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 diverse, underrepresented students to the teaching profession, the program offers a supported, affordable college pathway to a career as a licensed K-12 teacher.

Students at PCC GraduationBuilding 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.

Students start program at PCC. 2 Years at PCC + 2 Years at PSU for bachelor's degree, then 1 year Graduate Teacher Education Program

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. Students could complete either PSU’s elementary education, SPED, or bilingual teacher bachelor’s degree programs leading to a teaching license. I they are interested in teaching other subjects, they can apply to PSU’s one-year Graduate Teacher Education Program, which offers 50% tuition assistance for the completion of a master’s degree, and earn their teaching license. After successfully completing their degree, students commit to applying for a teaching position at either PPS or BSD. Scholarships are annually renewable, based on students meeting program requirements and available funding.

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 a 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

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.

  • Student is a resident of Oregon and a U.S. citizen, has permanent resident status, or is a DACA recipient.
  • Student is ethnically diverse or a heritage speaker whose first language is not English (using the definition of diverse from ORS 342.433). The RTT Program is aligned with the goals of the state’s Educator Equity Act in diversifying our teaching workforce by recruiting applicants who meet the definition below (from ORS 342.433). “Diverse” means culturally or linguistically diverse characteristics of a person, including:
    • Origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa but is not Hispanic;
    • Hispanic culture or origin, regardless of race;
    • Origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands;
    • Origins in any of the original peoples of North America, including American Indians or Alaskan Natives; or
    • A first language that is not English.
  • 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 of 12 credits per term).
  • Be a high school graduate or have a GED®.
  • Have a minimum 2.5 overall GPA at the 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 and engaging in learning activities.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to cross-cultural learning, and be an advocate for equity in education.

Starting the program as a PCC student: If students already have college credits, they are eligible to join the program if they have at least 3 more terms at PCC before transferring to PSU.


Contact Program Coordinator Kara Huynh Stone for more information.

Applications for Fall 2024

Applications are now closed for Fall 2024. You can submit an interest form to learn more about the 2025 application process and schedule an info meeting with the program coordinator.