Erika Bockmann is assistant director of admissions and has been at Walla Walla Community College since 2012.
Most important part of the job
Because we’re a community college we have open enrollment, so anyone who wants to study here is eligible. I help students navigate the application process, and also with placement. We have a lot of nontraditional students who have taken a break from school, so I look at where they are now with their English and math skills, to be sure they are placed in the appropriate classes.
We’ve been trying to get away from a traditional placement model, which is based on standardized testing. We’re trying to be more creative about meeting the students where they are when they come to us. We are constantly challenging ourselves to better meet the needs of our students.
People should know
I wish more students knew that all of us are here to help them. We’re not going to judge them for having questions, or for where they’ve been in the past. We have students like women re-entering the workforce, or people who have been released from the penitentiary, who may not yet have used technology that we take for granted. We’ll help them every step of the way to get to wherever they want to be in the future.
I have a bachelor’s degree in religion, and my original plan was to go into chaplaincy. As part of that program I got to travel through Turkey, Greece, Jordan and Israel, and it was wonderful to experience those different cultures. But things took a different turn and I ended up loving higher education when I started working at WWCC as a part-time proctor in our testing center.
I’m currently working on my master’s degree in college student services administration through Oregon State University, so that takes up all of my time free at the moment.
I love the outdoors, and love going backpacking, especially in the Wallowas. And my husband and I have a group of friends that gets together for game nights. We probably have about 40 different board games in our closet.
My husband, Jefrey, works at Coffey Communications as an IT technician. We have a dog named Riker, and a cat called Nebula. We both grew up in Tri-Cities and our parents are still there.