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PCC Announces Free, Flexible School Opportunities for Non-Native Youth
Photos and Story by James Hill
Portland Community College’s Multicultural Academic Program has opportunities for non-native students who want to learn or improve their English skills and work toward a high school diploma or GED at PCC. The MAP program is holding orientations for students during March, with classes starting on April 2. Students need to be between the ages of 16 and 20, have some reading ability in English, not currently attending high school, and live within the boundaries of Portland, David Douglas, Beaverton, Tigard-Tualatin, Newberg, Hillsboro, and Forest Grove School Districts. Classes are held at various times, are free of charge, and are held at the following locations: in Portland at the Southeast Center, 2850 S.E. 82nd; the Portland Metropolitan Workforce Training Center at 5600 N.E. 42nd Ave.; and in Beaverton at the Capital Center, 18624 N.W. Walker RD.Linda Huddle, director of PCC’s alternative high school programs, said the MAP program at PCC focuses on "second-language learners who have either never enrolled in public school, or have enrolled but have not been successful in the traditional school environment."The factors that prevent their success are usually threefold, Huddle said. "Most of our ESL (English as a Second Language) students have to work to help support their families or themselves and the high school hours conflict with their work schedule. Or, they can experience cultural isolation in the traditional high school setting. Another factor is the age range. The students are often older, 18 to 20, so they don’t fit in."At PCC, the program is set up for students so they can either go to school from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., from 1 to 4 p.m., or from 6 to 9 p.m. Huddle also said that the college has set up multi-level classes so students can be placed in a class that is consistent with their ability. Interested students may contact PCC’s Alternative Programs at 503-788-6141.