In November, Tulare County voters approved a $95 million ballot measure to build a new and much-expanded university center in Visalia across the street from College of the Sequoias.
According to an EdSource article, Fresno State currently operates in just four satellite classrooms owned by the College of the Sequoias at its South Valley Campus in Visalia. The new University Center, expected to break ground in 2025 and open in 2027, will represent a major expansion of university-level offerings for Tulare and Kings counties even if it is not a full CSU campus.
With over 630,000 people residing in the counties of Tulare and Kings, this region is one of the largest populated areas without a full-fledged university. The College of the Sequoias is planning to maintain the center, and it has donated the land that the University Center will be built.
“Details are still being hammered out in the wake of the measure’s passage, but Fresno State programs are expected to anchor the center,” the EdSource article stated. “Other universities, including Arizona State, Vanguard, and Grand Canyon, also have an interest in getting involved. Leaders at UC Merced and Cal State Bakersfield have also expressed support for the project.”
The CSU system currently has official satellite campuses all across the state — including CSU San Bernardino in Palm Desert, Stanislaus State in Stockton, CSU East Bay in Concord, and Cal State Bakersfield in Antelope Valley.
Tulare’s University Center will differ from these satellite campuses in the sense that there is the potential for multiple universities to set up shop; similarly to the College of the Canyons’ University Center, which offers bachelor’s and master’s programs from five universities, including Cal State Dominguez Hills.
The new University Center has its eye on the approximately 5,100 students from Tulare, Kings, and north Kern County who apply to Fresno State every year — as well as students who currently end their education after earning an associate degree.