PITTSBURG: Los Medanos College (LMC) is providing science “wet lab” classes at the college’s Brentwood Center for the first time this fall. Biology and physics lab classes can now be offered and students are flocking to enroll. Most of the courses are reached maximum enrollment. This expansion of educational opportunities at LMC’s Brentwood Center is a natural progression for students who are considering transferring to 4-year colleges and universities, and for students who are preparing for careers in the sciences, engineering, and several industrial and technical areas.
Previously students attending the Brentwood Center would need to travel to LMC’s Pittsburg campus to take lab-based biology and physics classes. Now they can conveniently take these high-demand classes closer to home. Currently no chemistry courses are offered at Brentwood, however they will be added when the Center moves to a new 17-acre permanent campus along Marsh Creek Road. That site is now in development and is scheduled for completion in 2017-18.
Los Medanos College is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and received part of a federal STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) grant to support programming in areas with a large number of Latino and low-income students.
Kevin Horan, LMC’s Vice President of Instruction and Student Services explained, “The new lab wouldn’t have been possible without the HSI STEM grant. I am grateful for the tremendous amount of time and energy that our faculty and staff have put into the development of the lab. The lab enables residents of far East Contra Costa County to more easily pursue degrees and transfer in STEM fields as well as more readily complete their general education requirements at the Center.”
Danielle Liubicich, an LMC biology instructor who is charged with running the lab explained, “We are very excited about the opening of this new lab as it is providing an incredible opportunity to expand our STEM major offerings at the Brentwood Center. Everyone at the Brentwood Center has been incredibly supportive as we worked to open this new lab to students."
"The space is wonderful for teaching", Liubicich continues, "and the students certainly share our excitement about being in this new facility. During our first class in the new lab, many students smiled as they took a first glance at the brand new lab benches and equipment. They were eager to start their experiments and definitely felt welcome in their new STEM home. The enthusiasm building over this new lab has been contagious and even students who have already completed these courses have been stopping by to check out the lab. I genuinely appreciate all the hard work of the staff and faculty who helped organize and prepare this new learning environment for our students.”
The City of Brentwood has been very supportive of LMC’s program expansion. The college has been working very closely with the City as the college is key for workforce development in the community and region, and in enhancing the quality of life for all area residents.
For more information about LMC’s Brentwood Center, visit www.losmedanos.edu/brentwood.