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Category Archives: Community

Chemeketa hosting college and career fair Oct. 24

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Salem area students and their families are invited to attend the annual college and career fair at Chemeketa Community College on Monday, October 24. This event is presented by The Inspire Foundation.

To be held from 6 to 8 pm in Building 7 on the Salem campus, the college and career fair is a free event with free parking.

This event, which has taken place for more than 25 years, welcomed more than 2,000 visitors in 2015. Chemeketa and more than 80 other colleges and industries will be on display to showcase their offerings to students and their families.

Workshops on applying for college, searching for scholarships and applying for financial aid will be offered. The Inspire Foundation, Salem-Keizer Public Schools and Chemeketa will offer door prizes for elementary, middle and high school students. Currently enrolled Salem-Keizer high school seniors will have a chance to win one of several educational scholarships.

To learn more about the event, contact Kathy Moore at or 503.581.1466 x 316.


Students learn outside the classroom with Upward Bound

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Ever have the chance to ride jet boats and make kushari in summer school?

During a recent field trip, Upward Bound Summer Academy students visited the Marion Polk Foodshare where Chef Steve Morton taught them how to forage in a garden, access a food box and prepare a healthy meal.

“It was a great learning experience,” says Chemeketa’s Upward Bound director Susan McCaffrey. “Now students can return to the Foodshare to gain community service credit for their high school graduation requirements or to get a food box for their families.”

IMG_0025This year, 22 high school students are participating in Chemeketa’s Upward Bound Summer Academy, a six-week program that provides participants high school creditfor studying literature and math during the summer. In addition, students benefit from learning what it’s like to take classes at a college campus, keeping or improving their skills over the summer and experiencing learning outside of the classroom.

From team-building BBQs, college tours, jet boats and water parks, students will enjoy a number of Friday field trips to balance their summer studies. This year’s Summer Academy will culminate in a four-day adventure to Multnomah Falls, Hood River, The Dalles, Eastern Oregon University (EOU), Bridge of the Gods and the Bonneville Dam. Students will tour the EOU campus and gain a first-hand experience of the landmarks and artifacts they are learning about in class.

“We integrate cultural events in the program to show students places and activities that relate to their learning.” says Susan. “We take them places they probably have never seen. This helps them when they go to college because they’ve been encouraged to take advantage of student activities offered at college campuses.”

Chemeketa’s Upward Bound program serves students from Woodburn Academy of International Studies, North Salem High School and Santiam High School.  Students interested in applying to be a part of the Upward Bound program can visit Chemeketa’s Upward Bound website for more information or contact Susan McCaffrey 503.589.7620.

Most College services closed Fridays July 15-Aug. 26

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa Community College will switch to summer hours effective Friday, July 15. The college will be open to the public from 8 am to 5 pm Monday-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 Café
  • CCRLS Admin Office
  • Chemeketa’s Capital Projects, Facilities and Information Technology departments
  • Chemeketa Center for Business and Industry (CCBI)
  • Corrections Education
  • Eola/Northwest Wine Studies Center
  • International Student Programs
  • Public Safety officers
  • SOAR Program
  • TRiO Upward Bound Summer Academy
  • Workforce Partners at Woodburn Center

The college will resume Monday-Friday, 8 am to 5 pm office hours Monday, August 29.

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.

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.”


Music concerts June 1 & 5

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa’s growing music program will be providing not one, but two opportunities to enjoy the musical talents of our students —

Spring Orchestra & Band Concert
Wednesday, June 1, 7 pm, West Salem High School

Spring Choir Concert
Sunday, June 5, 7 pm, Salem campus auditorium (Building 6)
Theme is “All That Jazz” and will feature special guests The 14th Street Jazz Band from North Salem High School.

There is a suggested donation of $5.

Winema launches robotics program

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Early last September, Joe Shepard sat parked in his car outside Chemeketa Winema watching as backhoes hauled furniture and debris from the abyss.

He was interviewing to be the instructor for Winema’s newly minted Robotics program all while witnessing the transformation of Building 51 – dubbed ‘the abyss’ by staff – from a dingy surplus storage area to a hands-on learning environment for high school students.

Vision, advocates and months of hard work from facilities turned the pipe dream into a possibility and Chemeketa Winema is now well on its way to supporting students interested in engineering, manufacturing, prototyping and product development and design.

“There is now a pathway for Winema students to enter career tech programs at Chemeketa,” says Susan Murray, Executive Dean of Academic Progress and Regional Education Services. “We are so appreciative and have so many people to thank.”

Joe praises the Robotics program for helping students not only learn problem solving, teamwork and creativity, but for igniting a passion for learning. “These students say ‘I’m here to get this done’.”

“There are many plusses to this program,” mirrors Abby Hoffar, Dean of High School Partnerships. “Students have to work on design and assembly as a team. There’s brainstorming and dissonance, and they have to work it out together so the program is teaching soft skills too.”

“And they are really proud of their accomplishments,” she says.

Four students who’ve risen to the role of team leaders for Winema’s robotics team, the Winema Wattmasters, demonstrated their VEX creations for Chemeketa’s Board of Education, staff and program supporters at the Robotics Open House on May 18.

VEX is a highly regarded international STEM activity for middle and high school students that releases a new parts kit and engineering challenge game each year.

The Wattmasters, along with teams from Dallas, West, South and North Salem highs and the Jane Goodall Environmental Middle School, will start developing robots based on the 16-17 VEX kit and challenge game starting in September and take to the road for weekend tournaments mid-November.

To level the playing field, Winema plans to host 2-3 teams on weekdays for area students who can’t travel out of town on weekends.

Winema Robotics has many additional goals for the future, including

  • Organize the College’s robotic teams
  • Develop a maker lab that includes 3D printing, laser cutter and machinery to work with iron, aluminum, vinyl and wood
  • Develop a CADD lab
  • Use robotics to experiment with innovative horticulture and agriculture techniques
  • Host a VEX Robotics State Championship

For now, students will enjoy a wide variety of experiential opportunities to foster and support their imagination, innovation and ability to collaborate. Abby adds, “What could be better for their education, workforce or life?”






Workshop on college resources for DACA students May 27

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

DACA & Allies United Student Club invites current and future students and their families to a DACA workshop to be held Friday, May 27 from 3-5 pm.

Guests will have the opportunity to learn about resources to help DACA students (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) attend and find success at Chemeketa, including academic program information, student support services, immigration information and paying for college.

DACA workshop
Friday, May 27, 3-5 pm
Bldg. 3, Rm. 116 (Salem campus)
Dinner provided

Visual Communications Portfolio Show set for June 2

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

All are welcome to join us for the 21st annual Visual Communications Portfolio Show – an opportunity to view the culmination of projects created by talented emerging artists and designers graduating from Chemeketa’s Visual Communications program.

Eighteen students will be showcasing their work at the event including logos and product packaging developed for local nonprofits such as Marion-Polk Foodshare, Salem Audubon Society and the Silverton Poetry Festival as well as various Chemeketa programs.

Visual Communications Portfolio Show
Thursday, June 2 from 4 to 7 pm
Building 4, Room 225
Free parking will be available during the event; guests can follow signs to park in the purple and yellow lots.

For more information call 503.399.5070 or visit

Native American Spring Gathering at Yamhill Campus May 26

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

All are welcome to attend the 4th annual Native American Spring Gathering on Thursday, May 26.

Held at the Yamhill Valley campus, this free, family-friendly event will feature Native American artisans, kid crafts and demonstrations including a traditional salmon bake.

A fry bread taco lunch will be served at noon and the Grand Ronde Canoe Family Singers will perform from 12:30-1 pm.

Native American Spring Gathering
Thursday, May 26, 11 am-2 pm
Yamhill Valley Campus