Making campus-community connections: UW-Bothell and Cascadia officials speak at chamber meeting
By ANDY NYSTROM
Bothell Reporter Reporter
May 19, 2011 · Updated 11:11 AM
There’s not only a monetary connection — $170 million annually — but a community and academic partnership that is worth its weight in gold.
The University of Washington, Bothell/Cascadia Community College shared campus’ economic impact on the city of Bothell includes providing jobs and trained employees for local businesses; expenditures and government and tax revenues, including dollars paid by employees, visitors and vendors who do business with the schools; and even students buying food, supplies and gas in town.
Another connection shows four UW-Bothell graduate students working with the city to make its fleet of vehicles “green” by switching to hybrids and reducing the number of vehicles, according to Deputy City Manager Steve Anderson.
And then there’s the Community Schools and Dream projects that are beneficial to Northshore School District high-school and junior-high students, said UW-Bothell’s Karen Ericson, director of the office of community-based learning and research.
Last week, UW-Bothell Chancellor Kenyon Chan and Cascadia President Eric Murray paired up at the Greater Bothell Chamber of Commerce luncheon to unveil their presentation on campus-community connections. They not only discussed that mammoth economic impact, but focused on “making the pathway more seamless” for young students to move on to community college and university.
Ericson’s projects find UW-Bothell students mentoring and tutoring students and helping them fill out both applications for scholarships and to attend higher-education institutions.
“It helps them navigate that whole complicated passage,” Ericson said.
Over at Cascadia, Murray noted that his students are giving Northshore School District juniors a hand with their math work through a pilot project. If the students need more time to hone those skills, they can enroll in a math course during their senior year.
“The exposure of higher education to young people will strongly influence them to go into higher education,” Murray said.
Chan said that students will not only be spending time in the classroom, but will be frequenting downtown Bothell and its surroundings and adding to its economic impact: “They’re going to be downtown — and restaurants, (plus the future) McMenamins and Safeway are going to see the benefits.”
Another way for Bothell residents and students to interact could be through having a garage sale when school ends for the year. There’s some student housing now, but there’s more to come and Kenmore resident Andrew Larsen said the sale could help students pass on couches or other items.
“(It could be) something tantalizing for people to come on to campus,” he said.
Rep. Derek Stanford (D-1st Legislative District), a Bothell resident, attended the chamber meeting and was impressed with the exchange of ideas.
“Higher education is a big driver of the economy, both in terms of the direct impact in the community where the campuses are and, of course, long term as we educate our kids and get them prepared for the jobs of the future,” he said. “I think (this discussion) enhances the community sense of having this real gem of a campus right near the community.”
Contact Bothell Reporter Reporter Andy Nystrom at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-425-483-3732 (ext 5050).