Welcome from the President

In 1977, when the first stage of what would eventually become Columbia Gorge Community College was established as the Wasco Area Education Service District, few people, if any, could have imagined what was in store for us in the next 36 years.

Over that time, we evolved from a small rural education resource into a community college with a nationally recognized renewable energy technology program, a nursing program that is training our next generation of healthcare professionals, and a low-cost, local college option for the first two years of a four-year degree.

Evolving and changing with the times is a good thing, and being flexible over our first three and a half decades has served us well. Though we will still remain flexible to changing needs, we also plan ahead so that we can make best use of the resources available to us. To that end, we recently completed an Academic Master Plan 1.89 MB that will govern our actions for the next five years. We are also engaging in several national programs focused on achieving student success. Finally, we are at the end of a five-year process for independent accreditation, which will give us more local autonomy and allow us to tailor our programs and courses to best meet the specific needs of the Mid-Columbia region, our industry partners, and the needs of our students. We are standing on the frontier of a new era at CGCC, and we would like to share with you the exciting things in our immediate future:

Through a Department of Labor grant, we were able to purchase a training tower for the Renewable Energy Technology program. This tower is a ten-foot by twelve-foot, twenty-four-foot high structure that allows us to provide safe, onsite training in climbing techniques essential to wind tower maintenance. The Oregon Military Department is building a National Guard Readiness and Training Center on the southeast corner of our campus, which will be completed by August of 2013. The facility will provide the college and community with classrooms, extra parking, and a conference space capable of hosting up to 1000 people.

In addition to new facilities, we are participating in several student success initiatives. The Foundations of Excellence program is coordinated by the John N. Gardner Institute, a national foundation dedicated to helping colleges improve their programs to promote student success. Last year, CGCC’s Foundations of Excellence group compiled a self-study that identified areas of greatest strengths and opportunities for improvement, and this report will help us focus on our student success goals in the coming years. We are also currently initiating our work on our Achievement Compact. Achievement Compacts are a partnership agreement between the state and an institution of public education that defines key measures of student success and sets targets for achievement. The ultimate goal is improving student success and increasing the number of students obtaining academic credentials. A third student success initiative is Achieving the Dream, and CGCC is proud to be a member of the 2012 Achieving the Dream cohort. This national program helps colleges increase the number of students who successfully complete courses and obtain academic credentials.

As always, Columbia Gorge Community College strives each day to provide the highest quality educational options, services, and training programs available to enrich and strengthen our community. We live by our mission of “building dreams, and transforming lives,” and invite you to join us as we move forward. Here’s to our next 36 years, and beyond.