A Perfect Fit Homebase offers unique WWU connection

After enrolling in the cosmetology program at Walla Walla Community College in Walla Walla, Wash., Katie Edstrom began searching for a place to live. Having grown up hearing about Walla Walla University, in College Place, Wash., she found herself browsing the WWU Web site and wishing there was some way to be involved there while attending classes elsewhere.

"I believe God led me to the Homebase page," says Katie. "It was a perfect fit."

Through WWU's Homebase program, community college students live in WWU's residence halls, eat in WWU's cafeteria, attend WWU's social and spiritual events, and participate in WWU's clubs. They are treated as WWU students and are expected to abide by WWU's code of conduct, campus life and residence hall requirements.

Katie's sister, Kerstin, is also in Homebase, studying cosmetology at WWCC.

"It is very refreshing," Kerstin says, "to come home to a positive Christian environment at WWU where I'm surrounded by other Christian young people who love God and want to serve Him."

Homebase students must have a high school/academy diploma or a GED and must be enrolled at WWCC pursuing one of 18 approved programs, including carpentry, culinary arts, early childhood education, energy systems technology, fire science, water management and cosmetology.

"Homebase is WWU's best kept secret," says Ken Edstrom, Katie and Kerstin's father. "Our daughters are happy and involved at WWU, and are doing well at WWCC. We are blessed to have this option available to us."

WWCC recommends early registration to ensure enrollment in the student's chosen area of study. Likewise, space is limited in the Homebase program, and applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis. For fall registration, enrollment in both WWCC and Homebase is recommended no later than July 1.

"I love the fact that WWU is like a spiritual gas station," says Katie. "I often find that I run out of fuel during the day at school, and with the Homebase program, I get to come back to the dorm or to worship at WWU and fill up on my source of spiritual energy."

Upon graduating, Katie hopes to do hair and makeup for special events such as weddings and graduations. Kerstin's plan is to open a salon in her home someday. Both will complete the cosmetology program in March 2012.

For more information or to enroll in the Homebase program, visit wallawalla.edu/homebase.

June 01, 2011 / Walla Walla University

Becky St. Clair, WWU GLEANER correspondent