Article via Nisqually Valley News
By Daniel Warn
Earning an associate’s degree is now more accessible than ever to Yelm citizens.
In a joint partnership with Yelm Community Schools, South Puget Sound Community College is coming to Yelm this fall, establishing a campus at Yelm High School.
This partnership exists because, “South Puget Sound Community College and Yelm [Community Schools] have a strong interest in increasing college access for the citizens of Yelm and East Thurston County,” said Lisa Cadero-Smith, assistant superintendent for Yelm Community Schools.
Eligible participants include those with a high school diploma, a GED or that are Running Start students, all of which may earn their transfer degree by the end of their program.
“This program brings a two-year, associates of arts, direct transfer degree to the doorsteps of Yelm citizens, making degree attainment easier than ever before,” Cadero-Smith said.
Fall quarter classes will run from 6:30-9 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays from Sept. 19 to Dec. 6. Being in the evening, the class times are made to accommodate work schedules, Cadero-Smith said.
The idea was to make a face-to-face college experience as accessible as possible for the Yelm community.
“While there are many online programs available, many people prefer learning in a face-to-face atmosphere, where they have a professor, mentor and fellow students to collaborate with,” Cadero-Smith said.
The cost for the program is $107.59 per credit. For a five-credit course, Washington residents will pay $537.95. For steps to enroll, visit https://spscc.edu/start/steps and to register go to https://spscc.edu/registration.
Cadero-Smith said the program is the percent fit for working adults who want to broaden their horizons, “increase their job opportunities and advance their careers.”
In addition, she said that this program with make education more accessible, thereby helping those that could not attend South Puget Sound Community College due to circumstances. That is, the geographic barrier to some folks will now be lessened.
Ultimately, though, Yelm Community Schools aims to be part of a community where education can be attained by everyone.
“Yelm Community Schools is actively seeking partnerships that add value to the community, increase high school graduation and provide pathways after graduation,” Cadero-Smith said. “Yelm Community Schools has a big vision for increasing post-high school educational opportunities in our community.
“This is only the beginning.”