National City, California – The new two-story building at the Higher Education Center at National City opened its doors Monday, Jan. 29 to brand new classrooms, labs and anxious students. The building, dubbed the “Plaza Building,” includes four science labs, a medical assisting clinic, a large lecture classroom and a community room.
Also new to National City is a plaza, currently still being landscaped, and a second-story terrace that will serve as the center’s outdoor student space to sit, study and socialize between classes.
The new labs allow National City to expand its courses to offer in-demand anatomy, physiology, chemistry and microbiology labs. Biology Professor William Greenleaf has been teaching at the National City campus for four semesters, but this is the first time he’s been able to teach the microbiology lab, a course critical to many health occupation degrees and certificates.
“Being able to offer new classes here is very exciting, especially the microbiology lab,” Greenleaf said. “I didn’t expect something like this to happen because I thought we had limited lab space. This class is critical to careers like nursing, and the community here in National City needs a place where they can take these classes.”
Inside the medical assisting clinic, students get the full experience of becoming a medical assistant, including simulated waiting rooms and simulated clinical exercises and practices. On the floor above it, the corner lecture room can hold more than 50 students for large classes like biology lectures.
The expansion was funded by Proposition R. Proposition R also funded a remodel of the Center for Business Advancement, which houses four different small business development organizations.