Candidates face 2 challenges: enrollment, local careers |

Candidates face 2 challenges: enrollment, local careers

Two challenges that face Nevada County’s Sierra College campus are encouraging growth while high school enrollment is flat and preparing students for local careers, the campus dean said recently.

With the Nov. 7 election coming closer, Dean Neal Allbee said whoever is elected to the college board of trustees must address those issues.

Two candidates ” Nancy Palmer and Martin Harmon ” are running to represent Area 6, which includes parts of Nevada County. Allbee would not comment on them directly, but he identified three areas he’d want them to focus on.

“One of the issues facing the Nevada County campus is (ensuring) continued growth of students and understanding there is a flat growth of the high school enrollment,” Allbee said. “Our challenge is how to increase our enrollment.”

Allbee also asserted the need for the Nevada County campus to serve the community by preparing students for local career options.

“We need to ensure partnerships with the community and become the community’s academic and cultural support,” he said.

Finally, Allbee talked about the need “to determine how resources are shared between the (main) Rocklin campus and the other Sierra College sites.”

Harmon told The Union he “wants to reinforce fiscal responsibility and accountability” if elected. He, like Allbee, mentioned the need “to make sure that our academic and vocational programs are meeting local job opportunities, getting our students ready for the ever-increasing demands of our nation’s economy.”

Palmer said she would want to discuss with the administration what repairs need to be done at the Sierra College Rocklin campus, what they would cost and how they would be paid for.

Palmer also would want to make sure that, once construction started at the Nevada County campus, it was done the way voters were told it would be.

The two other issues that Palmer espouses are building the Truckee campus and determining if Sierra College would continue to lease property at the Gateway location or purchase the building.

Palmer has been a Sierra College trustee since 1994. She’s involved in a number of other social service organizations, including the Grass Valley Rotary Club, Friends of Hospice and the Placer County Treasury Oversight Committee.

Harmon is the public works senior engineering inspector for the city of Lincoln. He’s also the vice president of the board of directors for Western Care construction in Rocklin and manager of Gold Country Ranch in Nevada City.

In the June primary, Harmon made an unsuccessful bid for the District 4 Board of Supervisors seat that will be left vacant by Robin Sutherland, who did not run for re-election.


To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail or call 477-4229.

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