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Matthew Gorby, transfer student, University of Massachusetts

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Matthew Gorby is a physics student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a 2004 graduate of PCC. Before his college career, he was living in Brooklyn, New York, when he decided he wanted to start school. With living costs in New York high, Gorby returned to Oregon to start his education. Gorby says PCC’s education was invaluable and without it he might be bartending rather than studying for a physics degree.

"PCC more than prepared me," he said. "I’ve taken a few 100-level classes since I transferred and the differences between PCC and a large state school are glaring. Especially at the introductory level, it is imperative to have a professor dedicated to teaching. PCC has amply prepared me for everything I have encountered so far."

It was also the relationships he developed with his instructors at PCC that left the biggest impression, he says. His advice for young, incoming freshmen is to generate a relationship with their teachers, who can be great sources of knowledge for guiding their educational career.

His days at PCC may be over, but the effect of the college continues in things he does. The Salem native volunteers at his local high school as a physics and math tutor, and at his local public radio station WFCR. He says that while PCC may not be a traditional start to college, it has educational tools that are every bit as effective as any higher educational institution.

"Examine your motivations for going to school," Gorby concluded. "If you’re concerned about quality don’t hesitate to start classes at PCC; for the amount you pay in tuition, the education is unreal. My successes at UMass can be traced directly to my time at PCC."

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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