Spring 2019 semester welcomes nearly 16,500 students to MSJC

January 14, 2019

The January rain didn’t stop Mt. San Jacinto College students determined to achieve their goals from attending classes on Monday, January 14, 2019, the first day of the spring semester.

For Rowland Chinedu, 20, of San Jacinto, the first day of the semester was the beginning of his last semester before graduating with a nursing degree.

“The hard work is paying off. I’m one step closer to achieving my goals,” Chinedu said as he already started hitting the books in the library on the San Jacinto Campus.

A total of 16,418 students were registered for classes across the MSJC district. MSJC serves more than 26,000 students a year at one of five locations -- the San Jacinto Campus, Menifee Valley Campus, San Gorgonio Pass Campus, the Temecula Education Complex and the Temecula Higher Education Center – and several off-site locations. The district serves 1,700 square miles that stretch from the San Gorgonio Pass to Temecula and from Idyllwild to Lake Elsinore.

In an ongoing effort to provide accessibility to higher education to the region, MSJC has partnered with the city of Perris to offer classes at the Perris Senior Center. The Perris Senior Center will also offer Freshman Composition (English 101) and Art Appreciation (Art 100) starting in March. There are several late-start classes available throughout the district. For more information about late-start classes at any location, visit www.msjc.edu/OpenClasses or call 951-639-5313. Seats are open in a variety of classes students need to transfer to four-year universities, complete their associate degrees or earn career certificates.

Beaumont resident Jocelyn Morales, 21, used the computer room at the San Gorgonio Pass Campus in Banning to get information on her introduction to psychology class just before it started in the morning. She said this was her first time attending MSJC and plans to study diagnostic medical sonography as a first step toward a bachelor's degree. She is also enrolled in English at the Banning campus. Morales said she loved the convenience of having a campus so close to home and was thrilled to save money on a college education.

"I was looking at a private college for a program just like this and it was going to be $30,000," Morales said. With the low cost of tuition and financial aid at MSJC, it will be a fraction of that cost "and I don't have to take out any loans."

Nursing student Tichona White was glad to be back in class on the Menifee Valley Campus. “It’s great to be back on the first day,” White said. “It is such a good refresher because (the holiday) break was too long.”

In addition to appreciating the convenience of the nearby Banning campus, Cherry Valley resident Ramona Rodriguez, 45, said she liked the atmosphere.

"They're so nice here. I feel at home here because it's smaller," said Rodriguez, who will be the first in her family to graduate when she completes her associate's degree in behavioral studies. "I've always wanted to finish school. I'm doing this for my nieces and nephews. At my age, if I can do it, they can do it," Rodriguez said.

Rowland Chinedu
 MSJC student Rowland Chinedu wastes no time hitting the books on the San Jacinto Campus on the first day of the spring 2019 semester at Mt. San Jacinto College.

Destiny Owsley and Tichona White
 Fourth semester nursing students Destiny Owsley (left) and Tichona White (right) check up on their favorite patient at the Menifee Valley Campus on the first day of the spring 2019 semester at Mt. San Jacinto College.

Jocelyn Morales
 Jocelyn Morales prepares to start her first class as students return to the San Gorgonio Pass Campus for the spring semester at Mt. San Jacinto College.

Ramona Rodriguez
 Ramona Rodriguez said having a Mt. San Jacinto College campus so close to her Cherry Valley home is helping her to realize her longtime dream of finishing her college degree. ​​​​​​​