PSU and Chemeketa C.C. combine forces

Students enrolled at Portland State can now attend classes at both Portland State and Salem’s Chemeketa Community College.

Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2001, Portland State President Daniel Bernstine and Salem’s Chemeketa Community College President Gretchen Schuette signed an official agreement allowing students to be co-admitted to PSU and Chemeketa Community College.

The co-admission agreement, which was modeled after the Portland Community College co-admitting program, will allow current, as well as future students to dually apply and enroll at Portland State and Chemeketa. Students will have to pay each school’s respective tuition.

“Strengthening our relationship with Chemeketa further increases the educational choices and opportunities for students in the Salem area,” said Portland State President Dan Bernstine. “This agreement allows students at Chemeketa to easily transition into our degree-completion programs in Salem – or continue with courses at our Portland campus – by eliminating bureaucratic barriers between our institutions.”

Gretchen Schuette, Chemeketa president, said of the program, “The overall goal of this agreement is to support smooth transitions for the students, and this partnership will provide wonderful opportunities for the people in our district.”

According to Terrel Rhodes, Director of PSU’s Office of Academic Affairs, students would most likely complete their first two years of post-secondary schooling at Chemeketa then move to the Portland State campus in Portland.

Yet, if the student chooses to remain in Salem, there are a few degree-completion programs at the Salem Center campus. Bachelor’s degrees at the Salem Center campus are offered in Social Science and Child Family Studies. Minors are available in Administration of Justice, Business Administration, Community Development, History and Sociology at the Salem Center campus.

A top priority of both institutions now is to “develop additional degree-completion and minor degree programs offered at Chemeketa,” Rhodes said.

Unlike Clackamas Community College, another school currently co-admitting students to Portland State as well, Chemeketa will not offer freshman and sophomore inquiry classes. Yet, Chemeketa will offer junior cluster classes and senior capstone classes.

In order to start school as a freshman admitted to both PSU and Chemeketa, students must meet the PSU acceptance requirements. These include a high school G.P.A. of at least 2.5, and completion of the S.A.T. Yet, if a student completes 30 or more credit hours at Chemeketa, and receives an accumulated G.P.A. of 2.0, then eligibility for a dual admittance to both institutions is possible.

Completion of an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree (AAOT) is needed to transfer into Portland State as an official junior. Doing this, according to Rhodes, would mean the freshman and sophomore inquiry classes, otherwise mandatory, would be waived and students would start by taking upper division cluster courses.

Contrary to years past, advising at Chemeketa will now be “clear-cut,” Rhodes stated. Students will have a direct path to PSU, and transition may involve less stress and uncertainty.

The co-enrollment agreement between PSU and Chemeketa “has been talked about for years,” said Rhodes. There are currently 120 students in the degree-completion program at Chemeketa.

According to David Burgess, research analyst in the Office of Institutional Research and Planning at PSU, 97 students transferred from Chemeketa to PSU last year. The average number of transfer students PSU receives per year is 1350. This new agreement will “hopefully attract more transfer students to PSU and the city of Portland,” Rhodes said.