ROSEBURG, Ore., October 7, 2022 — Umpqua Community College has partnered with the University of Oregon (UO) to establish a grant-funded program benefiting students who struggle to pay tuition and are seeking industrial science careers.
The OPIRC program (Oregon Pathways to Industrial Research Careers) guides students on a clear path from community college to master’s degrees and into high-demand, high-paying careers. The pathway is supported by scholarships totaling up to $45,000 per student, in addition to ongoing mentorship.
“UCC is excited to be a part of developing this unique program that is designed to help our students and our economy,” said Mick Davis, Umpqua Community College physics professor. “Industrial research scientists are in demand, and we are proud to be one of only three community colleges offering this supported pathway to those careers. From the optics used in smartphones to the polymers and molecular sensors used in disease detection, these up-and-coming scientists will design, optimize and operate the industrial technologies of the future.”
The college will receive over $195,000 from the National Science Foundation, and over $130,000 will provide direct scholarships to UCC students over the next four years. The remaining balance will fund special transfer consultation and activities for students provided by the University of Oregon and UCC, as well as mentorships by other students who are farther ahead in the program.
The scholarships will be awarded to UCC students entering their final year while on a path to transfer to the University of Oregon. Students will complete a bachelor’s degree in physics, chemistry, or biochemistry and then transition to the Knight Campus Graduate Internship program. This paid internship program maintains a job placement rate of 90 percent.