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Title V

Portal to Your Future (El Portal a tu futuro)
(2009-2014)

Norco College's first Title V grant, “Portal to Your Future” focuses on the development of comprehensive Simulation and Gaming programs in Game Design and Game Programming. Focusing on Hispanic and low-income residents, this five year, $2.8 million dollar grant will also result in infusing computer simulations into CTE programs, and implementing electronic portfolios across all programs to increase student success.

Grant Abstract

Norco’s service area has seen rapid population growth associated with the relocation of high-technology industries and related employment. This has transformed the region’s original, rural-based economy into an expanding urban area. However, older neighborhoods whose residents are mainly Latino and lower-income, have not shared in the area’s growing prosperity. This is partly due to the shortage of affordable technical education programs that prepare residents for regional industry employment.

Norco provides programs in General Education and Career and Education Technology Programs (CTE) such as Health, Business, Manufacturing and a recently introduced Certificate and Associate’s degree program in Computer Game Art Simulation. Norco is the designated “Technology Campus” for RCCD, and the college focuses on developing technical education programs that prepare students for employment in the region’s growing industry sectors as well as AS degrees that allow for direct transfer. Norco has developed significant, collaborative relationships with regional industry professionals who advise and assist the campus in program development and on-going review and evaluation.

Norco has conducted extensive analysis of institutional strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities and has identified a comprehensive academic program with high demand and employment potential, Computer Game Art, Design and Programming Simulation, that is not available through public institutions in our region. California’s computer game simulation industry has expanded rapidly into the Norco region and has a predicated annual growth rate of 9%, despite the current economic environment. With attractive entry-level salaries, the industry has indicated preference for students with AS degrees, and has a demonstrated desire for diversity in its workforce. However, there is no public institution offering programs in Computer Game Simulation, and the cost of a private, technical education is beyond the reach of many Riverside County Latino and low-income residents.

In addition, Norco has experienced low success in more traditional CTE programs due to limited fiscal resources in support of faculty development. As the RCCD technology campus, Norco has a responsibility to provide student engagement strategies that support success in CTE classes, such as e-portfolios and the use of computer simulations.

Our proposed Title V Activity, El Portal a tu Futuro: Portal to Your Future, addresses these identified opportunities and weaknesses. First, the development of a comprehensive Computer Game Design and Programming curriculum will support employment opportunities for Norco’s Hispanic and low-income residents while providing long-term fiscal enrollment stability to the campus. Second, we propose to increase student success in the CTE programs of computer information systems, business administration, accounting and manufacturing through faculty development in support of two student engagement strategies, e-portfolios and use of computer simulations.

For more information, contact Gustavo Oceguera, Associate Dean, Grants and College Support Programs gustavo.oceguera@norcocollege.edu