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News Releases
A graduate enjoys the spotlight at the 2019 PCC commencement.
A graduate enjoys the spotlight at the 2019 PCC commencement.
PCC earns $2.25 million Title III grant from Dept. of Education (Photo) - 03/10/20

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Community College’s student success is the aim of a multi-million dollar grant.

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $2.25 million Title III grant to PCC’s Reimagining Integrated Support for Equitable Success (RISES) Project. RISES will develop student support initiatives and evaluation activities during the next five years to buttress the college’s student completion work.

The RISES Project will assist with the integration of academic and student guidance efforts within the college’s initiative Yes to Equitable Student Success (YESS). This initiative uses the national education reform framework Guided Pathways to increase student access and success. By using Guided Pathways, YESS aims to increase the number of PCC students who complete a credential or transfer to a four-year institution. In this model, staff guide students through a roadmap of courses they need to take and provide key support to ensure they remain on track. 

“The grant will allow us to implement the next phase of this work,” said Katy Ho, vice president for Academic Affairs. “It focuses on strengthening the student experience through our academic paths by providing upfront major and career planning, and ensuring smoother on and off ramps from our academic non-credit and workforce training areas. The college will be able to better utilize labor market information data to help with our program planning.”

In addition, the RISES Project will create a first-year experience for new college students based on equity and inclusion practices, develop community building activities, and integrate academic, career, life and financial planning into their support systems. 

Ho said the implementation strategies will center on improving the use of interventions that have shown to increase student success. These include improved credit accumulation, better retention and persistence, while decreasing disparities among student populations. 

“The foundation of this work is to put students at the center of all we do,” Ho explained. “We know that the more support a student can get up front about clarifying goals means they are more likely to find their purpose and passions and complete.”

More PCC Notables:

•    During the past six years, PCC has earned more than $39 million in grant funding to bolster student support.
•    The Kresge Foundation awarded a $495,000 grant to PCC and Albina Head Start to connect low-income residents and students to human services and educational pathways. This is one of six partnerships nationwide between community colleges and human services nonprofits that have been selected to participate in Kresge’s Boosting Opportunities for Social and Economic Mobility for Families (BOOST) initiative.
•    The state’s Pathways to Opportunity initiative, led by PCC, has been selected by the National Skills Coalition to take part in its SkillSPAN and the Supportive Services Academy projects. Oregon is one of five state teams (others are Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi and Ohio) that will participate in the 2020 Supportive Services Academy. 


About Portland Community College: Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to nearly 70,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, eight education centers or areas served, and approximately 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.

Visit PCC news on the web at http://news.pcc.edu/
 

National Skills Coalition chooses PCC-led initiative - 03/05/20

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon’s Pathways to Opportunity initiative, led by Portland Community College, has been selected by the National Skills Coalition to take part in its SkillSPAN and the Supportive Services Academy projects. Pathways to Opportunity is a coalition of Oregon’s 17 community colleges, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, and state partners that are closing the opportunity gap and increasing economic mobility among low-income and underrepresented students across the state.

Oregon is one of five state teams (others are Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi and Ohio) that will participate in the 2020 Supportive Services Academy. The academy will guide state teams on advancing policies to expand access to support services so that people with lower incomes can complete their education or training programs. Teams will focus on braiding federal, state, and private funds to build career pathways programs, skills training and policies that spur access to SNAP, childcare and emergency funds.

Through the SkillSPAN Program, Pathways to Opportunity will receive technical assistance and the chance to work with 19 other states focused on closing opportunity gaps. The program will help Oregon increase economic mobility for low-income and underrepresented residents. And, it will expand skills training for thousands of people through state policy changes, as well as boost local business and economies.  

“We are setting a precedent for how community colleges can lead anti-poverty efforts by leveraging resources and collaborating with state agencies, anti-poverty advocates, community-based organizations, and industry partners,” said Kate Kinder, PCC’s director of Career Pathways & Skills. “Not only will these efforts be seamlessly integrated into Pathways to Opportunity, but they will also align with the statewide work that is going on to measure and increase adult postsecondary credential attainment.”

In 2018, the State Legislature passed HB4043, which called on community colleges to study the financial constraints facing low-income and underrepresented students and how to increase access to federal, state and local benefits. As a result, the Pathways to Opportunity initiative was launched with PCC serving as lead. The initiative includes many community-based partners, as well as the Oregon Department of Human Services.

The National Skills Coalition is a broad-based coalition of business, community colleges and public workforce systems that are working on economic growth across the country by investing in worker training. It has more than 28,000 members, representing organizations in 50 states.


About Portland Community College: Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to nearly 70,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, eight education centers or areas served, and approximately 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.

Visit PCC news on the web at http://news.pcc.edu/