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Do you have a degree from your country? Would you like to continue your career in Oregon? Chemeketa's Empowering Professional Immigrant Careers (EPIC) program can help.

Chemeketa’s EPIC program assists in meeting the needs of resettled refugees and other residents of the Willamette Valley region who have professional degrees, skills, and experience from their countries and want to pursue their profession in Oregon.

The program will provide assistance with credentials evaluation, next steps to employment or education, and a Cooperative Work Experience (CWE), which is an internship in their field of expertise., and job coaching. There is ongoing, wraparound support throughout the courses. Language and college transition courses are also available.

One of the ways to assist these professionals is to identify high need areas and recruit students in that field for courses specifically developed for that profession.

The Chemeketa ESOL program waives the testing and tuition fees for any refugee who registers for this course.

The EPIC program takes two 10-week terms.

Term One

Participants will:

  • Get credentials evaluated
  • Form a plan for employment
  • Learn what their transferable skills are and what other employment options exist
  • Be introduced to the U.S. job culture
  • Learn how to build their professional network
  • Prepare for job interviews

Term Two

Participants will participate in an internship in their field (4.5 hours a week or more) and meet regularly with their CWE instructor. This is a 2-3 credit college course.

EPIC Eligibility

  • Residency in the Willamette Valley region
  • Work authorization
  • A Bachelor’s degree (or higher) from a foreign university (no US degrees)

Candidates attend an interview with the EPIC coordinator to see if they meet course requirements:

  • A high-intermediate level of English (C2 at Chemeketa)
  • Ready to find full-time employment in Oregon in their field
  • An ability to attend all sessions
  • A commitment to attend all classes (a combination of remote and on site; Saturdays or evenings)
  • A commitment to completing all homework assignments and participate fully

Candidates do not need to be currently enrolled in Chemeketa’s ESOL program, but they will need to register, attend an Orientation, and be assessed for language proficiency before the course begins in April 2024.