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Committed to Student Success and Expanding Program Offerings

Achievements, Challenges and Strategic Initiatives

President Edwards with Trustees Suzanne Donaldson, Marilee Scarbrough, Jeanne Bennett, Denise Gideon and Cristhian Canseco Juarez

Clark College President Dr. Karin Edwards delivered the annual State of the College address on February 14 in Gaiser Student Center. Emma Sturm, president of the Associated Students of Clark College (ASCC) kicked off the event and gave a report on increased student participation in college clubs, and ASCC’s efforts to increase student engagement in on campus activities.

Student and veteran Ray Jackson also shared his experience of navigating college studies and parenthood with the help of several Clark College student support services, including the Veterans Center of Excellence, Disability Support Services, Advising Services, and Child and Family services.

During her speech, President Edwards announced that the college’s equity-centered strategic plan was approved by the college’s board of trustees last fall and provides a framework for all the college does. The new strategic plan is centered on students—to educate, empower, and elevate them to achieve their personal and professional goals. It also underscores a commitment to student success, empowerment, and equity.

Community partnerships and philanthropy are essential for supporting student and college needs. President Edwards expressed gratitude for the ongoing support of Clark College Foundation and the community. Notably, a $1 million gift from the Cowlitz Indian Tribe will launch the Clark College Innovation Fund that will address pressing needs and drive innovation.  This year alone, the foundation has awarded $2 million that directly assists more than 550 students. 

In addition, Clark has disbursed $24.5 million in financial aid from other funding sources, including state and federal grants and loans as well as community scholarships. 

Enrollment has increased by more than 10% this academic year compared to the 2022-23 academic year. Approximately 8,683 students enrolled during the fall and winter terms.

New programs, degrees, and expansion of academic offerings are driven by community needs and workforce demands. The college is seeking to add a Civil Engineering Technology and Construction Management program, Food Service Operations certificate and Civil Engineering Technology and Construction Management program, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree that was recently approved on February 1.

The programs under development include Clean Energy Technician program that will expand the college’s existing Mechatronic Technology and Automotive Technology programs to meet high-demand jobs and Surgical Technician program will be the first in Southwest Washington. Pending final approval in May, graduates of the two-year program will earn an Associate of Applied Technology (AAT) degree in Surgical Technology. 

Diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives remain top priorities at Clark College. Achievements include increased diversity in hiring and ongoing professional development initiatives. In addition, the college organizes The Northwest Regional Equity Conference, now in its fifth year.

Looking ahead, reflecting on the college's achievements, President Edwards expressed gratitude for the collaborative efforts of faculty, staff, and the community. As Clark College looks toward the future, she said it remains committed to student success, expanding program offerings, and strengthening community partnerships. Clark College continues to be a beacon of opportunity and excellence in the region.


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