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COCC Presents First Ever "State Of The College"

BEND, OR -- Central Oregon Community College President Dr. Laurie Chesley presented the school’s first ever “State of the College” Wednesday. She says it’s a pivotal time to start a new tradition, "This fall, COCC’s Bend campus will celebrate its 75th anniversary."

During the presentation, Dr. Chesley talked a lot about the school’s new strategic plan, focused on sustainability, equity and bridging gaps for students in need. "In the fall of 2023 term alone, the ASCOCC food bank served approximately 1,090 students and more than 3,200 family members," she said. Dr. Chesley noted there are also improvements for students not seeking a degree, "COCC recently launched the Center for Business, Industry and Professional Development, to house all our non-credit workforce training offerings."

A pilot program to teach Deer Ridge prison inmates job search skills like resume writing is now expanding statewide. And, she sayd, "This spring, the college will increase its course offering, so adults in custody at Deer Ridge can work toward an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer Degree."

Chesley also touted the benefits of the upcoming $18 million Madras Campus expansion, "TThis spring, we will break ground on a new 24,000 square foot building." Eventually, that building will house a childcare center, in addition to offering classes in early childhood education and nursing. "This facility directly addresses the shortage of healthcare and early childhood education workers, as well as the scarcity of childcare sites." She added, "Most of these students will be employed in Jefferson and Crook counties, serving rural patient populations. We also expect to graduate 30 additional early childhood educators annually from our Madras campus."

That facility is expected to open in the fall of 2025.


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