Peninsula College Foundation reports record levels of giving

Programs, students both recipients of funds

PORT ANGELES — The Peninsula College Foundation has provided nearly $1.3 million in support to programs and students at the college for 2023-2024, Executive Director Getta Workman told trustees at their Tuesday meeting.

“A little over halfway through the [school] year and we’re at record levels of giving,” Workman said. “It’s higher than any total year.”

What was also different, Workman said, is that students typically receive more funding than programs, but this year that trend was reversed.

The foundation provided $647,603 in support to programs and $630,145 to students.

About 70 percent of program support went to automotive technology ($309,111) and natural resources ($150,000).

Among the other recipients were the media technology program ($55,164), the Raymond Carver and Tess Gallagher Creative Writing Festival ($50,000) and the dental hygiene program ($30,000).

Funding to students is primarily dedicated to scholarships, with most of that support going to nursing ($142,100).

New this year, Workman said, were scholarships for students enrolled in bachelor’s programs. The foundation also awarded grants for tools and supplies, as well as emergency support for expenses like transportation, food and childcare.

Workman said strong investment earnings and strong donor interest in supporting the college made the higher funding levels possible.

The foundation also reached its $1 million endowment goal at the end of 2023, she said.

It was Workman’s final presentation to trustees; she is retiring and former Dean of Arts & Sciences Cheryl Crane is taking her place as head of the foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established in 1996 to raise funding for scholarships, faculty research and tools and equipment for teaching and learning.

Bruce Hattendorf, vice president of instruction and dean for the Center for Teaching and Learning, introduced Steve Danver as the new dean for Arts and Sciences, replacing Crane.Danver came to Peninsula College from Columbia Basin College in Pasco, where he served as assistant dean for instruction.

Danver will be teleworking until March 12, when he will be on campus full time.

The college also hired Joshua Taylor to teach courses in electric vehicle technology, Hattendorf said.

Funding from the Peninsula College Foundation made possible the purchase of two electric vehicles for the program.

Hattendorf became the college’s vice president of instruction in January; it was announced at the time he would continue in his role as dean of the Center for Teaching until his replacement could be hired. The goal is to have someone on board before fall, a college spokeswoman said.

This week the college planned to mail 640 white, peel-and-seal 9-inch by 12-inch envelopes to graduating high schools seniors at Chimacum, Crescent, Forks, Neah Bay, Port Angeles, Port Townsend and Sequim high schools.

Each of the trustees received envelopes containing what the college called a “look book”: a pocket folder with an image of the campus containing a letter from Associate Dean of Enrollment Services Ruth Adams, a brochure about the college and its programs, and a Peninsula College black-and-gold felt pennant.

President Suzy Ames said it was the first time the college had made such a pitch to local students, encouraging them to include Peninsula College in their higher education plans.

The cost for the recruitment initiative was about $4,750, according to information provided by the college.

Enrollment at Peninsula College has been slowly ticking upward after a decline that began more than 10 years ago. According to the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, there were 1,603 full-time students enrolled in Peninsula College in fall 2023; that was a 12 percent increase from fall 2002, when 1,428 full-time students were enrolled.

The college is not alone in trying to increase its enrollment, as community colleges across the state have still not recovered from their re-pandemic numbers, according to data from the SBCTC.

Ames said funding has been renewed for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Summer Pathway Program, which seeks to attract students from groups historically underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Sponsored by the Department of Energy Office of Science’s Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists, the five-week internship gives students the opportunity to explore research and technology careers, as well as gain practical training. Last year, six Peninsula College students participated in the program.

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Reporter Paula Hunt can be reached at paula.hunt@peninsuladailynews.com.

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