Community Ed winter offerings announced

Mini Version of Catch Cover

OCCC and its SBDC fire up new programming to warm up your Winter

CTW Cover Winter 2018

This week, residents of Lincoln County will find something other than early holiday greeting cards in their mailboxes. The Oregon Coast Community College ‘Catch the Wave’ winter-term course schedule will be distributed starting around Dec. 9. The schedule is also available now, here.

 “We’re excited to present the community the largest selection of community education courses we’ve ever offered in a winter term,” said Dave Price, OCCC’s director of small business development and community education.

The term offers a mix of some returning favorites, including Oil Painting and Beginning Guitar, as well as many brand-new classes, like Basket Weaving, Chemical-Free Gardening, and Gyotaku Fish Printing. OCCC’s Winter Term runs from early January to late March.

The complete lineup of noncredit Community Education courses, which are affordably priced and open to anyone in the community, can be found in the ‘Catch the Wave’ publication and here, where the College also offers handy online registration and payment options. Or, call OCCC at 541-996-6222.


Small Business offerings

The ‘Catch the Wave’ publication also includes information about the Winter Term lineup of classes and workshops from the Small Business Development Center. This term offers some traditional favorites, like QuickBooks and web design courses, along with newer offerings such as a class on the free, cloud-based accounting Wave Apps platform.

Other new offerings include a class exploring Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and how it can impact how you run your small business. That class is led by Stewart Brannen, the CEO of the Siletz Tribal Business Corporation.

Dr. Alberto Flores, OCCC business faculty, will lead some SBDC workshops, including multiple offerings of his popular “Six Steps to a Better Business” course and the lively, entertaining (and informative) game nights using the “Leverage” board game, offered in Newport and Lincoln City.

Throughout the Winter term, as in every month of the year, the SBDC also offers its core service – free, confidential, one-on-one business advising – to anyone seeking it. Whether you’re a business owner or just considering one day starting your own business, you are free to take advantage of this powerful resource. Learn more, or register for your advising appointment, any time here, or call 541-994-4166.


Hospitality workforce training

The Small Business Development Center is also launching a powerful new hospitality training program in Lincoln City this term, in cooperation with the Lincoln City Culinary Center. The four-session program features classroom sessions in which participants can earn the internationally recognized Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP) certification from the American Hotel & Lodging Education Institute, but also receive hands-on customer service and kitchen training in the spectacular Culinary Center facility, as part of what the SBDC has dubbed the “Lincoln County Star” hospitality program.

The SBDC has also partnered with a group in Waldport delivering similar programming, including the CGSP certification, among others, at Waldport High School, in Yachats, and at the OCCC South County Center in Waldport.

Thirty for Thirty

Thirty for Thirty Graphic

Join us in celebrating OCCC’s 30th anniversary.

Your gift of $30 can make a difference!

Established in 1987, OCCC is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.  If you or someone you know has benefited from OCCC, from a single class or life-changing certificate or degree, please show your appreciation with a gift to the OCCC Foundation.

By supporting the OCCC Foundation, you are helping grow our economy, decrease poverty, and prevent homelessness.  You are helping our local businesses find the skilled labor they need to grow and prosper, helping individual students increase their ability to earn a living wage job to support their families, and helping grow the next generation of leadership for our community organizations.

More from SOAR

SOAR High Altitude Balloon Launch Photo

Check out the latest from OCCC’s SOAR program – which featured OCCC students launching high-altitude balloons last summer, training for (and ultimately accomplishing) an experiment to measure the atmospheric effects of totality.

The SOAR Program Blog, found at this link, has chronicled the program throughout the summer and culminates here with a summary of the eclipse-day launches, and the formal delivery of findings presented by OCCC students at Oregon State University in November

Read the full story.



OCCC, LCSD to “Grow our own” teachers

Oregon Coast Community College with Newport Bridge

College secures grant, creates new opportunities for local students

OCCC, LCSD and others build new track to teaching degree

Oregon Coast Community College (OCCC) has been awarded a major grant to help the region “grow our own” teachers for the K-12 schools that serve communities along the Central Oregon Coast.

In partnership with the Lincoln County School District (LCSD), Tillamook Bay Community College (TBCC) and Western Oregon University (WOU), along with other supporters, OCCC has secured a $250,000 Meyer Memorial Trust Grant to fill the educator workforce gap in Lincoln and Tillamook Counties with culturally responsive and prepared K-12 teachers.

“This grant will open new pathways for local students planning to begin their teaching careers right here in Lincoln County,” said OCCC President Dr. Birgitte Ryslinge. “It will provide our students with a direct path towards a teaching degree, while minimizing the time they are forced to spend away from home. And, it will help the school district add to the diversity of instructors serving Lincoln County’s children.”

The first seeds of the project were planted in February of this year and, with the opportunity to apply for funding from Meyer Memorial Trust, the plan grew to include several other partners.

The school district has been involved in developing the project from the beginning and Superintendent Tom Rinearson has played a key role. “Lincoln County School District is excited about this partnership with OCCC to provide a pathway to grow our own teachers and early childhood educators,” he said. “There is a tremendous need for this labor force and it will be a benefit to the youth of Lincoln County. We thank Meyer Memorial Trust for entrusting us with this grant and we know the results will amazing.”

Western Oregon University has also been on board since the beginning with a goal of providing a seamless transfer from our local community colleges to the university program. TBCC was invited to join the project shortly after the grant proposal entered development. Their participation will help ensure sustainability of the program by increasing the total number of participants who form the WOU cohort. Thought there is no guarantee, with enough participants, some WOU courses could be offered here on the coast, reducing the amount of time students need to spend away from home.

“This program is another of the College’s ongoing efforts to add to the career opportunities available to our students right here in Lincoln County,” said Daniel Lara, OCCC’s Dean of Academics and Workforce.

In a release, the Meyer Memorial Trust stated it strives to “advance equity across Oregon,” and works “to help build wealth in communities that have long experienced income disparities.” Income disparities are the norm here in Lincoln County, as evidenced by the county’s own “10-Year Economic Update” study, whose findings included 2012 median family income totals of $41,996 for Lincoln County as compared to $50,036 for the state.

One of the desired outcomes of the grant is to produce a more diverse teacher workforce and the project will include targeted outreach to underrepresented populations. OCCC is partnering with the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians and Centro de Ayuda to provide culturally appropriate outreach and student recruitment. The partnerships will also help support cultural representation on program advisory boards.


The teacher track

Through the program, local students can take core courses at Oregon Coast Community College and then transfer to Western Oregon University’s College of Education to complete a four-year degree and earn a teaching certification. The program also includes placement in student-teaching positions here in Lincoln County.

“Through this program, Lincoln County residents – whether they are new to the area or have deep roots and family ties here – can not only stay here, but can develop successful careers while they share their experience and local expertise in the classroom,” Lara said.

The program has been carefully designed to ensure that the courses taken at OCCC prior to transferring to WOU all apply directly to the eventual teaching degree, with no loss of credit.  As part of the partnership, TBCC will produce the required math courses and OCCC students will participate via videoconference at OCCC’s North County Center in Lincoln City. OCCC will reciprocate by producing the teacher education courses required for the associate’s degree program and TBCC students will participate via videoconference.

The Meyer Memorial Trust grant will help develop the program, and will also fund special advising and student recruitment materials tailored to the program. The grant will also fund improvements in OCCC’s distance-education infrastructure, ensuring smooth and convenient delivery of courses such as those mathematics courses produced by TBCC.

The new program marks an important milestone in Oregon Coast Community College’s growth. The 30-year-old college already presents robust clusters of programs in Business, transfer degrees, Aquarium Science, and Health and Human Services. Education will become OCCC’s newest cluster and will include an early childhood education certificate program. Thanks, in part, to this grant, the college will be able to offer new pathways for local students looking to earn college degrees, and launch their working careers, here at home.

Learn more about the Meyer Memorial Trust at Watch for updates and details about the Lincoln County program at

Welcome Week: January 2 to 5

Sea Stars

It’s Welcome Week at OCCC. If this is your first term, or if you’re returning after a while, don’t be shy — stop by our front desk at the Central County Campus in Newport or the North County Center in Lincoln City. There, you’ll find friendly OCCC Staff ready to answer your questions and point you in the right direction.

Have a great term, Sharks!

President Ryslinge’s Statement on DACA Announcement

US Capitol

Click to read OCCC President Dr. Birgitte Ryslinge’s statement on the Trump administration’s announcement on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. {En Español}

Fall Community Ed Lineup Announced


Ready to learn something new? Something fun? There’s no better time than Fall 2017, when Oregon Coast Community College’s Community Education program will roll out nearly 50 classes to brighten our favorite season of the year!

Try Mosaics, Zen Meditation, Poetry Writing, Birdwatching or others — and click here to get the first chance to review the Fall Term lineup of classes, and the first chance to register while the most spaces are available! The Fall Term Schedule is now available online.

Use our handy online form to register any time. Our staff here in Newport or Lincoln City will be in touch soon to verify your enrollment and make payment arrangements.

State matches funds for WERC

Planning For The Future Banner

Legislature approves matching funds for new OCCC facility  

‘WERC’ would house trades, tech and disaster preparedness programs

When the legislature passed Senate Bill 5505 on Friday, July 7, it approved the state’s issuance of a number of general obligation and revenue bonds. Among other things, the bill will provide matching funds for a long list of projects from Oregon universities and community colleges, including $8,140,000 for Oregon Coast Community College’s Workforce Education and Resiliency Center (WERC).

The facility will house programs designed to meet workforce needs for Lincoln County and the coastal region. It will be designed and built in a manner to provide emergency shelter and response for South Beach in the event of a catastrophe such as a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake, damaging storms or other disasters.

“The WERC will allow for the addition of workforce programs which need specialized facilities and labs,” said OCCC President Dr. Birgitte Ryslinge. “These are programs which cannot be delivered in the current, wonderful OCCC facilities – and we sincerely thank Lincoln County for voting to approve our current structures 13 years ago.”

Programs under consideration to be based in the WERC, which will be built at OCCC’s Central County Campus in Newport, include Emergency Preparedness and Management, Maritime Technicians, Applied Technology (trades such as welding), and P-12 Teacher Education. The College will rely on community and industry engagement (along with data such as workforce needs projections) to narrow the list. Programs must be viable and draw sustained enrollment year over year.

In order to receive the $8.1 million in funds approved by the state, OCCC has five years to raise the same amount in matching funds, likely through partnerships, the Oregon Coast Community College Foundation, a capital fundraising campaign, grants and a local bond measure.

“We are very excited that the state has approved matching funds for this important project,” Ryslinge said. “As OCCC has progressed in its effort to become independently accredited, we’ve worked with countless local agencies, groups and stakeholders to identify needs in the community. This proposal would provide a spacious, adaptable facility that could be employed to provide specific programming for trades such as welding, electricians, marine technicians and more, and usage could change with changing community needs over time.”


Support from the community

A number of Lincoln County residents submitted letters of support for OCCC’s proposal to the Oregon Legislature this spring, including Bob Cowen, Bruce Polvi, Jay Roelof, and George Polisner, among others. Georgia-Pacific provided the grant which funded the site plan.

“We’ve been deeply moved by the strong support the community has shown from the outset of the planning process for this facility,” Ryslinge said. “And, the support the project has enjoyed from Senator Arnie Roblan and Representative David Gomberg has been wonderful.”


Next steps

Ryslinge said the College will be planning a series of open forums across the county to explain the proposed workforce training center, and the new programs it would make possible, in the coming months. To learn more, follow OCCC on Facebook, watch for updates here on the College’s website, or call 541-867-8501.

OCCC Announces Summer Enrichment Courses

Beer People

Registration is open now for five special summer offerings at Oregon Coast Community College. Brew a beer inside, then head outdoors to harvest mussels  – or learn to paint pictures of mussel harvesters! Or, come to OCCC to prepare for natural disasters, or come to learn about one of the most amazing and splendid natural occurrences you’ll ever experience – the Total Solar Eclipse. You’ll find all of this in our busy summer lineup. Register soon – some classes have as few as eight available spots! Email us to register today, or call 541-996-6222


The Yeast, We Can Do

Taught by Rogue Ales’ own Joel Shields, this class for the first-time brewer explains the basic equipment needed to home-brew, and how the process works. Participants will get first-hand experience watching the brewing and bottling process, not to mention tasting the final product.  The class will show you to brew an extract batch of beer from start to finish in three sessions. For the first time, this class will be brewing an all-grain batch – a dry hopped pale ale. The first session, the group will brew a batch of beer using an all-grain system.  The second class, Joel will discuss dry-hopping and equipment.  During the final class, the group will bottle condition some beer to take home, and keg up some of the beer – to be served at The Dog Days of Summer Festival at the Rogue! Participants must be over the age of 21.

JULY 12, 3-6pm • JULY 19, 4-6pm • AUG. 9, 4-6pm
TUITION: $40 • $20 material fee payable to instructor at the start of first class.
Register here, 24 hours a day, or call 541-996-6222 during business hours.

The Master of Disaster

This summer, Oregon Coast Community College brings back its popular two-night disaster preparedness class. Taught by North Lincoln Fire and Rescue District Captain Jim Kusz, the course is designed to take the panic and paranoia out of planning, while it discusses in frank detail the threats facing the Oregon Coast – from damaging storms and power outages to the looming threat of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. It will even touch on the disruptions we may face as a result of the throngs of visitors expected for the eclipse. Capt. Kusz uses humor and a superb level of preparedness training to walk participants through the simple steps they can take to be prepared for an emergency, wherever they may be when one should occur.

TUESDAY & THURSDAY • 5:30 – 8:30 P.M. • AUG 8 & 10
Register here, 24 hours a day, or call 541-996-6222 during business hours.

The Eclipse Comes Full Circle

What to expect, where to see it and what about safety?  Sifan Kahale will talk about these and other ‘stellar’ topics.  She will bring along examples of what you can use to safely view or watch the total solar eclipse.  (She may even divulge her secret viewing locations!) This class isn’t about traffic or crowds, though they may be mentioned. Instead, it’s all about the science. And, it’s all about the splendor! Bring the kids!

THURSDAY, JULY 20 • 5:30-7:30PM • $10
Register here, 24 hours a day, or call 541-996-6222 during business hours.

Mussel-Bound? Start Here.

Every day Lincoln County residents drive past rocky outcroppings covered with delectable mussels, on their way to the grocery store. These classes will take you out on the beach in Lincoln City, to harvest fresh mussels. And, if you’re worried you wouldn’t know what to do with a bag full of fresh mussels, have no fear – instructor Paul Robertson will show you a simple recipe that’s sure to please. He’ll even prepare a batch, right there on the beach, for you to try.  All participants must have a valid Oregon Shellfish License.  NOTE: Unsafe surf conditions, inclement weather or shellfish alerts could cause cancellation of this class with short notice.

Monday, July 24 • 9am • NW 15th St. Beach Access • Park at top of ramp.
Register here, 24 hours a day, or call 541-996-6222 during business hours.

STEM Club launches new program

OCCC Stem Launch Balloon

Eclipse marks dawn of new atmospheric
study project for OCCC students  

Students at Oregon Coast Community College are interested in the upcoming total solar eclipse. In fact, they’re so interested that they’re out to get a closer look.

A group of students from the OCCC STEM Club (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) are participating in a research project led by the Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium. On the day of the eclipse, Monday, Aug. 21, the group will send aloft [several] high-altitude balloon to take precise measurements of the atmosphere before, during and after the moon’s shadow passes.

“Similar data will be collected at various points across the country as the eclipse moves along from west to east,” OCCC biology instructor Matthew Fisher said. “Ours will be the first airborne platform to experience the eclipse.”

Fisher, who supports the student STEM club, said the project is just the first in a new atmospheric research program that OCCC students will be pursuing well into the future.

The National Weather Service launches observation stations, called radiosondes, every day from nearly 100 locations across the country. They help provide the baseline data used to create accurate weather forecasts. The OCCC radiosonde would be the first on the Oregon Coast.

According to a National Weather Service web page, radiosondes are small, expendable instrument packages weighing 250 to 500 grams. Each is suspended below a large balloon inflated with hydrogen or helium gas.  As the radiosonde rises at about 300 meters/minute (about 1,000 feet/minute), sensors on the radiosonde transmit pressure, temperature, relative humidity and GPS position data each second.

The eclipse will provide a rare opportunity to measure the effects of the moon’s shadow on temperature, wind speed and other conditions at altitudes of as high as 115,000 feet. After the eclipse, Fisher said OCCC hopes this group of students, and future students who join the volunteer STEM club, will continue the College’s ongoing atmospheric study efforts.

Preparing for launch

This summer, the OCCC STEM club is hard at work preparing for the eclipse monitoring project. Later this month, from July 20 to 23, the group will travel to the University of Montana in Missoula to train and conduct test balloon launches. That preparation will continue with more tests in Oregon in August. After the eclipse, in November, the OCCC group plans to present its findings at the Oregon NASA Space Grant Student Consortium at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

To learn more, follow the OCCC STEM Club on Facebook or contact Fisher, at