Fall semester begins at Big Bend Community College

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Big Bend Community College students were working on class assignments before fall semester was two hours old.

MOSES LAKE — The fall semester was about two hours old, and students were already at the tables and computers in the Big Bend Community College library.

Alex Moreno, Quincy, is planning a career in construction management, which requires math. “A lot of it,” he said. So the first stop after his first college class ever was the BBCC library and working on that first day homework.

The college’s parking lots were full, new students were seeking directions, students were picking up library cards. Fall semester began Monday.

Moreno will work on a transfer degree, he said, with the eventual goal of attending Washington State University. He chose BBCC and an associate’s degree because he could take the same classes for less money than the tuition at a four-year university, he said.

That also made a difference to Grace Selmann, who’s in the Running Start program. Running Start allows qualifying high school juniors and seniors to attend classes at community college without paying tuition. (Running Start students do pay their books and lab fees.) It’s a good deal, Grace said, the equivalent of five figures saved in college expenses. If someone offered her that deal, “you’d be like, heck, yeah,” she said.

Selmann and her fellow Moses Lake High School-Running Start student Olivia Marsh were working on homework from their initial college class, which was history. “It’s not like high school any more,” Marsh said.

Levi Rickards was a Running Start student in his senior year at Moses Lake High School. Transferring to another college could mean losing some of the credits he’s already earned, he said, so he decided to finish his associate degree at BBCC. His goal is to attend Western Washington University, “where I hope to obtain my bachelor’s degree in history and political science,” he said.

Selmann said she’s working on an associate transfer degree, although she’s not sure what she wants to do or where she wants to go. “Hopefully around the world,” she said.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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