We’ve got plans: Tim Cook speaks in first ever state of the college address

By Emily Roberts & Rachelle Peiffer

On Friday, Jan. 18, for the first time ever in Clackamas Community College history, a State of the College address was held at the Harmony campus with an audience of around 30 people. A week later, on Friday, Jan. 25, a second address was held at the Oregon City campus with an audience of almost 200 people. The State of the College address is an opportunity for our college president to talk about any current projects, what the college needs and generally update the public on the happenings here at CCC.

Clare Hansen, the Associated Student Government president, intrigued the audience with CCC’s history before giving a warm introduction to Tim Cook, our college’s president. He proudly took to the stage and stood before the crowd.

Cook presented a year in review, revealing the fact that the nursing program of CCC was recognized last year for a 100 percent nursing license exam pass rate. That makes CCC the only college, two year or four year alike, to get this state recognition.

The Summer Scholars program, which debuted last summer as a sort of tuition-free summer camp for high school students, along with technical summer camps, had 300 applicants last summer. He spoke about the programs in place such as Guided Pathways and High School Connections Advanced High School Credit, which helped both students and potential students succeed in college, with a focus on college readiness. “So we have this flipped, this idea that students need to be college ready, instead of saying the college needs to be student ready,” Cook said.

Last summer, the Clackamas Community College Foundation held their annual golf tournament fundraiser, known as ParTee on the Green, which ended up raising $800,000. This money, Cook promised, went directly to student scholarships.

He then moved to the bond projects, speaking about the DeJardin building, which will increase the amount of space and number of classes, as well as welcome new technology.

“The college has been in steady construction mode since November, 2014, and last year we made it to the halfway mark of our bond projects,” Cook said. The Environmental Learning Center has been revamped and rebuilt. In September, the college opened the new Industrial Technology Center, which provides more space for more classes. The Community Center is scheduled to be revamped in the summer of 2021.

After the hour-long speech concluded, the audience applauded and Cook left the stage. Everyone gathered into small groups and discussed the speech, Cook included.

Tiffany Shireman, the chief of staff for North Clackamas Schools, said, “The focus on that seamless transition from high school to community college is exactly what we need for students; they shouldn’t be pinged around to various buildings.”

Another participant, Wilda Parks, a Milwaukie city councilor, commented, “It also increased my understanding of the need to really lobby our legislature on the funding that’s crucial for community colleges in general.”