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TBCC Annual Report to the Community for 2019-2020 -Tillamook Bay Community College

TBCC Annual Report to the Community for 2019-2020

January 11, 2021

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Ross Tomlin. To read the report in full, click here: TBCC Annual Report 2019-2020

The academic year 2019-2020 started out very strong at TBCC. Our enrollments were up from the previous fall term and we were on track to exceed 500 full-time equivalent students for the first time in many years. Then we entered 2020. The winter term started strong, but then near the end of the term in early March, the pandemic hit. We were barely able to get through the winter term before the college shut down. We chose to delay the start of the spring term by a week to enable faculty to get all classes shifted to online. The chaos and fear that followed led to a drop in enrollment as we were unable to offer career-technical, ABE/GED/ESOL, and community education classes the entire spring term. TBCC did offer juniors and seniors in Tillamook County free college classes and 111 high school students took advantage of the opportunity, which helped the students and the college.

CARES Act funding from the federal government also helped both the college and our students, providing funds for most students to help them stay in school, as well as support changes in college operations. Unlike most colleges in the state, TBCC was then able to reopen with face to face classes in summer term. We were able to offer almost 60% of our courses face to face due in large part to having a strong COVID-19 Response Plan that went above and beyond the CDC requirements and the Governor’s COVID-19 Executive Order for Higher Education. Enrollment rebounded nicely. We were one of only a couple of community colleges in the state that did not have a large decline in fall enrollment compared to last year.

Even with all the challenges that we have faced in 2020, there have been bright spots for TBCC. We had to cancel the regular graduation ceremony in June, so instead I traveled to the homes of graduates, conferring their degrees and certificates, and celebrating with them. I was able to visit over 20 graduates, and even though it was not the same as a full ceremony, it was greatly appreciated and enjoyed by those graduates. We tried to have a ceremony in December, but with the spike in COVID-19 cases, we had to cancel that as well. We have informed graduates that we will have a ceremony for them in June 2021 if it is allowed.

Another positive in this challenging year has been the equity work done at the college. The TBCC Equity and Inclusion Committee has implemented many positive events and activities both at the college and in the community over the past year that is making great strides in improving equity and inclusion awareness and understanding. These have included a movie showing in Tillamook, equity books provided to staff and students that participated in book club discussions, work to develop an equity lens process for decision-making at the college, as well as developing and implementing processes to improve recruitment and hiring of people of color at the college. More great work is planned for this coming year.

An additional bright spot was the completion of our Facilities Master Plan that covers 2020-2040. The plan was a year and a half in development and calls for a new building just south of the main campus. The plan also includes renovations to the current building to expand student services downstairs and move the Office of Instruction upstairs. We are hoping to get $8M of capital construction matching funds from the Legislature in the 2021 session.
On top of that, the college was able to purchase a building across Third Street from the main campus to help our industrial technology programs to grow.

So through all the adversity of 2020, TBCC has used its strengths to weather the pandemic and come out even stronger. This is due to having amazing faculty and staff that genuinely care about students and their success. There is a lot to look forward to for TBCC in 2021!

Dr. Ross Tomlin
TBCC President