KCC, OSU Work on Partnership
With a two-by-two articulation agreement already in place, officials with Klamath Community College and Oregon State University continue to discuss the possibility of a partnership between the institutions that would allow students to earn an associate degree from KCC and a bachelor’s degree from OSU without leaving Klamath Falls.
“The goal is to better serve place-bound students,” according to Willie Riggs, Director of OSU’s Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center in Klamath Falls. “For local students to be able to complete both associate and bachelor degrees right here in Klamath Falls would open a lot of doors for people who otherwise may not have that opportunity,” he added. The plan, which is still in preliminary stages, calls for students who complete the Associate of Applied Science degree in Agriculture Science or Natural Resource Systems from KCC to be able to continue their education and earn a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Sciences from OSU through classes offered on campus at KCC.
The plan will also help the state achieve the 40-40-20 goal set by Governor John Kitzhaber, according to KCC President Dr. Roberto Gutierrez. “If we are able to meet that goal, it will be because other colleges and universities forge partnerships similar to what we are trying to do between us and Oregon State,” Dr. Gutierrez said. The two entities have worked closely in the past, most recently through a risk management class that was offered to local growers. “We are planning something similar this spring,” said Keith Duren, Department Chair for Natural Resource Systems at KCC. “We’ve been working together for years, but this would formalize the relationship and expand the available services that are offered to students.” Duren and Riggs will also present on how to develop and grow institutional partnerships and relationships together at a national conference at OSU in early 2013. “It’s really all about relationships and commitment to community,” Riggs said.
Though still in its early stages, the proposal has buy-in from several high ranking officials at OSU, Riggs said. “Scott Reed, who is the Vice Provost of Outreach and Engagement and Director of Oregon State University Extension Service, and Larry Curtis, Associate Deam for the OSU college of Agriculture have both been heavily involved,” he said. If everything goes according to plan, students may be able to enroll in OSU courses offered on campus at KCC sometime in 2013.
Exact details on how the partnership would operate and be funded still must be worked out between KCC and OSU, but both institutions are committed to making it work. “We’re really excited for this, and it is moving along quickly,” Duren said. “I really think we’re going to see something finalized within the next year.”