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San Diego County Community Colleges Kick Off Fall Semester

Around 137,000 students are scheduled to begin the fall semester at community colleges around San Diego County Monday.

San Diego City College will celebrate its centennial during the school year, with a gala scheduled for Sept. 8 in Balboa Park.

Students at the various campuses around the region will find new buildings and other improvements, such as:

— a 128,000-square-foot arts and humanities building and a 62,000-square-foot business technology building at City College, along with a new clinic run by Family Health Centers of San Diego;

— a 74,000-square-foot social behavioral sciences building at San Diego Mesa College that's due to open in October;

— a 23,000-square-foot fire sciences and emergency medical technician training center due to open at San Diego Miramar College next month;

— improved parking lot lighting at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges;

— a 4,700-square-foot science building at the MiraCosta College campus in Encinitas that's scheduled to open next month;

— a 90,000-square foot humanities building at Palomar College in San Marcos; and

— a four-story classroom building, exercise facilities and renovated football stadium at Southwestern College.

"California community colleges, more than any other education system in the country, provide students with the opportunity to secure both an affordable higher education and the skills needed in an increasingly competitive job market," said Grossmont College President Sunita Cooke, who is also the president of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Community College Association. "We are excited to offer more courses and hire additional faculty and staff to meet the growing demand across the region."

Cal State San Marcos and San Diego State University are scheduled to begin classes a week from Monday. Instruction begins at the University of San Diego Sept. 3, and for the fall quarter at UC San Diego on Oct. 2.

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