(SSCC President Gary Oertli speaks to SW District Council, with SW Precinct Capt. Steve Paulsen and the city Department of Neighborhoods’ Southwest District Coordinator Stan Lock at right)
More from last night’s Southwest District Council meeting: The SWDC, which has long met at South Seattle Community College, got to officially meet its new president, Gary Oertli, a born-and-raised West Seattle native. “West Seattle is a state of mind – diverse, entrepreneurial, innovative – we hope South Seattle Community College reflects that in the same way.” He shared some data points with council members, and you might not know them either:
*More than 15,000 students
*West Seattle and Georgetown campuses, New Holly Park and “Airport University” locations
*Average age: 33
*70 percent of students work part-time or full-time
*Largest program: Its transfer program
*300 students in wine-technology program
*Hundreds in Running Start
*340 international students
*Annual operating budget of $53 million, with 500 employees
The numbers weren’t all rosy; Oertli also talked about the 25 percent budget cuts that community colleges have endured in the past two years, with more to come because of the state’s financial situation, but SSCC is working hard to keep serving people including the “thousands of laid-off workers (who) have turned to community colleges to upgrade their skills,” in addition to other students. And they’re working to expand the 13th Year Promise Scholarship program, with one free year of community college for students at Cleveland High School: “Our goal is to do that for EVERY student at the high schools in our service area.” Finally – they’re reaching out to the West Seattle community for increased partnership, and inviting everyone to find out more about SSCC. One place to start: The next wine-release event for its popular program is coming up November 15th (find out more here).
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