Lane promotes awareness of reachable resources

Lane Community College offers multiple resources for students of varying backgrounds all in one place — The Resource Fair. While the fair has a wide variety of offerings, some of the services are aimed at assisting individuals with disabilities, those who may have been victims of domestic violence or students who have a criminal record.

Approximately 600 students, staff and faculty took part in the second Annual Lane Resource Fair on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Sixteen local organizations that offer resources were showcased, accompanied with 35 Lane programs and services.

The Resource Fair housed a spectrum of community programs included FOOD for Lane County; Centro Latino Americano; National Alliance on Mental Illness; SASS; Sponsors, Inc.; and Womenspace.

“We were pleasantly surprised by the responsiveness of the community resources. They were excited to participate, and we ultimately were able to include more organizations anticipated” Tammy Walters, Lane Community College career advisor said.

Staff and instructors encouraged students to explore the fair and speak with representatives tabling. Some instructors offered extra credit, others treated it as an “in-class assignment.”

“The Resource Fair is a concept I learned about at a Lumina Foundation workshop called, ‘Beyond Financial Aid,’” Walters said.

The Lumina Foundation is nonprofit and based in Indianapolis, founded in July 2000. The foundation uses its $1.4 billion in assets to expand student access to, and success in, education beyond high school with workshops geared to educational providers throughout the nation. By 2025, the foundation hopes to reach its goal of increasing postsecondary credentials of individuals by 60 percent.

The first annual Lane Resource Fair took place in 2016. “What had started with an idea over coffee turned into a huge success with over 35 Lane programs and services represented, with over 500 students in attendance,” Walters said.

Due to the success of the first fair, plans were made for the next fair with room to grow. Staff of the Career Center, Adult Basic and Secondary Education, Financial Aid and Tutoring services were encouraged to participate. The fair planning team also extended an invite to community programs and services that offer resources to the community as a whole.
Planning for the 2018 fair is in underway. Although the date has not been finalized fair organizers project larger numbers of off campus community programs to participate in Resource Fair 2018.