Oregon community colleges use state investment program to support students

Students at Oregon’s community colleges are beginning to see the benefits of a multimillion-dollar statewide workforce.

Colleges began offering free and discounted tuition, funding for student needs, and expanded programming with money from Future Ready Oregon — the $200 million investment in job training and education. education passed by the state legislature last year.

Of that $200 million, Future Ready funneled about $15 million into Oregon’s 17 community colleges to primarily improve short-term programs focused on hands-on industries. These career path efforts can lead either to more schooling or directly to the workforce. Some colleges have also secured additional Future Ready grants through local Workforce Investment Boards.

Related: Oregon lawmakers invest $200 million in jobs

Clackamas Community College received approximately $980,000 from its Future Ready Career Pathway Grant. It is using some of that money to provide low-cost, no-cost programs to students starting next week.

CCC offers discounted courses in more than 90 career technical programs. They will prioritize students from underrepresented communities, including people of color, women, low-income people, and veterans.

“The goal is to help students start a career path in a technical and hands-on career program and complete it and then find a job,” Britany Ellerbrook, director of Future Ready Oregon, told OPB. Career Pathways at CCC.

In this file photo, welding instructor John Phelps holds an airplane part that one of his students made after completing the Metallica Scholars program at Clackamas Community College. With additional funding from the Oregon Legislature, the college provides additional support for students in welding pathway programs from other subjects.

Jeff Thompson/OPB

Ellerbrook said the college is providing even more support for gateway programs into health care, welding, irrigation and computerized numerical control operation. She said that in these areas, the college provides additional academic support for students taking programs such as Adult Basic Education and English for Speakers of Other Languages.

Ellerbrook said financial aid cannot cover many programs because they do not offer students enough credits to meet aid requirements.

“Now with this funding, we can actually pay tuition,” she said. “We weren’t really able to do that before.”

If students end up getting tuition covered through scholarships or other means, Ellerbrook said, the college can offer Future Ready funds to pay for needs like housing, transportation, child care or textbooks.

“We try to take a holistic view of the student and what they qualify for and maximize all those resources for them,” she said.

Ellerbrook said students will be eligible for about $3,000 in the winter term, which begins this month. If these students are still in the programs the following term, they will be eligible for an additional $3,000.

“The career path is just the start…but it’s a good start,” Ellerbrook said. “In six months you can be ready to be employed in some of these fields and industries that really need people with these skills.”

More Support for Future Ready Students

According to Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission, 12 of the state’s 17 community colleges reported using Future Ready Oregon career path grant money to provide tuition and a student support.

Chemeketa Community College is spending $300,000 in direct student support by covering tuition for career technical courses and through package supports that can help students gain access to college. like gas cards and child care. It also funds some integrated education and training programs that provide additional support for students whose first language is not English.

Central Oregon Community College Health Career Center at its Bend campus. The college has spent $22,500 to support students in a number of technical career programs, including nursing, by paying for necessary tuition, fees, textbooks and tools.

Central Oregon Community College

Central Oregon Community College spent $22,500 to support students in technical career programs such as nursing, graphic design, and manufacturing by paying for necessary tuition, fees, textbooks, and tools. It plans to spend an additional $125,000 in additional student funds in the next term.

Clatsop and Linn-Benton Community Colleges spent Future Ready funds on needs such as textbooks.

Many colleges have also applied for additional Future Ready grants through local Workforce Development Councils. Southwestern Oregon Community College received a grant from the Southwestern Oregon Workforce Investment Board, and it uses this money to support students pursuing career path programs.

Portland Community College prepares to ramp up programming for correctional facilities

Portland Community College is using a portion of its Future Ready Oregon dollars to fund a pilot program to restore Pell Grants for incarcerated people in July.

The college is providing four faculty members to teach writing and college readiness this winter at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, Oregon Women’s Prison.

The college says there are about 40 students at Coffee Creek who have enrolled in one or both courses.

A file photo of Oregon’s only women’s prison, Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Oct. 19, 2022. Portland Community College says about 40 Coffee Creek students have signed up for classes it will offer this winter.

Kristyna Wentz-Graff/OPB

“As a college, our mission is to serve marginalized and underrepresented people — and that group has definite access issues,” Lisa Regan-Vienop, CCP’s Correctional Education Transitions Manager, said in an email.

Regan-Vienop said Coffee Creek plans to release nearly 100 adults detained in the CCP Service District over the next 18 months.

Related: Federal grants restored for incarcerated students

“The college, in partnership with the Department of Corrections, is well positioned to strengthen the transitions of CNAs re-entering society by creating clear pathways to college and promoting lifelong learning to increase economic mobility for CNAs,” said she declared.

PCC will add more faculty in the spring to teach additional offerings at Coffee Creek, such as math and health classes.

. community colleges oregon use investment program state for support students

. Oregon community colleges state investment program support students

PREV Pillen appoints interim director for Nebraska Department of Transportation
NEXT Severe winter storm could pound millions with heavy snowfall and spawn tornadoes across south after leaving California with deadly flooding