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News Releases
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As veterinary world faces staffing shortages, PCC is building its facilities and training to solve the problem (Photo) - 09/27/22

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ore. – For the last decade, veterinary clinics and animal shelters all over the country, including Portland, have struggled to find veterinarians and certified veterinary technicians to provide adequate care to the many animals that come through their doors. Thanks to the pandemic, increased demand for veterinary services has strained the profession even more.

Portland Community College’s Veterinary Technology Program is one of only two programs of its kind in Oregon and only one of five in the Pacific Northwest. Soon, it will have a brand new facility where students can train on caring for animals, which will create a qualified pipeline of technicians for the industry. The barn at Rock Creek Campus is currently being replaced with a new building designed to serve the needs of the program, improving the teaching areas and the quality of shelter for the farm animals.

“The new facility will transform the way we are able to utilize the barn as a teaching space,” said Ragan Borzcik, Vet Tech Program chair. “Not only will animals have updated housing, but students will have improved learning spaces, including a modern classroom. The ability for students to apply their learning within this new space will essentially be equivalent to bringing the farm into the classroom.”

The Vet Tech Barn redevelopment, funded by the 2017 PCC bond measure, is slated to be completed in fall of 2023. It will include expanded animal shelter and feeding areas in the main barn, horse stalls and updated barn housing for cows, sheep and llamas. The space also adds a classroom, restrooms, storage and office space. This new barn will allow for more efficient care of the animals which will reduce operational costs.

“I think it’s imperative to have facilities such as these that we can work in,” said current student Rebekah Kermoyan, a native of Cottage Grove. “Otherwise, we are trying to gather that experience ourselves in a sort of hodge-podge way out in the world, and we aren’t necessarily building the skill sets that we need.”

Currently, the program, which has been fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) since 1992, provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to provide essential nursing care for all animals. Veterinary technicians work under the supervision of  licensed veterinarians to provide animal medical care as credentialed professionals in a wide variety of environments. The Oregon Employment Department projects employment of veterinary technicians in the Portland area will grow by 23% through 2029.

“There is a huge need for certified vet techs in America and the world right now,” Kermoyan said. “In this program, when you are coming out of it, there are already two or three clinics waiting for you to graduate so they can talk salary with you. If you want a job, this is a great place to get into.”

Kermoyan is working toward graduation next spring, choosing the Vet Tech Program for its location and the job security that comes with an in-demand field. She said PCC has exceeded her expectations thanks to the caring and responsive faculty. Kermoyan also loves the fact the college offers a full, operating farm with dog kennels, a cattery and medical facility that provides hands-on experience in a clinic setting.

“If you want to make a difference in the lives of animals and your community, this is a really great program to get involved in,” she added.

Another student, Maryrose Gilliland, came up to Oregon from Goleta, California in 2018 to work in the veterinary field. After three years, she decided to attend PCC’s Vet Tech Program to further build her skills.

She specifically chose PCC because it is regarded as a top five veterinary technician school in the country by Accredited Schools Online. In addition, Gilliland said earning her two-year associate degree has been a better fit than attempting to go to a four-year university program due to what PCC offers its students.

“PCC actually provides all of the essential skills you need on campus for both small and large animals,” Gilliland said. “We have labs that regularly teach us the proper ways of taking care of these animals in the clinic and in a medical facility, which is awesome.

“It’s incredible to have these facilities right at my fingertips, right in front of me,” she added. “I’ve had multiple people I’ve worked with who are going through online programs and are having difficulties getting their large animal essential skills because it’s so difficult to come across a facility that will allow students to come in and be hands-on with the animals. Whereas at PCC they are like, ‘Alright, you're taking ‘Large Animal Nursing and Restraint.’ Here you go. Hop in. Go touch that cow!’”


For more information on the Veterinary Technology Program, visit https://www.pcc.edu/programs/veterinary/


For more details about PCC’s $450 million bond measure on the Nov. 8 election ballot, visit www.pcc.edu

  

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 more than 50,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, 10 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/

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As PCC's new Opportunity Center is built, staff continue providing tools for upward mobility (Photo) - 09/20/22

NORTHEAST PORTLAND, Ore. – For more than two decades, Tracee Wells has been helping students and members of the public connect to opportunities and navigate their career paths at Portland Community College.

With her recent transition into a new role as a training and education specialist, Wells supports a variety of programs and services at the Portland Metro Workforce Training Center (PMWTC) in Northeast Portland. PMWTC helps people explore careers that will provide upward mobility in an inclusive environment. 

The facility is part of PCC’s Opportunity Centers, which work to close opportunity gaps to give people the tools they need to develop their skill sets and the confidence to be competitive for high-demand careers. They also help students navigate resources, find employment and connect to the right PCC certificate and degree programs.

PCC’s Community Workforce Development Department partners with the Oregon Department of Human Services and other community agencies to provide services at these centers like PMWTC. They work closely with college programs, such as PCC Clear Clinic, Career Pathways and the Outreach and Advocacy Project, to connect students to the unique resources that will help them navigate and be successful in their academic and career journeys.

“Many of the students are nontraditional and come through the doors of our Metro and Willow Creek opportunity centers with multiple barriers to work or school,” Wells said. “My goal is to help remove or minimize as many barriers as I can in my role and through leveraging the valuable internal and external partners who come together to support equitable success.”

Last year, Wells participated in a major college initiative called Yes to Equitable Student Success (YESS) that informed the development of PCC’s 2020-25 Strategic Plan. Wells served as part of a dedicated cohort of 140 staff and faculty who worked to design the new academic and career pathways in a way that keeps students and equity at the center. She said she has enjoyed seeing the YESS design work come to fruition in her work at the opportunity centers where she has seen an increase in collaboration across the college to remove gaps and barriers to become even more student-centered.

The new Portland Metropolitan Workforce Training Center, which will be the future Metro Opportunity Center, is currently under construction in the Cully neighborhood of Northeast Portland — part of the 2017 voter-passed bond measure. PMWTC will include 84 affordable housing units and other supportive services to be accessed by surrounding communities. 

Both PMWTC in Northeast Portland and Willow Creek in Washington County are opportunity centers that strive to meet with students in a way that works best for them – considering access to resources and using a trauma-informed approach.

“That’s meeting people where they are—culturally, mentally, emotionally and trauma-informed, so as not to create any additional stress on their lives,” said Wells. “We are giving them the support that they need to gain overall student success, and they feel a true sense of belonging.”

For more information on PCC's Opportunity Center services, visit https://www.pcc.edu/opportunity-center/, or for more about the redevelopment work – https://www.pcc.edu/bond/current-projects/pmwtc/

For more details about PCC’s $450 million bond measure on the Nov. 8 election ballot, visit www.pcc.edu.  

 

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 more than 50,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, 10 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/

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Adrien Bennings, president of Portland Community College, Selected for the Aspen Institute's New Presidents Fellowship (Photo) - 09/13/22

PORTLAND, Ore. – Adrien Bennings, president of Portland Community College, has been selected as one of 26 leaders within the 2022-23 class of the Aspen New Presidents Fellowship, part of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. This program, made possible with support from JPMorgan Chase, supports community college presidents in the early years of their tenure as they work to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success.

This class of fellows represent the diversity of our nation’s community colleges, collectively serving more than 250,000 students at colleges across the nation, in urban, suburban, and rural areas. The incoming class of New Presidents Fellows is 46 percent female, with 65 percent being people of color. Located in 19 states, their institutions are also diverse, ranging from a tribal college with fewer than 300 students, to an urban college that educates more than 35,000 each year.

Selected through a competitive process, Bennings and her colleagues will work closely with other transformational community college presidents and Aspen leaders over the next nine months. They will learn from field-leading research, analyze their colleges’ student outcomes, and clarify their visions for excellent and equitable outcomes for students while in college and after they graduate.

“The quality of our nation’s community colleges depends on the quality of our college presidents,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the College Excellence Program. “I am continually inspired and motivated by the dedication and expertise that our fellows bring to the work of advancing excellence and equity on their campuses, and I look forward to seeing the changes they make in real time to improve outcomes for their students.”


JPMorgan Chase’s philanthropic support for the Aspen Presidential Fellowship is part of the firm’s New Skills at Work initiative to prepare young people for the future of work and meet the growing demand for skilled workers, and the $30 billion commitment to advance racial equity and drive an inclusive economy.

For bios and photos of all 26 leaders, visit the Aspen Institute website.

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 more than 50,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, 10 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/

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program supports colleges and universities in their quest to achieve a higher standard of excellence, delivering credentials that unlock life-changing careers and strengthen our economy, society, and democracy. We know it takes visionary college leaders to achieve this higher standard and we make it our mission to equip them with the knowledge, skills, and research-backed tools to inspire change, shift practice, and advance the capacity of colleges to deliver excellent and equitable student outcomes. For more information, visit our website and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. Learn more at www.aspeninstitute.org.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $3.7 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.
 

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