This podcast focuses on elevating community college student voices in Oregon to shape inclusive higher education/workforce development policies, programs and partnerships that create economic mobility.
Clackamas Community College, Metallica All Within My Hands Foundation and American Association of Community Colleges - CCC Student Jacob Sieler & President Dr. Tim Cook; AWMH Foundation Assoc Director Renee Richardson & AACC Senior VP Jen Worth
This episode features an interview with Clackamas Community College student Jacob Sieler who is studying Machine Tool Technology as a parenting student at the college. Jacob talks about how different staff and faculty at the college have helped him address financial constraints through accessing resources available to students including the STEP grant, Tech Hire and Metallica Scholars Initiative grants.
Clackamas Community College President Dr. Tim Cook shares his reactions to Jacob’s interview and highlights the unique Metallica All Within My Hands Foundation grant that has supported students at the college while generating excitement about career technical education programs.
Renee Richardson, Associate Director of the Metallica All Within My Hands Foundation, and Jen Worth, Senior Vice President of Academic and Workforce Development at the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) elaborate on how the Metallica Scholars Initiative came about and the flexible approach the Metallica All Within My Hands Foundation and AACC have taken with community college grant recipients to tailor it to their students' needs, local economies and respective CTE programs while encouraging additional community partnerships to address student basic needs insecurity.
Rogue Community College & Kansas State University John E Roueche Center for Community College Leadership - RCC Student Lynne Hamblin & College President Dr. Cathy Kemper-Pelle; KSU Center for Community College Leadership Exec. Director Dr. John E Rouech
This episode features an interview with Rogue Community College (RCC) student Lynne Hamblin who returned to school to get her GED and enroll in the college’s award winning co-enrollment/integrated education and training program that offered simultaneous access to credit courses and additional wraparound supports. Lynne was honored as the selected student speaker for the 2021 College Commencement ceremony last spring.
RCC College President Dr. Cathy Kemper-Pelle talks about the importance of adult education programs and how the co-enrollment model directly supports the college mission, strategic plan priorities, and the college shifting to being student ready. She also discusses the recent passage of Oregon HB2835, the Benefits Navigator Bill, and other critical resources.
Dr. John E Roueche, Executive Director of the John E Roueche Center for Community College Leadership at Kansas State University, and nationally recognized higher education leader and scholar, shares insightful community college history and reflects on the importance of being open access institutions that are also equally focused on student success. Dr. Roueche emphasizes the importance of faculty and staff taking a human-centered and holistic approach to supporting students.
Central Oregon Community College (COCC) & SJI - Student Dray Aguirre, COCC Instructional Dean Jenni Newby & Pathways College & Career Success Coach Marcus LeGrand; SJI Senior Consultant Bri Nguyen & Research & Project Consultant Natasha Bennett
This episode features an interview with Central Oregon Community College (COCC) student Dray Aguirre, who offers great insights from his advocacy work at the local, state and national levels focused on student basic needs insecurity. Dray emphasizes the importance of students shaping policies and shares some of his own lived experience as a student facing basic needs insecurity. Dray was highlighted in a recent KLCC NPR story focused on food and housing insecurity among college students in Oregon.
COCC Instructional Dean, Jenni Newby, and Pathways College and Career Success Coach, Marcus LeGrand, talk about college-wide strategies to support students holistically through their Pathways to Opportunity work and how critical it is to listen to students like Dray to understand more clearly where COCC needs to prioritize their efforts.
Bri Nguyen and Natasha Bennett from SJI (Seattle Jobs Initiative) share information on their Student-Centered Design initiative in collaboration with colleges in Oregon and across the country and describe a variety of ways they engage students in this work to improve access to benefits and resources.
Lane Community College & NCTN/World Education - Student Maria Cristina Cruz & College President Dr. Margaret Hamilton; NCTN/World Education, Inc Senior Technical Advisor Judy Mortrude
This episode features Lane Community College (LCC) student Maria Cristina Cruz, who is enrolled in an innovative Early Childhood Education program that integrates Career Technical Education coursework with foundational skills leading to a college credential. Cristina is a parenting student who has found employment in her field of study while still in school and has accessed different resources at LCC to make it all work.
Lane Community College President Dr. Margaret Hamilton shares her enthusiasm and commitment to the statewide Pathways to Opportunity framework as a racial equity strategy and discusses the importance of the Navigator role to help students maximize benefits to complete college.
Judy Mortrude, Senior Technical Advisor at National College Transitions Network/World Education, Inc, talks about the importance of adult integrated education and training career pathways programs, like the PASS Lane Early Childhood Education program at LCC, and how these efforts are part of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014 and fit in with broad college-wide Guided Pathways initiatives.
Mt. Hood Community College & ACCT - Student Bakr Alkarawi & President Dr. Lisa Skari; Association of Community College Trustees Director of Government Relations, Katie Brown
This episode features a conversation with Mt. Hood Community College student Bakr Alkarawi, who shares how his own experience as a student facing housing insecurity has propelled him to take action and work with college leadership, policymakers and community partners towards a bill in the Oregon legislature that would fund services and support for students facing houselessness. Bakr offers helpful perspective on what resources and staffing support have assisted him while taking GED and college-level coursework at Mt. Hood including the STEP grant, MHCC Foundation scholarships, and guidance from key faculty and staff along the way.
Mt. Hood Community College President, Dr. Lisa Skari, discusses different strategies the college has taken to address student basic needs insecurity integrating student voices in this work.
Lastly, Katie Brown, Director of Government Relations, at the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), talks about the current federal policy landscape related to community colleges and addressing students’ unmet financial need. This community college priorities document from ACCT (and AACC) for the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan legislation is a helpful summary and guide from the conversation with Katie.
Treasure Valley Community College - Student James Toms & President Dr. Dana Young; Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon Policy Advocate Chloe Eberhardt
In this episode, Treasure Valley Community College (TVCC) student, James Toms, talks about his experience as a returning student to college and how different programs and supports on campus have helped him pursue a Medical Assisting certificate at the college and a new career in healthcare. He shares great suggestions on how the college can continue to help students facing unmet financial need.
Afterwards, the President of TVCC, Dr. Dana Young, discusses the importance of the statewide Pathways to Opportunity initiative which helps connect students with benefits and resources. She shares her own family journey through higher education and how much she can relate to students facing basic needs insecurity.
Lastly, Chloe Eberhardt from Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, talks about how and why the organization’s advocacy efforts have centered on higher education students who have faced disproportionate food insecurity in Oregon. Chloe provides more information on a current bill in the 2021 Oregon legislative session, HB2835, which would provide a benefits navigator at each of the community colleges and public universities to assist students in maximizing benefits and resources available to them.