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TBCC Connections: A New Academic Year Begins -Tillamook Bay Community College

TBCC Connections: A New Academic Year Begins

By Dr. Ross Tomlin
October 1, 2019
Ross Tomlin Photo

As you read this, Fall Term at Tillamook Bay Community College will have just begun.  It feels like only yesterday I was congratulating the graduates who were walking across the stage at graduation, but here we are at the start of a new academic year already. We have many new opportunities for students beginning this fall. To start, we are welcoming three new full-time faculty members. These are the first new faculty members hired at TBCC in 15 years. Chris Carlson, is a new math faculty member from Centralia, Washington, and Michele DeGraffenreid, who had previously been teaching writing at TBCC as an adjunct faculty member is now a new full-time writing faculty.  Michele’s position is grant-funded, and will work with high school faculty to teach our dual credit writing courses; she will also be teaching at the College. These two new positions will provide us with the capacity to increase both math and writing options for students. Our third new faculty member is Ron Carlbom. Ron is our new welding faculty and will be teaching courses in the new Welding Technology degree and certificate programs.   

The College is also expanding the courses being offered. We offered Chemistry for the first time in many years this past summer, and will be offering Physics for the first time ever this fall. Other new course offerings include EC 215: Economic Development in the US, ED 251: Overview in Exceptional Learners, and WR 252: Imaginative Writing.

A huge source of excitement this fall is the arrival of our new Truck Driving Simulator! It was funded entirely through grants from The Ford Family Foundation, USDA, and the Tillamook County Creamery Association Community Enrichment Committee Fund. The simulator will be used to enhance our student training in the Truck Driver Training program, along with providing opportunities for truckers working for companies throughout the region to upgrade and enhance their driving skills.  It can be programmed to simulate any type of driving challenge and then record and evaluate the sessions to show improvement and progress.  We held a ribbon cutting ceremony on September 12 with over 35 people in attendance who got the opportunity to see the simulator in action. It is one of the only simulators of its kind in this region, and we are proud to have been able to meet this need for the industry.

We will be completing our Facilities Master Plan this fall after getting valuable feedback from over 400 people throughout Tillamook County.  We will be sharing the results of this plan with the County as it unfolds over the next several months.

We look forward to a great Fall Term and plan to continue growing and enhancing our programs and efforts to increase student success and meet the training and development needs of the community.  We were the only community college in Oregon to grow in enrollment this past year, showing a 12% increase in enrollment over the past two years.  We want to continue that trend to serve the needs of people in Tillamook County.