Partner Voices: Washington State University is closer than you think

Sponsored Content: WSU North Puget Sound at Everett is helping students earn degrees and a WSU diploma - from home.
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WSU North Puget Sound at Everett lets mechanical engineering student Jennifer Hernandez earn her degree at home.

Sponsored Content: WSU North Puget Sound at Everett is helping students earn degrees and a WSU diploma - from home.

Jennifer Johnson Hernandez wants to be a mechanical engineer. She also wants to live in the area and stay close to her family. As a student with a family and ambition, she needed educational options to see her career dreams come true.

Because of Washington State University North Puget Sound at Everett, Jennifer is on her way to earning her mechanical engineering degree and a WSU diploma. And she never packed a bag or a box to go to college. She stayed right at home.

“I was studying engineering at Everett Community College when my advisor told me I could continue my education on campus, and earn my Bachelor of Science degree from WSU,” says Jennifer. “I finished my prerequisites, applied and will graduate this spring — and stayed right at home.”

A college degree has never been more important. Economists predict that the national labor market will demand more college graduates over the next 20 years.

Closer to home, it is anticipated that by 2018, 70 percent of the jobs in Washington State will require some college education. The number of job openings is projected to outpace the number of qualified workers by 5,000 jobs per year — primarily in the health sciences and STEM-based fields such as advanced manufacturing, engineering and material science.

The North Puget Sound area is poised to experience much of this growth. And residents now have more opportunities than ever before to benefit from the increasing need for highly educated workers.

“WSU is excited to offer four academic degree programs, all in coordination with our community college partners to make it as seamless as possible for students to transfer,” explains Paul Pitre, dean of WSU North Puget Sound at Everett. “We offer higher education options for residents living here. Our graduates will be prepared to find the kind of family-wage jobs that make a difference.”

Students can get an associate’s degree from any Washington community college and transfer to WSU to finish their bachelor’s degree in Everett.

“My engineering degree allows me the option of seeking a position in one of the many local aerospace companies,” says Jennifer. “I am able to finish my degree and have lots of job opportunities here in the area.”

WSU is here to stay

Crosscut archive image.Jennifer is not alone in her quest. Right now, almost 90 students have transferred from a community college and are on their way to earning WSU degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, communication and hospitality business management.

WSU is using its resources and working with local leaders to build additional academic programs steeped in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and aligned with the needs of the area’s industries. “The programs we offer represent the strength of our research university, assuring both academic rigor and university-wide commitment,” says Dean Pitre.

WSU is proud to be part of the Everett University Center

WSU not only offers four quality degree programs, but also manages the Everett University Center. Co-located in Gray Wolf Hall on Everett Community College’s campus, the center brings together a consortium of seven baccalaureate institutions that offer 23 academic programs for transfer students.

The mission of the Everett University Center is to develop partnerships with other colleges and universities to provide four-year and graduate degrees for the North Puget Sound region. Instruction includes online and in-classroom courses from all six of our state’s public baccalaureate institutions and a private university.

“WSU remains committed to working with our academic partners to focus on delivering additional high-quality, high-demand degrees for our students,” said Bob Drewel, interim chancellor of WSU North Puget Sound at Everett and the Everett University Center.

Jennifer says attending WSU North Puget Sound at Everett makes her feel like a part of something special. “I am finishing college with other students from six different universities, and on the same campus where I started my college journey,” reflects Jennifer. “I am a Coug, but in a unique college setting that best fits my needs.”


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