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March 21, 2014
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Letter: Teacher lists advantages offered by Umpqua Community College

Why attend our local college?

Lately, I’ve had the same question posed by friends, “Why would anyone go to Umpqua Community College?” As a UCC associate professor of Biology, I’m hardly impartial, so I assume these friends want my point of view. One paraphrased the student quoted in The News-Review, “Why wouldn’t you go to Harvard?” Here’s my answer.

Harvard’s tuition is nearly $40,000 a year. UCC’s yearly tuition of around $5,000 is more affordable. However, recently a UCC student received a scholarship and transferred to prestigious Reed College. She graduated from Reed and is working on her PhD. Obviously, Reed recognizes the excellence of a UCC education. Other UCC alumni have received similarly respected scholarships, including a Fulbright, by successfully competing against students across the nation.

Honestly, most students want to remain in Oregon. Other UCC students have gone to Oregon State University, University of Oregon, Willamette University, Portland State University and other colleges. Our students typically transfer as juniors and obtain degrees in engineering, English, anthropology, business and more. UCC students are successful in those colleges because we prepare them well. Typically, our classes are small. Our professors love teaching. Students study the same subjects in our classes and their professors challenge them to learn. Many UCC alumni return here as physicians, pharmacists, teachers, nurses, lawyers and accountants.

Success for all of our students begins with our college advisors. They listen to students’ goals and help them formulate a plan to achieve their dreams. For some students, a certificate may be more appropriate than a bachelor’s degree. UCC is celebrating a history of 50 years in Douglas County. The fact is, UCC is not just making history, it is helping our students make a future for themselves and their families. That’s why people go to UCC.

Joanne Richards


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The News-Review Updated Apr 8, 2014 03:22PM Published Mar 21, 2014 01:32PM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.