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HECC grants PCC $90,000 to support key collaboration that is closing equity gaps

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Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) has awarded three Talent, Innovation and Equity (TIE) sub-grants totaling $220,000 with Portland Community College receiving the largest award.

TIE sub-grants, funded by a 2018 Lumina Foundation grant, support partnerships between Oregon higher education institutions and culturally-specific community-based nonprofit organizations to foster postsecondary education success for Oregon underrepresented students of color. The funding is intended to help close disparities in postsecondary success rates between Oregon’s overall student population and African Americans, Latinx, Indigenous and Pacific Islander learners. The sub-grants are one component of a suite activities to close these equity gaps, an initiative supported by the Talent, Innovation, and Equity (“TIE”) partnership national grant awarded to HECC in 2018 by Lumina Foundation.

Student Braa Aldebi works on a problem with her classmates.
Yes To Equitable Student Success (YESS)
    • PCC is steering its diverse student population to better completion rates through guided pathways, better support services and an intuitive advising redesign.
    • Diversity, equity and inclusion is a key component to YESS to insure the equity gap is bridged.

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The grants were awarded to Portland Community College, Portland State University and Treasure Valley Community College for innovative new collaborations with community-based organizations (CBOs) that have strong expertise serving diverse communities with culturally-specific programming.

PCC was awarded $90,000 to collaborate with Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center and Rosemary Anderson High School. This partnership is a minority-led nonprofit organization in Northeast and Southeast Portland providing education, mentoring, family outreach, employment training, and job placement. The grant to PCC will support activities focused on key transition pathways from high school to college through a scholars program designed for students of color, as well as relationship building with students, staff and faculty.

In addition, HECC granted $75,000 to the Indigenous Nations Studies Department of Portland State University and awarded $55,000 to Treasure Valley CC in Ontario.

Ben Cannon, executive director of the HECC, said, “We are thrilled to support these innovative partnerships between PCC, PSU, and TVCC and culturally-specific community organizations. The promising work they have proposed to foster college access and success for students of color will help us close the unacceptable equity gaps we see in Oregon today. Through this grant program, we hope to shine a light on the tremendous potential in forming creative partnerships between colleges and community-based organizations that have long offered trusted programming.”

Oregon has one of the most ambitious state goals for improving educational attainment in the nation. However, the state has significant disparities between attainment of Oregonians who are from historically underrepresented populations of color and those who are white. In 2018, the percentage of adults age 25 and older with a postsecondary credential was 46.4% for African Americans, 30.4% for Latinx people, 34.8% for Native Americans and 39.9% for Pacific Islanders, compared to 54.4% for whites.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, is the Public Relations Manager at Portland Community College. A graduate of Portland State University, James has worked as a section editor for the Newberg Graphic, Wo... more »