April is National Community College Awareness Month!
Each week this month, this e-newsletter will provide stories, information and videos that highlight Oregon's community colleges.
  Student Success  
  Chemeketa CC becomes first college in the U.S. to implement the State Seal of Biliteracy  

Chemeketa Community College's (CCC) Education program started a project to implement the State Seal of Biliteracy. CCC is the first college in the country to formally do so, and is a great opportunity for the college's Heritage Spanish-speaking students. Click here for the video about the project!

  Maya's Story: From tragedy to triumph at LCC  
Maya's Story

In high school, Maya Treder was a model student, and active academically and socially. But when the political tides changed in 2016, she began to receive constant ridicule at school for her ethnicity, and to top it all off, Maya and her mother were in a devastating car accident at the end of the year. This left Maya with a serious concussion that led to her not being able to return to school. Fast-forward four years, and Maya was named one of Oregon's four most outstanding community college students in 2020 as part of the All-Oregon Academic Team honors through the Oregon Community College Association and the National Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Maya credits much of her success to the education and support she received at Lane Community College. Click here to view Maya's inspiring story as told for the 2020 All-Academic Team honors!

  Student Choice: CGCC FlexConnect program offers multiple modalities for learning  

Columbia Gorge Community College recognizes that students' lives can sometimes be hectic when it comes to family, work and their education. That's why they created the FlexConnect program to give students options for how they connect to take their business classes. This is a great example of how community colleges meet the needs of students to make sure they can be as successful as possible in their education journeys! Click here to learn more about this pilot project.

  Monica's Story: Student Success programs support UCC student's goals  
Monica's Story

When Monica Botwinick, a first-generation disabled student, completed her GED at Umpqua Community College (UCC), she was unsure what her next step would be, and that scared her. Thanks to the support she received from Student Success programs at UCC, Monica found educational success and affordability. Click here to view Monica's story!

  Did You Know?  
  Community colleges are Oregon's economic recovery engines!  
Apprenticeship Program

Oregon's community colleges influence both the lives of students and the state's economy. The benefits created by Oregon's community colleges even extend to the state and local government through increased tax revenues and public sector savings. According to a June 2020 economic impact analysis conducted by Emsi, Oregon's community colleges added $9.8 billion in income to the Oregon economy in 2018-19, which is equal to approximately 4% of the state's total Gross State Product (GSP). That $9.8 billion impact supported 131,654 jobs in the state, meaning that one out of every 20 jobs in Oregon is supported by the activities of community colleges and their students. Now that's putting Oregonians to work!

  OERs have saved students nearly $10 million in textbook costs since 2015!  

The Higher Education Coordinating Commission is pleased to share a new report submitted to the Oregon Legislature showing that Oregon's statewide investment in textbook affordability is having a significant impact on making postsecondary education more affordable. The report analyzes the impact of the state's investment from 2015 to the present on developing and promoting high-quality, no-cost and low-cost course materials -- Open Educational Resources (OER) -- for use in Oregon's public colleges and universities. One key component of the funding supports project grants to faculty cohorts to redesign coursework using OER. These funds are currently supporting 71 faculty projects serving more than 12,000 students at 18 public institutions, including 12 community colleges. Students have already saved $1.6 million cumulatively in the 2019-2021 biennium from these projects, and are expected to save $2.6 million by July 1, 2021. Student savings from these redesigned courses compound over time, as more students take the courses; by the end of the current 2019-21 biennium, total savings from all grant cohorts since 2015 are expected to approach $10 million. Click here to learn more about OERs.

  Community Colleges Put Oregonians to Work  
  Chemeketa CC grant to help increase number of ECE-certified Native American teachers  
Chemeketa CC Early Childhood Education program

A $120,660 grant from the Oregon Department of Education's American Indian/Alaska Native Educator Success Initiative will help Chemeketa Community College increase the number of Early Childhood Education-certified Native American teachers in the community. According to the Oregon Educator Equity Report, students from American Indian/Alaska Native populations are less likely to have a teacher who shares the same cultural background than white students. There is a statewide shortage of high-quality early childhood educators, with much of the state deemed a "childcare desert." The project will provide tuition, technology stipends and textbooks for 25 Early Childhood Education students who are Native American or working with Native American children.  The students will learn together in a cohort focused on culturally responsive teaching appropriate to Native American communities. The project will partner with Native American professionals working in Native American serving early childhood programs to pilot and test culturally responsive curriculum that will then be distributed statewide. Click here to read more about this great program!

  Support the Community College Support Fund!  
  Please support HB 2907  

Please support HB 2907 to fully fund Oregon's 17 community colleges at $702 million for the 2021-23 biennium! Community colleges are the affordable option for access to higher education in Oregon, particularly after the pandemic caused financial hardship for many Oregonians. Every dollar cut from the Community College Support Fund must be made up by raising tuition or cutting programs and services, moving educational opportunities out of the reach of the Oregonians with the most need. 

In addition, community college's are Oregon's economic recovery first responders. Community colleges are essential to responding to the recession brought on by COVID-19 and the wildfires of 2020, offering shorter-term programs directed at getting unemployed Oregonians retrained and back to work as quickly as possible.