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Terry O’Banion, renowned education ‘thought leader,’ visits PCC

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An award-winning leading author and community college advocate stopped by Portland Community College last month to offer a workshop at Rock Creek, followed by a full house-presentation in Sylvania’s Performing Arts Center auditorium.

Terry O’Banion, a nationally acclaimed thought leader on higher education initiatives and the former president of the League for Innovation in the Community College, an international “think tank,” visited the college on May 11. His nearly full-day slate of activities offered insight on the completion agenda as well as student success methodologies that support higher completion and graduation rates. O’Banion shared troubling national trends and statistics including the high percentage of community college students who drop out by the second year, as well as those in need of remedial education upon arriving to college. This was balanced with acknowledgement of the work under way in Oregon and at PCC, specifically, to reverse such trends.

The work of PCC’s completion investment council, the “Panther Path” as a means to guided access for students, and financial literacy advising for incoming students were examples of PCC’s commitment to ensuring higher student completion that O’Banion noted. Additionally, he shared a series of broad principles or guidelines to enlist the help of entire institutions in the effort to improve the odds for student success.


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