High-schoolers benefit from Chemeketa’s more than $2 million grant 

Thanks to the recent $2.2 million grant given to Chemeketa Community College starting Jan. 1, rural high schoolers will have expanded opportunities to develop the needed skills to enter high-skill, high-wage, high demand positions in technical industries. 

The Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development (RPED) grant money will be used to enhance the ability of schools in Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties to create a larger dual-enrollment course selection allowing students to take courses for college credit while still in high school. 

The grant will also aid in implementing innovative technological improvements; enhance advising for transitions to college and provide teachers with more effective technology and professional development. 

The money will also strengthen Chemeketa’s partnerships such as with Juntos, an Oregon-based program that aids Latinx students, and increase the amount of bi-lingual advising available to students. 

Chemeketa currently offers high schoolers the opportunity to earn college credit whether at the Chemeketa campus or in courses taught at their high schools. 

Prices for these courses vary though on average school districts pay around $30 for students to attend these courses and often take on that responsibility, making courses free for students. 

Chemeketa has also dedicated some of the funding to reaching out and connecting with other high schoolers in rural areas to try and ensure all understand the opportunity. 

Chemeketa President and CEO Jessica Howard, described being thrilled about the grant stating that, “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.” 

Access to higher education for all increases those with a heightened ability to access resources, opportunities, enhances Oregon’s economy and communities as well as giving those with access more tools to thrive. 

According to Oregon Senator Jeff Merkely, “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,” Merkley said. 

Contact Quinn Stoddard
[email protected] or 503-390-1051

SUBSCRIBE TO GET KEIZER NEWS — We report on your community with care, depth, fairness, and accuracy. Get local news that matters to you. Subscribe today to get our daily newsletters and more