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WCC Awarded over $770,000 in Aerospace and Healthcare Grant Funding

wcc student nursesThe Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) approved grants for healthcare and aerospace training totaling more than $770,000, which will go to expand aerospace and healthcare programs at Whatcom Community College to support workforce needs.

Aerospace - SBCTC’s Aerospace grant

SBCTC awarded WCC $320,000 to fund 40 additional full-time students, expanding capacity for the engineering transfer program. Currently, 86% of WCC’s transferring students attend WWU, located just five miles away. WCC and WWU have a vibrant transfer relationship and the university fully endorses this proposal. Through this expansion project, WCC will serve as the only comprehensive engineering transfer program north of Everett and will offer pathways in aeronautical engineering, industrial engineering, manufacturing, plastics and composites, and more.

Healthcare - HEET 11 grants

WCC will lead a new Hospital Employee Education and Training (HEET) grant project as the lead college with a partnership with Highline College. It will continue ongoing projects with Bellingham Technical College and Spokane Falls Community College. WCC’s awarded grants across the three projects totals $477,311.

In partnership with BTC, WCC will expand nursing pathways for incumbent workers and partner with Lake Washington Institute of Technology and WCC to meet industry demand for registered nurses and nursing assistant certified (NAC) employees with enhanced skills. In its third year, this grant will establish new pathways for practical nurses to gain registered nursing licensure; assist other healthcare workers to enroll in nursing programs, NAC, and nursing program prerequisite courses; and continue development and implementation of courses in acute care, behavioral health, and aging populations.

Spokane Falls CC and Whatcom will continue the fast-track 15-credit Chemical Dependency Professional certificate online program by offering two new cohorts of students, over three quarters – Fall 2018 through Spring 2019. The project provides chemical dependency education to established mental health professionals to meet industry demands.

Whatcom Community College Foundation Newsletter - November

Signing the final beam, What’s a Title III grant, Excellence in Giving

Post Date:11/19/2018 9:30 am

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Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib Visits WCC

Cyrus Habib, Lt. Governor, came to Whatcom November 1. With a special interest in higher education, veterans, and accessibility, he met with trustees and student leaders, as well as visiting with veterans at our center on campus.

Cyrus Habib with veterans

Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib with WCC veterans.

Teresa Taylor Appointed New Trustee at WCC

Teresa Taylor

Teresa Taylor, Project Manager for Economic Development with the Lummi Indian Business Council, was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to the WCC Board of Trustees, effective in October. She will serve a five-year term, through September 30, 2023.

A graduate of Whatcom Community College, Teresa is also an elected member of the Ferndale City Council and a YWCA board member and trustee. As an enrolled member of the Lummi Indian Nation, she has also held several positions there. 

Teresa fills the open seat of Trustee Tim Douglas, who completed two terms, and was elected president of the statewide trustees association. 

Three Honored For Excellence in Educational Giving

Donor Appreciation Breakfast 2018 President Kathi and Mike Langey

Left: WCC President Kathi Hiyane-Brown, Alcoa Plant Manager Ron Jorgensen, Alcoa Reliability Superintendent Chantee Ziemkowski, Alcoa Govt./ Public Relations Manager Laura McKinney, and WCC Foundation Board Chair Dr. Brenda-Lee Karasik. Right: President Kathi Hiyane-Brown presents honor to Mike Langey.

October’s annual Donor Appreciation Breakfast is an opportunity for the WCC Foundation to thank and recognize its scholarship donors. A special thank you to event sponsors, Heritage Bank. We value their commitment to education.

Three honorees were selected for their Excellence in Educational Giving this year:

  • John and Joyce Pedlow, trustee and former Foundation board member. They established an endowment for students with learning or physical disabilities
  • The Alcoa Foundation, for its significant gifts that allow WCC to expand its pre-engineering programs and thus provide industry-level skills for students
  • Mike Langey, former Director of Student Programs and Athletics at WCC, for a planned gift to provide scholarships to students interested in leadership or a nursing or education career

Meet Three of our 230+ Scholarship Recipients

DAB student panel

Alan Richardson, Alexandra Moa and Jennifer Hannan, with moderator Nic Hostetter, Director of Student Success and Retention

Alan Richardson, recipient of the Earl Settlemyer Scholarship, dropped out of school after eighth grade.  He became involved in disaster relief and service projects through Americorps and other organizations. After pursuing environmental studies, he switched to environmental science at Whatcom.

Jennifer Hannan, WCCF general scholarship awardee, talked the Colophon Café into creating a general manager position for her at age 22.  As a returning adult student, she is studying business and already finding ways to apply her knowledge in the workplace.

Alexandra Moa, Laidlaw Wallace scholarship recipient, is a single mom and hairstylist from Maple Valley. She hopes to purchase the salon she works at, and is studying business, inspired by her entrepreneurial grandfather. She is secretary of the WCC Business Club.

These three students were featured speakers at the recent Donor Appreciation Breakfast.

WCC Staffers Publish Article on Preparing Child with Special Needs to Attend College

This fall, 400 students have been identified as receiving services from the college’s Access & Disability Services office. For parents, preparing these students (and themselves) for college can be a “significant step toward helping them achieve their goals and fulfill their potential.”

Kerri Holferty, M.Ed. is the college Director for Access & Disability Services.  Together with Paul Curd, Psy.D., a faculty counselor at WCC and an adjunct graduate professor at Western Washington University, they authored an article with helpful tips: Know Before They Go: Details to consider when preparing your child with special needs to attend college classes.

Directed at parents, the article addresses finding the right school, housing, academics, disability support, student rights and responsibilities and more. It was published in the online magazine EParent. Read more at

$2.2 Million Grant from Dept. of Education Supports Student Success

WCC was awarded a Title III Strengthening Institutions grant from the Department of Education. The $2,250,000 grant over five years will help the college realize many of its long-term goals to support teaching and learning, student success, and equitable student outcomes.

This provides funding to create and staff a Teaching and Learning Center for faculty and staff, as well as to add components of a welcome center for students to streamline and strengthen their entry and advising experiences. Whatcom has not received an individual Title III award since the late 1990s.

Seen Around Campus 

Final LRC beam Whatcom Wave

Left: Faculty, staff and students signed the final beam for the Phyllis and Charles Self Learning Commons. Right: Whatcom Wave student fall orientation: welcome to the pod!

About Community Colleges: From James and Deborah Fallows

At a summer Bellingham City Club presentation, authors James and Deborah Fallows discussed their new book, “Our Towns: A 100,000-mile journey into the Heart of America.” They called out what they observed as “10-1/2 signs of civic success” among the small communities they visited.

 “7. They have, and care about, a community college. Not every city can have a research university. Any ambitious one can have a community college. And while research universities are the most important parts of the U.S. educational system from a global perspective, I’ve come to think that community colleges matter most domestically right now.

“Just about every other world-historical trend is pushing the United States (and other countries) toward a less equal, more polarized existence: labor-replacing technology, globalized trade, self-segregated residential housing patterns, and the American practice of unequal district-based funding for public schools. Community colleges are the main exception, potentially offering a connection to higher-wage technical jobs for people who might otherwise be left with no job or one at a minimum wage….the more often and more specifically we heard people talk about their community college, the better we ended up feeling about the direction of that town.”


  • WCC’s health professions programs enroll about 300 students each year. Read more.
  • The Professional-Technical Advisory Committee, with 15 subgroups representing WCC’s prof-tech programs, held its annual fall kickoff last month. The groups drive program currency and innovation, and facilitates opportunities for students to gain meaningful career experience. Thanks to the 100+ community members who serve on these committees.
  • WCC cybersecurity students participated in a cyber-Capture the Flag competition with other colleges. WCC, as the sole participating community college, placed six teams in the top 10 (out of 65). 
  • Almost 80% of students who graduate from WCC do so without taking out student loans. Your gifts for student scholarships and just-in-time grants from the Orca Student Success Fund help students complete their education with little or no debt. Donate here.

We are building futures together

Your gifts to students, faculty and staff, and college programs inspire us to do more. Dream bigger. Provide opportunity. Invest in our community. Join us! | 360.383.3320 | Visit our website

WCC Foundation Board of Directors

Dr. Brenda-Lee Karasik, chair; WCC President Dr. Kathi Hiyane-Brown, vice chair; Dr. Ron Kleinknecht, vice chair; John Stewart, secretary/treasurer; Kurt Anderson, immediate past chair; Susan Sandell, at-large;  Troy Wills, Dr. Lynne Masland, Phyllis Self; Kira Bravo; Anne-Marie Faiola; Mike Langey; Andrew Moquin; Satpal Singh Sidhu, Member Emeritus; Robert M. Tull; Bev Jacobs; Sandra Hughes; Carolyn Simpson Scott; Sue Cole; Caite Holman

Advancement Staff

Sue Cole, executive director for College advancement; Marisa Ellis, communications and marketing director; Caite Holman, Foundation director; Stephanie Schmitt, Foundation operations manager; James Zyon, senior graphic designer; Jonathan Dymond, development officer; Kate Imus, Foundation program specialist; Brenda Chomiak, assistant graphic designer; Courtney Shannon Strand, communications manager; Sarah Jenkins, program coordinator

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