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Category Archives: Community

Chemeketa hosts Oregon Mission of Mercy

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Oregon Mission of MercyThe Oregon Dental Association’s annual Mission of Mercy is came to Chemeketa Community College’s Salem campus on July 11 & 12.

An annual event, the Mission of Mercy provides completely free dental care to people in need. In total, 998 dental professionals and community volunteers came together to provide over $700,000 worth of dental care in 6,533 procedures for 1,255 patients.

The clinic was held in the gymnasium (Building 7) along with the state-of-the-art dental clinic in Building 8. The dental clinic was built as part of the new Building 8 funded by the 2006 bond measure.

This is the first time Mission of Mercy will be hosted in Salem. Previous events have been held in Portland and Medford.

Photos from the Mission of Mercy events are available for viewing here.

Most college services closed Fridays July 4-Aug.29

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa will switch to summer hours starting Friday, July 4. The college will be open to the public 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Thursday; most college services will be closed Fridays, weekends and holidays.



Summer hours will not affect the following locations or programs –

  • Brooks Training Center
    • Criminal Justice Instruction Program (Brooks)
    • Emergency Services Instruction Programs (Brooks)
  • Building 48 including MaPS Credit Union and Blue Moon Cafe
  • Chemeketa Center for Business and Industry
  • Chemeketa Online technical support
  • Corrections Education
  • Eola/Northwest Wine Studies Center
  • International Student Programs
  • Motorcycle classes
  • OIT Dental Clinic (through August 1)
  • SOAR Program
  • TRiO Upward Bound Summer Academy
  • Workforce Partners at Woodburn Center

The college will resume regular 8 am to 5 pm weekday office hours Tuesday, September 2.

2014 Graduation set for June 17

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa’s 57th annual graduation ceremony will be held at 6 pm, Tuesday, June 17 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds Pavilion (2330 17th Street NE, Salem). Free parking is available in the lot off Sunnyview Road near 17th Street NE. Tickets are required.

Nearly 800 students of post-secondary degree and certificate programs, Winema High School and high school equivalency and general equivalency programs will be awarded diplomas.

More information on the 2014 graduation can be found here or by calling 503.399.6588.

Julie Huckestein named Chemeketa interim president

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa presidential transition plan announcedThe Chemeketa Board of Education voted May 21 to appoint Julie Huckestein interim president of the community college district. In announcing her appointment, the Board stated that leadership in the accreditation renewal process and college budget are clear priorities for next year. Huckestein will assume her new role July 1 after current president Cheryl Roberts departs to become president of Shoreline Community College in Seattle.

Huckestein is a 13-year veteran of the college who currently serves as vice president for college support services and chief financial officer.

“We have complete confidence in Julie to lead Chemeketa through this transition. The college is in good hands,” said Chemeketa board chairperson, Ed Dodson.

Huckestein said her interim presidency will build on Chemeketa’s strengths. “We have a clear priority on teaching and learning, a stable financial situation and dedicated members of our Board of Education, faculty and staff,” she said.

Huckestein will not be a candidate for the permanent position. The search for Chemeketa’s next district president will begin with college and community forums in the fall to gather input on the attributes to seek in a successful candidate. Chemeketa intends to open the application process before winter. A search committee comprised of board members, faculty, staff, students and community representatives is expected to begin screening candidates in early 2015. The Board will interview finalists and hopes to announce Chemeketa’s next district president in spring of 2015.

Chemeketa saving taxpayers $2.3 million on bond projects

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa presidential transition plan announcedThe Chemeketa Board of Education voted last night to authorize issuing the final $14 million of the $92 million general obligation bonds voters approved with a majority vote in 2008. Additionally, Chemeketa anticipates that it will save taxpayers an estimated $2.3 million by refinancing the original debt at a lower rate and paying off the obligation a year early.

Chemeketa has used proceeds from the bonds to construct new facilities in Brooks, McMinnville and Salem. The final phase of the building program will be an applied technology classroom building on the Salem campus.   That project breaks ground this summer and will open to students fall of 2015. The applied technology classroom building will house training programs for technicians preparing to work in emerging industries.


Horticulture plant sale April 1-June 13

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Please join us for our annual plant sale, a fundraiser to support hands-on learning opportunities for Chemeketa’s Horticulture program. The plant sale will be held in the greenhouse at Chemeketa’s Salem campus Tuesday-Friday, April 1-June 13.

During April, kale, lettuce, Bok Choy, Swiss chard, cabbage, spinach and other cool-crop vegetables will be available for purchase. In May and June, warm-crop vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, winter squash, melons, green beans and peppers will be be sold.  Also available are fresh herbs and spices including basil, chamomile, dill, cilantro, parsley, lemon balm, cinnamon and stevia.

Community members are invited to attend and parking is reserved for plant sale customers; guests can follow signs to the red lot and park near the greenhouse.

Horticulture Program Plant Sale
April 1-June 13
9 am-3 pm
Sales outside these hours by appointment only

Special Sale Days
Wednesday, April 2, 9 am-3 pm &
Wednesday, May 7, 9 am-3 pm
Plant sale located outdoors between the Bookstore and Building 2

For more information call 503.315.4586.

ALERT: Saturday LSAT and ACT testing cancelled

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

LSAT and ACT cancelledThe Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and ACT tests scheduled to take place at Chemeketa Community College this Saturday, Feb. 8, have been cancelled due to expected severe weather in the Salem Area.

Apply now for fall term 2014

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

It’s a new year and you’re on your way to enrolling as a college student. Not sure where to start? Now is the time to begin Chemeketa’s admission process if you plan to attend fall 2014.




Here’s how to get started:







  • Check your My Chemeketa account and submit any additional requirements for financial aid



  • Register for classes in My Chemeketa
  • Accept your financial aid award letter


  • Attend new student preview day
  • Classes begin late September

Additional enrollment details are available online for transfer and international students.

For more information about admissions call 503.399.5006 or e-mail


Financial aid & scholarship help in Salem, Yamhill Valley Jan. 11

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Students working on getting money for college can get free help navigating federal student aid and scholarship paperwork at College Goal Oregon, to be held 9 am to 2 pm, Saturday, January 11, 2014 at Chemeketa Community College.

Experts will be available to help students and their families fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and scholarship applications at both the Salem (Bldg. 6) and Yamhill Valley (Bldg. 1) campuses.

All are invited, whether you are a high school student or are returning to college. High school students are encouraged to have a parent come along, if possible. You do not have to be planning to enroll at Chemeketa to get help.

All the following documents should be brought to help fill out the forms:

  • Federal tax return. If you haven’t filed taxes yet, you can estimate.
  • Current value of assets (cash, checking, savings, investments, etc.)
  • Social Security numbers of student and parents (if any)
  • Driver’s license (if any)
  • Alien registration card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)

Find more information on College Goal Oregon at

College Inside buffered by Buffett family member donation

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

College Inside program gets donationA ninth-grade dropout. Unable to write. Incarcerated.

These terms described Francisco before he began the College Inside program at Oregon State Penitentiary. Now, almost 60 credits into an associate’s degree from Chemeketa Community College with a straight-A average, Francisco has changed more than his education.

“All I thought about was myself and how I can survive,” Francisco said. “Now I think about how I can give back. Guys are leaving this program with that in mind.”

And thanks to a recent $142,598 contribution from an organization headed by member one the world’s most well-known philanthropic families, Francisco and other College Inside students have an opportunity to finish what they started after the program recently lost its primary donor.

The contribution from the Sunshine Lady Foundation headed by Doris Buffett, sister of Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett, is a large portion of the $179,000 needed to ensure the 37 students in the program will be able to complete their degrees.

“It feels exciting and hopeful for the students to have this opportunity,” said Nancy Green, Chemeketa’s executive director of corrections education. “We were faced with having to discontinue this program a month from now, and it is great to be making different plans now.”

College Inside began in 2007, with the bulk of the program’s funding coming from a single private donor who wished to remain anonymous. The program allows incarcerated students at Oregon State Penitentiary and the Oregon State Correction Institution, both in Salem, to take courses from Chemeketa instructors and ultimately receive a Chemeketa degree.

However, the donor notified program officials that the funding is ending in December. That began the scramble to find new funding sources. Then came word of the Sunshine Lady Foundation donation.

“I was doing the happy dance in my office after finding out the Sunshine Lady Foundation was giving us most of the money needed for the current students to graduate,” said Michele Dishong McCormack, chair of Chemeketa’s communication and performing arts program and a College Inside instructor. “This also gives our fundraising efforts some much-needed breathing room and time to get out of triage mode as we move forward.”

The donation has also allowed for a chance of hope not just to get the money to allow not just the current students to complete, but to keep the program going.

Proponents of College Inside like Dishong McCormack and Green point not just to the personal growth of students who receive their degree while incarcerated, but to the benefit to all Oregonians. Of students who have received degrees through Chemeketa’s College Inside program, the rate of recidivism, or returning back to prison, is less than 3 percent. The recidivism rate of all inmates in the state of Oregon is more than 26 percent.

The low recidivism rate also has cost savings associated with it. The cost to house one inmate for one year in Oregon is $31,025. The cost to provide an inmate with the courses for an associate’s degree over three years with College Inside is $8,700.

Dishong McCormack also notes inmates work 40 hours per week as required by state law in addition to taking their classes, inmates contribute toward their class costs and the average GPA of a College Inside student is 3.82.

While the Sunshine Lady Foundation donation covers a large chunk of the needed funding, there is still work to be done to find the additional funding needed. But those involved with College Inside now have more time to locate those funds or also keep the program ongoing.

“We have government officials, private citizens, current and former students and others who are offering help to find new funding sources,” Dishong McCormack said. “I’m confident we will find the money needed to continue this amazing program.”

For students currently inside the program like Francisco, there is relief that he, like 36 other students, still has a chance to complete his degree. He looks forward to the pride he will bring his family when they see him graduate and hopes once he is released to find work in human resources or be an art-related entrepreneur.

“I would say thank you (to Ms. Buffett) from the bottom of my heart,” he said. “Thank you for the sunshine that you have brought into a place that is lacking in hope and opportunity.”

For Green, stories like Francisco’s are the motivation to find the means to keep the program ongoing beyond the current group of students.

“The success of this program continues to be very clear,” she said. “This program is changing the lives of the students and their families, along with making our communities safer. I am confident that we will find a way to continue this important work.”


For more information on how to help with finding funding for the College Inside Program, contact Nancy Green or Michele Dishong McCormack.