chemeketa students

Monthly Archives: June 2016

Chemeketa to test providing Pell grants for correctional education

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

The U.S. Department of Education has selected Chemeketa to be one of just 67 colleges and universities across the country to test whether expanding incarcerated individuals’ access to financial aid will increase their participation in education programs. The experiment is called the Second Chance Pell grant program.

“We were selected because Chemeketa has a long and successful history of providing educational programs in Oregon’s correctional institutions,” said Jonathan Tucker, executive director of corrections education at the college.

Chemeketa offers the only complete college degree program for incarcerated individuals in Oregon. Currently over 175 students at two prisons are involved. The college estimates the recidivism rate among its graduates to be 6%. Oregon’s Criminal Justice Commission reports that of felons released from prison in 2012, 40% were convicted of a new crime within three years.

“Access to Pell grants will help reduce the financial barriers that prevent our population from educational opportunities to build their confidence, learn skills or a trade and be better equipped to succeed outside,” said Tucker.

2013 study from the RAND Corporation, funded by the Department of Justice, found that incarcerated individuals who participated in correctional education were 43 percent less likely to return to prison within three years than prisoners who did not participate in any correctional education programs. RAND also estimated that for every dollar invested in correctional education programs, four to five dollars are saved on three-year re-incarceration costs.

A 1994 Congressional change to the Higher Education Act eliminated Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated individuals in federal and state penal institutions. Under the Second Chance Pell grant program, the Secretary of Education will waive existing financial aid rules that prohibit otherwise eligible students who are incarcerated from accessing Pell grants.


Chemeketa Dallas renamed Chemeketa Polk

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa Polk CenterThe Chemeketa Board of Education voted June 22 to change the name of its center in Dallas to Chemeketa Polk.

Board chair Betsy Earls, who represents the Polk County portion of the community college district, said the new name more accurately represents Chemeketa’s local sphere of influence.

“We offer classes in Independence as well as Dallas, and we want all the residents of Polk County to think of Chemeketa as their college,” Earls said.

Chemeketa offers a range of college classes at its locations in Dallas and Central High School. This year a Building Inspection degree program has been added to the college curriculum at the Polk Center

There are no plans to move operations and classes from Chemeketa’s Dallas location added Glen Miller, director in charge of the location.

“We’re changing signs and such but we have no plans to leave our home at 1340 SE Holman Avenue,” Miller said.


Fulfilling the Oregon Promise events this June

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Oregon Promise recipients can learn more about attending Chemeketa at a June Fulfilling the Oregon Promise event.

Learn more about events dates and locations here


Student earns internship at OSU’s Open Source Lab

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

While some students will use the summer as a time to relax and recoup, student Hannah Solorzano will be helping make the world a more secure place.

Hannah, a second year Computer Science student from Dayton, is one of three students selected for a summer internship with Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab, an organization working to advance software programs that are available for anyone to use freely.

She’ll work side by side with some of OSU’s engineers developing open source software and learning about Developmental Operations (DevOp) system hosting, or how software developers and those who manage its operations collaborate for success.

In essence, she’ll help maintain and support the free software that is used to power and secure much of the world wide web.

From her internship, Hannah hopes to learn more about the process of developing software and other applications as well as how to increase the overall security of the final products. “I look forward to collaborating with other coders to create DevOp software along with learning new programming languages and expanding my abilities in the languages I already know,” she says.

Hannah plans to transfer to OSU to earn a Computer Science degree with a concentration in Cyber Security. From there she’ll pursue her Certified Information Security Systems (CISSP) credentials and enter a career as a Security Systems Engineer.

“Hannah has been interested in cyber-security since her first days in the CS program,” says Computer Science instructor Andrew Scholer. “It is a field that requires depth of knowledge in multiple areas and real world experience working with software systems. I think this internship will be a great opportunity to pick up some real world exposure to compliment the strong work she is doing in the classroom to master the skills she will need in this field.”

 


Students succeed against the odds

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Always keep moving forward. Embrace the road that chooses you. This journey is lifelong.

These are some of the encouraging sentiments made while Chemeketa’s TRiO and College Completion Program (CCP) recognized more than 50 students at the End of Year Banquet June 2.

Guests celebrated the accomplishments of these students, ranging from outstanding GPAs (3.5 or higher), degree completion and attainment of the prestigious Ford Family Scholarship.

And all against incredible odds.

Like Vanessa Galdero, recipient of CCP’s Persistence Award, who started as an insecure ESOL student determined to successfully balance college and family. When she was diagnosed with cancer winter term, she didn’t let her prognosis slow her down. College resources like CCP and the Writing and Tutoring centers gave her the support she needed to focus on school while receiving chemotherapy treatments. She plans to transfer to Western Oregon University in the fall of 2017 to become a Spanish instructor.

And Joey Fugate Jr., recipient of TRiO’s Persistence Award, who overcame hardships throughout his life and credits Chemeketa for helping him achieve a dream he once considered impossible. From placement in special education courses as a child, to coming back to school as an adult with a family, Joey had to overcome learning and personal obstacles and reframe his belief he wasn’t good enough for college. He’ll graduate June 14 having completed Chemeketa’s highest level of math and acing calculus. Joey transfers to Oregon State’s Engineering Program this fall.

“Despite all the people who told me I was too dumb to make it, the biggest challenge I had to overcome was the doubt I placed on myself,” he said.

Guest speakers included former Chemeketa employee Mark Duyck and two TRiO alumni who received recognition for their contributions to their communities.

Joel Gisbert, who was in a gang and living with drug dealers before coming to Chemeketa, completed his Master’s in Social Work at Portland State University and now works with at-risk youth facing challenges similar to his own.

And community organizer Scott Salazar who completed his Master’s in International Business at Dutch University in the Netherlands and has returned to Salem to start his own company and give back to his hometown.

“People like us to do make it,” Joel told the audience. “And we’ve got a story to tell.”

 


Chemeketa celebrates business success stories

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa small business success 2016Chemeketa’s Small Business Management program celebrated this year’s graduates during a ceremony Thursday, June 2 at the Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry.

Marcia Bagnall summarized their accomplishments. Participating businesses –

  1. Increased sales 18% this year over last
  2. Employed 76 more workers

Bagnall noted that the 153 businesses who have participated in the program have extraordinary longevity. They have been in business, on average, 14 years. Nationally, only about one quarter of business start-ups last 14 years while 84% of the Small Business Management program alumni are still operating.