The Chabot-Las Positas Community College District is going
to have a new neighbor moving into the collegial neighborhood
within the next 5 years and this is proving to be a political
This new campus, located in Dougherty Valley, is a part of
the Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill. Currently, the plans
are for Dougherty Valley to offer an educational center
that will have between 5,000 and 7,000 students, and for it to
be developed on land within eight to nine miles of the Livermore
Barry Schrader, a trustee on the Chabot-Las Positas College
Board, said that the Livermore campus will be competing with
the new campus for some of the same students.
The board of governors for state community colleges
districts in California has not, prior to this, placed new community
colleges that close to existing facilities, Schrader said.
They claimed that, since Dougherty Valley was going to
be an education center and not a full-service college,
that it was just going to be an extension of Contra Costa Community
Although the state board of governors is trying to meet the
projected growth in the valleys, Schrader pointed out that, unfortunately,
this violates the boards policy of not building new
colleges until the existing colleges are built out in
other words, until Las Positas College has completed its master
plan. We still plan to build a field house, gym, and more classrooms.
The growing population could be accommodated by the
existing community college Las Positas which is
within 10 miles of the newly planned college. This is a sad waste
of taxpayers money.
Las Positas President Susan Cota explained that the
way colleges are developed is related to boundaries. Each
community college has its own boundaries that are supposed to
be served. We are supposed to serve Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin,
and Sunol. It is kind of a gentlemens agreement
that we do not take each others students.
Cota said she was very concerned at first but I dont
feel as threatened now as I did when the planning board for the
new Dougherty Valley campus first started making their plans.
Initially, they were planning a huge college, but now,
because of our input and our concerns, they have scaled back.
I dont feel as if itll be as much of a competitive
Cota added that Dougherty, which is planned to open in 4-5
years, will replace the Center for Higher Education in San Ramon.
Some of the professional staff from Las Positas met with some
of the staff from the new campus and that meeting produced some
positive results. We are thinking of doing things collaboratively
offering classes together, Cota said. The new college
professionals were planning on offering a couple of classes
that we told them we already offer classes on emergency
medical technology and administration of justice. So when we
shared that information with them, they said that they would
not offer those classes now.
Cota pointed out that Las Positas has already offered a Spanish
language class with the Center for Higher Education, which is
part of Diablo Valley College in the Contra Costa Community College
In fact, neither campus had enough students to offer
a class by itself and normally, we would have to cancel the class
because of not enough students, said Cota. So we
offered a tele-course and had one teacher for the students from
It is true that we cannot offer every class that a student
needs by a certain time, said Cota but I would rather
see a student go somewhere to get the class he needs rather than
wait around for the class to be offered here later.
There are plenty of students to go around for all of
us, Cota said, so I dont get too upset. Other
than the fact that we might offer classes together, there wont
be much of a connection except that we will be close by.
As a result, she said, I dont feel as if itll
be as much of a competitive school now.
Schrader said he and President Cota have different views about
the new campus being established. Susan sees it as a win-win
situation where the two campuses can work together on joint programs
and joint offerings. But I see it as if they are just making
promises now so they can get approval to build the campus, and
the Contra Costa Community College District will ignore us once
they get the campus under way. I just dont trust them.
Since most community college funding is based on the college
equivalent of public schools average daily attendance,
there is likely to be a drop in funding for Las Positas, pointed
We are going to watch the Dougherty Valley development
very carefully and make sure that it is done within the guidelines
set up by the state, Schrader said. We want to make
sure that Las Positas gets its fair share of funding for our
campus before funding is granted to Dougherty Valley.
The next five to six years are going to be very challenging,