PCC'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 Portland Community College'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 road map 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.
n 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.
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.
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