Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Education expert chooses WSU Online

Tammy cohen
It’s a good thing that Tammy Cohen likes helping people.
“WSU has an extremely prestigious reputation.”
She’s been swamped with work ever since the two lumber mills in Omak, Wash., closed last year.
     Cohen is a financial aid specialist for the Colville Confederated Tribes. About 80 percent of the 450 laid-off workers are tribal members. She helps them find federal college funding and processes their applications.
     “We’ve had twice as many college applications as we did last year,” she said during a summer Omak resource fair for the unemployed. “When people are aware of their options, they can really grow. It’s awesome to see them succeed.”
     Cohen, 43, is planning some growth for herself. Her education stalled after she earned an associate’s degree from Wenatchee Valley College at Omak. She had to go back to work “for a minute” to catch up financially.
     That minute stretched into years, she said, as immediate needs took precedence over long-term investment in education. “Now I’m ready to move forward,” she said.
     Cohen lives in Okanogan County, so she wanted an online program. Because she knows a lot about college options, she chose Washington State University. She started classes at WSU Online this month.
     “I wanted to receive my degree from a traditional university,” she said. “WSU has an extremely prestigious reputation, and I am honored to be accepted.”
     Cohen plans to major in business. “I want to use my degree to help people better themselves,” she said. “I may pursue a master's at WSU next. But one step at a time.”

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