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New director of WSU Community Education Center aims to expand facility’s reach, offerings

By Rob Nielsen - | Jun 11, 2024

Photo supplied, Weber State University

Yesenia Quintana, pictured April 22, 2024, is the new director of Weber State University’s Community Education Center.

OGDEN -- Weber State University's Community Education Center has a new leader who's looking to expand the center's reach.

Yesenia Quintana, who took the reins as the facility's director about three weeks ago, explained the center was established to help serve the educational needs of the immediate community in Ogden and Weber County.

"At the moment, we offer ESL (English as a second language) classes," she said. "We also house the Ogden Civic Action Network and the Community Literacy Program."

She said her vision for the CEC, as it's known, is to help draw in people who, for whatever reason, may not think college is right for them.

"It's a place where students who may not have had access to higher education in the past can get that first introduction to Weber State," she said. "They can find it a welcoming place and the university becomes a less intimidating place for them. "

Quintana has worked with Weber State for nearly a decade in various community engagement capacities, including serving in the university's Office of Community Research and Evaluation.

"I've always had a strong interest in the CEC," she said. "It's an exciting time. There's a lot of synergy with the university and their Hispanic-serving institution priorities. It's an exciting time to be here at the CEC and to implement some of the things the main campus would like to see."

She said she has several goals moving forward as the CEC's new director, including adding to the center's offerings.

"I would really like to expand the programming and educational options located here at the CEC," she said. "I just want to increase the possibilities that he CEC offers to the community. That includes our Spanish-speaking residents."

This fall, she said, the CEC will include introductory classes in computers, health care translation and professional sales.

"I want the CEC to serve as a hub for our students and the broader community," she said. "I want the university and community partners to offer a whole range of resources and family support. We have a child care center actually located here that is currently empty but we're looking to fill soon."

Quintana, who is a WSU alumna herself, said the CEC stands ready for those who are curious about the college experience.

"If you've thought about going college or you're not sure yet, this is one of the places you can come for that," she said.

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