Glendale Community College (GCC) in Glendale, CA is spearheading a groundbreaking venture in the realm of education, with a notable investment in virtual reality (VR) and STEM education. Through a generous grant of $4.5 million secured by State Senator Anthony J. Portantino, GCC is poised to launch an innovative pilot project in collaboration with Dreamscape Learn.
The allocated funds will be utilized to establish a cutting-edge Virtual Reality Center on GCC’s Verdugo Campus. This state-of-the-art facility will offer students an unparalleled immersive learning experience, incorporating VR-enabled instruction into science courses. What truly distinguishes this initiative is its expansion to local high school students through dual-enrollment programs. GCC is making history as the first community college in the nation to introduce introductory science courses that integrate VR instruction.
Senator Portantino’s unwavering commitment to nurturing innovation in the classroom led to the allocation of $4.5 million in the 2022-2023 state budget for this revolutionary pilot program. The aim is to showcase the manifold benefits of VR technology in science education, creativity, and immersive learning as a whole. By embracing cutting-edge technology, GCC acknowledges the significance of equipping its students with the essential skills for success in an increasingly interconnected and technology-driven world.
Dr. Ryan Cornner, Superintendent/President of Glendale Community College, lauds this investment as an important stride towards encouraging greater diversity in STEM enrollment and preparing students for success. By introducing Dreamscape Learn’s immersive educational experience to their campus, GCC aspires to replicate the success observed at Arizona State University.
Scheduled for inauguration in 2024, the Virtual Reality Center will be a pioneering addition to GCC’s campus, situated adjacent to the Planetarium and a forthcoming science building. This “innovation alley” will furnish students with a contemporary, hands-on learning environment that fosters engagement and creativity. The $4.5 million in state funding will be managed by the Glendale College Foundation, ensuring the sustainability of the project throughout its initial five years.
In addition to biology courses, GCC students will have access to Dreamscape Learn’s tools for constructing immersive environments across various academic disciplines, including architecture and history. The alliance between GCC and Dreamscape Learn endeavors to narrow the gap between knowledge and imagination, fostering motivation and perseverance through captivating VR narratives.
Glendale Community College remains steadfast in its commitment to providing a world-class education to its diverse student body. With its forward-thinking approach to immersive learning, GCC is poised to redefine the delivery of education in the 21st century. This investment not only benefits the students of GCC but also has the potential to transform the broader Glendale community by preparing the next generation for continually evolving global landscapes.