In a moment fitting for the first day of a new quarter, Clover Park Technical College and the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce joined Monday afternoon to celebrate the grand opening of CPTC’s new Welcome Center in Building 17 of the Lakewood Campus.
The ceremony featured brief comments from Lakewood Chamber of Commerce President – and CPTC alum – Linda Smith, CPTC President Dr. Joyce Loveday, and CPTC Vice President for Student Success Scott Latiolais. Smith opened the event by sharing that when she came to the college as a student years earlier, there was no Welcome Center. Now returning to campus and seeing the center, she was “really excited to see that this has become more interactive and really creating that sense of community right here on campus. This is a wonderful resource.”
The Welcome Center serves as a first-step central hub for visitors and prospective students to learn about CPTC. Hundreds of prospective students come through each week to meet with an Entry Services specialist, where they have an opportunity to ask any questions and receive one-on-one assistance with the enrollment process. The centralized location provides a key access point as part of the college’s shift to the Guided Pathways model of education and student support.
“It’s about the center and a place for students to feel welcome when they come in, but it’s also about a reimagining of an entry process that helps reduce barriers and increase access and equity to our college,” Latiolias said. “Students go through a process designed to help us be more proactive, intentional, deliberate and high-touch about the services and putting resources in place for them before they start school.”
Loveday shared similar sentiments, emphasizing the need to broaden access to students and help students succeed once they come to the college.
“We’re doing this now to help students get started more readily and have a place to go where they know they are welcome,” Loveday said. “We do this work because the work of our college is really essential.”
The Lakewood Chamber of Commerce officiated a ribbon cutting, with many of the key stakeholders in the event signing the ribbon following the ceremonial cutting. At that point, visitors had the opportunity to explore the Welcome Center and enjoy some of the light refreshments provided by the CPTC Foundation.
For more information about the Welcome Center or getting started at CPTC, click here.