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Dept. of Education grants PCC $942,760
Photos and Story by James Hill
PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Community College has earned a sizable grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help first-generation, low-income students succeed. The Sylvania ROOTS Program, based at the Sylvania Campus, has been awarded a four-year, $942,760 million TRIO Student Support Services grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The program will receive $235,690 in year one, with similar amounts anticipated in subsequent years until 2009. "This funding allows PCC to continue to provide essential services to some of our neediest students," said Miriam Friedman, ROOTS director. "Building upon the success of our first four years, this grant helps the college achieve our mission of providing quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to district residents." The money will be well spent if the program’s history is any indication. Since 2001, students in the program have persisted at a rate more than 60 percent higher than their TRIO grant-eligible peers who are not in the program. Eighty-percent of the students return for their next year of college (compared to 48 percent for all Sylvania Campus degree seeking students). Fifty-six ROOTS students received academic awards during the 2004-05 school year and have maintained a cumulative 3.10 grade-point average. Since its inception, students have accessed more than $400,000 in scholarships. Each year of the grant, the program will provide 170 more students with critical student support services in order to help them graduate and transfer. Services will include developing tailored academic plans; intensive advising and monitoring; financial aid assistance; student success courses; peer mentoring; visiting four-year colleges and universities; and organizing cultural enrichment activities. "The services ROOTS provides for students are truly helping to make their dreams of a college degree come true," Friedman added. For more information, contact Miriam Friedman, Director of ROOTS, at 503-977-8192.