Registration open for 4-year degrees at Hancock

Nearly a year after announcing a historic partnership, Hancock College and the University of La Verne will be offering three on-site bachelor’s degree programs for the fall 2019 term on Hancock’s Santa Maria campus. 

“This partnership gives our students access to affordable four-year degrees, something that’s been a big need in our community,” said Hancock Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers. “With these three degree programs on campus, our students now have access to a high-quality university education that will prepare them for meaningful careers.”

Registration is still open for the fall term, which will allow qualifying Hancock students and alumni to earn bachelor’s degrees in public administration, business administration or organizational management. Cohorts for each program are required to enroll at least 20 students.

“We’ve been actively recruiting students for all three programs, with business administration and organizational management being the most popular,” said University of La Verne Senior Executive Director Kitt Vincent. “We have conducted information sessions, worked with both the City of Santa Maria and the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce, and met individually with a large number of prospects.” 

As part of the agreement with La Verne, students who complete at least two semesters at Hancock will also be eligible for a 50 percent discount on tuition.

Hancock students and alumni can apply to the onsite programs or any other University of La Verne academic programs at


Fourteen recruits graduated from Hancock’s CORE Custody Academy on June 14.

Fourteen recruits graduate from Hancock’s Core Custody Academy

Fourteen recruits graduated from Hancock’s CORE Custody Academy on June 14 during a ceremony held at the college’s Public Safety Training Complex in Lompoc.

The six-week academy is designed to prepare students mentally, morally, emotionally and physically to work as correctional officers.

This year, 13 of the academy graduates will go on to work as custody deputies for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Bill Brown delivered the graduation’s keynote address. 

“The training you have received is as good as it gets, and that training has prepared you for the road ahead,” said Brown. “You will need healthy doses of compassion, patience and courage.”

Several of the graduates received awards and recognition for their achievements in the academy. Jessica Standefer, who was selected as the class valedictorian, spoke about the deep bond forged between the recruits as they made their way through the academy.

“If there came a moment when I’d have to put my life on the line for the other members of this academy, I would do so without hesitation because I know that they would do the same for me,” she said.

This year’s graduates are Jose Alejo, Dylan Darga, Nancy Garibay, Pedro Giron-Hernandez, Valerie Guzman, Ryan Hawkins, Hugo Hernandez, Tyler McKenna-Gofigan, Andrew Naten, Miguel Ortiz, Mario Rivera-Contreras, Miguel Rodriguez, Jessica Standefer and Gage Vargas.


Heidi Mendiola is sworn in as Hancock College’s new student trustee.

Hancock Board welcomes new student trustee

The Hancock College Board of Trustees has welcomed Heidi Mendiola as its newest student trustee. She was formally sworn in by Hancock Associate Superintendent/Vice President of Academic Affairs Robert Curry during the board’s meeting on June 11.

Mendiola was raised in Santa Maria and comes from a family of six. She graduated from Righetti High School in 2017.

She is studying sociology and plans to transfer to a four-year university to study criminal justice after she graduates from Hancock. Prior to being elected as a student trustee, Mendiola served as the executive director of the college’s Associated Student Body Government Board.

As a student trustee, Mendiola said, her goals include improving the college experience for students, encouraging and increasing student involvement, and making positive changes on both the Santa Maria and Lompoc campuses.