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New partnership creates a streamlined and affordable pathway to bachelor’s degree

Chemeketa Community College and Western Oregon University (WOU) announce a new partnership agreement that will provide students completing a transfer degree at Chemeketa with a seamless transition to WOU. The agreement was signed at a special ceremony at the WOU campus on February 23, 2022 by presidents Jessica Howard (Chemeketa) and Jay Kenton (WOU).

This new program, named “Direct Connect,” will guarantee WOU admission to qualifying Chemeketa graduates who satisfy WOU’s transfer admission requirements. Students on this pathway will receive specialized advising and support throughout their educational experience at both institutions, which will provide a clear pathway to completing a bachelor’s degree in the equivalent of four years of full-time attendance: two years at Chemeketa and two years at WOU. Further, immediately upon admission, students in designated transfer programs will receive junior status at WOU and credit for completing all lower-division general education requirements.

“We are thrilled to expand our long-standing partnership with Chemeketa thanks to this agreement,” said WOU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Rob Winningham. “The program will ensure that students have a clear, supported, and affordable path to a bachelor’s degree that will prepare them for the work force and the future they choose.”

Direct Connect will make the attainment of a bachelor’s degree accessible to more students on account of lower tuition costs at the community college for the first two years of instruction. “This landmark articulation agreement smoothes the pathway for individuals in Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties who want a bachelor’s degree and realize the many benefits of starting their academic journey at Chemeketa,” said Jessica Howard, Chemeketa’s President and CEO. “For our students for whom time and money is at a premium, this agreement puts a degree from WOU even more within reach.”
Bruce Clemetson, Chemeketa’s Vice President of Student Affairs echoed that statement. “We are grateful to have this agreement with like-minded colleagues at WOU who are focused on students maximizing the benefit of a transfer degree from Chemeketa. Ensuring that a transfer degree graduate from Chemeketa will in most cases only need 90 additional credits reflects that commitment to reduce student cost and honor the quality of a Chemeketa graduate’s education.”

Direct Connect is slated to begin fall term of 2023.

Chemeketa Community College | 4000 Lancaster Drive NE Salem, Oregon 97305

For more than 50 years, Chemeketa Community College has committed itself to transforming lives and our community through exceptional learning experiences in the Mid-Willamette Valley. As the second multi-campus district in Oregon, Chemeketa serves 30,000 students annually at its Salem and Yamhill Valley campuses, as well as Brooks, Eola, Winema, Dallas, Woodburn, and Chemeketa Center for Business and Industry (CCBI).
Chemeketa Community College is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educational institution.

About Western Oregon University
Western Oregon University, founded in 1856 in Monmouth, is the state’s oldest public university. Serving about 4,000 students, WOU is a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution with about 70% of the student population being from Oregon. A significant portion of attendees are members of under-represented groups, veterans, or non-traditional students. WOU is Oregon’s campus of choice for those seeking a transformative education in a supportive, student-centered learning community where classes are taught by faculty. Together we succeed.