News Releases

September 24, 2012
For Immediate Release
For additional information: 
Barbara Kerr, APR
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing

Telephone: 360-992-2921


Focus on the future: 
Clark College welcomes students
to the 2012-2013 academic year


Clark College sign. First image in opening day video.
Clark College President Robert K. Knight shares his thoughts on the beginning of the 2012-2013 academic year. Click on the image above.

The new academic year begins with thousands of students, moves that support student success,
and exciting plans for the future

VANCOUVER, Wash. – On Monday, Sept. 24, Clark College opened the doors for its 2012-2013 academic year. The college welcomed 13,927 students on opening day, down slightly from fall 2011 when the college welcomed 14,989 students.   

At the same time, Clark’s Running Start program welcomed more than 1,800 students for the first time in its history.  With 1,820 students – up 9% from last year – and celebrating its 20th anniversary, Clark’s Running Start program is the largest in the state.

Financial aid continues to play an important role for Clark students.  The college has received more than 17,100 applications, up 2.28 percent from the previous year.  Clark College has already awarded $53 million in financial aid. That is 84% of the total dollars awarded during the 2011-2012 academic year. 

Clark College President Robert K. Knight said, “Historically, enrollment at community colleges increases during tough economic times, and we are still seeing the impact of the Great Recession on far too many lives. But we know that some of our students are now working. It makes us proud to know that, because we’ve done our job, they are able to do theirs.”

Based on year-end full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment in for-credit classes, Clark was the largest single-campus community college in Washington state during the 2011-2012 academic year. 

Additionally, through all of its programs, Clark College supports learning for more than 26,000 residents of Southwest Washington each year.

Chime Tower and Library

Building for today and tomorrow

On Sept. 25, the college will hold a grand opening for its new Diversity Center, located in room 214 in Gaiser Hall. A ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception will begin at 2 p.m. 

On Sept. 28, the college will host a dedication ceremony as it renames its music building in honor of Clark alumnus, faculty member, musician and arts supporter Dale Beacock.  The ceremony and reception will begin at 3 p.m. It will be held just east of the music building near the Royce E. Pollard Japanese Friendship Garden.

During the summer, the college added 100 new parking spaces at the site of a former Clark County Health Services building.  That site will ultimately be the home of the college’s new science, technology, engineering and math building. Groundbreaking for the new facility is expected to take place during the 2013-2014 academic year.

Clark College:  On the move

Clark’s Corporate and Continuing Education Department (CCE) has moved from Clark’s main campus to Vancouver’s West Coast Bank building. CCE’s Associate Vice President Kevin Kussman said, “This move will expand the learning opportunities for students in continuing education and mature learning.  It will also allow us to better support our business community.”  Kussman added, “Our presence supports regional aspirations for downtown Vancouver to continue to be a vibrant place to live, visit and do business.”  In addition to the new location in downtown Vancouver, the college’s Corporate Learning Center and Cooking and Wine School are located at Clark College at Columbia Tech Center in east Vancouver.

In winter quarter 2013, Clark’s Adult Basic Education programs will relocate from Town Plaza to the space previously occupied by Corporate and Continuing Education.  Larry Ruddell, who recently joined Clark College as director of basic education, said, “This move will give our students more access to college resources and new pathways to success.  That’s very exciting.”

Honors and Awards

On Sept. 12, the annual Exceptional Faculty and Exceptional Classified Staff awards were presented during fall orientation for faculty and staff.  

The 2012 Exceptional Classified Staff awards were presented to Audra Rowton, a senior secretary in physical sciences, and Gracie White, an information technology specialist.

The Exceptional Faculty Awards honorees, who had been announced during Clark’s 2012 commencement ceremony, are Mark Bolke, professor of biology; Sunnie Elhart-Johnson, an instructor in business technology; Carson Legree, professor of art; and Felipe Montoya, an instructor in Spanish.  

In addition, Clark College President Robert K. Knight presented six presidential coins. The coins are awarded to faculty and staff members who provide exemplary service to Clark students, the college and the community. The fall 2012 presidential coin recipients are: Damon Grady, campus security officer, Security & Safety;  Richard Inouye, professor of music; Barbara Miller, executive assistant to the vice president of Instruction;  Rosalba Pitkin, program coordinator, Adult Basic Education (ABE)/English as a Second Language (ESL); and Jennifer Ward, program specialist in professional development, Corporate & Continuing Education.