A major milestone recently occurred with local entities approving a contract with Klamath Community College.
The Lake County Board of Commissioners approved the contract for out-of-district services with KCC during their regular session held on Wednesday, March 20.
The decision followed extensive discussion at a work session one day earlier, as well as previous approval by Lake County School District No. 7’s board in recent weeks.
Present for the discussion were Klamath Community College Pres. Dr. Roberto Gutierrez and Eric Stasak, vice president of administrative services.
Gutierrez said that the out-of-district contract is a requirement for areas not served by a community college.
This contract serves as an agreement for the dissemination of educational services locally through KCC. The contract also contains a 20 percent match requirement for the county for the program’s local budget.
Gutierrez said the 20 percent figure is a non-negotiable component. Commissioner Ken Kestner asked what the contribution applies toward, and Gutierrez said it applies to the staffing budget.
Part of the goals includes establishment of an agricultural education program locally. This would afford students an opportunity to pursue a four-year degree without having to leave Lakeview.
Implementation of modern technology is also a major point under consideration and development for local education services, Gutierrez said.
“We are looking at having live classes beamed here,” he said. “The vision is to have, say, an accounting class (on campus at KCC). That class will be beamed directly to the Daly center.”
Local students would have the opportunity to interactively participate in classes offered on KCC’s Klamath Falls campus through teleconferencing technology, he said.
Likewise, classes would periodically be beamed to Klamath Falls from Lakeview.
“It’s modern technology that allows us to do that,” Gutierrez said.
Estimates for local equipment costs at the Lakeview site come in at about $120,000, he said.
Gutierrez said that Oregon State University has deemed the proposed four-year agriculture program a pilot project.
Lake County School District No. 7 Supt. Sean Gallagher said that the positive ramifications of opportunities are great.
“We’re talking about the potential of students graduating from a Lake County school, and they could spend all four years in Lake County and earn a bachelors degree in agriculture,” he said.
Gutierrez also said that transferral of credits from KCC to OSU is possible thanks to an agreement in place between the two schools.
The agriculture program could serve to open doors to additional programs in the future, he noted, such as education.
Commissioner Dan Shoun noted the importance of interacting with Paisley and North Lake school districts for future services within their communities.