Pierce College News

September 18, 2007

Pierce College names new finance director with extensive state experience

Filed under: General,News releases — Pierce College at 3:12 pm

Media Contact Information:

Sally Perkins, marketing manager
(253) 964-6587

Brian Benedetti, acting director, district college relations
(253) 964-6549

Michael Cheney, CPA, who has 31 years experience working with accounting, budgeting and financial systems, is the new director of finance for the Pierce College District.

In that capacity, Cheney will be responsible for managing the finances for the district’s Fort Steilacoom, Puyallup and extended learning campuses. The district has an operating budget of $37 million per year.

Cheney, formerly internal auditor for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), also has held a variety of positions within the Office of the State Auditor and the Office of Financial Management (OFM). While with OFM, Cheney was manager of statewide accounting where he led the state effort to comply with generally accepted accounting practices (GAAP). He also was responsible for preparation of the Washington Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) which, under his leadership, received the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting for 10 years in a row from the Government Financial Officers Association. At the WDFW, among other duties, he led the effort to develop the 2005-07 Strategic plan and linking it to performance measures in the agency.

Cheney is a member of the Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants (WSCPA) and the South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) Business and Accounting Advisory Committee. He also has taught accounting at SPSCC.

Cheney earned an associate’s degree from Columbia College in Pasco and bachelors degrees in accounting and management information systems from Eastern Washington University in Cheney. He also completed strategic leadership training for state executives at the Governor’s Center at Duke University.


Pierce College receives grant to fund 126 additional full time, low-income students

Filed under: General — Pierce College at 3:10 pm

Media Contact Information:
Sally Perkins, marketing (253) 864-3239, sperkins@pierce.ctc.edu
Brian Benedetti, acting director, college relations (253) 864-3235

Last week, Pierce College received funding through the State Board for Community and Technical College’s Opportunity Grants program for 126 full time equivalent students at a funding level of $630,000. The announcement came to increase the funding source to all 34 state community and technical colleges after the completion of a successful pilot year.

This funding will help pay for real life expenses like tuition and books, and may help with transportation and daycare in emergency circumstances. Governor Gregoire announced the program expansion last week The Opportunity Grants are aimed at low income students who fall within 200% of the poverty level offering them help to pursue career pathways in high demand fields that pay live able wage. At Pierce, funding is available for students interested in the following careers:

o Early Childhood Education
o Corrections Protection Officer/Criminal Justice Pathway
o Business Technology and Medical Billing
o Business Management and Accounting
o Certified Nursing Assistant (CAN) Allied Health/Nursing*
Available at the Puyallup campus only

Each of these career areas has been identified as high demand and is currently experiencing a shortage of skilled workers. These occupations have also been designated as providing family wages and benefits.

Students who are just beginning their studies and are in need of basic skills, English as a Second Language, or those who are college level and already in these programs may be eligible for funding as well. College officials hope to maximize the Opportunity Grants by combining them with other student financial aid funding sources.

“The college is prepared to help these students throughout their studies. It is in keeping with our mission of accessibility and responding to workforce demands,” said Bill McMeekin, executive vice president of extending learning.

For more information, call Katie Hagar at (253)-864-8431 at the Puyallup campus or Carol Hill at (253)-964-6577 at the Fort Steilacoom campus.

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom is located at 9401 Farwest Drive, Lakewood. The Puyallup campus is located at 1601 39th Ave. SE, Puyallup.

Fall quarter classes begin September 19.


Pierce College to celebrate 40th anniversary during 2007-8 school year

Filed under: General,News releases — Pierce College at 3:08 pm

Media Contact Information:

Sally Perkins, marketing manager
(253) 964-6587

Brian Benedetti, acting director, district college relations
(253) 964-6549

When classes resume Sept. 19, Pierce College will begin a year-long celebration of how it has become the largest institution of higher education in Pierce County since opening its doors at an abandoned grocery store 40 years ago.

The Pierce College District now includes the Fort Steilacoom campus in Lakewood and Puyallup campus as well as two military education centers and more than 20 extended learning sites around Pierce County. The college offers comprehensive programs in university transfer, job training, basic skills, and personal and professional enrichment courses and seminars.
This fall, the Fort Steilacoom campus will open a $10.9 million Health Education Center (HEC) housing educational and wellness programs as well as fitness and recreational space including a gymnasium. A similar facility without a gymnasium is scheduled for completion at the Puyallup campus in 2008. New child development centers funded in part by private donations will offer on-site child care at both campuses for the first time in the college’s history.

At the Fort Steilacoom campus, work has begun on the first phase of a renovation of the Cascade Building to improve the student services area, expand the library and add a new welcome center and theater.

Responding to the growth in the health and personal fitness industry, this fall the college will begin offering a Diagnostic Health and Fitness Technician/Instructor certificate and associate degree in the new HEC. Also granting a certificate and associate degree is the Construction Management Program designed with assistance of specialists in the construction trades. The Business Information Technology (BTECH) Department will offer one-credit, self-paced modular courses in basic to advanced office skills, including Microsoft Office 2007. An expanded Digital Design program includes capstone courses requiring students to use their skills to integrate video, still images, sound and music into interactive projects.

Recently; the state awarded Pierce College $630,000 in Opportunity Grants to help low-income students enter high demand fields in criminal justice, business and health care. The grants help pay for real life expenses such as tuition and books and, in emergency circumstances, transportation and daycare.

Michele L. Johnson, Ph.D., chancellor of Pierce College, said “The legacy of excellence we have established in our first 40 years is reflected every day through the efforts of our student-oriented faculty and staff.”

For additional information, call (253) 864-3366. Or, visit the college web site at www.pierce.ctc.edu.

Pierce Fort Steilacoom is located at 9401 Farwest Drive, SW in Lakewood. Pierce Puyallup is located at 1601 39th Ave. S.E., Puyallup, Wash.


September 6, 2007

Pierce College to open co-op preschool at Fort Steilacoom

Filed under: General,News releases — Pierce College at 11:51 am

Sally Perkins, marketing manager

(253) 964-6587


Brian Benedetti, acting director, district college relations

(253) 964-6549


Pierce College Fort Steilacoom is accepting registrations for a new cooperative preschool beginning Sept. 20 which will give parents and children between the ages of three and five an opportunity to “learn together” in a play-oriented environment.

Hours of the Parent Education Cooperative Preschool coordinated by the college will be 12:30-2:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday Sept. 20-Dec. 7 in the Children’s Center in the Olympic Building at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom. In the morning, the center serves as a learning laboratory for students in the college’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs and in the evening serves as the site for evening childcare.

The learning environment in the center is designed to encourage a child’s physical, intellectual, emotional and social development according to Michelle Barnes, parent education coordinator for the Pierce College District.

“As with the five other co-op preschools affiliated with the Pierce College, the Fort Steilacoom co-op preschool will be in session September through June,” she explained.

Teacher for the new co-op preschool is Yumi Heath who has an ECE background; parent education instructor is Virginia Davis.

To participate in the co-op preschool, parents, family members or other adult caregivers of children enrolled are required to serve as the teacher’s assistant six to nine hours a month. They also are required to attend two orientation sessions in September and two hours of family life discussions each month. Daytime or evening options are available for the discussion sessions.

“During these sessions, we emphasize how parents and other adults can participate in a child’s learning experience,” added Barnes.

She indicated leadership development opportunities for adults participating in the co-op preschool include serving on the board of directors or on board committees.

Co-op preschool tuition and fees include a one-time annual registration fee of $50, $33 a quarter for the family life discussions and a $60 monthly fee for each child enrolled.

Registration information can be obtained by calling (253) 840-8445, in person in Room 163 of the Olympic Building at Fort Steilacoom or Room 102C of the Administration Building at the Puyallup Campus or by visiting the Fort Steilacoom co-op preschool web site: http://www.pierce.ctc.edu/early-childhood/preschool/index.php.

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom is located at 9401 Farwest Drive, SW, Lakewood, Wash.

Pierce College Puyallup is located at 1601 39th Ave. S.E., Puyallup, Wash.

Other Pierce College cooperative preschool sites are in Eatonville, Midland, Orting, South Hill/Puyallup and Sumner. For information about those sites, call (253) 840-8445.


September 4, 2007

Filed under: General,News releases — Pierce College at 3:31 pm

Sally Perkins, marketing manager
(253) 964-6587

Brian Benedetti, acting director, district college relations
(253) 964-6549

Pierce College September Calendar of Events

Pierce College District offers a variety of arts, entertainment, and
educational events to enrich the lives of the community members we serve.
In addition, some departments like Pierce College Theatre and Music offer
hands-on learning opportunities for our students.

Sept. 19: Fall quarter classes begin at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom and
Pierce College Puyallup.

Sept. 25 Pierce College Theatre Auditions for Fall Play
Auditions for Pierce College¹s Theatre performance of Such Stuff as Dreams
are Made on will be held on Sept. 25 from 3 to 5 p.m. in room 332, Cascade
Bldg., Fort Steilacoom. Parts for 10 men or women will be filled.
Performance dates for this collage of Shakespearean scenes interlaced with
Elizabethan music and dance are Nov. 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 15
at 10 a.m. and noon in the Commons, Cascade Bldg., Fort Steilacoom and Nov.
14 at noon in the Commons, College Center Bldg., Puyallup. Tickets are $7
for general admission at $2 for students. Pierce College Fort Steilacoom is
located at 9401 Farwest Drive, S.W., Lakewood. To request disability
accommodation, contact the Access and Disability Services Office at least 10
days in advance at: (253) 964-6468/V, (253) 964-6228/TTY, or
dssaccess@pierce.ctc.edu. For more information contact (253) 964-6659 or
visit www.pierce.ctc.edu .