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Citrus College Architecture Program

By Mrs. Joanne Montgomery
Citrus College Governing Board Member

Anna Ortega is a Citrus College freshman and Monrovia resident currently enrolled in the college's highly successful architecture program. As part of the career, technical and continuing education division at Citrus College, the architecture program offers students a structured pathway to careers in architecture, interior design, project management, urban planning and contracting, among others.

For Anna, the program was a perfect fit. Wanting to become an interior designer, Anna also had aspirations of designing buildings, an endeavor that would require a license in architecture. Trying to decide what career path she favored was stressful, until she spoke with Dr. Richard Fernandes, a full-time faculty member in the college's architecture program.

Dr. Fernandes, a former Disney Imagineer, explained that obtaining a degree in architecture would qualify Anna to accomplish both goals. No separate training would be required: interior design would simply be Anna's focus within architecture once she transferred to a university. Excited about her future, Anna is now working on a special project in Dr. Fernandes' Introduction to Architecture course that requires students to research, write and present about a piece of cultural architecture in the greater Los Angeles area.

As Anna continues taking challenging courses each semester, she will be in the same position as Citrus College student Kenneth Morales in a year and a half.

Preparing to graduate in June 2020, Kenneth is working on a digital modeling of acclaimed architect Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House - a project that necessitates competency in Autodesk Maya, a 3D computer graphics application used by industry experts in architecture, film and videogame design. Dr. Fernandes is among a small group of architects within California licensed to teach Autodesk Maya. This specialized training gives Citrus College students a competitive edge when applying to universities.

"Our transfer connections to universities, such as Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Baptist University, are incredibly strong," said Dr. Fernandes. "These institutions know that when they accept an architecture student from Citrus College, they are gaining an individual who has received a stellar education and possesses an advanced understanding of drafting, 3D imaging, physics and other architecture fundamentals."

Citrus College's Architecture program enjoys such a solid reputation with these universities that Citrus College students are consistently placed a year above applicants transferring from other colleges. This reduces the standard five-year route to an architecture degree to four years for students transferring to Cal Poly Pomona or Cal Baptist University. Upon graduation, students who began their journeys at Citrus College will have saved time and money compared to their peers, and they will be thoroughly equipped to enter the workforce.

As Monrovia's representative on the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees, I am incredibly proud of the college's architecture program. Many of its alumni have gone on to successful careers as preservationist architects, urban planners and award-winning modern architects. They have contributed to the construction and preservation of some of the most celebrated structures and areas in the world, including Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park in Orlando, Florida, and the restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris.

For college students seeking to build a bright and promising future, I would strongly recommend the Citrus College Architecture program.

- Brad Haugaard

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