Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

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Juan Villanueva

ROOTS graduate, Juan Villanueva

Why am I getting e-mails from ROOTS?

The ROOTS Program sends out e-mails at the beginning of every term to the instructors of our students. We would like to let instructors know about the resources available to program participants and to faculty and staff working with our students. If a ROOTS Program student is having difficulty in a course you teach please contact the program, let us know what is going on, and we will see if we can help. Also, if a student is experiencing great success in your class, please drop us a line so that we can reinforce that success with the student.

What about students’ privacy and FERPA?

Upon entry into the program, students sign a consent form letting them know that we will be communicating with other college faculty and staff to support students educational career at PCC.

Do you have an advisory committee?

Yes, we are very fortunate to be working with a committed group of PCC employees who help us monitor program implementation and recommend necessary improvements. The advisory committee has representation from the Advising and Admissions, Counseling, College Success Skills Department, English and Modern Languages Division, Financial Aid, Math Department, the Multicultural Center, Office for Students with Disabilities, Institutional Effectiveness, and the Women’s Resource Center. If you would like to join the advisory committee, please contact Michele Cruse on the Sylvania Campus, or Dr. Clare Oliveros at Cascade.



Does ROOTS pay for college?

The ROOTS Program does not pay for college or give students money (scholarships, etc.) for school. However, the program helps students learn about available resources and options for paying for school. When ROOTS students successfully complete the ROOTS Program required classes and are in good academic standing, the ROOTS Program may pay for a maximum of three credits in the term after they complete the second class. Not all students are eligible. Please see the ROOTS Program Director for further eligibility criteria. 

When is the last day I can pay my bill?

Your PCC bill is always due in full the first Friday of the term. If you register after that date payment is due within one week. Payment plans are available. Please visit the Paying in Installments web page.

I heard the program is a grant for students?

Unfortunately, the program is not a grant for students. The program is a federally funded through the US Department of Education. We provide support services to students to help them finish school at PCC and make a successful transition to their next steps in life, school and career.

Does the program pay for childcare?

The program does not pay for childcare costs. However, we work closely with Child Care Services to help students identify available resources.

Financial Aid

How do I get financial aid?

The first step in receiving financial aid is filling out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form which can be picked up at the financial aid office or can be accessed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov

What should I do if I get a financial aid disqualification letter?

As is true with any information that you receive from the Financial Aid Office, please respond immediately to it. If you receive a disqualification letter please contact your ROOTS Program advisor immediately. Your advisor will guide you through the financial aid appeal process.


How do I get childcare?

Sylvania campus has a Child Development Center for children who are between the ages of 14 months to five years old. Call 971-722-4424 or visit HT 220 between 8am – 4pm for more information on the Child Development Center. For children of other ages, visit the Women's Resource Center on the Sylvania Campus in CC 273, or call 971-722-4651 for referrals to off-campus providers and/or subsidy assistance . 

Where do I get counseling? 

PCC's free, professional counseling services can help you solve problems and develop your academic and personal potential. They can help with career development and exploration, learning problems, study skills, personal issues, and assessing your abilities, interests and values. At Cascade, the Counseling Office is located in SS 150. At Sylvania, counselors are in the CC Building, room 216 next to River City Café.

How do I get a tutor?

There are a wide variety of tutoring services on campus and online. See Tutoring Services.


What kinds of classes do you teach in the ROOTS Program?

The ROOTS Program requires program participants to take three, specially tailored classes designed to help students succeed in college. Classes come from the Career Help & College Success department, are college level courses, apply to many of the Associate degrees, and will transfer as electives to most four-year schools in Oregon.

Who pays for the classes?

The ROOTS Program pays the tuition cost for students taking the required classes for the program.

Will I have to do homework for the classes?

Yes, there will be homework for the ROOTS Program classes. As a general rule, in college you can expect to have 2 hours of homework for every 1 hour of class time.

What if I have already taken these classes?

There will be some topics that overlap with other CG classes, but new information will also be presented. Our curriculum has been designed to specifically address the needs of low income, first generation college students, and students with disabilities. Please talk with your ROOTS Advisor or the Director for more information.


What can the ROOTS Program do for me?

The ROOTS Program supports students while pursuing their education at PCC. Through services like individualized academic advising, financial aid & scholarship information, career planning, college visits, degree and transfer planning, and meeting other students striving for success, the program wants to help you be successful. We also make referrals to reading, writing and math tutoring in addition to assisting students in accessing off-campus resources.

What do I have to do to be a part of the ROOTS Program?

To see if you are eligible for the ROOTS Program please fill out an application. If you would like to fill out an application on campus, you may stop by the office at the Sylvania Campus, CC Building, Room 225. (For Cascade students, please attend one of our information orientations or contact Dr. Clare Oliveros) You may also call 977-722-8195 to ask for an application to be sent to you in the mail. After your application has been turned into the program, ROOTS staff will contact you to talk more about your interest in the program. Be sure to check your MyPCC email!

How do I get in?

See the ROOTS Admission web page for eligibility and application information.

How long is the program?

The ROOTS Program supports eligible students for up to four years. During the first year in the program, students are required to take three mandatory classes. Students work with program staff to develop a long term education plan, and then follow that plan for the time they are at PCC. Students continue to meet with their assigned advisor twice each term for as long as they are in the program. 

Is there a fee for the program?

Thanks to funding from the Department of Education and support from PCC, there is no fee for students in the program.

Why is there a ROOTS Program?

Funding for the ROOTS Program was authorized by the Higher Education Act of 1965. It is part of a funding umbrella called "TRiO" programs, and it is a Student Support Services program. Our goal is to help low-income and first generation college student and individuals with disabilities graduate from college. Portland Community College applied for and was given a grant to run the program.

Are there two ROOTS Programs?

Yes and No. Initially, ROOTS was only funded by the TRiO to provide services to students on the Sylvania Campus. Beginning in 2010, however, the ROOTS Program is now available for students attending PCC on the Cascade Campus. Sylvania serves 170 students per year, Cascade serves 140.

Are there leadership opportunities? If so, will I get paid?

Yes, there are leadership opportunities through the ROOTS Program. Second year ROOTS Program students can apply for student mentor positions. 

Student mentors offer a consistent, structured, stable relationship between themselves and a mentee (person being mentored). This involves a commitment of meeting with mentees for at least one hour per week for one full term. The focus of the relationship is to provide the mentee with information, skills and resources that will lead him/her to academic success and independence. Student mentor positions are paid positions. 

Please speak with a ROOTS Program staff for further eligibility requirements for leadership positions.

Is this a club?

Though not a club, the ROOTS Program is a student support services program. Program participants are required to fulfill certain responsibilities for continued participation in the program, and students are in the program for as long as they are attending PCC and want our services.

Is TRiO/ROOTS at other schools?

Yes, there are other programs like the ROOTS at other colleges and universities. The official name given to our program by the Department of Education is Student Support Services, which is a type of TRiO grant. Therefore at other schools there may be similar programs, but may have different names like "Student Support Services" or "TRiO". Students in our program came up with our program name as a way to more clearly describe what we do. If you plan on moving on to another institution the ROOTS Program would be happy to help investigate if the future school has a similar program.