promises to be easier with the creation of a California State University education center on the campus of Antelope Valley College.
The center, consisting initially of a two-classroom relocatable building, will offer CSU campuses a place to hold classes and test for potential enrollment.
Eventually, plans call for a more permanent facility at the two-year college. Funding is expected to come from $25,000 that Palmdale and Lancaster provided to the Antelope Valley Board of Trade to attract a four-year college.
The desire to attract a four-year campus to the Antelope Valley has been particularly frustrating, especially when the CSU system picked Fresno as the next university site earlier this year. But the relocatable education center could accomplish proponents' objective by showing university officials that demand is greater than expected.
"And what I'm hearing now is yes, they are real pleased with the kind of response they are getting," said Rae Yoshida, Antelope Valley College's president of academic affairs. "This gives them two years to decide, since that's the shelf life of a relocatable classroom.
"So maybe by '92-93, Cal State could start the ball rolling to put some kind of mobile unit on campus that would be more permanent than the temporary classrooms. It just takes people with a little vision."
The temporary classrooms are already used by Cal State Los Angeles. And Cal State Bakersfield and Cal State Northridge are expected to follow after renovation and remodeling are completed this semester.
"We're asking CSUN to wire the relocatable unit so we can catch the signal out of Northridge's interactive television facilities," Yoshida said.
Students would watch classes conducted at CSUN or at another location and ask instructors questions through a telephone hookup.
And the demand for higher-education classes closer to home is expected to continue growing, Yoshida said. Antelope Valley College, which now has 9,800 students, is expected to have 18,000 within 10 years.
The state university classes are also seen as an economic development activity.