TBCC Connections, by Dr. Ross Tomlin
Tillamook Bay Community College, like all community colleges in the US, is open access and open enrollment. Anyone who has a high school diploma or GED can register for classes. We encourage everyone who wants to improve their lives through education to come and talk to our Success Coaches. They can help students develop an educational plan that will meet their needs and goals.
I am sure everyone has read about the Supreme Court ruling to eliminate Affirmative Action. This certainly impacts universities that have competitive enrollment criteria. Whereas this does not impact community colleges, we are saddened to see that one major way that protects minorities against discrimination in being admitted to a university is now gone. TBCC will continue to be a strong supporter of ensuring that all students and potential students receive the resources and help they need to succeed in college. Some require more and different help than others. This is the definition of equity, as opposed to equality, where everyone is treated the same.
In previous TBCC Connections articles, I have talked about our new 2022-2029 TBCC Strategic Plan. We have just now completed the first full year of implementing the plan, which includes five strategic priorities. One of these is Equity and Inclusion. We have strategic objectives and initiatives for each priority that are being worked on by groups across our campus.
For the equity and inclusion priority, we have an active DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) Committee at the college that has been working on initiatives for the past six years, with more being developed for the next few years. These include a comprehensive Equity Plan, a TBCC Equity Statement, and an Equity Lens process to evaluate our policies and procedures. The committee also manages our food pantry which has been in place for the past several years and provides both food and personal items for our students and community members.
The student demographics have been changing as well over the past several years, with the number of Hispanic students growing. Over 22% of TBCC students are now Hispanic. Once the percentage goes over 25%, TBCC will be eligible to apply for federal funds to be considered a Hispanic Serving Institution. This will allow us to provide even more resources to this group of students. This is certainly part of our equity and inclusion work at TBCC.
It is important to emphasize again that ALL ARE WELCOME AT TBCC. I believe our Equity Statement reinforces this very well:
Tillamook Bay Community College is enriched by diversity. Each individual uniquely enhances and strengthens our learning environment.
- We value a community that promotes respect and dignity for all.
- We identify and eliminate barriers to learning.
- We provide equitable support and a safe and inclusive environment.
- We promote full engagement in our college community.
We do this through access, opportunity, and advancement for all.