Ameritas College of Brandman University kicked off the grand opening of its Palm Desert location on Thursday. The new college is geared for Hispanics who want to pursue a higher education but may have never had the opportunity.
"We know that there is a big underserved population of Hispanics that would love to go back to school, and we want to educate them on their opportunities," said Carmen Lamboy, chief academic officer.
Classes officially start this fall, and enrollment is open. Students will be able to earn a bachelor's degree in four subjects, and all classes are taught by a bilingual faculty. Faculty and staff say the new college aims to help Hispanic students overcome language barriers. Faculty member Massiel Perez says a bilingual environment provides students with an opportunity to achieve success.
"The confidence level is there because they can default to Spanish when needed, here. Instead of feeling the language is their barrier, the language is not; it's actually their benefit," said Perez.
Students who enroll and qualify for a scholarship will be able to receive 50 percent off their full tuition for the first year. Board Chair Sarah Martinez Tucker believes the new college fills a void in the community.
"We want to customize it to the unique needs of the Latino community, and we are bringing something to the Latino working adult and saying, 'Finally we are bringing something to you where your culture is going to be an advantage," said Tucker.
A financial aid workshop will be offered Saturday at their Palm Desert location from 10am-12pm.
The address is 42600 Cook St., Suite 134, Palm Desert, Calif. 92211
People can also visit: ameritas.brandman.edu for more information.