Forestry Program FAQ
CONTEMPLATING A CAREER IN FORESTRY?
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions that may answer some of yours:
1. WHAT IS FORESTRY?
The needs of our forests are great. Forests make invaluable contributions providing wood products, water quality, urban resources and planning, recreation and carbon storage. The management of the vast acreage of forest is the challenge of the forestry profession. Forestry involves managing trees and other organisms on public or private land. The ever increasing demands for forest products, new forms of recreation, maintaining clean water and the influence of urbanization are all factors that are involved in the Forestry industry.
2. WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE TO GRADUATES?
Graduates of the Forest Resources Technology program earn an ASS degree and are well suited for employment in both private industry and public land management agencies. Job opportunities include forest technician, wildlife technician, range technician, wildland firefighter, biologic technician, hydrologic technician, and engineering technician as well as most any other natural resource related technicians.
3. WHAT IS THE JOB PLACEMENT/AVAILABILITY IN THE FOREST INDUSTRY?
Job placement will focus around jobs involving some form of tree or forest measurement and sampling. Seasonal positions and permanent positions are available in both private industry as well as agency employment with the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the Oregon Department of Forestry, to name a few. The permanent positions are occasionally full-time/year round or permanent/seasonal positions. During any given year there are full-time positions available with regional and national organizations.
4. WHAT ARE THE SALARY RANGES?
The best and most current source of salary information can be found on various public and private websites. These websites should provide you with some general ideas regarding job qualifications and salary ranges. https://blm.usajobs.gov/ http://www.forestryusa.com/jobs.html
5. WHAT ABOUT SUMMER EMPLOYMENT/INTERNSHIPS?
The above websites also provide information regarding summer employment and internship programs. Additionally, our faculty is in continual communication with a large variety of public and private employers. Due to this relationship with the employers, our faculty is often times notified of positions that are available in local agencies which are not posted on the general websites, therefore providing students with a direct connection to job opportunities both during and after completing the Forestry program. A high percentage of our forestry students are placed into jobs through these direct connections.
6. WHAT TYPE OF PHYSICAL CONDITION/REQUIREMENTS ARE THERE?
Physical requirements will vary depending on the position. Field-based positions will require the individual to be able to get around the woods - typically by walking. Non- field positions have no physical limitations as most are in an office setting environment.
7. IS THERE ANY SPECIAL EQUIPMENT I NEED FOR THE COURSES?
Along with a hardhat, field clothes and lug-soled boots, you will need a GPS receiver, a compass and a calculator with trig/statistics functions. Many of our textbooks are designed to be used in more than one course, so you can get the most return for your investment.
8. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET MY DEGREE?
Our courses are designed to be completed in two years, assuming you are well prepared and attending COCC as a full time student. The results of placement testing when you enroll, may also be a factor on the length of time, depending on how well you place in the Math and Writing components to meet the program minimums. Many of our lab classes are only offered one time a year to maximize our field studies in our various weather conditions. If you are planning on working part-time, you can complete the program typically within 3 years.
9. DO I HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL FALL TERM TO BEING THE PROGRAM?
Not necessarily. While many of our courses are sequential and only offered once a school year, there are many ways to create your program. Additionally, you may choose to take some general education courses the first term and then begin with the program courses in the Fall.
10. I'M ALREADY IN A COMMUNITY COLLEGE. HOW DO I TRANSFER TO COCC?
Obtain a copy of your transcripts and make and appointment with one of the Forestry faculty. At that appointment, a determination can be made regarding what courses are transferable and what courses you would need to take to complete a degree in Forestry.
11. WHERE CAN I TRANSFER WITH MY 2 YEAR DEGREE?
You are able to transfer to most 4 year institutions, depending on their degree requirements. We also have articulation agreements with Oregon State University - Corvallis, Oregon State University - Cascades Campus and the University of Idaho.
12. I'M IN HIGH SCHOOL NOW. WHAT CLASSES SHOULD I BE TAKING TO PREPARE?
A job in forestry requires math and writing abilities. Taking an extra course in algebra, speech classes, writing classes and/or science classes is always a good idea. The more you learn in high school, the better you will score on the COCC placement tests and the less likely you will need to take basic math and writing courses at COCC.
13. ARE THERE ANY FORESTRY PROGRAMS CLASSES TAUGHT AT NIGHT OR AVAILABLE ONLINE?
The Intro to Forestry, Fire Ecology & Effects, Chainsaw Use and Timber Felling are just a few of the courses taught in the evening. Because most of the lab courses require actual data collection and plant identification in our surrounding forest lands, the lab courses are typically held in the afternoons.
14. WHAT KIND OF SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE?
Students enrolled in the Forestry program have access to numerous scholarship opportunities throughout the school year ranging from $400 - $2000. Some are offered exclusively to COCC students and others are offered on a regional, state or national level. Additionally, you can find information about other scholarship programs available to all college students on the COCC Financial Aid Scholarships web.
Many of our current and past students have received scholarships to pay for a good portion of their tuition and book fees. You can also check the COCC Financial Aid website for further financial assistance information.
15. WHAT ABOUT FINANCIAL AID OPPORTUNITIES?
The COCC website is an excellent source of complete financial aid information. The COCC Financial Aid web will give you all the information you will need to apply online for state and federal aid programs.
16. I'M MOVING TO CENTRAL OREGON. WHAT ARE THE TUITION RATES FOR RESIDENT AND NON-RESIDENTS?
COCC has one of the most affordable tuition rates in Oregon. For current COCC tuition rates and policies regarding in district, out of district(state) and out of state as well as tuition payment options, see: Admissions/Tuition-Fees-Payment/.
17. CAN I TAKE A COUPLE OF CLASSES ON THE SUBJECT I'M INTERESTED IN OR IS EACH CLASS DEPENDENT ON PREVIOUS CLASSES?
In general, the two year degree program of courses is set up so that optimal tools/skills are provided for optimal success in subsequent courses. We recommend that persons pursuing the two year degree follow the recommended schedule for this reason. On a case by case basis, some prerequisites may be removed depending on previous experience and/or academic performance. It is suggested that you talk with one of the Foresty faculty about specific questions you might have.
18. I CURRENTLY WORK FOR A FORESTRY DEPARTMENT/ORGANIZATION. DO ANY OF THE COURSES PROVIDE SKILLS TO INCREASE MY QUALIFICATIONS AND POSSIBLE ADVANCEMENT?
COCC and the Forest Resource Technology program in particular, offer a variety of courses that directly apply to qualification requirement for the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. In addition, numerous courses can be used as a mechanism of increasing job skills and expanding workplace knowledge, providing job advancement opportunities with your existing employer.
19. WHAT IS THE ENVIRONMENT AT THE COCC CAMPUS?
Central Oregon Community College is a public, open door community college located in the City of Bend. As a community college, we offer lower-division transfer programs, professional/technical education, and community education, as well as specialized training for business and industry. The College serves a large geographic area, including small towns, rural areas, and moderately-sized cities, with a total district population of about 140,000. COCC emphasizes quality education and access to opportunity for adult learners and serves approximately 6,500 students annually. The College's faculty are a committed, professional group of educators, highly qualified in their teaching fields, dedicated to serving their students and the communities.
20. WHAT IS THE BEND COMMUNITY LIKE?
Central Oregon offers an exceptionally attractive location on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountain Range, with spectacular views and easy access to mountain lakes, scenic rivers and forested wilderness areas. The sunny high desert climate is ideal for outdoor activities, and the region's tourist industry provides excellent recreational opportunities, including a major ski resort at Mt. Bachelor. A great site to visit for local information is http://www.visitbend.org/ or the local newspaper site www.bendbulletin.com. The area supports a growing population, with a strong, diversified economic base, and provides high- quality services, particularly in health care and education.
21. OKAY, I'M READY TO GET STARTED. HOW DO I ENROLL?
The Getting Started at COCC web gives you all the details to begin the process of enrolling at COCC
When you do fill out the application, under the section Educational Goals, make sure to include either one of the following codes: 1240 Forestry (transfer preparation) or 5380 Forest Resources Technology (Associate of Applied Science). This will insure that you are assigned an advisor in our Forestry program who is knowledgeable of the program. Having one of the Forestry faculty as your advisor will insure that you are placed into the appropriate courses.
If you have additional questions or would like to speak with a member of our Forest Faculty, please call us at 541-383-7740.