MEDFORD, Ore. -- More than 200 people filled in at the commons in Medford Wednesday afternoon to hear Governor Kate Brown speak. She gave her State of the State address from when she was sworn in as governor earlier this month. In it, she lists her goals and promises for Oregon.
One of those goals is to make sure higher education is more affordable for high school students. RCC President Cathy Kemper-Pelle said she's already noticed a difference with increased enrollment.
"We have roughly 50 percent of high school graduates who go on to higher [education] immediately after high school and so providing an affordable opportunity to do that immediately I think is a huge help in our state to get students to consider high [education] right away,” she said.
Kemper-Pelle attributed much of this to the Oregon Promise. It's a state grant that helps cover tuition costs at any Oregon community college for recent high school graduates and those who pass the GED.
"We need to make sure that every single one of our students is future ready,” said Governor Kate Brown. “That means that each one of our students graduates from high school with a plan for their future and the tools to compete at a global economy."
RCC will be launching a career and technical education academy next week. Its purpose is to give high school juniors the opportunity to also be enrolled at RCC working on a career and technical certificate.
"We're piloting it with a manufacturing certification right now but our plan is to grow that to other manufacturing programs, eventually to healthcare and IT," Kemper-Pelle said. "Our hope is that these students will graduate from high school and RCC simultaneously and be able to go into the workplace."