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  
  Community colleges help high school students earn college credits  
Clackamas Community College High School Connections

Community colleges around the state help students earn college credits before they even graduate from high school! Early or advanced college credit programs around the state give students the opportunity to earn college credits while at the same time gain the experience of the rigor of a college course. And, of course, they have the support from their community college to help them be successful! Check out this great video from Clackamas Community College's High School Connections program, and hear directly from high school students who have found success through the program.

  Did You Know?  
  Community college students administer COVID-19 vaccinations  
Oregon Coast CC nursing student administering the COVID-19 vaccine.

Nursing students at several community colleges, including Linn-Benton Community College, Oregon Coast Community College and Klamath Community College, are volunteering their time to help give COVID-19 vaccinations in their communities. These students are putting to good use their newly-acquired skills from their classroom labs into real situations to aid in slowing the pandemic's spread. In addition, Lane Community College's health clinic is also helping with vaccinations by serving as a location and having students assist as volunteers. Read an article about some of this great work by student volunteers here!

Oregon Coast CC Nursing Video

The pandemic has given nursing students a new perspective. Nursing students at Oregon Coast Community College say they went into the program to help people, but that the COVID-19 pandemic has given new purpose to their impending profession. Check out this great video from OCCC!

  Oregon's taxpayer investment in community colleges has great ROI  
Linn-Benton CC Physical Therapy Assistant Program

Oregon's community colleges generate more in tax revenue than the take. According to a June 2020 economic impact analysis conducted by Emsi, for every dollar of public money invested in Oregon's community colleges, taxpayers will receive a cumulative value of $2.30 over the course of the students' working lives! That's an average rate of return of 7.7%! Talk about a great investment!

  Community Colleges Put Oregonians to Work  
  CTE programs provide students with critical hands-on experience that lead to jobs in the real world  
Melaney Schmidt

Melaney Schmidt was able to start her own wine label in 2018, thanks to the knowledge and hands-on experience she gained while a student in Chemeketa Community College's award-winning Wine Studies Program. Check out this great video to hear from Melaney about how Oregon's affordable community college tuition has allowed her to pursue a new career path and start her own business.

  BMCC Precision Ag program puts data -- and students -- to work  
BMCC Precision Agriculture Program

Most farmers in the U.S. today have some sort of data collection technology on their equipment, but many farmers don't utilize this data, most often because they don't know what to do with it. Enter Blue Mountain Community College's Precision Agriculture program, which seeks to change that and give future farmers the tools and knowledge they need to make the data work for them and their crops. Not only does this include courses in soil sciences, but also unmanned aerial systems. Check out the video on the program at BMCC here!

  Support the Community College Support Fund!  
  Please support HB 2907  

LEGISLATORS: 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.