Lower Columbia College Partnership Offers BA Degrees

In a move that will address the educational goals of both institutions and help more place-bound students, Eastern Washington University and Lower Columbia College are partnering to offer bachelor degrees to students on LCC’s Longview, Wash., campus beginning this fall. 

Offering more four-year study opportunities will increase the number of residents with advanced degrees and provide a larger professional workforce to benefit the local economy. Eastern will have offices in a planned university center on the LCC campus and offer Bachelor of Arts programs in interdisciplinary studies in the fall of 2013 and in business in the fall of 2014.

The classes will be offered in the evenings, making attendance convenient for working adults who want to earn a four-year degree without leaving their community. Although Cowlitz County has one of the highest rates of associate degree attainment in Washington, only 16 percent of residents have completed a bachelor’s degree compared to a state average of 32 percent. During the recent recession, unemployment of adults with a bachelor’s degree was less than five percent.

“Higher education remains the surest route to a better career and a stronger economy,” said LCC President Chris Bailey. “This partnership creates a pathway for working adults to achieve their bachelor’s degree right here in their local community. An educated workforce will provide qualified local candidates for professional positions with existing companies and also attract new industries to our region.”

To ensure each student’s success, Eastern will have a program coordinator on the LCC campus to advise and assist those interested in the BA programs, as well as a faculty member and operations manager.

“Eastern is proud to work with Lower Columbia College in order to provide quality, focused and community-relevant services and education to people in the Longview-Kelso area,” said EWU President Rodolfo Arévalo. “EWU will use a variety of methods in delivering quality education that addresses the needs and lifestyles of the students, while ensuring the degrees and curriculum maintain the standards EWU is recognized for around the state.”

Arévalo notes the program will also expand EWU’s reach, as it already offers programs in Vancouver, Wash., as well as Bellevue, Seattle, Tacoma, Everett and Yakima. Click here for more information on EWU opportunities at LCC.