When a community inventories its core assets, it can call itself lucky if it has a community college campus in its area.
Thankfully for Gonzales, it has the Victoria College—Gonzales Center to help its economic and personal development portfolio.
The Gonzales campus first opened in 2007, and ever since it has expanded its academic programs, workforce and continuing education, and personal enrichment programs to meet the needs and demands of the greater Gonzales County area.
“We have so many different opportunities and programs to offer area citizens and businesses that it’s hard to really define everything we offer in just one sentence,” said Victoria College - Gonzales Center manager Vince Ortiz. “We offer academic courses, workforce and continuing education (which includes Allied Health with CNA, medical assisting, pharmacy tech and industrial trades with welding, electric, HVAC and CDL professional truck driving school), personal enrichment, nursing—you name it we probably offer it. If we don’t have it and we identify a need through a business or occupation, we will add it if it benefits area citizens or businesses.”
Ortiz also pointed out the definition of local is a bit broader when it comes to the Gonzales Center.
“We have students who come here from Hallettsville, Nixon-Smiley, Lockhart, Luling, Shiner, Yoakum, Bastrop, Victoria and even Schulenberg,” he stated. “We have a larger footprint than most people realize.
“I think the reason we draw students in from such a broad area is that students and adults who go through our programs have a very positive experience. It is one of the reasons why we have been so successful here is because our students feel comfortable here. We get to know them and who they are and what they are trying to achieve, and that enables us to provide a better learning environment and a more personalized way of teaching them on their career quest or continuing education pursuit.
“It is one of the reasons why I love this place so much.”
Ortiz says Victoria College has routinely developed special programs, classes or training based on specific needs identified by area interests. The college developed a Spanish in the Workplace course designed specifically for the City of Gonzales, an example of what the college can do as a partner in the economic development model so vital for future growth. Ortiz also mentioned basic computer training, language arts, continuing education for businesses and individuals as just a few examples of the many different specialized training that the Gonzales Center has created over the years.
“In addition to providing good products and programs to the businesses who seek our help, we make sure we provide quality instructors to teach those classes,” Ortiz said. “If it’s an academic course, every instructor here has to have at least a master’s degree in the subject they are teaching, in addition to having 18 credit hours of additional training. If we are offering a continuing education course, we make sure the person instructing has a degree and is an expert in the field they are teaching.”
Ortiz is positive the presence of the college is a positive asset for the community, plus he has a positive message for the community, its citizens and its businesses.
“The community has always been a strong supporter of Victoria College being here,” Ortiz said. “With all of the agreements we have in place, we’re going to be here for a long time to come.”