Student Success Stories
Jordy Gorman, Butte Falls High School 2016 Graduate
May 2016: Jordy Gorman’s dream job of Mechanical Engineer just got a little closer for him as a senior at Butte Falls High School. Jordy is jump-starting his future career now by taking advantage of college classes in industrial technology funded through the John and Lillian Morris Scholarship. Jordy is currently enrolled in a manufacturing class at the RCC Table Rock Campus where he is learning to operate a CNC machine. This class is only one of the four lab-based classes Jordy has taken under the scholarship where he has gained hands-on experience, learning important skills in the manufacturing field. One such skill he has acquired is how to read the symbols on a blueprint needed to properly enter information in machinery used to carve complex parts from blocks of metal. Jordy asserts that “the lab environment allows me to focus on the tasks and gain the most from the lessons.”
Jordy’s decision to use this time in high school to acquire college credits has been vital in “breaking up the college workload.” In addition to the technical skills classes Jordy is taking under the Morris Scholarship, Jordy is finishing his second college math course through RCC’s COLLEGE NOW program, a free dual credit program whereby approved high school instructor Shayna Brown offers RCC curriculum at his high school. After high school, Jordy plans to complete his AAS degree through RCC, and from there attend Oregon Tech to obtain his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. Jordy will graduate from high school with 21 college credits and important career skills, and will be well on his way in becoming a Mechanical Engineer.
Grayce Gaylor, Logos Public Charter School 2016 Graduate
May 2016: Grayce Gaylor, high school student at Logos Public Charter School, is getting a jump start on a future Physical Therapist career by taking Early College classes at Rogue Community College while in high school. Grayce is in the Logos Scholars program, where she takes in-person RCC campus classes. She anticipates earning 76 credits by the time of high school graduation. She is working towards her AAOT degree, and plans to later attend Oregon State University and George Fox University.
Grayce shared that her favorite classes thus far are HPE295 Health and Fitness for Life taught by Instructor Rhonda Misner, as well as SP111 Fundamentals of Public Speaking, taught by Wolfgang McAninch-Ruenzi. She indicated that SP111 has helped her build confidence.
Grayce currently balances a full-time load of RCC courses while working part-time, which she credits as helping her develop keen time management skills. Working at Adapt Physical Therapy has been valuable to her, as she is able to gain insight into the physical therapy field and exposure to the details of running a physical therapy business.
RCC has changed the way I think about education,” declares Tiana Dean. She graduated from Grants Pass High School with over 50 RCC COLLEGE NOW Credits, covering almost her entire freshman year, “and they were free too!”
“The quality of education is not measured by how much money you spend or what university you go to—it’s the quality of instructors. I’ve head great instructors at RCC,” said Dean, a National Merit Scholar at GPHS.
At RCC, she said, it’s all about the one-to-one teacher relationships. At first Dean felt frightened, but instructors soon made her feel confident.
“I like being able to walk up to instructors and have them know my name. I feel like my education is important to my instructors. Classes aren’t in a huge lecture hall. I like how instructors genuinely care who you are,” she said. “I’ve learned so much in the past two years.”
She has completed her associate’s degree in business administration and transferred to Southern Oregon University.
Kara Croucher earned 35 COLLEGE NOW credits, which meant she didn’t have to take as many prerequisite classes at RCC after graduating from Grants Pass High School.
The individualized attention she’d heard about at Rogue, which translates to a helpful atmosphere, is the best thing about RCC, she says.
"I’m always able to email instructors or counselors, and amazingly they get back to me within a day.”
Jeremy Burke is off to a running start on his goal of becoming a computer engineer, thanks to hard work and a scholarship from the Morris Family Foundation. The John and Lillian Morris Scholarship aims to assist high school students earn an approved college certificate by the time of high school graduation. John and Lillian Morris Scholarship students utilize both free COLLEGE NOW courses available at their high school as well as traditional RCC courses which the scholarship provides funding for
In June 2011, the 18-year-old graduated the same weekend from Eagle Point High School AND Rogue Community College; this fall he began classes at Oregon Institute of Technology as a sophomore. While at RCC he earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electronics Technology.
Burke, who compiled a 4.0 GPA at Rogue, won first place in Electronics in Oregon’s Skills USA competition (formerly Vocational Industrial Clubs of America), and then placed tenth at the national competition.
“Definitely the Morris scholarship made a huge difference. It was incredible. I’ve got a degree that didn’t cost me anything other than food and transportation. When I start at OIT, I’ll get to skip the first year of a five-year program.”
“RCC gives a good basic understanding of electronics,” he said. “It’s above what high school requires. You do real life work and it’s enjoyable, but you really have to work at it.
Burke and his peers spent first the three periods of each school day at Table Rock Campus electronics lab, finished the day at EPHS, and then bused back to RCC.
“It definitely takes focus but it’s well worth it. The instructors make sure we understand. All are very good at what they do. I’d recommend it for a student who wants to take a more focused approach. RCC lets you gain more responsibility and find out what the real world is like. It’s for people who want to excel and try something harder.”
By the time Kelsey Biencourt had finished high school, she’d already earned enough college credits to enter Rogue Community College as a third-term sophomore.
Biencourt graduated from Grants Pass High School after having compiled a 3.6 GPA and gained 68 college credits through RCC’s COLLEGE NOW program.
“I can’t understand why more students don’t do COLLEGE NOW classes,” she said. “Starting college as a sophomore is pretty cool. I saved so much money. That’s the main reason I took so many classes.”
Biencourt opted for her first College Credit course — child development — as a high school sophomore. But Biencourt really hit her stride as a senior, enrolling in Algebra II, calculus, advanced placement biology, chemistry, history, English and physics — “All totally free!” she said.