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Where we foster excellence in education that challenges students of every background to develop their intellect, character, and abilities; to assist students in achieving their educational and career goals; and to be responsive to the greater community.

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Statements & Press Releases


 IVC Hosts Bi-National Ceremony

Imperial Valley College Hosts Historic First Bi-National Recognition Ceremony in Mexicali 

Mexicali, Mexico – Imperial Valley College marked a historic occasion with its first Bi-National Recognition Ceremony held on Thursday, May 16, in Mexicali. This event offered IVC graduates the unique opportunity to celebrate their achievements in the presence of family and loved ones in Mexicali, who otherwise would not be able to attend their graduation ceremony in Imperial. 

A mariachi band opened the ceremony with a brief celebratory performance at 2 p.m. inside the Centro de Enseñanza Técnica y Superior (CETYS) University campus auditorium. This ceremony was particularly significant as it followed the recent March signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between IVC and CETYS University. This agreement, approved by the Imperial Community College District Board of Trustees, aims to broaden access to courses and resources for students from both institutions, fostering a productive academic and educational cooperative relationship that serves the needs of the cross-border region. 

“We also want to recognize the uniqueness of your experience as students with families in both Mexico and the United States,” said Alexis Villa, Vice President of Student Services and Equity at IVC. She spoke formally starting the program with a warm welcome to all those in attendance and congratulating graduates.   

“We know that balancing academic responsibilities with the family and cultural dynamics of two countries can be challenging,” Villa said. “However, they have demonstrated remarkable resilience and determination to endure these circumstances and succeed on their path to graduation.”  

Villa also acknowledged their unique cultural perspectives and encouraged graduates to use their experiences to become global leaders, before introducing IVC’s Superintendent and President Dr. Lennor Johnson.  

“Today we celebrate our wonderful students, and at the same time we celebrate their families,” Johnson said. 

Dr. Johnson expressed his gratitude to CETYS for their hospitality and acknowledged the hard work of faculty and staff in organizing the event before congratulating all graduates in attendance.  

“You have come a long way to obtain your degrees,” he said. “You have experienced difficult challenges along the way, but you all continued to move forward and overcome them. That is why you are here today.” 

Likewise, Trustee Isabel Solis, President of the IVC Board of Trustees, highlighted the deep connection and mutual respect that bind the communities across borders. She also discussed the recent legislative changes introduced by Assemblymember David Alvarez (D-San Diego). Assembly Bill 91 (AB 91) allows low-income students residing within 45 miles of the California-Mexico border to attend local community colleges at in-state tuition rates. 

“For all this, today we not only focus on the achievements obtained, but also look forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead,” said Trustee Solis. “By working together, learning from each other and sharing resources, we can overcome challenges and create a better future for all our citizens.” 

The ceremony also featured inspiring speeches from IVC alumni and students. Javier Melara, a former student government president, shared his personal journey and unique challenges of being a transborder IVC student. He urged graduates to appreciate the support of their families and communities.  

“I am proud of you, graduates, your efforts are helping the next generation that comes after us see how capable they are, now you can say that if you could do it, they can too,” Melara said. “With your actions, be that change in the world, may all the excitement for the reward remind you that, although the path was not easy, you could do it!” 

Following Melara was Ashley Jimenez Leyzaola, a 2024 graduate and ceremony participant. She recounted life experiences that led her to seek critical support from IVC, which helped her overcome several obstacles. 

“Where I least expected to find help was at school because I was not used to these services being accessible to me,” Leyzaola said to her peers at the ceremony podium. “IVC actually, without exaggeration, changed my life, it has so many helpful programs for all types of people.” 
 
“IVC advises and helps its students like no other school,” she said. “It's not for nothing that we are number one in the nation.” 

The event continued with the presentation of certificates to 57 graduates, who all received their certificates from Dr. Johnson and the IVC Trustees present.  

The ceremony, conducted entirely in Spanish, concluded with an encore performance by the event’s mariachi band and followed with a light reception on the CETYS campus lawn for all those in attendance. The event highlighted IVC’s dedication to providing quality education and fostering cross-cultural understanding and collaboration. This Bi-National Recognition Ceremony marks a significant step in enhancing educational opportunities and strengthening the bond between the communities on both sides of the border.

Date Posted: May 22, 2024 

Imperial Valley College Expresses Solidarity with Those Affected by the Violence in Israel-Gaza

Imperial Valley College Expresses Solidarity with Those Affected by the Violence in Israel-Gaza 

In light of the ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza, Imperial Valley College extends its deepest sympathies to all those affected by the current unrest. The political complexities of the conflict shouldn't overshadow the real human cost. Innocent people are suffering, and this violence can weigh heavily on our community. 

At Imperial Valley College, we understand that during such troubling times, the need for compassionate support and mental health resources is crucial. We are committed to providing our students with the necessary services to help them navigate through these challenging moments. 

Our Mental Health Counseling Services at the IVC Student Health Center are here to support you. We offer confidential, culturally sensitive counseling in individual, couples, family, and group settings. These services are particularly equipped to help with anxiety, stress, depression, and coping with life changes, which can be heightened by international conflicts affecting our community.  

We encourage all students who are finding it difficult to cope with the current situation to take advantage of these services. Our doors are open from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and our counselors are ready to assist you in a supportive environment. For more details, please visit our webpage or contact us at (760) 355-6310. You can find us in Room 1536, next to the Assessment Center in the 400 Building.  

During these times, community and support are more important than ever. Let us come together with empathy and understanding to support one another. Remember, you are not alone; the Imperial Valley College community is here to support you.


Imperial Valley College Launches Pioneering Chemical Technician Program to Support Growing Lithium Industry 

Imperial Valley College Launches Pioneering Chemical Technician Program to Support Growing Lithium Industry 

Imperial Valley College (IVC) is thrilled to announce the introduction of its first-ever Chemical Technician Program, uniquely designed to meet the rapidly growing demands of the lithium industry. This new program is a critical component of Phase 2 of the Lithium Industry Force Program (LIFT), aiming to produce highly skilled technicians equipped to support the lithium sector's expansion. 

IVC President/Superintendent Lennor Johnson highlighted the significance of this initiative during a joint press conference with the County of Imperial and regional partners within lithium and geothermal industries on Wednesday, May 1 within the campus boardroom. 

"In today’s rapidly changing world, the importance of having a strong and skilled workforce cannot be overstated,” Dr. Johnson said. “IVC is dedicated to preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow, not just for today." 

The program expects to see its first 25 students complete their certificates in less than two years, with a strong likelihood of immediate employment within the lithium industry, thanks to close partnerships with key industry players.  

"We anticipate beginning our third phase of the LIFT programs in fall of 2025 with the start of our instrumentation technician program," said Efrain Silva, IVC’s Dean of Economics and Workforce Development. "This is the beginning of the journey. The beginning of getting excited about the Lithium Valley concept,” he said.  

IVC’s approach, which includes a heavy emphasis on practical training, reflects industry needs, explained Silva.  

"The one-year certificate programs were requested by lithium and geothermal company leaders to specifically address their needs,” Silva said.  

Dr. Jim Fisher, an IVC Chemistry professor involved in the program’s development, highlighted the educational approach to the emerging program.  

"We want them to be able to focus on procedures and data,” Dr. Fisher said. “They need to understand how to work with equipment, create data from experiments, and handle chemicals effectively." 

The LIFT program has already started making a tangible impact for students within the college’s plant operator course, which was part of Phase 1 of the program. Students in this cohort utilized internship opportunities from geothermal plants and lithium industries. 

“It was overwhelming, but they learned a lot," said Lenie Sarion from Berkshire Hathaway Energy Renewables, reflecting on the feedback from students during the conference.  

Industry support has been robust, with key partnerships shaping this new curriculum and with hands on experience provided through additional internships.  

"This partnership between industry and academia can help students learn and ensure that these opportunities are available for them should they choose to seek it," said Elizabeth Espinoza, Community Affairs Liaison at Energy Source Minerals during the conference.  

As the program prepares to welcome its first class this fall, the excitement is palpable among all stakeholders and county officials alike.  

"This is just the beginning of what the board of supervisors has really wanted to create in Imperial County," expressed District 1 Supervisor Jesus Eduardo Escobar, emphasizing the program's potential to significantly influence local employment and education opportunities. 

IVC’s proactive approach in developing this program also responds to the broader community needs.   

"We are steadfast in our commitment to eradicating poverty in the county," Dr. Johnson stated, highlighting the program’s alignment with the college’s mission to create pathways to access and success for every Imperial Valley community member.

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