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Students gain experience and provide low cost services

Cedar Goslin

The Broadside

For $15 plus the cost of parts, Central Oregon Community College students and staff can have certain work and repairs done on their cars.  The work is preformed by students in COCC’s automotive program, who are overseen by their experienced professors.

In COCC’s automotive department , students can be found watching DVDs of their professors performing certain procedures, working on single parts, or on entire cars.  This is where students pursuing a career in automotive repair can get real working experience working on their own cars, one of the cars owned by the department, or a car brought in by another student or staff member.

At the beginning of each term, apartment director Ken Mays sends out an e-mail to staff listing the kind of repair jobs that are going to be available for that term– the time of repair corresponds with what classes are being taught.  For example, a car could only have its engine worked on if there was a class that term that dealt with that kind of repair.  According to Mays, it’s typical for him to get about five calls a day from people hoping to have heir cars worked on.  However, the program does not accept older cars or do restorations.

“We want students working on cars 12 years and under because that’s what they’ll work on when they go to work,” said Mays.

At only $15 plus parts, having a car worked on by COCC students as opposed to a major car repair company could save a lot of money.  Information about the program and classes currently in progress can be found on the COCC website.

Dental services at COCC

Central Oregon Community college has a partnership with Volunteers In  Medicine that allows dental students to gain experience by working on low income patients.

Every term, a clinic is set up in the Ochocho building where patients can come have their dental needs taken care of by participants in the program– because it’s fall term, this term students mainly observed and did some chair work, but according to department head Deborah Davies, they will be more active in the actual work in following terms.  All of the dentists are dentists from the community who have volunteered their time, and all patients are patients through VIC.

This program is beneficial to not only students who need the hands-on experience in order to get jobs in the dental field, but also to members of the community who may otherwise have difficult affording dental care.

“The patients are getting the care the need and it’s a great learning experience,” said Jenni Moore, a student experiencing her first clinic, as she waited for an x-ray.

The dental program at COCC runs these clinics every month.  Students in need of dental care would need to arrange it with VIC.


Amber Clark, an adjunct instructor in the massage therapy program, shows off her skeleton

Students and staff at Central Oregon Community College can receive a massage from third term massage students for only five dollars; the general public can also schedule a massage for $15.  Massages are provided in order for students to get the field experience necessary to get their degree.

COCC offers a program that helps students qualify for the licensing exam that is required in Oregon for those interested in a career in massage therapy– they offer a one year certificate, a two year certificate and a two yea degree–COCC is the only college in the state that offers this particular program.

According to the program director, Stephanie Manriquez, clinic hours are required for students to get a job in the field of massage therapy, which is why they provide the supervised clinics, but it is also highly beneficial to the community, because massage therapy plays a bigger part in staying healthy than most people know.

“Massage is not about luxury, it’s about health and wellness.  Most people brush their teeth all day long, not just when they go to the dentist—it’s the same for massage therapy, it’s a way to stay well,” said Manriquez.

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