Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

PCC welcomes almost 1,700 Oregon Promise students to its campuses

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Chase Isaacson is thrilled Portland Community College is keeping the Oregon Promise.

Nick Morae-Alvarado (left) and Chase Isaacson are taking advantage of the Oregon Promise Project.

Nick Morae-Alvarado (left) and Chase Isaacson are taking advantage of the Oregon Promise Project.

The Westview High School graduate is thrilled to get started on his college career at PCC through the state’s free community college pilot project called Oregon Promise. Without this opportunity, he said he might not have been able to attend PCC right away or be forced to load up on debt to pay for his postsecondary experience, which may have jeopardized his dreams of becoming a filmmaker.

“This is a great opportunity for me and everyone here,” Isaacson said at one of the college’s Oregon Promise Welcome Days. “Without this it would have been so much harder for me to go to school. It’s a real timesaver.”

Oregon Promise is for qualified recent high school graduates (must have earned a 2.5 grade-point average at their school), encouraging them to continue their education by providing them grants to attend community college in Oregon for the 2016-17 academic year. PCC has almost 1,700 first-year students who are taking advantage of the project.

Nick Morae-Alvarado is one of them. The 18-year-old graduated in 2016 from Faith Bible High School in Hillsboro and said signing up for the Oregon Promise has made his goal of transferring to Oregon State University easier to attain.

Brianna Zacarias.

Brianna Zacarias.

“It would have been much harder for me and my family if this didn’t exist,” Morae-Alvarado commented. “It was important for me and my family to go to school locally. It’s a great way to save money.”

PCC has been doing its best to ensure Oregon Promise students acclimate to college. The college’s outreach coordinators organized 15 orientations in the summer that attracted almost 900 project students across the college’s district to learn about resources and services.

Aloha High School graduate Brianna Zacarias is aiming to transfer to Portland State after finishing her pre-requisites at PCC. She said a counselor at her high school steered her toward the Oregon Promise as a cost-effective way of earning college credits. Now, sky’s the limit.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Zacarias said. “Without this, college would have been expensive for me. My family is very supportive of me going to college. So, this has been really helpful.”

For more information about Oregon Promise and qualifications for it, visit www.pcc.edu/oregonpromise.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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There is one comment for this article. If you see something that doesn't belong, please click the x and report it.

x by Erika Hise-Denk 2 months ago

If I were an outsider reading the above “article” I think it would lead me to believe that PCC is not a real college. After spending 4 years attending PCC and accumulating a very significant amount of debt, I am left with a bad taste in my mouth.
I feel that the amount of effort to reach out to these students and ensure their success is commendable, however I feel that there are other demographics that fall through the cracks in the educational system and I think it is imperitive that ALL new students receive the same assistance to ensure their success. Being 20 years older than most of these new students when I started attending PCC may have been a disadvantage. I didn’t realize it at the time, but perhaps others assumed that I knew what I was doing, when in fact I probably had a more difficult time adapting since it had been so long since I had been in a classroom environment. I’m not sure what can be done, but I would be happy to share my experience with anyone who would like to help make things better for everyone, not just one group of incoming students.

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