By Dr. Ross Tomlin, President
Community colleges are built on partnerships. We cannot do our job well and help students without developing partnerships and working with other groups throughout our district and state. One of the key areas of partnerships critical to our mission is with our K-12 school districts. We are fortunate in Tillamook County to have three school districts and the Northwest Regional Education Service District (NWRESD) that work well together with the college to help all students at the secondary and post-secondary levels.
We have a Tillamook Education Consortium (TEC) that is made up of the three school district superintendents, high school principals, and the College President and Vice President of Instruction and Student Services. We meet monthly to review issues and topics that impact our secondary and post-secondary students in Tillamook County. We have been meeting and working closely together for many years.
TEC is now in the process of developing a strategic plan for this coming year. It will focus on coordinating our career-technical (CTE) training among the three school districts and TBCC to create a seamless transfer of courses and credits from secondary to post-secondary education in fields like welding, construction, and manufacturing. This partnership project will provide wonderful career opportunities for Tillamook County high school students in several different CTE fields.
One of the exciting projects we are starting in this area is a pre-apprenticeship program in construction in partnership with Nestucca Valley School District and O’Brien Construction. This program will allow high school students to enter a pre-apprenticeship program with O’Brien and take construction classes at Nestucca Valley High School including up to 19 credit hours of dual credit college courses and up to seven stackable nationally portable credentials while in high school. After they graduate, they can enter the full apprenticeship program at TBCC and earn additional credentials that lead to an Associate of Applied Science degree.
We then plan to expand these opportunities to the other two high schools in Tillamook County. These excellent career opportunities for high school students will lead to high-paying positions after finishing an apprenticeship through the high school and TBCC.
TBCC is committed to expanding opportunities in CTE beyond the apprenticeship programs. CTE programs provide students with skills in 2 years or less at TBCC to obtain a good-paying position. We ensure that new programs are sustainable and will provide good-paying jobs for years to come, both locally and in other locations throughout Oregon or the nation. We will be starting a new Registered Nurse (RN) program this coming winter and are now accepting applications for the first cohort of 16 students. We are also looking to develop other healthcare programs over the coming few years as an example of our continued commitment to CTE programs. This is just the beginning of creating more opportunities for our students over the coming years.
If you are interested in applying for the Nursing program or starting your prerequisites, please visit tillamookbaycc.edu/nursing for application information.