3 Ways Open Campus is Impacting the Columbia Gorge Community
Written by Hollie Conger
Exciting things are taking place in the Columbia Gorge community. Hood River Open Campus and Juntos Coordinator, Ann Harris, shares the top priorities for the county's Open Campus: promoting college and career readiness, access to education and degree completion, and contributing to professional and economic development.
1. College and career readiness
Through the Columbia Gorge Juntos program, Latino students and their families have the opportunity to take classes to gain resources for graduation, career, and higher education preparation. Through community partners such as Hood River and Wasco County high schools, Columbia Gorge Education Service District, Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC), local business and non-profit organizations, Open Campus has served over 230 families and students. With plans to expand, Open Campus will adapt the program to serve the non-Latino community as well.
2. Education and degree completion
Creating access to higher education is another focus for the Open Campus program. “Bachelor’s in the Gorge” was created in hopes of spreading awareness of online degree completion options like OSU Ecampus. To assist with transition from community college to a university or e-campus, the Columbia Gorge Open Campus offers enrollment coaching. So far they have helped 100 students.
3. Professional and economic development
The county's Open Campus also contributes to professional and economic development by working with regional partners to establish opportunities for students to get involved in the community. Through the Columbia Gorge Regional Internship Network, undergraduate and graduate students are provided with internship opportunities. Currently, the team is building a website to further connect local businesses with prospective interns.
Juntos has also partnered with ChickTech at OSU to implement a Spring Break STEM camp to benefit both university students seeking volunteer opportunities and Juntos students looking for a fun and educational experience. One feature the camp will include is a virtual reality workshop using Google Cardboard!
To learn more about the Columbia Gorge Open Campus programs, contact Ann at Ann.Harris@oregonstate.edu or 541.386.3343.