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Oregon Promise Day at Rock Creek Campus draws large crowd, State Sen. Mark Hass
Photos and Story by James Hill
The first class of Oregon Promise students have been getting a crash course in college life at Portland Community College.
On Wednesday, Aug. 17, college outreach staff welcomed more than 80 new students to the Rock Creek Campus for an orientation to resources and services. In addition, more than 20 parents got a welcome and information session about what to expect and how to assist their children. In total, the college has been hosting dozens of Oregon Promise days at each comprehensive campus (Sylvania, Rock Creek, Cascade and Southeast) this summer with 70-80 students attending each.
State Sen. Mark Hass, who represents Beaverton, is one of the founders of the state program, which encourages residents who are graduating high school or are recent GED graduates to immediately continue their education by providing funding to attend community college in Oregon. At Rock Creek Wednesday, he chatted with students and parents from Washington and Columbia county high schools, encouraging them to make the most of the historic opportunity.
The Oregon Promise Grant was created by the Legislature in 2015 with first awards available this fall term. The Oregon Legislature appropriated $10 million for the first year of the program.
“The Oregon Promise says that if you keep your grades up and graduate from high school, we promise to provide you with two years of community college without borrowing a dime,” said State Sen. Hass. “There are plenty of jobs in Oregon…The problem is our youth must currently take on crippling debt in order to fill these positions. This landmark legislation eliminates debt from that equation.”
Students in attendance were excited to talk with Sen. Hass and learn about the enrollment process at PCC. Chase Isaacson, 19, graduated from Westview High School this year and is thrilled to get started on his college career at PCC through Oregon Promise.
“This is a great opportunity for me and everyone here,” Isaacson said. “Without this it would have been so much harder for me to go to school. It’s a real timesaver.”
For more information about Oregon Promise, visit www.pcc.edu/oregonpromise.