Partnering for student success

Gary Locke, Bellevue College interim president, and Deanna Kennedy, associate dean of academics for the School of Business

Gary Locke, Bellevue College interim president, and Deanna Kennedy, associate dean of academics for the School of Business

Community college students pursuing business careers now have greater access to a four-year degree through a new collaboration between the University of Washington Bothell and Bellevue College. The initiative integrates the School of Business’ former Eastside Leadership Center into new program offerings at the Bellevue College campus. The move will offer students in Supply Chain Management and in Entrepreneurship the simultaneous services and support of both institutions.

Students will also benefit from the city of Bellevue’s vibrant growth as an inclusive hub of global innovation, said Dr. Kristin G. Esterberg, UW Bothell chancellor. “The Supply Chain Management and Entrepreneurship programs perfectly align with the city’s entrepreneurial spirit and diverse workforce. UW Bothell business undergrads and Bellevue College students alike will have access to exceptional faculty and extraordinary opportunities for fieldwork.”

The experiential and hands-on focus of a UW Bothell education is an important part of the new collaboration, noted Dr. Sandeep Krishnamurthy, dean of the School of Business.

“Through our focus on real-world, industry experiences, companies in Bellevue and throughout the Eastside can take advantage of what our students have to offer through our educational projects and required internships.”

A strong start

Originally scheduled to open in spring quarter, the UW Bothell School of Business programs at Bellevue College welcomed students in January. Core business classes for undergraduates are held two days a week, and a business communications for leaders class is offered on weekend mornings for graduate students.

“The interest was high for this partnership,” said Kathryn Hagy, director of academic services and advising in UW Bothell’s School of Business. “We held one information session in the fall, and more than 150 people attended, including a number of Running Start students.”

Running Start is a program that allows 11th and 12th grade students to take college courses at Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges. Students earn both high school and college credits for these courses. “These students could get their high school and college degrees without ever changing campuses,” Hagy said. “The cost and time savings will be significant.”

Connection and camaraderie

The two programs currently being offered run on a cohort model, which means students begin and complete them together. According to Hagy, research has shown that these cohorts, typically comprised of 15 to 20 students, result in higher levels of engagement with faculty and students, which in turn leads to higher graduation rates.

At the Bellevue College location, encouraging the connection between students, faculty and staff has been intentional from the start with the buildout of UW Bothell House. Faculty and staff offices are located here, and there are meeting rooms that can be used for individual study or class projects.

“It’s exciting to think of the possibilities for the space,” said Dr. Deanna Kennedy, associate dean of academics for UW Bothell’s School of Business. “In addition to supporting a sense of camaraderie among the cohorts, we also plan to have events inviting guest speakers on topical subjects.”

Only the beginning

Due to demand, this partnership allows UW Bothell to open a second Supply Chain Management track in autumn quarter. Additionally, the interest in Entrepreneurship has led to the creation of a hallmark program that will be offered at Bellevue College.

“Through this partnership with Bellevue College, we are increasingly able to respond to what our students need,” said Kennedy. “Additionally, we expect our international students to join us soon at this location.”

Meeting students’ needs has inspired discussions for additional UW Bothell programs at Bellevue College, as well. “The School of STEM is excited to partner with Bellevue College to bring more computer science opportunities to students in our region,” said Dr. Leslie Cornick, dean of the School of STEM.

“We’ve just begun the conversation, and the innovative ideas are already germinating.”

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