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Get Ready for College with PCC's "Summer Start" Program
Photos and Story by Mark Evertz
Portland Community College is offering a basic skills program this summer, beginning July 14 and running through August 28, where students can take a group of courses in a 13-credit block that will help prepare them for college-level material. Classes are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Students will take reading, writing, learning skills, keyboarding and introduction to word processing, and basic math. They will be able to draw on their own life experiences in the writing and reading classes. Each day includes an hour for lunch and an hour to work on individual and group projects, meet with instructors, use the computer or work on assignments.
"The classes are project-based," said Diane Mulligan who directs the program at PCC’s Sylvania Campus in Southwest Portland. "We’ve designed them so that students can acquire the skills, attitudes and tools that will help them succeed in college. Everything in the program is focused on learning and giving students the best possible start in college." Mulligan said Summer Start was patterned after cohort programs at the university. "In many master’s and doctoral programs, the students work as a group and become part of a team. There’s no reason this can’t be available when students start college."
PCC student Brett Murray, age 22, enrolled in basic skills classes spring term. "It gives you a foundation to start from," he said. "I’d been out of school for a few years doing construction work and really needed the basics. I’m glad I took that level so I could slowly ease into the school scene."
Sandy Smith, from Newberg, is going to college for the first time. Smith took PCC’s pre-college classes winter and spring terms. The 39-year-old student said, "I wish it had been offered this way for me when I started last winter. It is a real time-saver to get all of these courses in one chunk." Smith also liked the small classes and the counseling she received from instructors in the College Success Skills department. "The instructors are so supportive and the team they’ve put together is remarkable. They help you plan out your whole career."
Please call PCC’s College Success Skills department at 977-4192 to receive more information about registering for Summer Start.