Students can count on having a set schedule for all four terms with Oregon Transfer Module curriculum

GRAPHIC FILE PHOTO - For the first time this fall, Portland Community College will offer a full-year track for the Oregon Transfer Module (OTM) at its Newberg campus.

For the first time this fall, Portland Community College will offer a full-year track for the Oregon Transfer Module (OTM) at its Newberg campus.

The OTM provides a one-year curriculum for students who plan to transfer to an Oregon community college or state university. The module, which is not a degree or certificate, consists of four terms of foundational general education coursework that has been pre-approved to meet the admission standards of the receiving school.

More than 3,300 students have completed the OTM through PCC in the past five years. During that time, students could have taken some of their OTM coursework at the Newberg campus, but not all of it.

This year, PCC-Newberg is not only offering a full set of qualifying courses, but has established a no-hassle schedule in which students will attend classes from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday for all four terms. The track will allow students to plan for things like work and childcare -- not just for the coming quarter, but the full year.

"The classes appear to be filling up," PCC-Newberg Executive Director Lynn Montoya-Quinn said. "It's hard to tell when you pitch it if they go home and register for it, but the classes are filling, so that's a good sign."

She added that the major change that enabled this approach was offering lab science courses in Newberg.

"We pretty much always offer the math and writing classes and some kind of literature or social science," Montoya-Quinn said. "It was just a matter of making it fit into the schedule, so we worked with our faculty chairs to make sure they could find faculty for those time slots."

Unlike students at bigger PCC campuses or those who can commute between multiple ones, students opting to take the OTM track in Newberg cannot select which classes they will take.

For the first term, which runs Sept. 24 through Dec. 6, PCC-Newberg students will take mythology, introductory algebra, English composition and global climate change. To complete the OTM, students will then have to take similar four-course loads each in winter term (Jan. 7-March 24), spring term (April 1-June 16) and either summer term (June 24-Aug. 25) or fall term 2019.

Montoya-Quinn said that OTM was created to be a fast-track transfer option for students, but that the state's community colleges and universities have also been working together recently to create a streamlined list of courses that the four-year schools will accept with incoming transfer students.

"When this was first started, it was a way for students to be able to get going and not collect a bunch of credits that wouldn't apply to a degree and not incur more debt," she said. "Over time there has been less acceptance of classes, so students get a surprise when they go to their school. Even though they've completed X number of classes, the four-year school says, 'That's good, but you've still got the rest of these to do."

Students can still register for the fall term at any PCC campus up until the first day of classes, which is Sept. 24. For more information, visit

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