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Category Archives: Front page

Chemeketa signs onto climate action committment

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

President Roberts sign climate committmentChemeketa Community College will undertake a goal of reducing the college’s net greenhouse gas emissions to zero after President Cheryl Roberts signed a commitment document.

Chemeketa joined 680 other colleges and universities as signatories of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The commitment was signed April 15 during a Pizza & Politics event in the Student Center on the Salem campus.

“We believe this commitment is the best way to move our college sustainability policy into operations,” said Roberts, “because it gives us clear measures and a better structure for making progress. We have reasonable benchmarks and timeframes to work with, and we are already doing much of what the commitment calls for.”

“At Chemeketa, we make promises and commitments to the community,” Roberts added.

The commitment calls on the college to initiate a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible, take an inventory of the college’s current greenhouse gas emissions and start tangible actions to reduce the college’s greenhouse gas emissions while the comprehensive plan is under development.

The comprehensive plan, which the college will have two years to complete, will include a target date for the college’s operations to be climate-neutral, make climate neutrality and sustainability part of the college’s curriculum, and put mechanism in place for tracking the college’s progress on goals and actions.

All of these documents and progress reports will be submitted to the ACUPCC, where they will be made publicly available.

More information on the ACUPCC can be found at

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.

Notice of Budget Committee meetings

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Notice of Budget Committee meetingsA public meeting of the Budget Committee of Chemeketa Community College, Marion County, State of Oregon, to receive the budget for the fiscal year July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015 will be held at Chemeketa Community College, Building 2 Boardroom, 4000 Lancaster Drive NE, Salem. The meeting will take place on the 9th day of April at 7:00 p.m. The purpose is to receive the budget message and document of the district. A copy of the budget document may be inspected on or after April 10, 2014 at the Chemeketa Community College Library, second floor of Building 9 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

An additional Budget Committee meeting will take place on April 16, 2014 at
4:30 p.m. to receive additional budget information, deliberate and take public
comment. The meeting will be held at Chemeketa Community College, Building
2 Boardroom, 4000 Lancaster Drive NE, Salem. This is a public meeting where
deliberation of the Budget Committee will take place. Any person may appear at
the meeting and discuss the proposed programs with the Budget Committee.

Cheryl Roberts
Budget Officer

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


New students: Register for your required student advising session

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

New student advisingChemeketa is offering new student advising sessions for students planning to start winter term.

Advising is a valuable first step for students to attain their college goals. Advising is required before new students can register for winter term classes.

Register for a new student advising session here.


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.

Sign up for weather alerts

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Sign up for weather alertsIn the event of inclement weather that requires a college location to close or delay opening, Chemeketa Community College relies on a number of methods to notify the college community, including posting information on the college’s website, the college’s social media channels and notification of local print, radio and television media.

The college also offers a service that allows students, staff, faculty and other community members to receive text messages, voice messages or email alerts of college closures for weather or emergency-related reasons.

To sign up, visit

NOTICE: Salem campus construction & parking update

By Chemeketa Public Affairs


Chemeketa fall term construction alertChemeketa has been busy working on improvements to our grounds, buildings and classrooms. As you arrive for fall term, you will notice construction still occurring on the Salem campus. We will have signs and people at these construction areas to direct and assist you. For your safety, please respect all signs and barricades and follow any safety directions from college personnel.

Please note that some parking areas will be impacted by the construction. To provide adequate parking, the college has designated several overflow parking zones. When using overflow parking, please be aware of the following:

  • Overflow parking zone surfaces will generally consist of coarse gravel and grass.  Please drive slowly and exercise care in navigating the lots.  Please be mindful of pedestrians, puddles, or uneven ground.
  • Overflow parking zones will generally not be ADA accessible.  Additional temporary ADA parking stalls have been created in the Blue Parking Lot near Building 2, and in the Green Parking Lot near new Building 8.  Please phone Facilities and Operations if you experience any difficulties.

Thank you in advance for your patience as we continue to improve our facilities. If you have any questions, concerns or special needs, please phone Facilities & Operations at 503.399.5157.

Chemeketa receives rural business grants

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa receives rural business grantsCongressman Kurt Schrader announced federal grant support for two efforts to assist small and emerging rural businesses and foster rural job creation in partnership with Chemeketa Community College.

The funding was made available through the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program administered by the Rural Development mission area of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“These grants are critical investments that will help us train self-sufficient entrepreneurs whose success will create employment opportunities that could transform lives and communities,” Chemeketa President Cheryl Roberts said.

A grant of $15,000 to Chemeketa will allow six businesses from rural Marion and Polk Counties to complete the college’s Small Business Management Program. The program will provide a combination of classroom training, one-on-one business counseling, and business-to-business support and networking to help increase sales, expand operations, and save and create local jobs.

A second grant of $20,000 to the college’s Microenterprise Resources, Initiatives and Training (MERIT) program will be used to provide entrepreneurial training to Hispanic and other aspiring entrepreneurs in the Woodburn area through the Mid-Willamette Valley Latino Microenterprise Development Program. The program aims to address an increasing need for business training and access to capital as Hispanic entrepreneurs launch new small businesses at record paces.

Both programs are based out of the Chemeketa Center for Business and Industry in downtown Salem.

“Small businesses are the real job creators in Oregon and across our nation,” Schrader said. “These federal investments in business training and counseling for our hardworking rural business owners are exactly what they need right now to expand their operations, create local jobs and foster economic growth in our underserved areas.”

The RBEG program is designed to promote development of small and emerging businesses in rural areas. RBEG may also be used to help fund distance learning networks and employment-related adult education programs. Eligible applicants for the program include public bodies, nonprofit corporations and federally recognized Indian Tribes.

The grants are among 131 awards amounting to more than $6.5 million in USDA funding nationwide. Of these, 16 grants totaling $268,000 will be awarded to support businesses in rural Oregon. The funding is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of their grant agreements.

Chemeketa board approves lowering 2013-14 tuition

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa lowers 2013-14 tuitionChemeketa Community College’s Board of Education unanimously approved reducing the cost of attending the college for the 2013-14 academic based on a higher than expected allocation from the state Legislature.

“This decision demonstrates the deep commitment our board has for students and the soundness of our fiscal management,” said Chemeketa President Cheryl Roberts.  “I am grateful and proud that through the vision of our leaders and the hard work of our staff we are in the unique and enviable position to reduce the cost of a Chemeketa education.”

College administration had asked the board to increase tuition by $2 per credit hour and the universal fee $4 per credit hour. This recommendation, approved by the board in February, made the 2013-14 academic year tuition $82 per credit hour for Oregon residents plus a $14 per credit hour universal fee for a total cost of $96 per credit hour.

Those tuition and fee increases were based on the college assuming the Legislature would fund Oregon’s community colleges at the $428 million level in Governor John Kitzhaber’s proposed budget. When it became apparent the state’s appropriation would be $450 million or more, the college administration sought a break for students.

Based on the Legislature’s $450 million allocation for community colleges, Chemeketa’s tuition will be reduced to $80 per credit hour for Oregon residents. Universal fees will remain at $14 per credit hour.

The lower costs will go in effect immediately. Students currently enrolled in summer term will receive a refund per college policy.

The tuition rates will be adjusted on all courses and credits will be posted to student accounts in the next few days.  Any accounts with credit balances over $5 will receive refunds within the next week.  Refunds will be processed based on college refunding policies and procedures. Students do not need to do anything to initiate the process.

To see details of your student account, please check the Account Summary on My Chemeketa.