5/1/2010 Issue

Vol. 21, No. 2

Get into College

Get into College photo

1. Apply to TCC - Apply online at www.tacomacc.edu/admission, or in person (Bldg. 7, Enrollment Services window). There is no application fee. You will be notified within 24 hours if your application has been accepted. When you get this notice, you will be a TCC student with a student ID number!

2. Financial Aid - To see if you qualify for college $$$ fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov. Go online and fill it out now! Complete the TCC Data Sheet. It's online at www.tacomacc.edu/futurestudents/waystopay. Your TCC financial aid application is incomplete without this step!

3. Inside TCC - Sign up for Inside TCC. It's our way to keep in touch with you and make sure you hear about campus events that match your interests! Go to https://insidetcc.tacomacc.edu. It takes five minutes TOPS!

4. Assess your skills - The ACCUPLACER is TCC's way to place you correctly in your first classes. You can also use transcripts from another college for placement. Take the ACCUPLACER. Call 253.566.5158 for test times and dates.

Pay for the ACCUPLACER in the Cashier's Office (Bldg. 18) or online in advance at www.tacomacc.edu/forms/testingsignup. Take the ACCUPLACER in Bldg. 7 (1.5-2 hours). Don't like the results? You can re-test once for no additional charge.

Transcript Review - Fax an unofficial copy of your college transcripts to 253.566.6011 (include your TCC student ID number on each transcript) or bring in person to the Assessment Office in Bldg. 7. Allow three days to process. Order official transcripts NOW and have them sent to TCC Enrollment Services. This may take 4-6 weeks.

5. Get Oriented - Sign up and attend a New Student Orientation (NSO). To sign up go online at www.tacomacc.edu. Find TCC Quicklinks on the front page. Select NSO Signup. For your best choice of classes, attend an orientation at least a couple months before the quarter you plan to start. This session will help you plug into TCC resources and provide an opportunity to tour campus. Here you will also learn how and when to register for classes.

6. Pay Your Tuition - Don't miss your tuition due date! Missing it can lead to a frustrating quarter or even mean missing out on classes you registered for. There are many options to pay. Go to www.tacomacc.edu/currentstudents/myeservices/

Welcome to TCC!

It takes a village

It takes a village photo


Rachi Wortham's mom was very serious about academics. Says Rachi: "She would tell us: "Anyone can be average.""
Rachi, who graduated from Foss High School with honors in 2000 and from TCC on an athletic scholarship in 2003, remembers: "One time I had made all As, but also two Cs. It wasn't my coach who wouldn't let me play basketball -- it was my mother! I was really angry at her. But I never forgot the lesson."
Says Rachi's mom Clister "Cookie" Wortham: "He was on the honor roll from then on. Now he tells high school kids: "This is the one free thing you will have in your life. You have no excuse to not take advantage of it." Says Rachi: "Back then, I didn't understand my mom planting those seeds. But it paid off."
By any measure, Cookie Wortham's four kids are a successful bunch. The oldest, LaTasha, graduated from Western on an academic scholarship and now is on the congressional staff of U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks. Rachi attended TCC on a basketball scholarship then graduated from Eastern on an academic scholarship. He now has a master's degree from EWU and is an assistant coach there.
The two youngest Wortham girls followed in the footsteps of their older siblings. Harmony graduated from Clark Atlanta University and now works in the movie industry. Courtney is a Gates Millennium Scholar and will graduate from UW-Tacoma in June.
How does a single Mom with four kids living in one of Tacoma's roughest neighborhoods raise four successful adults?
"They say it takes a village," says Cookie. "There were times we had to go live with my parents. My dad would take off work to make sure everyone was in school. And La Tasha would sit down and do their homework with them. She excelled. They excelled."
It went beyond family...
Says Cookie, "Maybe my kids wouldn't have turned out the way they did without People's Center, Metro Parks, and the Boys & Girls Club. Other people kept my kids off the street."
Rachi agrees: "We all grew up in the heart of it, and we all made it out. We lived in a gang-riddled neighborhood where I had no father -- but lots of father figures. Some of those were basketball coaches... If it hadn't been for those places and those people, I promise on my life I wouldn't be where I am today."
TCC basketball coach Carl Howell turned out to be one of those people. He offered Rachi an athletic scholarship to TCC, and then guided him toward an academic scholarship at Eastern.
"I love that Coach Howell asked me to play basketball at TCC," says Rachi. "I knew a bunch of guys on the team that I grew up with. It was family right away." One was R-Jay Barsh, team captain in 2002 and now assistant coach at TCC. R-Jay and Rachi remain friends to this day.
Now it's Cookie's turn.
Says Cookie: "I planned to go to college - it just didn't happen. All the time my kids were growing up I preached 'School, school, school'. Now I need to practice what I preached."
This time it's her kids supporting her. "Rachi is always there for me and for his sisters. After all this time, he's still doing it. Only now he thinks I'm one of the kids!"
Getting started was the hardest. "After the first quarter, I knew there were a few things I needed to change -- like making time to study. But going back to school is one of the best decisions I've made in a long time," says Cookie.
Soon she could be the fifth Wortham with a college degree.

What goes around...

What goes around... photo

Like most parents, Reuth Kao's mom and dad wanted the very best for their children. Not only were they trying to build a safe and secure home for their two daughters in a new country, they found a way to send their oldest daughter to a private college in Hawaii. Reuth, a 1998 Stadium High School graduate, planned to attend UW in Seattle.
When family funds for college ran out before she could begin her studies at UW, Reuth made what she now calls "a very good decision." She started college at TCC. Because Reuth's parents emigrated from Cambodia and didn't attend college in the United States, she qualified for a First Generation Scholarship.
Receiving the First Gen scholarship meant Reuth's tuition and book expenses were paid for two years. The scholarship had other benefits as well. "It allowed me to get involved and have a great college experience," she says. Although Reuth's decision to attend TCC was an economic one, she considers her time at TCC to be the best two years of her life. She became involved in TCC's Student Access to Growth and Earning (STAGE) program and was student body president before going on to earn a sociology degree at the University of Washington.
Today Reuth is International Student Program Coordinator, and immigration specialist for TCC. She spends much of her day making sure students understand the immigration policies set by TCC and the USCIS.
Says Reuth: "My parents never stopped supporting us. Although we had a lot of structure in our home, and my parents were very strict about homework, they couldn't help with that. It was up to me to get the FAFSA in correctly, get scholarships, understand student programs -- I try to be that person for our students."
"It comes full circle," says Reuth. "Now I fight for students we really believe need that same chance. It's a huge concern knowing if I'm doing it right."
Reuth is currently completing a master's degree at UW Seattle in Education Leadership and Policy Studies. It's a natural extension of the issues she deals with at TCC -- how to make policies that work for TCC students. "When we make big changes for students, what are the consequences?" asks Reuth. "The idea is not to make it more complicated for students and their parents, but to make it better. Policy is at the heart of what we do. It forms the structure of a students' experience."
For more information on the First Generation Scholarship, contact the TCC Foundation at:
P: 253.566.5003, E: Foundation@tacomacc.eduwww.tacomacc.edu/foundation/scholarships

Everyone is here to learn

Everyone is here to learn photo

Cassy Myers doesn't need to tell people she's a Running Start student. She is already running at full speed.
This June the 17-year-old senior and 2010 Daffodil Princess will graduate from Lincoln, and at the same time earn an AA from Tacoma Community College. Not surprisingly, she has mapped out the step after that, and after that.
This fall Cassy will transfer from TCC to University of Washington - Seattle, where she will combine her Achievers Scholarship, her Husky Promise scholarship, her Daffodil Scholarship and a Federal aid grant into a 'full ride' to complete her bachelor's degree in a triple major -- Business, International Relations and Linguistics.
Not surprisingly, Cassy is already working on career plans. "At first I wanted to work at the United Nations. But they require six languages to be a translator!" she says. "I've also looked at the Air Force and the government."
Cassy started Running Start at TCC in 11th grade because Lincoln had no Advance Placement programs -- "And no calculus," notes Cassy. Since 2008 she has divided her time between Lincoln and TCC.
Now, one quarter away from high school and college graduation, Cassy has four years of Korean at Lincoln, two years of Japanese atTCC -- and Spanish. She plans to take Mandarin Chinese at UW-Seattle. "They offer everything there - even Swahili!" she says. Her plan is to focus on Asian languages for now.
What pointed Cassy toward Asian languages is "a good story," says Cassy. "I was taking French horn and just decided to stop." (She had already gone through trumpet and clarinet.) "My stepmom said if I quit music I had to take a language -- a hard one. I think she was trying to encourage me to stay with music -- but I chose Korean to show her I REALLY meant it. Then I discovered it was fun and interesting."
Says Cassy, "When I first started Running Start at TCC, I was looking for more challenge. I got what I expected -- the on-campus courses, especially, move at a fast pace, but instructors explain things well -- it's challenging, but not overwhelming." Last year (her junior year in high school) "I took nine classes, five at TCC and four at Lincoln -- that was too many!"
What stands out for Cassy at TCC is the classroom atmosphere: "Everyone is here to learn -- why mess around?" She adds: "There are classes where you do more than in others, but expectations are high. The big difference is in the maturity of the students. In TCC classes, it's a culture created by the instructors. The instructors are approachable -- they're people you can talk to, but students are expected to do their work and keep up."
With Lincoln and TCC almost in her past, Cassy is looking toward Seattle and the university experience. She is already planning sorority rush in the fall, and being part of the Greek system at UW. Student housing is saving her a space.
See ad on back page for more information on Running Start.
P: 253.566.6061E: runstart@tacomacc.edu. www.tacomacc.edu/runningstart

Study Abroad this Fall


Atsugi, Japan
A rich environment of arts, culture and history with centuries-old traditions co-exists with ultra-modern life-styles in Atsugi, just south of Tokyo. Students will study at Kanagawa Institute of Technology, a campus 'Techno town' filled with young people. Students will carry a three course study load taught by Green River Community College instructor Gary Oliveira.
For more information on the Japan program, go to: www.greenriver.edu/studyabroad/information/Applicationa are due by July 9, 2010.
London, England
Students live with British families and immerse themselves in day-to-day British life. Classrooms are at the University of London Union in Bloomsbury, a fashionable residential quarter dating from the 18th century. Frequent field trips and travel opportunities enable students to experience the culture and history of London as well as the beautiful countryside of England. Students will carry 15 college credits tailored to the locale, taught by James Torrence, a Bellevue College instructor.
For more information on the London program, see the WCCCSA Study Abroad website: www.tacomacc.edu/internationalstudents/studyabroad/
Students who have been accepted to TCC are eligible for the Study Abroad program. WCCCSA applications must be in the hands of the TCC Study Abroad Coordinator no later than June 24, 2010 for approval before students submit an application and deposit to AIFS. Financial aid may be used to cover the cost of tuition, and scholarships are available.
For more information, contact:
Ann Park, Student Retention/Study Abroad Advisor
Building 11 Second floor,
Tacoma Community College
253.566.6013
apark@tacomacc.edu