Now you can stay home and get a 4-year degree (slide show)

MARYSVILLE – If you live here or in Arlington, your chances of going to a four-year college just increased tremendously.

Students who are juniors and seniors will start school Monday at the new $65 million Washington State University campus in north Everett. Previously, local students could go to Everett Community College for their two-year degrees, but they were limited on four-year bachelor’s programs locally to just a few degrees.

At the new WSU campus, students can work on eight degrees from Western Washington University, seven from WSU, six from Central, four from Hope, and one each from UW-Bothell, Eastern and The Evergreen State College.

In a tour of the new college this week, WSU-Everett communications director Randy Bolerjack said the university was 40 years in the making. Because the community worked so hard to get it, he said the building is filled with windows. “It’s not for views for us,” Bolerjack said. “It’s so this community can look in” and be inspired that, “I can be one of those students.”

Bolerjack said on the first floor there is mechanical engineering, including the Mars rover, and space for students to work on their Capstone senior projects. Also, there is hospitality business management and general offices. On the second floor is the math and writing center, along with communications. The third floor offers classrooms for the other colleges. The top floor features electrical and software engineering, data analytics and the college of medicine.

Bolerjack later said that students who transfer there should check with admissions there and at their community college to make sure they get credit for credits. He added their mission is to serve about half full-time students and half part-time.

“Others (both) work and go to school full-time,” he added. “It’s a good mix of students, with culture and diversity.”

Bolerjack pointed out some of the features of the building: It uses a lot of natural lighting, thanks to four levels of glass in the middle of the building. And it collects rainwater off the roof and uses it for toilets and watering plants. “It uses 95 percent less water than a traditional building this size,” Bolerjack said.

Bolerjack expanded on the 2 plus 2 model of the college. For the school of medicine, for example, students go to Spokane for two years then transfer here. Working with Providence, they learn in the community. The idea is that they will “stay here and give back to the community,” he said.

Lois Longwood, senior director of extended education at WWU, said the new college is great for people who are “place bound. They don’t have the luxury of going to Bellingham for a degree,” she said.

Longwood said about 200 WWU students go there, primarily in the evenings. They have day jobs and families. “They can continue working and live here,” she said.

The flexibility of the programs is a big plus. Bolerjack said: “It’s no longer you can’t afford to go. You can stay at home.”

The Everett University Center offers the following programs:

•BUSINESS: IT &Administrative Management, Administration, Hospitality Business Management, Master’s in Business Administration, Master of Science in Management

•FAITH-BASED: Christian Ministry

•COMMUNICATION &SOCIAL SCIENCES: Interdisciplinary Studies, Human Services, Master’s Rehabilitation Counseling, Master’s Social Work, Human Development, Integrated Strategic Communication

•SCIENCE &TECHNOLOGY: Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Software Engineering, Data Analytics, Environmental Science, Environmental Policy, Nursing.

•EDUCATION: BA Elementary Education, Post BA Elementary Education Teacher Certification, Master in Teaching, Secondary Education