Klamath CC Partners with SOU


On Friday, May 15th in Klamath Falls, Klamath Community College (KCC) president, Roberto Gutierrez, and Southern Oregon University (SOU) President, Roy Saigo, signed an agreement permitting “seamless transfer” of credits from the community college to the four-year school.

The partnership gives KCC student’s options for increasing their education without the burden of losing KCC credits earned upon switching schools, by following pathways to SOU. The agreement obliges undergraduates to keep on chosen routes concerning their studies. Gutierrez said, “If you don’t stray from the path, you can get a degree in four years.”

Jamie Jennings, vice-president for academic affairs at KCC, said, 30 percent of two-year students fail to move on to college if they find their credits won’t transfer. For this percentage of students, continuing their education may mean about $5,000 per quarter, which is cost prohibitive; non-transferable credits can also add up to another year or two for students before degree completion.

Last year, commencement time of 2014, in Klamath, Dr. Roberto Gutierrez proclaimed, “we are very proud of the fact that, among Oregon’s 17 community colleges, we have one of the highest rates of students who transfer to four-year institutions.”

The new alignment between SOU and KCC is a continuation of educational philosophy the community college has forged in recent years. A similar partnership existent with Oregon State, is evident these institutions are working towards achieving the state’s ambitious 40-40-20 goals; the objectives, developed by former Oregon Governor, John Kitzhaber, states, by 2025:

  • 40 percent of Oregonians to have a baccalaureate degree, or higher
  • 40 percent shall have an associate degree or professional certification
  • 20 percent to have at least a high school diploma

The arrangement between the schools will boost SOU enrollment, while also keeping neighboring students in the regions higher education web. Dual enrollment between the institutions will aid the success and nurture the transition as admitted students might be actively enrolled in courses at both institutions simultaneously.

Some of the classes within the paradigm, which begins the fall of this year, can be taken electronically, allowing the students to remain in the Klamath area and not commute the 60 something miles to the Ashland campus. The program increases synchronous classroom learning, i.e., live webcasts and online learning amongst the two schools.

The program includes numerous bachelor degrees and one masters degree (in business administration). Approximately 20 disciplines are under the program umbrella.

On May 15th, posted in The Southern Oregon University News, Ryan Brown, Head of Community and Media Relations at SOU, quoted Dr. Saigo as saying, this agreement provides pathways for us to better serve students and better serve our state and region. With an overall strategy of preparing and increasing the number of KCC students transferring to SOU; the anticipated outcome is: growth in associate and bachelor’s degree completions in the years to come, and closing the gap of Oregon’s 40-40-20 goals.

This partnership grants Klamath Community College student’s new options; opportunities Jamie Jennings says are, a “direct benefit for Klamath Falls.”