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Category Archives: Front page

Urton Family establishes re-entry scholarship

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Urton family establishes scholarshipTed and Jan Urton have established a scholarship fund with the Chemeketa Foundation to support educating students who are ex-criminal offenders. They contributed $25,000 to launch the Urton Family Re-entry scholarship fund.

This is not their first act of generosity. The Urtons worked in South Korea as Peace Corps volunteers and adopted their first child there. They subsequently adopted two more children upon their return to Oregon.  One of them, Zachary, came to live with the Urtons when he was two. By middle school Zachary was in trouble with the law and was incarcerated in state juvenile detention facilities.  When he turned 18, Zachary finished up his juvenile sentence in adult jail and was released.

He was not prepared to succeed outside. Jan Urton describes a beloved son seldom able to stay out of trouble. Now 35, Zachary has spent almost 17 years of his life behind bars.

“His longest stretch out was 4 years,” said Jan.

Zachary is one of 14,655 inmates in an Oregon corrections facility. The average number of inmates released each month is 434. In Oregon, 26% of released offenders are convicted of a new felony within three years according to data supplied by the Oregon Department of Corrections.

The Urtons suggest there are many structural and societal challenges that make it difficult for ex-offenders to succeed outside.  It’s hard to find a job or a place to live. Sometimes the terms of their release makes it tough for them to have a normal life. There are undiagnosed drug dependency and mental health issues that can come into play. The Urton’s personal experience led them to fund the scholarship.

“We asked ourselves,” said Ted, “what is the primary source of hope in a community? It’s the community college. A Chemeketa education can get these people back on the path of hope.”

The Urtons urge anyone interested in contributing to the re-entry scholarship to contact the Chemeketa Foundation at 503.365.4747.

“If one or two people can get out and make it because of this scholarship, that would be very gratifying,” says Ted.


Consulate of Mexico awards grant for bilingual education

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa receives award from Mexican ConsulateA delegation from Chemeketa received a grant from the Consulate of Mexico in Portland to increase the number of bilingual and bicultural teachers in Oregon. The $5,000 award is to support Mexican or Mexican-American students with an emphasis on Dreamers in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The funds will help students in Chemeketa’s Bilingual Education program. Chemeketa’s goal for 2016-2017 is to provide tuition assistance to help 12-20 students. Often, students in this program are enrolled less than full-time, so amounts of tuition assistance vary according to enrollment and need. Eligible full-time students  receive up to $500 per term, part-time students may receive up to $350 per term, and students enrolled in one class may receive up to $200 per term.

The infusion of new funding from the Consulate of Mexico will allow for a match of this student tuition assistance for winter and spring terms. Details regarding this program are available here.


Chemeketa hosts ROTC/JROTC Physical Training Championship

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa ROTC ChampionshipThe spirit of competition and benefitting veteran students was the focus of Chemeketa’s first ROTC/JROTC physical training championship on Nov. 5.

Teams of five, with a minimum of two women, competed in five events– push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, 300-meter dash and two-mile run. Divisions for teams were JROTC, ROTC, Militaryand Emergency Services. Competitors came from as far away as Brigham Young University.

All sponsor proceeds from the event will benefit scholarships for veterans in Chemeketa’s emergency services programs.

The competition was organized by Chemeketa’s Veterans Services office and the Chemeketa Foundation. The Oregon National Guard was the lead sponsor, with additional support generously provided by Eagle Home Mortgage, Edward Jones, T-Mobile and the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace.


Horticulture student saving our rhodys

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

horticulture student saving rhodysRhododendrons and Oregon go together like springtime and hope. Unfortunately rhodys also go with a beautiful but nasty pest: the azalea lace bug. Chemeketa horticulture student Barry Finley co-authored an article in Digger, the trade publication of the Oregon Nursery Association, about biological alternatives to pesticides for controlling lace bugs.

Lace bugs suck the chlorophyll out of the leaves then excrete their fecal deposits. Nobody wants to see that happen to their shrubs. The conventional practice for controlling this mess is insecticides but that has the drawback of harming beneficial insects, and they are often applied close to people and pets. A natural predator of lace bugs would diminish the risks of using chemicals.

Finley, who is also an intern at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center, participated in testing the use of green lacewings to manage lacebugs. Their conclusion is that lacewings are a promising alternative and they intend to do more research.


Sign up for college alert system

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Sign up for emergency alerts

Chemeketa offers a system to be notified of campus closures and delays due to weather and other reasons.

Follow these steps so you don’t miss out on college closure or email alerts–

  1. Log in to My Chemeketa
  2. Open the “Services” tab
  3. Click on the “Notifications” tab
  4. Follow the directions on the page

You may also visit .alerts.chemeketa.edu to log in and sign up for alerts.

If you have questions about this system, please contact the IT Help Desk at 503.399.7899.


What is next for the Oregon Promise

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Oregon Promise Chemeketa 2016They called the legislation Oregon Promise. The headlines trumpeted, “Free community college tuition.” Chemeketa staff wondered how this opportunity will affect enrollment. How will the Oregon Promise students do in college-level classes?

Now the promise is real. We have learned a lot and there is still more to be revealed.

Chemeketa welcomed over 1,070 recipients of the Oregon Promise grant fall term. Oregon Promise students are probably the reason why Chemeketa enrolled nearly 300 more students than usual directly from high school this fall.

We have hired two new advisors to help our Oregon Promise students succeed. Rebeka Phelps comes to us from PCC where she worked in academic advising and study skills.

Jose Ceja-Garibay is a Chemeketa success story. Jose was part of the first cohort of Chemeketa Scholars and a College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) student. Jose has worked in our Academic Development department since graduating. Their enthusiasm for their work is palpable.

“We’re looking at something brand new,” said Rebeka, “and going in a direction that has never been done before.”

Jose added, “I’ve always loved how Chemeketa is a community and we want the Oregon Promise students to feel that connection and be well-informed so they succeed.”

Rebeka and Jose plan to implement innovative communication channels like Snapchat, a dedicated Facebook presence and responding to notifications from faculty when students are struggling.

What’s next?

Our OP students have to meet criteria to maintain their eligibility –

  1. Register for at least half-time (6 credits) fall term 2016
  2. Remain enrolled at least half-time for three consecutive terms each year
  3. Complete and maintain 2.0 GPA
  4. Pass at least 67% of attempted credits
  5. Complete and pass Chemeketa’s First Year Experience class Creating College Success in their first year
  6. Work toward completion of a certificate or a degree

The Legislature will consider renewing Oregon Promise funding for the 2017-18 academic year during the upcoming session.

 


Early College peer mentor program launched

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

On Wednesday, September 21, High School Partnerships (HSP) held its first Mentor Mingle to kick-off the inaugural year of its student mentor program.

Twelve veteran Early College High School students are volunteering to mentor 30 of their peers transitioning from high school to college classes.

“Our goal is to provide both mentors and mentees with personal and professional development by connecting all Early College students to student services and college life,” said Alejandra Gallegos, High School Partnership department assistant. “We want our students to create a strong bond with Chemeketa as well as support their transition from high school to college culture.”

Throughout the year, mentors will lead activities such as visiting the multicultural
center, getting connected with clubs and organizations and participating in community service activities.

“I want to be a mentor because I feel I can help share with my mentees my mistakes and what I’ve learned from them so they can have an easier path to success,” says student Paula Tamayo.

Abby Hoffar, dean of High School Partnerships, applauded the efforts made by HSP staff and students, declaring the program a prime example of the department’s philosophy of ‘What can we do that best supports our students?’. “The collaboration between our peer mentors and first year students is an opportunity for support and growth for all.”

 


Chemeketa’s TRiO Talent Search grant renewed

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Trio talent search grant fundedChemeketa’s TRiO Talent Search and Mentor Project grant funds services to help 544 eligible students from North Salem and McKay high schools prepare for college each year.  The project advisors also assist eligible eighth grade students from Houck, Parrish, Waldo and Stephens Middle Schools. The middle school program explores career interests, college programs, and prepares them to successfully transition to North Salem and McKay. The U.S. Department of Education has renewed funding for the program at $261,120 per year for the next five years.  The Talent Search and Mentor Project is 100% federally funded.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to continue to help students explore careers, overcome barriers and successfully progress in their education towards college,” said Susan McCaffrey, Chemeketa TRiO Talent Search and Mentor project coordinator.

TRiO Talent Search and Mentor staff will recruit students fall term from McKay and North Salem to participate in the program.  Eighth grade students from the schools that feed into McKay and North Salem will be recruited in January for career exploration and help understanding how high school class choices and grades affect future opportunities.  TRiO Talent Search students from the middle schools will continue receiving Talent Search and Mentor project services all through high school up until they access college.

The TRiO Talent Search and Mentor program serves schools with qualifying levels of –

  • Low-income families
  • Low levels of adult educational attainment
  • High number of students taking more than four years to graduate
  • Minimal access to rigorous courses
  • Low college-going rates
  • High student-to-counselor ratios
  • Low state assessment test scores

The TRiO Talent Search and Mentor Project provides advising, mentoring and tutoring services to the schools and closely monitors student performance and progress. Students may receive supplemental tutoring, scheduling assistance and/or college and career exploration experiences. They also are supported in getting ready for college with assistance in obtaining financial aid, scholarships, help with college applications and college test preparation.

The Talent Search grant funds one coordinator position, two advising positions, adjunct instructors and part-time tutors at Chemeketa.


Chemeketa staff advocates for migrant education in D.C.

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa staff in Washington D.C.Last month a team of Chemeketa staff members went to Washington DC to meet with Oregon’s Congressional delegation and support efforts of the federal Office of Migrant Education (OME).

Programs offered by the OME include –

  • High School Equivalency Program (HEP) which focuses on providing GED test preparation for students
  • College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) which provides supplemental financial assistance and support services, with the goal of preparing students to continue their education and obtain a degree.

Currently, there are 36 HEP programs and 37 CAMP programs across the country. Chemeketa offers both of these programs.

Chemeketa’s HEP and CAMP delegation met with the offices of Rep. Kurt Schrader and senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden. They sought to advocate for continued and increased funding, along with participating in annual planning and training.

Advocates asked for increased funding of $5 billion to the U. S. Department of Education to support an addition of 11 new programs. They also shared the challenges and successes of both programs as well as the positive impacts and opportunities that students receive from both programs.

Chemeketa’s HEP program serves 70 students per year and is currently entering the third year of a five year grant cycle. CAMP serves 55 first-year students per year.


Results of Chemeketa water quality testing now online

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa water quality testing results onlineA major concern for Oregonians has been the quality of water system, in particular the level of lead contamination.

The college’s facilities department began testing water in the buildings for lead contamination in June 2016, with priority given to buildings providing services to youth.

In order the keep the community informed on these results, the college has created a page on our website to post the results of these tests as they are made available.

The documents show the location each water sample was taken from, in addition to the amount of lead found in the water, shown as parts per billion (ppb). Any result of less than 0.015 is below the actionable level recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency. A result showing “ND” means there was not a detectable level of lead.

The water quality page is available here.