The ProblemTransferring to a four-year university is a tricky process. There are hoops to jump through, papers to sign, emails to send and phone calls to make. There is also relocation to consider. Moving halfway across the state or country isn’t a simple task for most of us. Families, jobs, and mortgages are roots that run deep, and for many of us, a bachelor’s degree is a golden apple at the top of a tree.
The NumbersIn fact, Washington State statistics show that while the Lower Columbia region has a high number of people who have earned an associate’s degree, “Only 16% of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum County adults over age 25 have completed four or more years of college compared to a state average of 32%” (statistics taken from information printed in the 2013 LCC Spring Class Schedule).
Beginning Fall 2013, however, Lower Columbia College will provide a ladder that can help students reach the top of that tree.
The SolutionYou may have noticed construction taking place as you’re entering the Alan Thompson Library. This will be the home of the new University Center, which will house representatives from Eastern Washington University, WSU-Vancouver, and City University. The new University Center will break down some of the barriers that many students face when they are ready to transfer to a four-year university.
For example, geographical limitations will no longer be an issue that keeps students from earning a bachelor’s degree. With bachelor’s programs offered from the LCC campus, students will no longer need to relocate in order to attend a university.
The Icing on the CakeIn addition to making it easier to earn a bachelor’s degree without relocating, the University Center will also help eliminate psychological barriers. Instead of waiting 24 hours for a return email, or speaking with someone over the phone hundreds of miles away, students will now be able to meet with advisors from EWU, WSU-Vancouver, and City U face to face without leaving town. Just a quick jaunt to the Center (maybe slightly less than quick, depending on parking) will save students time, money, and sanity.
Beginning Fall 2013, Eastern Washington University will offer bachelor degree programs in Applied Technology and Interdisciplinary Studies. City University already offers a BA in elementary education and WSU-Vancouver has expressed interest in offering a BS in nursing in the near future. If these changes are predictive of anything, it's that more and more opportunities will soon be available to students in the Lower Columbia region.