Central Oregon Community College is embarking on a major venture to grow the Madras campus, more than doubling its size and meeting critical rising needs in the region. The plan directly addresses a shortage of health care and early childhood education workers, while also opening a child care center to alleviate a barrier for Jefferson County families.

Innovative, responsive and collaborative — and committed to growing higher education on the High Desert. That's Growing Together.

COCC Madras campus expansion exterior rendering

Three medical students walking together down a hallway

COCC's Madras campus expansion is exciting and will impact local students and their families. While they're still in high school, our students will have expanded opportunities to earn college credit, saving them money and time along their educational journey."

— Jay Mathisen, superintendent, Jefferson County School District 509J

Impact by the Numbers

On land generously donated by the Bean Foundation, COCC is building an approximately 24,000-square-foot building. It will house four stand-alone, in-demand health and education programs that branch from well-established COCC educational tracks: Nursing, Nursing Assistant, Medical Assisting and Early Childhood Education, the latter delivered in both English and Spanish. Science labs will also serve the new health programs as well as other degree and certificate programs.

An on-site child care facility, managed by The Children's Learning Center of Madras, will create up to 100 new child care spots and integrate directly into the COCC students' learning experience. The center will also provide jobs for a number of graduates.


This is going to give students the opportunity to further their careers in Madras and take out some of the barriers of traveling out of town."

— Julie Mitchell, Madras High School early education teacher
Woman playing in sandbox with children
The Madras campus' on-site Children's Learning Center will bring up to 100 new child care spots to the county.

The Madras campus expansion will help meet those needs. Some notable numbers:


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58 Number of additional health career students, per year, who can earn credentials needed to enter the local workforce.

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30 Number of educators trained per year through the Early Childhood Education program.

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100 Child care spots available to the greater community, including COCC student parents.

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80 Estimated additional staff and students at Madras High School who will benefit from on-site early learning college credits over the first four years following the expansion.

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20 Full-time jobs added by The Children's Learning Center at the new on-site child care center.

Join Us

Beginning with the Bean Foundation's gift of 26 acres of land, valued at $1.5 million, additional investments to date have come from the U.S. Congress, the Oregon Legislature, COCC's Real Estate Fund and private donors. The Madras campus expansion's overall design and construction costs are estimated at $18 million, with up to 60% expected to come from federal, state and other public resources. With this momentum, the COCC Foundation is seeking the remaining funds from private philanthropy and grants.

Community involvement will play an integral role in achieving this vision and its long-term impact on the region. Your support will grow health and education career pipelines, help young families find vital resources for children and bring incredible new access to learning. We are honored to have your support!

"Everything about this project is the result of meaningful partnerships between the college, the community and organizations in Jefferson County."

— Jeremy Green, COCC Madras campus director and capital projects manager

If you would like to invest in the Growing Together campaign, contact:

Zak Boone
chief advancement officer and Foundation executive director
Central Oregon Community College

Jeremy Green
Madras campus director and capital projects manager
Central Oregon Community College

Growing Together

Primary partners include:

  • Bean Foundation
  • Jefferson County
  • Jefferson County School District 509J
  • St. Charles Health System
  • The Children's Learning Center

Madras campus expansion rendering

Medical students hands on learning at COCC

"Those who aren't able to commute all the way to Bend will be able to have the opportunity to achieve their career goals."

— Johana Miranda Chacon, COCC graduate and
Culver resident

Creating Opportunity, Empowering Community

Culver resident Johana Miranda Chacon worked full time while attending COCC's Bend-based Medical Assistant program. It was a demanding year of waking early, commuting long distances, spending lots of money on gas and always being in a rush. Chacon graduated in 2023, ready for her future — and ready to impact the well-being of others. "I'm excited to work with patients and create relationships with them. As a Latina with immigrant parents, I have experienced the worry that most immigrant families have about seeking help when it comes to their health. I can advocate for those who can't advocate for themselves."

Chacon is happy to hear that those following in her footsteps from Jefferson County will have a more accessible, attainable path.


The COCC Madras expansion is a great thing for our community. More opportunities to learn here at home mean greater ease and convenience for students, helping people stay within their community."

— Kelly Simmelink, Jefferson County commissioner 

We know there is a huge demand for workers in the early childhood field, and this partnership will allow us to help grow the field of providers along with providing examples of best practices for early childhood services."

— Teresa Martin, executive director of The Children's Learning Center in Madras

Recruiting and retention in rural areas is an ongoing challenge. This investment is going to help us ensure we have more resources in the community to continue to provide exceptional care well into the future."

— Shannon Edgar, chief  nursing officer for Madras and Prineville, St. Charles Health System