Submitted by Centralia College

In 2017, the Chehalis Foundation and the Chehalis School District formalized a partnership with Centralia College to support W.F. West High School students’ success beyond high school. The Chehalis Student Achievement Initiative aims to get 60 percent of W.F. West students to earn a college or vocational credential past high school.

To get there, the foundation funded several initiatives at Centralia College (CC), including a robust summer program for graduating seniors, additional support for math, peer mentoring, social engagement, and a staff person at the college dedicated to W.F. West graduates at CC.

Those efforts are paying off.

Forty-nine percent of W.F. West’s Class of 2017 graduated from CC within two years of finishing high school. That’s a 10 percent increase over W.F. West graduates from 2015 and 2016.

So far, the W.F. West Class of 2018 is showing even bigger gains. Already, in only a year, 37 percent have graduated from CC.

“We couldn’t be happier with the initial results of this program. We haven’t reached the finish line yet, but we are out of the blocks and have set a really good pace,” said Robert Cox, vice president of Student Services at CC. “Chehalis School District employees and college staff are collaborating like never before to increase college completion.”

Since its launch with W.F. West graduates in 2017, the college has expanded several of these programs to all students and is working to add additional services.

“From the beginning of this partnership, the Chehalis Foundation and Centralia College have treated this as a pilot program. It was always our plan to expand the successful elements across the college. What we have learned from this partnership is already being applied to benefit other students,” said Bob Mohrbacher, Centralia College president.

For more information about the Chehalis Foundation’s Beyond K-12 Initiative please contact Trisha Smith at For more information about the college programs, contact Robert Cox at 360-623-8385.

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