SPOKANE, Wash.— Mona Locke, wife of Washington Gov. Gary Locke, will introduce a March 19 program organized by Washington State University Spokane and others to help women understand the process of returning to college.

WSU Spokane, in partnership with Spokane Falls Community College and the American Association of University Women, is sponsoring a free satellite conference, “College Knowledge for Women” from 6 to 9 p.m. at Spokane Falls Community College, Building 2, Library, Room 206, 3410 W. Fort George Wright Road.

The conference will answer questions that many women have including affordability, employment after graduation and educational options in Spokane. All are barriers identified in a 1999 report, “Gaining a Foothold: Women’s Transitions Through Work and College,” prepared by the AAUW Educational Foundation.

“Returning to college as an adult can be an intimidating prospect,” said Debra Kollock, an extension coordinator with WSU’s Cooperative Extension. “We hope the event will also provide motivation for those who have been considering the possibility of seeking a degree.”

Additionally, the program will provide information for those who have not started college, for who have started but not completed a degree and for those interested in pursuing additional education. Experts in careers and career counseling, financial aid and scholarship opportunities will be available to provide information and answer questions. Participants also will learn about the educational options in the Spokane area, including what degrees and courses are offered locally and on-line. A panel of local experts will be available to answer questions on the college experience.

“We are pleased to be a part of this program,” stated Muriel Oaks, dean of WSU’s Distance Degree Programs. She said that WSU’s Distance Degree Programs have served more than 7,000 Washington residents in the past 10 years, and a majority of our students have been women. “Our graduates tell us how well prepared they are to enter the workplace, advance in their careers and attend graduate school. We are very proud of the quality of our distance degrees.”

For more information, contact Anna Ragaza-Bourassa at (509) 358-7537. The event is one of many planned by WSU to celebrate Women’s History Month. It is free and open to the public.