For Immediate Release
June 12, 2018
Lower Columbia College (LCC) and Three Rivers Christian School (TRCS) have entered into a partnership to support each other's programs for recruiting international students.
Recently, Three Rivers Christian School applied to expand its ability to take longer-term students at the school, according to school superintendent, Erin Hart. The purpose of the collaboration is to provide additional diversity and worldview to TRCS students, as well as to provide additional revenue for TRCS operations.
“We've had cultural exchange students for about fifteen years, but now our level of accreditation allows us to issue multi-year visas. Our previous foreign students wanted the ability to stay longer,” said Hart. “This partnership with LCC will allow those students to have the dual credit opportunity, along with the experience of being part of the TRCS community for their American high school career.”
In their memorandum of understanding, TRCS and LCC agree to coordinate in recruitment efforts to bring students to the area. LCC also entered into an inter-local agreement with TRCS to provide dual-credit opportunities, so TRCS students can get college credits while still in high school. LCC also agrees to provide its Intensive English program to TRCS students for a fee, and to provide academic advising support to assist students seeking to move on to a four-year university or college.
LCC Vice President of Student Services Sue Orchard anticipates that the partnership will add tangible value to the community.
“Creating community partnerships, particularly by aligning K-12 and post-secondary educational pathways, serves students in Cowlitz County to better meet their career outcomes. In addition, building a diverse student population adds to the richness and vibrancy of the community as a whole,” she said.
Marie Boisvert, LCC's Director of International Student Programs, is enthusiastic about the benefits the program will bring to students.
“Many community colleges in Washington have developed high school completion programs for international students. The LCC-TRCS partnership sets us apart as it allows the international students to be in a high-school environment with American peers their own age. The students also benefit from classes that will still count toward a university degree. Essentially, they get the best of both worlds through our partnership,” she said.
Rich Gushman, Chairman of both the LCC Foundation Board and the TRCS Board, is excited to see the collaboration between LCC and TRCS.
“This is a great opportunity for both schools to expand their international student programs and increase cultural diversity in our community through teamwork and collaboration. Additionally, it is exciting to see the two schools looking for unique and creative ways to truly provide improved opportunities and service to their students and prospective students,” he said.
LCC President Chris Bailey hopes to replicate the agreement with other local public high schools.
“We are part of a global community, with multiple ports,” said Bailey. “Our local students benefit from opportunities to learn from other cultures and from students from around the world.”