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Olympic College Shelton celebrates over 40 years in Mason County

OC Shelton Olympic College Shelton celebrated more than 40 years in Mason County on Wednesday May 9, 2012 at OC Shelton. The community was invited to celebrate this milestone.

OC Shelton provides Mason County residents convenient access to educational opportunities. Students may earn an Associate in Arts degree which satisfies the first two years of college study at many colleges and universities. An Associate in Technical Arts degree or certificate is available in many technical and professional programs. Other educational opportunites available are Adult Basic Education, GED preparation and testing, Running Start and English Speakers of Other Languages.

History of OC Shelton
OC Shelton was the second campus established after Olympic College in Bremerton. Over the past 44 years, OC Shelton has been in four different locations before settling at its current location in 1995.

The first classes taught at OC Shelton were in 1968 at Shelton High School; classes were held on the Skokomish and Squaxin Island Reservations for two years.  On average, 320 students attended OC Shelton during this period for select courses. In 1973, OC Shelton opened facilities on 8th and Railroad and offered some courses at Shelton High School, hospital training rooms, and other locations around Hood Canal. The new location introduced educational opportunities not available in the past such as technical arts, occupational skills, university transfer programs, vocational education, adult high school classes, GED preparation testing, and community service courses. In 1976, OC Shelton moved to Fourth and Cedar. The new facilities offered more comprehensive services and amenities such as counseling rooms, a library open to the public, four classrooms, and office space for a full-time staff and an instructor. In 1980, OC Shelton moved to 2513 Olympic Highway North, and stayed at that location for 15 years.

Plans for an independent campus started in 1990 with the “Building our Future” campaign to raise $1.5 million. The community generously donated resources, funds, and land to develop a new OC Shelton campus located on Alpine Way. The current OC Shelton campus was built in two phases. The main building was completed in 1995.  Congressman Norm Dicks obtained a federal grant to remodel the main building lobby in 2004 which was dedicated the Palmer Student Center in 2007, in memory of Dean Palmer, a driving force behind the “Building our Future” campaign .

The Johnson Library, built in 2003, was the second phase of construction on OC Shelton’s campus. Wes Johnson, a long-time Mason County resident and entrepreneur bequeathed part of his estate in honor of his deceased wife, Frances, to benefit Olympic College Shelton students. A state grant and a generous gift from Richard Kramer combined with Johnson’s gift provided the necessary funding for this excellent addition to the Shelton campus and community.

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