Thursday, June 6, 2013

New University Center Breaks Down Barriers

The Problem

Transferring 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 Numbers

In 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 Solution

You 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 Cake

In 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.

Learn More

If you’re a student interested in learning more about the new programs offered by the University Center, check with your advisor. If you’re a returning student interested in a bachelor’s degree, you can contact the LCC Entry Center at

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Moms Honored for Academic Excellence

Every year, the All-Washington Academic Team recognizes outstanding students from communities across the state of Washington.  The award has become highly prestigious to the state’s community and technical colleges because it praises academic excellence, sometimes despite personal odds the recipients face.  For a point of reference, David likely would have received the award after he planted the stone in Goliath’s forehead like an Indian bindi.  If he chose to attend a community college, that is.

This year, two mothers with wills of steel and hearts of gold were chosen for the All-Washington Academic Team from Lower Columbia College.  Maryanne Hirning and Michelle Saiz filled the shoes of their academically outstanding predecessors, being honored by Gov. Jay Inslee at a ceremony held in Olympia.  They will both receive $1,000 in scholarships–$500 from Keybank and $500 from the ever-benevolent LCC Foundation.

The following is an excerpt from "Moms Excel in New Roles as College Students" in the 2013 Summer Quarter Class Schedule:

Daughters Drive LCC Studies

LCC President, Chris Bailey, congratulates 2013 Academic
Team member Michelle Saiz while her daughters watch at
the awards ceremony in Olympia.
As a child, Michelle attended 12 different schools, falling behind as she struggled to learn with changing curriculums and an undiagnosed learning disability. She dropped out at age 16 and went to work. After becoming a parent, Michelle realized she didn't have the skills to help her daughter with school and in 2005 earned her GED. Four years later, she began college classes toward a nursing degree because she wanted a career caring for others. With hard work, Michelle has earned a 3.89 GPA, but missed being accepted into the nursing program on her first try. Determined to show her daughters they could do anything they wanted, Michelle dedicated her entire summer to studying to retake the application exams. Her efforts were rewarded with acceptance to the program this spring. Michelle has found time to also teach her daughters the value of community service. She volunteers in the classroom at Kessler elementary and enlisted her family’s’ help with volunteer efforts for rescued PAWS animal adoption organization. “All of the LCC faculty have been extremely helpful,” Michelle said. “Don’t hesitate to ask for help,” she advises. “Throw yourself out there!”

Faculty Support Aids Success

Maryanne Hirning celebrates with her husband, Ted, and
sons, Nicholas and Jacob, after receiving her medal.
Maryanne will tell you that [hers] is a “love story.” She supported her husband, Ted, through two tours in Iraq and while he earned his master’s degree. She also loves her role as mom to sons nick, 17, and Jacob, 12. So when Maryanne decided to pursue her own dreams, the men in her life gladly returned that love. “We've all made sacrifices.  I've missed some games and dinner often arrives via delivery,” she said. “Now they proofread my papers and are my biggest cheerleaders.” In addition to maintaining a 4.0 GPA, Maryanne is serving as an editor of The Salal Review, LCC’s award-winning literary and arts magazine and helping organize the campus Spring Arts Festival. The Kelso mom has continued to volunteer with parent-teacher organizations at Beacon Hill Elementary and Huntington Middle School and with Cowlitz Youth Baseball. Her success at LCC helped Maryanne gain the self-confidence to write a federal matching grant to help low-income youth play baseball. Maryanne chose LCC because it was close to her home, affordable and had a reputation for providing a quality education that would transfer to baccalaureate institutions. She has been admitted to WSU Vancouver to continue studies toward her bachelor’s degree and her dream to become a school librarian. To her delight, she found the campus provides a wealth of other resources including great lectures and art shows for her whole family to enjoy.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Steps to Success ~ Ad Astra Per Aspera

Welded sculpture serves as teaching tool and inspirational decor.

Many people go their whole lives without thinking about welding. It might surprise them to know that welding affects an estimated 50 percent of the US gross national product. Without welding, skyscrapers, bridges, cars, rockets and ships would not exist. (Cary, 1998)
Ad Astra Per Aspera means 'a rough road to the stars'

Welding, at its core, is a way of bonding two pieces of metal together. But for Sam Devere, it's much more than that. Having earning an associate degree in welding, as well an associate in arts transfer degree in economics, he's focused on tutoring students in the welding lab, while nurturing his artistic streak.

As president of the Lower Columbia College Welding Club (which he started in January 2011), he was tasked with creating a sculpture for an evolving space in the Student Center. He and the other club members strategized how to visualize the college's brand by incorporating symbols of learning, higher education, and the 'higher and hire', slogan.

The theme of 'steps' emerged, together with 'books'. Sam felt that books as physical objects were dying, and he wanted to memorialize them.

"Ten years from now, kids will wonder what books looked like", he explained.

From left: Tim Rose, Sam Devere, Stephanie Bradford
and Marjorie Ganos in front of 'Ad Astra Per Aspera'. 
Sam and the welding students practiced essential welding skills while creating the sculpture in LCC's welding lab, then painted it with repurposed colored paints left over from previous projects. They named it 'Ad Astra Per Aspera', a Latin phrase meaning 'a rough road leads to the stars'.

"That phrase is engraved on the memorial plaque commemorating the Apollo 1 spacecraft, and has been associated with many historical characters and events," Sam explained.

"It seemed to fit this project because we are all striving towards something bigger."

Sam plans to pursue his bachelor's degree by transferring to a four-year university at some point in the future. The skills he's learned at LCC in the classroom, by working with people, and by pursuing creative endeavors, will serve him well.

"I'm having fun," he says,"and people are cool with it [the sculpture]."

The Steps to Success ~ Ad Astra Per Aspera sculpture is located on the first floor of the Student Center, just inside the West entrance (doors closest to the Quad).

Sam is passionate about what he's doing, while pursuing his dreams. For that, we salute him!

Cary, Howard B. (1998) Modern Welding Technology. 4th Edition. Ohio: Prentice-Hall.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Digital Forensics Certificate Program Begins Winter Quarter

Computers play a prominent role in almost every workplace today to manage financial, and personnel records and communications.

On television and in real life, records and data from electronic communications devices - computers to cell phones - are used to solve questions and crimes. Just like physical evidence at a crime scene, this virtual data must be properly handled to stand up in court.

Lower Columbia College will offer a new certificate program in Digital Forensics starting Winter Quarter 2013 for computer science students, working computing specialists, law enforcement, and security professionals who want to add this specialized training to their resumes.

Businesses, government and non-profit organizations, and law enforcement all need computing specialists trained to handle issues related to these digital activities as they apply to policy, ethics and law.

The four-quarter sequence of courses is designed for individuals with some computer network training or security work experience.

The 18-credit certificate can be used to complete an Associate in Applied Science degree in Information Technology Systems or as a stand-alone certification for those with previous computer network skills.

Students will learn how to:
  • Apply digital legal requirements related to the handling of evidence in an investigation.
  • Demonstrate proper handling of possible evidence related to investigations following identified digital forensic procedures.
  • Demonstrate skills in acquisition, recovery, analysis, and documentation of digital data from digital devices and systems.
Courses will be offered in online and in evening hybrid formats to accommodate the schedules of working professionals.

To determine if you qualify to begin the program this winter, based on work experience or college coursework, please contact the LCC Entry Center and ask for Computer Science Instructor David Rosi.

Instructor Bio

John Leech is a senior instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. He is currently assigned to the Technical Operations Division/Digital Forensics Branch, where he is the program coordinator for the Mac Forensic Training Program (MFTP) and the co-coordinator for the Mobile Device Investigations Program (MDIP). John was previously employed as a Computer Forensic Senior Professional with Computer Sciences Corporation. In that capacity, he was assigned as an instructor for the Department of Defense Cyber Investigations Training Academy (DCITA). At DCITA, John developed and delivered courses for federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies engaged in the investigation of high technology crime and intelligence gathering. He has also taught college courses in the areas of Information Technology and forensics.  

Mr. Leech is also a retired law enforcement officer. A veteran police officer with twenty years of service, John spent ten years, as a detective, investigating major crimes. During the course of his career, he acquired more than twenty commendations and letters of appreciation.

John is a Certified Technical Instructor (COMPTIA) who holds many forensic certifications from both government and industry. Mr. Leech also holds a Master's of Science degree in Forensic Studies (IT), a B.S. in Information Technology and an A.A.S. in Interactive Media.

John is a member of the International Society of Forensic Computer Examiners, the Northern Ohio Information Technology Roundtable, InfraGard, the High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA), and the International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists (IACIS).

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Business Student Defies Odds; Puts 2nd Chance on Fast Track

Following a serious logging accident on Valentine’s Day 2007, doctors told Jeremy Fralick’s parents to plan his funeral. Two weeks later, when he awoke from a coma, they told Jeremy he would never walk or talk again. Life, as he knew it, was over.

But Jeremy recovered from his injuries and wasted no time in taking full advantage of his second chance.

A desire to help others led him to become a volunteer firefighter and an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with the Castle Rock Fire Department. He also completed an internship with the Longview Fire Department. In addition, he decided to earn a college degree.

Fortunately, the online Associate in Applied Science degree in Business Management at Lower Columbia College is a perfect fit for busy adults.
Online business degree student Jeremy Fralick talks with
Longview City Manager Bob Gregory
at the annual LCC Foundation Scholarship Social.

“It has been a blessing to be part of LCC and a part of the online courses due to my extremely busy schedule,” Fralick said.
 A top student, he received the Baker Lumber Scholarship to help complete his studies in just 18 months and is on track to graduate at the end of Fall quarter.

Students learn the same skills covered in traditional classroom sessions, including accounting, economics, human resources, marketing and other business-related topics. Many of the online courses are offered two or more quarters each year helping students enroll in the classes they need without waiting. Several are also available in an evening hybrid format that includes a once weekly classroom lesson with online work for the remaining assignments.

Business instructor Tim Allwine reports the lion’s share of his students prefer hybrid or online classes. According to his class evaluations, over 60% report working half-time or more and 95% have high speed Internet access at home.

Anyone who has used a Smartphone or made a purchase over the Internet has the computer skills to take his online business courses, Allwine says. “It’s that simple.”

The key to success with online classes is the student’s ability to be self-directed in completing work on time, he notes.To help, Allwine provides assignment deadlines throughout the quarter and makes them clear well in advance.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Inspiring Success Story: Machinist Benjamin Perrigo Gets Hired!

"LCC is a small school with a great vocational program," Benjamin Perrigo, Class of 2012.

Benjamin Perrigo operates equipment in LCC's
Machine Trades lab.
Benjamin Perrigo is a grateful graduate, and excited about his new job at The Leatherman Tool Group in Portland, Oregon, where he's been hired as a Level 2 production machine operator. In his new position he will operate punch presses, grinders and milling machines used to make blades that go into Leatherman tools. 

Benjamin attended LCC on the GI-Bill after serving as petroleum supply specialist in the Army. His job consisted of mechanical work, a field he wanted to continue after leaving the service.

LCC's Machine Trades program was a logical fit. Benjamin wanted to hit the ground running once he obtained his degree, and he'd heard the program gave graduates good preparation for the workforce.

Manufacturing jobs have changed over the last decade, going high tech and requiring workers to have more training and computer skills. It's estimated that within five years as many as 3 million manufacturing jobs will come back to the USA from foreign soil. But they won't be the old-style labor jobs. They'll be high-skill, high-demand positions, the kind that require at least a community college degree.

Which puts LCC's Machine Trades program center stage. Benjamin earned his two-year associate in applied science degree, while learning (and practicing) many of the computer skills that have become necessary in today's manufacturing environment.

"Employers want people who can program, set-up and operate computerized machine tools", Benjamin explained.

Machine Trades instructor Kam Todd continues to enhance the college's reputation for training machinists who, upon graduating, enter the workforce with competitive skills designed to give them an edge.

At the end of Spring quarter Benjamin was voted 'Outstanding Machine Trade Student' for 2012. He also credits LCC for assisting him with his Post-9/11 GI-Bill benefits, without which he would not have been able to reach his educational goals after serving his country.

"I got amazing help from Financial Aid staff. LCC is a Veteran-friendly college" he said!

Learn more about Veterans Services at Lower Columbia College.
Learn more about Machine Trades programs at Lower Columbia College.
Benjamin Perrigo operates computerized machinery
Benjamin Perrigo and a student work in the lab.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Inspiring Success Story: LCC-City U Education Grad 'Going Home' to Teach

As early as 8th grade, Tim Shampoe was inspired by his own teachers to consider a career in education.

Tim Shampoe and son Jaiden visit the City U offices at LCC.

But life intervened. He served in the military, traveled the world, got married and became the father of three sons. Tim was successful at a variety of jobs in sales and volunteered as a motivational speaker for military groups and schools, to steer young people away from addictive behaviors.

Shortly after the family moved to Longview, he lost his job due to the economy. A friend recommended LCC as a college that was very supportive of veterans.

Thanks to a partnership between LCC and City University of Seattle, Tim is realizing his dream of teaching. After finishing his associate degree at LCC, in Fall 2010 he became part of the first cohort to enroll in the new Elementary Education and Teacher Certification program.


Ready for His New Job

Tim completed his CityU coursework this spring and has already found a job teaching fifth grade and coaching the Knowledge Bowl team at the same White Salmon Elementary School he attended as a youngster.
“It’s like going home again!” he said.
The eight-quarter program met locally on Tuesday and Thursday nights and Saturdays. Students also completed online assignments and lessons.
“The evening and weekend classes allowed more time for my family, plus I didn’t have to drive a long distance,” Shampoe said.
Classes were taught by area teachers who held master’s degrees.
“The local teachers with expertise in Special Education, Math and History really knew their stuff!” Tim said.
He also praised the staff at Castle Rock Elementary, where he completed student teaching, for helping him succeed.

Students chose either Elementary Education or Special Education and then selected a second area – Elementary Education, Special Education, Mathematics, Reading, or English Language Learners. The second endorsement qualified graduates to teach classes in those subjects through grade 12.

Two Endorsements

“The dual endorsement really increases the marketability of the graduates,” Tim said.
15 of the 17 students who began the program two years ago graduated with other CityU students at a regional ceremony in Seattle on June 16.

Students interested in joining the next CityU cohort in Elementary Education at LCC may contact: Ann Williamson at 360.442.2892, or Paul Denhert at for more information.