Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Rise to Teach

Program Coordinator: Kara Huynh Stone | Cascade Campus, Cascade Hall 109


Program Overview

Rise to Teach is a partnership initiative between PCC, Portland State University (PSU), Portland Public Schools (PPS), and Beaverton School District (BSD). With a special focus on recruiting culturally and/or linguistically diverse, underrepresented students to the teaching profession, the program offers a supported, affordable college pathway to a career as a licensed K-12 teacher.

PCC Graduation Building on the successful foundations of the Portland Teachers Program that began in 1989, Rise to Teach is committed to social justice, equity in education, and the development of culturally-responsive teachers with diverse backgrounds and experiences who will start their careers in Portland and Beaverton public schools.

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PCC, PSU degree path

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The program offers full-time students committed to a teaching career a tuition-free path to a bachelor’s degree, starting at PCC and finishing at PSU. After earning their bachelor’s degree, students would then apply to PSU’s one-year Graduate Teacher Education Program and offered 50% tuition assistance for completion of a master’s degree and earn their Preliminary Teaching License. After successfully completing the program, students will apply for a position at either PPS or BSD, and will commit to at least 3 years employment if hired. Scholarships are annually renewable, based on students meeting program requirements and available funding.

Interested in Special Education? Students could choose PSU’s bachelor’s degree in Special Education and earn a Preliminary Teaching License with an endorsement in special education, without needing to complete the graduate program.

What does it mean to be a part of the Rise to Teach program?

Beyond tuition scholarships, the program includes:

  • Additional advising and academic support resources.
  • Participation in a collaborative learning community and part of a supportive peer network. Students attend orientations, regularly scheduled workshops, and other program events.
  • Development of professional skills and access to mentoring from experienced educators while a student.
  • Leadership development and opportunities to gain deeper understanding of your own and others’ culture and identities, antiracist and anti-bias practices, and knowledge of education equity work.
  • Additional support in preparation for the job search process from PPS and BSD.

Program eligibility (2022-23 Academic Year)

Note: This program is for students who DO NOT have a bachelor’s degree yet. These are some of the eligibility requirements, please contact the Program Coordinator for more details and full program requirements.

  • Be enrolled or able to enroll as a full-time PCC student (students accepted in the program will need to be able to take a full-time student course load/minimum 12 credits per term).
  • Be a resident of Oregon, and a U.S. citizen or have permanent resident status or be a DACA recipient.
  • Be a high school graduate or have a GED®.
  • Have a minimum 2.5 overall GPA at time of application. This will be the most current cumulative GPA if you have taken college courses; or your high school GPA if you have no college experience.
  • Have some volunteer or paid experience working with children/teens, engaging in learning activities.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to cross-cultural learning, and be an advocate for equity in education.
  • Must begin the program as a PCC student. If students already have college credits, they are only eligible to join the program if they still have at least 36 credits remaining to complete at PCC before transferring to PSU to complete their upper division credits.*
    *However, for the 2022-23 academic year, we will be accepting a limited number of applicants who will be students in PSU’s Special Education Bachelor’s Degree program in Fall 2022. Students have to apply and be admitted to the Special Education Bachelor’s Degree program.


Contact Program Coordinator Kara Huynh Stone for more information.