We continue to be impressed by the folks at Columbia Basin College.
They are always on the lookout for ways to enhance educational opportunities for those in our community.
The latest innovation is a partnership with Eastern Washington University, with an aim to drive more CBC students seeking four-year degrees to the Cheney campus to finish their coursework.
And while CBC already has close relationships with other institutions of higher learning, this one fills a niche for those on a budget with the desire to have a university experience.
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For many of us, a lot of the lessons learned and a big part of the college experience came from living on our own for the first time and immersing ourselves in all that a campus has to offer.
Other CBC partners like Washington State University Tri-Cities or Heritage University in Toppenish offer transfer students four-year degree options while still living at home or close to it. Cheney is far enough away that students attending EWU would need to live nearby, giving them a bit of real-world independence while finishing their studies.
Eastern offers the lowest tuition and fees of any university in the state. And it’s still close enough to home to make a weekend laundry or grocery run to mom’s house in the Tri-Cities when necessary.
Tuition at Eastern is $7,886; at WSU Pullman, tuition is $12,000 and WSU Tri-Cities is not much cheaper at $11,000.
Students would have the added costs of housing and food if they transferred away from home after CBC to Eastern. But, for students seeking a more independent living arrangement, it’s a much more viable option financially than the alternatives currently available. Should student housing ever become available on the WSU Tri-Cities campus, that would also be a viable option for many seeking that campus lifestyle experience.
EWU has a wide range of degree offerings, and a sometimes decent football team to boot. Part of what prepares young people for the career world is experiencing more than just a classroom.
The option to go to Eastern gives them the best of both: saving money and getting a solid foundation at CBC for the first two years, then moving into their specialty while having a chance to experience all that a university has to offer for the student life.
It’s also a graduation of sorts, to gain some responsibility and learn what it’s like to live mostly independently before their fully on their own after graduation. It will also open students to the array of options for bachelor’s degrees and beyond.
While CBC builds the foundation for many, it can also serve as the springboard for things beyond the Pasco campus.
Instead of being provincial in its thinking, the leadership at CBC continues to seek opportunities for students with goals beyond its offerings. CBC has found many great partners in that process, and Eastern is a great addition to provide students with another option.