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LCC's Women in Transition Program Celebrates 30 Years

When Tiffany Triplett joined the Women in Transition (WIT) program at Lane Community College, she says she was recovering from addiction and a divorce. “I was in the drug court program when I was in the WIT classes and it complemented my treatment program so much,” she says.

LCC’s WIT program says it offers empowerment and solidarity for women making changes in their lives, and has helped women become self-sufficient emotionally and economically for its entire duration. It celebrates its 30-year anniversary Wednesday, Nov. 16. 

Triplett graduated from the LCC program in the fall of 2015, and she’s now a 4.0 student who plans to pursue a masters degree. 

Triplett spent three terms in the WIT program and says the women’s center has become her home base at LCC. “There’s not a week that goes by that I don’t walk by one of my peers from the WIT program on campus.” Triplett says she has become close friends with many of the women from the program, and some even attended her wedding last summer. “Any woman in my life who could benefit from any piece of it, I’m always encouraging them to try it out.”

The seven-credit class, first in a set of three, focuses on life and career transitions. “It gives you language and more concise ideas of how transitions work,” Triplett says. Women work in groups to discuss the problems they face and “how to give self-care and cope through hard transitions,” she adds. According to Triplett, women of all ages and all stages in life are part of the program. “The WIT program is really for anybody.”

The 30th anniversary will include light refreshments, a raffle and speeches by graduates and faculty. LCC president Mary Spilde will be one of the speakers at the event. “It’ll be a great opportunity to celebrate all the people who’ve participated in Women in Transition and the difference it’s made in everyone’s lives,” Spilde tells EW. According to Spilde, more than 6,000 women have graduated from the program in its 30 years, and that provides a great benefit to both the college and the local community.

 Spilde says she looks forward to the anniversary because she began her work in community colleges at a similar program at Linn-Benton Community College. “I’m partial to these types of programs that help women come to college,” she says. “They open doors for people who maybe didn’t get a shot to go to college in high school.” 

There are many people who think about going back to college but they’re scared or don’t feel they have what it takes,” Spilde says. “This program provides access.” 

 The anniversary will take place from 3 to 5 pm Wednesday, Nov. 16, at Building 1, Room 202, on the LCC main campus. Tiffany Triplett says she will be there: “I’m looking forward to seeing all the women who come and the joy that they have when they see the friends they went to class with. The bonds we made in that class were amazing.”