Northwest Community College Initiative Pre-Departure Orientation Spring 2011
Congratulations!NWCCI is pleased to welcome you to ourcommunity college campuses for the 2011-2012Northwest Community College Initiative program.Our mission is to facilitate your success in allprogrammatic components: cultural learning andsharing; academics, unpaid internships, andcommunity service. You will be getting a welcome packet shortly. Pleasereview it and keep it for your reference. When youarrive on campus you will attend an orientationwhich will include tours of the campus andimmediate community, as well as information on NWCCI will provide calling cards and snacks forbanking, local transportation, school registration, the first day so that you can call your family andand more. have something to eat after your long trip. After your adviser helps you set up a bank account she will take you food shopping where you can also purchase sundries and a cell phone.
What is a Community College? The term "community college" is used to describe publicly funded two-year institutions. The name derives from the fact that community colleges primarily attract and accept students from the local community and are often supported by local tax revenue. Community colleges typically issue certificates, associate degrees, and high school diplomas. After graduating from a community college, some students transfer to a four- year college or university for two to three years to complete a bachelors degree.*To find out more about Washington state community and technical colleges, visit the WashingtonState Board for Community and Technical Colleges.
What is NWCCI?NWCCI, or the Northwest Community College Initiative program, is aspecial scholarship program sponsored by the U.S. Department of StateBureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. It is a consortia of 3 schools inthe Northwest region of Washington State: Pierce, Edmonds, andWhatcom Community Colleges are all located with in one hundred andfifty miles of each other.Each campus has a unique campus culture with a diverse student body. Assuch, students at different campuses are sure to have different experiences.It’s important to remember that no matter where you are placed, allparticipants are part of a bigger program with the same set of goals andexpectations.
NWCCI CertificatesThe Northwest Community College Initiative provides participants withthe opportunity to earn 2 different certificates – an academic certificateand a NWCCI program certificate.Earning an academic certificate is dependent on the attainment of Englishproficiency as well as completing the academic requirements set by thecollege.Earning a NWCCI program certificate is dependent on successful completionand participation in all the components of the program, including academics,internships, community and cultural programs.
Important NWCCI FactsThe following is covered in more detail in the Terms and Conditions documentintroduced in your pre-departure orientation. Details will be furthercommunicated upon your arrival during each college’s orientation and in thestudent handbook provided.Regarding funding, please be aware that: Every student in the NWCCI program will receive a $650 monthly allowance, which we call a stipend, to use for living expenses. The administrative teams at your respective colleges will purchase your books and tuition each quarter. You will receive a student bus pass to use for local transportation. You will receive a monthly stipend for phone/internet services. You will be covered under the ASPE Accident and Sickness Health Benefit program.
NWCCI ResourcesEach campus will have its own International Student Services department thatwill be your go-to source for campus-specific information.The following links are a good way to familiarize yourself with the biggerNWCCI program. They are your roadmap to understanding the “bigger picture”of what we do, plus why and how we do it. Website Facebook Newsletter NWCCI Ning
NWCCI Cultural ProgramAs part of the program goal to experience the U.S. culture, students at all 3 campuses willhave the chance to experience important landmarks and activities in Washington State.Additionally students will be expected to share information about their own culturesthrough activities and presentations.In the past, students on the NWCCI program visited Microsoft, Boeing, the state capitolin Olympia, local Native American tribal lands, the Pike Place Market and the SpaceNeedle in Seattle, local police and fire stations, and much, much more. Students areexpected to attend all the planned excursions unless it is a break and you have pre-approved travel. Boeing Future of Flight Museum State capitol building in Olympia
NWCCI Internship ProgramAcademically successful students will have the opportunity to seek an unpaidinternship for which they will earn credit during their studies.Students have enjoyed their practical experiences with hotels, travel agencies,college IT and marketing departments. They’ve also worked for small localbusinesses, such as Candela Technologies and VMC Media Management, andinternational non-profit agencies like the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and theStarlight Foundation.
NWCCI Community ServiceAnother component of the NWCCI program is community engagement. Withyour campus adviser, you will create a personal program to share your cultureand serve the community.Examples of past student experiences include: presenting about your culture atlocal elementary schools; giving speeches at community rotary clubs;volunteering at the food bank; community development with the firedepartment; and participation in International Education Week on campus. Pierce students work with the Fire Department to deliver pumpkins for Whatcom students present on their culture to children to carve for Halloween. young children at a local Elementary school.
NWCCI AcademicsAs outlined in the Terms and Conditions, participants will be placed in the field ofstudy for which they applied and cannot change their field of study.As a requirement of the J-1 visa students must be enrolled in at least twelve creditsper quarter. Students will take no more than fifteen credits per quarter.Every student will take an English placement test to determine appropriate classplacement. Students may need additional ESL classes before they are ready to takeclasses for their their certificates.Ability to earn an academic certificate is dependent on English proficiency, classattendance, completing assignments and passing all courses.
Where are the 3 Colleges located? Whatcom Community College is located in Bellingham, about 90 miles north of Seattle. It is part of Whatcom County. Edmonds Community College is located halfway between Everett and Seattle, approximately 20 miles North of Seattle. It is part of Snohomish County. Pierce Community College is located halfway between Tacoma and Olympia, approximately 45 miles south of Seattle. It is part of Pierce County.
Western WashingtonWashington state is known for its naturalbeauty and comfortable climate. Washingtonhas a mostly marine west coast climate withmoderately mild temperatures, wet winters, anddry summers. Known as the “Evergreen state,”Washington is home to dense conifer forests ,which are full of trees that keep their leavesyear-round. People in the Northwest enjoy local features like the ferry boat system, which carries passengers and vehicles across the Puget Sound region; Mount Rainier, the highest mountain in Washington and the Cascade mountain range; and the city of Seattle, home to sports teams like the Mariners (baseball), Seahawks (American football) and the Sounders (soccer).
WA Economy – Industry and AgricultureWashington state is known for its business in aerospace, software development, foodprocessing, lumber and wood products, chemical products, and tourism.A magazine survey recently indicated that Washington has 4 of the top 20 mostadmired companies in the United States: Starbucks (coffee), Microsoft (computersoftware), Costco (wholesale retail) and Nordstrom (clothing retail).Washington is a lead agricultural state. The apple industry is of particular importanceto Washington because of its favorable climate of dry, warm summers and coldwinters. In fact, the state has led the U.S. in apple production since the 1920s. Otherproducts Washington is known for are seafood, dairy products, cattle, wheat, potatoesand nursery stock.
Local culture Washingtonians have diverse backgrounds and enjoy a variety of activities and hobbies. Generally, people from the “Northwest” are proud of their rich native American history as well as their knowledge of the natural elements like rivers, oceans, mountains and wildlife. They are definitely known for their obsession with really good coffee. It rains a lot in Seattle, but strangely, no one carries an umbrella! Washingtonians love to share their interests with visitors. A particular highlight is eating local cuisine like wild salmon and fresh produce. For leisure, people take day hikes in nearby mountains, sail in the Puget Sound, and shop in downtown Seattle. Seattle’s Pike Place MarketLocally crafted Totem poles
Edmonds Community College www.edcc.edu/internationalEdmonds Community College is a 50-acre campus situated minutes away from thedowntown Edmonds waterfront. It is located 20 miles north of Seattle in the city ofLynnwood, Washington. Edmonds Community College, know as EDCC, offers fifty-three certificate programs and boasts brand new on-site dormitories. Edmondshosts an average of 1,100 international students each year representingapproximately 60 different countries.Highlights on campus include twenty-eightcomputer labs, 9 science labs, 3 eateries, 2greenhouses, a digital recording studio, an artgallery, a theater, a childcare center, a gym, abaseball field, a transit center, an on-campusresidence hall, and a university satellite center forCentral Washington University.
Edmonds Student DemographicsEdmonds Community College has on average:12,000 Students per quarter1,280 ESL students per quarter29 Average student age44% Full-time students58% Female students34% Students of color70% Day students48% Work either part-time or full-time
Edmonds Contact Information Your campus adviser is Shirley Goudard-Reyes. She will be in touch with you soon. She is your main contact during your participation with the NWCCI program. Her email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org Please note that Shirley will be out of the office for the month of May. If you need to contact someone before then, please email NWCCI Assistant Coordinator, Sarah Kishpaugh at email@example.com. Edmonds Community College’s website page for International Student Services is an invaluable tool for understanding the culture of that campus. There you can join Edmonds’ ISS facebook page, read blogs, and watch videos. You can research your certificate program by visiting the Edmonds home page and clicking the Catalog/Programs option at the top of the page. Scroll down until you reach the 4th option down – Career Degrees & Certificates – and click that. Scroll over to the green box on the right and click on “Explore List…” You should be able to find your program’s curriculum (the one you’ve applied for) among that list. Watch a video about international study at Edmonds. Get connected through Edmonds’ International Student Services blog and Facebook sites.
An Edmonds ExperienceIn fall 2010, Edmonds students observed a Students visited the Microsoft Visitor Centertraditional Homecoming football game at a over winter break. Then in the evening theylocal high school. went aboard the Argosy Christmas ship for a festive boat tour of the Puget Sound.
Whatcom Community Collegewww.whatcom.ctc.edu/degrees-and-programs/international-programsWhatcom Community College is located in Bellingham, Washington, a town 90miles north of Seattle with a population of 67,000. It is in an area of small towns,farms and scenic wilderness. The college enjoys immediate access to the nearbyislands in the Puget Sound and the neighboring Cascade Mountains. The collegeserves approximately 7,000 students per quarter, 162 of which are internationalstudents representing 28 different countries.Whatcom Community College offers a variety ofinternational activities throughout the year:International Education Week; student-organizedInternational Night; Global Awareness Projectcoordinated by the World Languages Department; andthe International Friendship Club. All students arealways encouraged to join clubs and engage in thecommunity.
Whatcom Student DemographicsWhatcom Community College has on average:7,644 Students per quarter55% Female students45% Male students71% Between the ages 16-2422% Students of color42% Full-time students550 Running Start students (high school completion)
Whatcom Contact Information Your adviser at Whatcom is Iris Metzgen-Ohlswager . She will be in touch with you soon. She will be your main contact during your participation with the NWCCI program. Iris’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org Whatcom Community College’s website page for International Programs is an invaluable tool for understanding the culture of that campus. You can research the certificate programs at Whatcom by visiting the Whatcom home page and clicking on the Degrees and Programs tab. From there, scroll down and click the Professional Technical Degrees tab. You should be able to find information on certificates for Business and Tourism on this page. Watch a video about the International Programs at Whatcom CC. Get connected by joining Whatcom’s Facebook site.
A Whatcom ExperienceStudents took a trip to Mt. Baker, a popular Students braved the weather to float downrecreational area and mountain in the North the Skagit river on river rafts on the lookoutCascades, where they tried skiing for the first for bald eagles.time.
Pierce College www.pierce.ctc.edu/internationalThe Pierce College District is location in Pierce County, Washington,approximately 30 miles south of Seattle. There are two colleges in thePierce College District – as students in the NWCCI program you will attendthe Fort Steilacoom campus. Approximately 250 international studentsfrom over 30 different countries enroll each quarter.Pierce College Fort Steilacoom is located on 140 acres in the city ofLakewood, which is 10 miles southwest of Tacoma. The campus is just onemile from the waters of the Puget Sound, with snow-covered mountainranges visible in both directions.
Pierce Student DemographicsPierce Community College has on average:27,362 Students per year34% Enrolled in professional/ technical programs29.3 Average age32% Students of color52% Female students60% Part-time students1,196 Running Start students (high school completion)
Pierce College – Contact Information The current contact person at Pierce is the Director of International Programs, Pat Cavendish. He will be in touch with you soon. His email address is: email@example.com. Pierce College’s website page for International Education is an invaluable tool for understanding the culture of that campus. To find out more about a specific certificate program, go to Pierce College’s home page and click on the Academics tab. Scroll down and click on the Professional/Technical Programs. From there, click Program List located in the left- hand column. Get connected and join Pierce College’s Facebook site.
A Pierce Experience Pierce’s program adviser organized a food sampling tour at the famous Pike PlacePierce students presented a report about the Market during spring break. They also visitedLakewood International Festival at a the Space Needle, Pacific Science Center,Lakewood city council meeting . Aquarium, and Experience Music Project.
Housing• At all 3 colleges students will share apartments on or nearby the campus with other students.• Students may share bedrooms, bathrooms, living and kitchen areas.• All apartments are furnished with basic furnishings, but students may wish to purchase or bring additional items to make the spaces more personal. Basic furnishings include bed linens, towels, a desk, a bed and a set of drawers.• Every student will be paired with a local family for support and as another way to become familiar with the culture.
Tips For Packing & Traveling Temperatures range from 5-10 degrees Celsius in the winter to the low-20s Celsius in the summer. It rains a lot and you will definitely need warm clothing. Chances are we will take you to visit the mountains so be advised that gloves and hats are necessary for such an outing. You will do presentations throughout the year on campus and in the community. It is helpful to bring things to share from your country, such as maps, traditional clothing, recipes, and/or pictures. Please research and follow your assigned airline’s luggage regulations. Pack lightly, but carefully. Yours will be a long flight. It’s wise to bring snacks and something to read or entertain you.
Next Steps You will be given a campus assignment. Students will be assigned to either Edmonds, Pierce or Whatcom Community Colleges. You will receive an informational packet in the mail. In it will be your DS-2019. The will also be a housing application. Please follow instructions to fill it out and return it. Please also review your certificate program information. You will need to apply for a visa. You can contact your adviser with questions; however, many of them can only be answered upon your arrival, such as details around specific classes, roommates, etc. NWCCI places heavy emphasis on connecting alumni. You will receive an email introduction from a current NWCCI participant whose expertise will serve as peer guidance should you have specific program questions before you arrive. NWCCI will also register you to receive our monthly e-newsletter.
Congratulations, and good luck! Pierce College students enjoy their visit to the renown Tulip Festival in the beautiful Skagit Valley in April.
References Links1. NWCCI website: http://www.edcc.edu/International/Northwest%20CCI/2. NWCCI Facebook pagehttp://www.facebook.com/pages/Northwest-CCI/151406598210371?ref=ts3. NWCCI e-newsletterhttp://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=22884318783ebf37ff1995d20&id=0bc4ce95b44. NWCCI Ning site:http://edmondscc.ning.com/group/northwestcci5. Edmonds CC webpage:http://www.edcc.edu/international/6. Whatcom CC webpage:http://www.whatcom.ctc.edu/degrees-and-programs/international-programs/7. Pierce CC webpage:http://www.pierce.ctc.edu/international/8. ASPE Insurance: http://usdos.sevencorners.com/docs/ASPEHealthBenefitGuide.pdf