Spotlight on EdCC: Free Books Campaign for local students

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Photo of Danielle Carnes, M.S., courtesy EdCC.

Edmonds Community College offers an opportunity for area students to receive scholarships through the Free Books Campaign. Danielle Carnes, M.S., Executive Director of Strategic Enrollment Management at Edmonds Community College provided information on the program that provides free books to local high school students who sign up for college:

As an enrollment incentive and relationship builder with our local high schools, we offer free books, worth up to $500, to graduating Mukilteo and Edmonds School District seniors with a 2.5 GPA, who register for a full 15 credit course load at EdCC for fall 2017.

For example, in fall 2016, we had 42 local high school students who applied, and 26 received free books at about $200 per student. Their average college GPA was 3.08, and 24 of those students went on to register for winter quarter, with 17 registering full-time. The results show that helping our local students take full college loads means they are more likely to stay on track.

Our free books scholarship program is made possible with help from EdCC Foundation and Barnes & Noble.

Community College Trends

As executive director for strategic enrollment, I pay attention to the trends. Enrollments at community colleges are down nationally, and we are seeing this trend at EdCC. The college has rallied to put a strategic enrollment management plan in place to raise awareness, increase enrollments, and engage our community.

Community college enrollments typically run counter-cyclical to the economy: when the economy is down, our enrollments surge as people return to school for retraining, career investment, or skills updating. When the economy begins to recover, more jobs are available and people return to work, leaving our classrooms a little emptier than before. We are happy when our students find jobs, and we have to be ready to weather the ups and downs of a normal enrollment cycle.

As people return to work, I think we will see an increased interest in evening and online programs that are flexible with working schedules. We are also seeing growth in the number of students taking college classes in high school through Running Start and College in the High School.

Some of the high demand industries in our area are in STEM, particularly Computer Science and Engineering, Healthcare, Retail Management, and Early Childhood Education. We are expecting to see a smaller number of international students in the coming year and plan to make sure all students that choose us feel welcome and supported on our campus.

EdCC’s Value to the Community

EdCC is a hidden gem. People might drive by and not realize what a great resource they have in their neighborhood. On campus, you can find a brand-new Facility Maker Space open to the public, near the Black Box Theatre with its award-winning speakers and performances, and you can also savor a world-class lunch from the culinary program at the College Café.

All around campus are top-notch faculty and staff leading programs designed to save students thousands of dollars and take them to the next level in their careers. There is hands-on practical training for job seekers, and EdCC is a global- and inclusive-learning environment, with athletics teams, community farm, youth camps, and non-credit classes like photography or grant writing. Our students do amazing things and have plans for an even greater future.

Dream for the Future

My dream improvement for the college would be state-of-the-art modern classrooms, technology, and resources that would support our amazing faculty and staff as they serve our students. Breaking ground on our new Science, Engineering, and Technology building would be a great first step to usher in our next fifty years of academic excellence. Imagine the benefits Boeing, Amazon, and Microsoft will gain by having our educated workforce.

I expect about 18,000 students to enroll this year across all of our quarters. There are many creative initiatives in progress, like partnering with our local high schools and the free books program, and streamlining our new student processes. We expect to award over 2,000 degrees and certificates this June.

To learn more about EdCC programs, see the college website, and to apply for the Free Books Campaign, see here. To support student access, excellence, and success, become a donor at the EdCC Foundation.

–Janette Turner

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