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Local community college’s unique approach for aspiring STEM professionals

Two Everett Community College students using a Fluke 52 II Dual Probe Digital Thermometer to measure the temperature of gas during an experiment investigating the ideal gas law.
Two Everett Community College students using a Fluke 52 II Dual Probe Digital Thermometer to measure the temperature of gas during an experiment investigating the ideal gas law.
Read full article Did you know that, on average, a community college student who graduates with an associate degree earns $8,000 more compared to people who only graduated high school? Completing work in higher education has a strong track record of improving lives. Community colleges have several benefits: lower costs, more flexible schedules, transferability to four-year universities, and the list goes on.

But is community college a good fit for people who are aiming for high-paying jobs such as engineering or medicine? Everett Community College (EvCC) has all the benefits of a community college and additional opportunities for students eyeing a career in STEM.

EvCC is just a few minutes from Fluke Corporation’s headquarters in Washington state—a proximity that has led to a continued relationship lasting for decades so far. The students of EvCC have unique experiences that possibly no other community college, or even university, can give. These include guest speakers such as experienced Fluke engineers and product developers, visits to the Fluke headquarters, and the use of donated state-of-the-art Fluke equipment.

John Olson, Executive Director at Everett Community College, shared his most inspiring story of Fluke and EvCC’s relationship.

“A faculty member said they had a group of electrical engineering majors a couple of years ago. They developed a wireless-powered transmission system. And the equipment that was donated by Fluke, the multi-meters, and the oscilloscopes were used to do initial testing. But the final testing was too high of a frequency for those pieces of equipment so an electrical engineer from Fluke invited the students over to the Fluke Headquarters and used some higher tech equipment and helped them out, talk to them about careers at Fluke. It was just a great collaboration. Students learned a ton and worked pretty well.”

Olson also shared that several EvCC students continued their education in a four-year university and then eventually became Fluke employees.

EvCC, with Fluke’s support, has also provided nearly $500,000 in scholarships in STEM fields. As demand for STEM professionals keeps on growing, Everett Community College focuses on partnership programs with various high schools in Snohomish County to encourage more students to choose a career path in STEM. One of their initiatives is the Students of Color Career Conference, where professionals of color are invited to inspire incoming college students of color. Other events include early campus visits where aspiring students gain access to the Fluke-funded computer labs to help them prepare for college.
 
An Everett Community College physics student finding nodes of sound resonance using a Fluke oscilloscope
An Everett Community College physics student finding nodes of sound resonance using a Fluke oscilloscope


Fluke and Everett Community College are dedicated to nurturing future STEM professionals. Many have already been positively impacted by the collaboration of both organizations and this will continue throughout the years to come.

“We’ve been using the thermometers in our oceanography class this summer in experiments that demonstrate to students how cold and warmer waters circulate in our oceans and how this circulation distributes nutrients for life throughout the ocean. Students have also used them in atmospheric science to measure and compare the heat capacity of water versus air, and in this lab, students practice designing an experimental setup to make these measurements with an assortment of provided supplies and using the Fluke thermometers as their temperature probes.”
— Kaitlin Owens, Instructional Lab Technician & Associate Faculty at Everett Community College