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Willamette University Bridges Gap for College Possible Students

Willamette University has recently increased their commitment to students’ college access and success through the expansion of their College Possible partnership.

“I am incredibly excited for College Possible and Willamette University to be entering into this new level of partnership,” said College Possible Oregon program director and Willamette University alumna Margarita Gutierrez Lemus. “I am excited that our partnership will provide College Possible students with more information, preparation and funding to consider Willamette University for their own educational path.”

Willamette University has been a College Possible partner since 2014, providing students with early exposure to their university, assistance with campus visits, and inclusion of College Possible promotional materials. In addition to their past responsibilities, Willamette University will now also host College Possible exclusive events, have a designated College Coach to support students, contact with prospective students and their high school coaches, and provide opportunities to build awareness of the partnership.

“There are many compelling things about working with College Possible, but none more important than the ongoing support College Possible provides to its students through college completion,” said Dean of Admissions Mary Randers.

In past years, Willamette has hosted College Possible students on campus visits. The partnership has also led to the development of programs such as “Camp College,” a readiness program designed to prepare high school students for application season. While the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the program this year, Willamette plans to offer it in 2021.

Willamette University seeks to foster a tight-knit campus community that facilitates multiple sources of support. For College Possible students, their coach is one resource, along with a plethora of other on-campus services and offices.

“There’s not just one resource on campus to support student success, because different students need different levels of support,” said Randers. “But, we hope students will find community, mentorship, coaching, and support from offices and resources like their College Colloquium advisor, student associate, and community associate; our Center for Equity and Empowerment; Student Success Hub; Academic Hearths; Bishop Wellness and Counseling Center; Residence Life; and Career Services.”

Willamette University also publishes stories about faculty who are the first in their families to attend college, provides additional programming to help better serve first generation students and their families, and has specific staff that serve students from underrepresented populations.

“Students are surrounded here with a community of people who believe in them, and it’s incredible to see what they accomplish because of that,” said Randers.

Willamette University is a private, NCAA Division III school located in Salem, Oregon. Their smaller campus of 2,179 students allows for an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio. They have over 50 undergraduate programs and 99% of students at Willamette University receive financial aid.

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