Chemeketa receives warmly welcomed federal grant

Woodburn Independent

Last month the two U.S. senators from Oregon, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, announced that Chemeketa Community College would receive a $2.2 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development Program.

Chemeketa sources said that it was the only college in the state to receive this particular grant, and that the money would greatly benefit the school’s Dual Enrollment Program. That program affords students an opportunity to earn high school and college credits simultaneously. Chemeketa contracts with many surrounding school districts to provide high school students with college credit options.

“Students of all backgrounds deserve a fair shot at a solid education,” Wyden said. “This funding is the perfect example of how to expand opportunities for folks in rural Oregon and across the nation, and I applaud Chemeketa Community College for receiving this grant.”

First-generation college students may find this an especially worthwhile path as they transition into higher education.

“Higher education helps connect students with resources, opportunities, and tools to thrive, building stronger communities, economies, and futures in Oregon,” said Merkley. “As the first in my family to graduate from college, I know how challenging it can be to access higher education—especially for those coming from underrepresented and underserved backgrounds. This incredibly important funding for Chemeketa Community College will help provide crucial support and opportunities, opening doors for Oregon’s rural students.”

Such doors are welcome portals in this eyes of this regional school’s administration.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant for the ‘Chemeketa College-going Access and Regional Equity for Students (CARES)’ project. This funding will empower us to expand educational opportunities for rural high school students, strengthen community partnerships, and ensure a brighter future for our region,” Chemeketa President and CEO Jessica Howard said.

The $2.2 million federal grant will support the Chemeketa College-going Access and Regional Equity for Students (CARES) program. The program expands career and technical education dual credit courses, develops hybrid CTE and combined school enrollment models, and provides teachers with effective technology and professional development opportunities.