June 3, 2024
This Issues Topics:
2024 • Business Connections • Centralia college • Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce • Education • June

By Emily Fitzgerald
For the C-C Chamber of Commerce

Nearly 100 years after it was founded, Centralia College is continuing to blaze trails with quality, affordable education for all. “As a comprehensive community college, Centralia College offers a wide variety of academic and job training programs, as well as adult basic education, GEDs and high school diplomas, ESL, and personal enrichment classes,” Centralia College said in a news release.

The school was established in 1925 and is the oldest community college in Washington, according to Centralia College. Some of the school’s most popular programs include nursing, criminal justice, computer science, business administration, welding, and a variety of science and technology fields, according to the college.

The college also offers five bachelor’s degrees in Behavioral Healthcare, Information Technology – Application Development, Diesel Technology, Applied Management (business), and Teacher Education. Centralia College is currently working to launch a computer science bachelor degree program, which should be ready to enroll students starting sometime next year, said Centralia College President Board Mohrbacher.

The community college’s main campus encompasses 30 acres in downtown Centralia and houses several state-of-the-art facilities. Those facilities include the Walton Science Center, which features science labs, classrooms, and the campus greenhouse; the TransAlta Commons building, which features active learning classrooms and a 500-seat banquet and event center; and Washington Hall, which houses two theaters, art classrooms, and music instruction and rehearsal space.

Photos courtesy of Centralia College

The campus recently started hosting the Centralia Farmers Market, offering an abundance of parking and room for more vendors than the market could house at its previous Pine Street Plaza location. “So far it’s going well for everyone,” Mohbacher said of the farmer’s market in mid-May, a couple of weeks after the market opened for the season.

In addition to the main campus in Centralia, Centralia College East in Morton serves the needs of students in east Lewis County. The east Lewis County campus offers a full complement of college services, from advising to testing, and boasts a vibrant student community, according to Centralia College.

Students at both campuses can participate in a variety of athletic programs, including baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, and women’s soccer and golf. The college also fields the first collegiate eSports competitive gaming team in the state. There are dozens of student clubs and organizations, performing arts groups, and fine art opportunities.

Centralia College works closely with local industries, economic development organizations, and city and county governments to provide a skilled and ready workforce for local employers. The college also provides customized training to meet the needs of incumbent workers to improve skills in specific areas.

For the community, Centralia College boasts vibrant cultural offerings, including quarterly concerts and theater productions, a robust collection of permanent art, and a full-service library. “For nearly 100 years, generations of Lewis County residents have attended Centralia College to increase their opportunities and improve their lives,” Centralia College stated in a news release.

Commencement for students graduating from Centralia College in 2024 takes place at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 21, at Centralia College’s main campus. For more information about graduation or Centralia College in general, call 360-736-9391 or visit www.centralia.edu.