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* SCC Participates as Charter Participant in Nation's First Campus-wide Sustainability Program

Shoreline Community College joined in the launch of a new national effort to encourage sustainability practices in all aspects of campus life.  The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) introduced STARS (Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) version 1.0 and formally launched its online Reporting Tool on January 19, 2010. 


To date, over 115 higher education institutions have registered as STARS Charter Participants and Shoreline Community College is proud to be one of them.


“Responsible environmental stewardship is the key to addressing climate neutrality.  We must think differently about how we use natural resources and must challenge ourselves to put those thoughts into practice,” Shoreline Community College President Lee Lambert said.


Prior to signing the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment agreement in September of 2007, Shoreline Community College had already made significant progress toward creating a sustainable campus, with one of the core values of the college’s Strategic Plan being to recognize and sustain our natural environment. 


An environmental policy was approved by the Board of Trustees in 1996, at which time a Sustainability Committee was implemented.  Shoreline joined the City of Seattle as a founding partner of Seattle Climate Partnership in 2006 and hosted the Washington State Odyssey Days that year to heighten public awareness of alternative fuels.  Since that time, the college has become a leader in environmental sustainability, offering the first solar design and installation program for credit in the state. 


President Lambert testified (by invitation) before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on green job skills.  Additionally, a comprehensive inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions was conducted and recorded, and development of an institutional action plan was developed, with completion set for May of 2010. 


AASHE’s STARS program is the only one of its kind that involves a comprehensive process of collecting and publicly reporting information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance in education and research, operations, and planning, administration & engagement.


“The advantage of STARS is that all aspects of campus life are taken into consideration with regard to the ability to earn credits,” said AASHE Executive Director, Paul Rowland. “From providing sustainability coursework, to dorm cleaning products, to energy efficiency in campus buildings, there are lots of opportunities for a school to identify and track its sustainability progress.”


Unlike other rating or ranking systems, this program is open to all institutions of higher education in the US and Canada and the criterion that determines a STARS rating is transparent and accessible to anyone. Because STARS is a program based on credits earned, it allows for both internal comparisons as well as comparisons with similar institutions around the country.

“We are looking forward to the enthusiastic participation from our students and staff, as well as watching our sustainability efforts grow on campus through the STARS program,” Lambert said.


About Shoreline Community College:

Shoreline Community College offers excellent academic, professional-technical and work force training programs to meet the lifelong learning needs of its community. The area is nationally known for its recreational and cultural opportunities, which richly complement academic life. Just 10 miles north of downtown Seattle, Shoreline is located near the beautiful Puget Sound and the majestic Olympic Mountain range is only a ferry boat ride away.  


The college, established in 1964, operates under the regulations of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.  It is governed by the Board of Trustees of Shoreline Community College, District Number Seven.  The college is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges and the Association of Community College Trustees.


Sustainability efforts at SCC:
“We, at Shoreline Community College, affirm our commitment to protect and enhance the environment through our learning, research, service, and administrative operations,” President Lambert said.  “We seek to foster a community that sustains ecological systems and educates for environmental awareness, local action, and global thinking.  We seek to incorporate environmental principles and environmentally responsible practices as fundamental and integrated components of all SCC operations and programs.”

The fundamental principles are to:

  • Incorporate environmental concerns as a significant priority in College decision making.
  • Seek alternative practices and procedures to minimize negative impacts on the environment.
  • Conserve natural resources and restore environmental quality.
  • Protect the biodiversity of our region and serve as a living laboratory and habitat for local species.
  • Consider the social, economic, and environmental impacts of Shoreline Community College’s operational policies and foster a participatory process in developing these policies.

All college decisions and actions are guided by the College’s Mission Statement, reflective of the College’s resources, and informed by the Board of Trustee’s Policies and the College’s Strategic Plan. 

“As a learning institution, we recognize that planning for sustainability will be an evolving practice,” Lambert said.


About AASHE:

AASHE is an association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. AASHE’s mission is to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation by providing resources, professional development and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research. For more information about AASHE, visit


For more information about the STARS program, visit the web



* HIT students receive scholarships

Congratulations go to a couple of Health Information Technology (HIT) students who have received $1,000 scholarship awards from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). 

January 2010 036.JPGDebbie Ingersol, in her second year of the program, received the AHIMA (Staff) Susan M. Hull Memorial Scholarship. The 45 year-old had already earned a couple of other coding credentials and enjoyed a variety of work experiences including managing a doctor’s office, working in the Claims Dept at a major insurance company, and in compliance at a large healthcare organization.  She looks forward to moving into more administrative roles after completing her degree.  The scholar student is being recruited by major universities and she is considering eventually going on to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.  Susan Hull was a Professional Practice staff employee at AHIMA who succumbed to cancer; her area of expertise was coding, so the scholarship is given out to a deserving student who already possesses a coding credential.  The scholarship is funded nearly exclusively through donations given by the AHIMA staff. 

Snohomish resident, Charis Yates, received the Sanfra Key/Pat Gorman scholarship made available by Health Care Contract Resources, located in Roanoke, Virginia.  Currently a certified professional coder for Dr. Sanford Wright, a neurosurgeon in Everett, Yates began her career in the healthcare field at Providence in Seattle in the 80’s as an admitting clerk – “back when they didn’tCharis.jpg have computers…,” Yates recalled.  She then spent a few years at home raising children before earning her Medical Assistant Certificate, which allowed her to work in hospitals performing blood withdrawals, injections and assisting doctors in many roles.  She enjoys the ease of taking classes online now while still working full-time. Yates is in her first year of the program.

“I’m very proud of both of them. They represent SCC very well,” said Program Director, Donna Wilde, who went on to say that the students earned the scholarships not on grades only, but on their professional goals, commitment to the profession and their volunteer work.   

Wilde encourages all students to apply for scholarship opportunities.  “Another round of opportunities will come up in the spring and I hope our students will apply.  They are excellent students who possess not only the necessary knowledge and skills, but the desire to excel.”

AHIMA memorializes these two former employees of HCR Companies, who passed away while at HCR.  The scholarships are intended only for HIT students, with a preference to those who are second career students.  Both Ingersol and Yates are completing their two-year Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences degrees.  

The Health Information Technician manages the collection, analysis and use of patient clinical information that guides the health care industry.  Graduates may seek positions as employees or consultants in a wide variety of settings, including physician offices and other outpatient clinics, long-term care, home health agencies, hospices, acute care hospitals, mental health clinics, chemical dependency care agencies, prison health care programs, governmental agencies, vendors, insurance companies and other health related businesses.
Shoreline’s program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

* Shoreline starts federal grant process

Shoreline Community College is going after the big fish in the federal-grant pond.


“We’ve submitted an application for eligibility under the Title III grant program,” said Judith Hansen, Interim Executive Director – College Advancement. “The application outlines our service to underserved cultures and plans to serve new populations of students.”


Hansen said the application also requests waivers in two areas and explains the circumstances for those waivers. “Total cost of college to our students is one factor. The Puget Sound region has a generally high cost of living, making our student costs higher, too,” she said. “Also, our enrollment showed a dip in the target year for a variety of reasons. Still, we only missed the target by 1.5 percent.”


Title III is intended to help colleges develop new programs for self-sufficiency and expand services to new student populations. The funds are to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability of eligible institutions, according to the U.S. Dept. of Education.


Funds may be used for planning, program development, faculty development, and establishing endowment funds. Administrative management, and the development and improvement of academic programs also are supported. Other projects include joint use of instructional facilities, construction and maintenance and student services.


Shoreline President Lee Lambert said that qualifying for the money takes effort, but the payoff will be worth it, perhaps $1.8 million to $2 million over three to five years. “Title III is a huge pot of money,” Lambert said. “We are asking for waivers, but if they say ‘No,’ then we’ll ask what we need to do to make that a ‘Yes.’


“This is the kind of thing we must do in these economic times.”


Hansen said that collaboration among Student Services, Instruction, Business and Research Office staff members through the holidays assured the successful submission.


“Without them, we’d never have made the Jan. 6 deadline,” Hansen said. “They did a tremendous amount of work in just a few weeks, work that would normally take months.”


While Shoreline’s application is for eligibility to apply for funding, it also outlines areas the college would target with such funds. 


One of those areas could be a Center for Equity and Engagement. Vice President of Student Success, Tonya Drake; Business/Intra-American Studies/Social Sciences Dean, Kenneth Lawson; Vice President for Academic Affairs John Backes and others have been working this fall on a concept that would open an umbrella over programs such as the Multicultural and Women’s centers, the Global Affairs Center, Service Learning, the Honors Program and other student-engagement efforts.


According to the grant language, “The Center for Equity and Engagement seeks to strengthen the institution’s commitment to student learning and student success by focusing on a comprehensive and holistic learning environment that provides integrated opportunities both inside and outside the classroom to assist learners in making emotional connections, applying their learning, and creating meaning.”


Initially, a Center for Equity and Engagement would focus programs and services as students make transitions into, through and eventually out of the college. A current example of such a program is Students’ in Service.  Funded in part by a grant through Washington Campus Compact, the program is currently coordinated by the Multicultural Center and provides students an opportunity to learn about multicultural issues and earn credit in exchange for fulfilling a defined period of service.


“We have some really terrific engagement programs on campus,” Backes said. “A Title III grant would certainly help us coordinate them and give more students a richer academic and overall college experience.”


At this point, Hansen said it isn’t clear just when Shoreline might learn the status of the application. “It is likely a relatively small pool of schools submitting waivers, so I’m hoping we hear sooner rather than later,” Hansen said.

SCC/Jim Hills