Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College


College success program for men of color and marginalized males

RISE: reaching independence supporting engagement
The R.I.S.E. program is targeted to support marginalized males in their success at PCC Cascade Campus. The program helps male students become aware of negative social constructs that can interfere with life plans.

Student graduating

Structure of the program

The program creates a cohort-like experience for students. This includes creating individualized plans for all aspects of a student’s life: your academic path, your career path, your financial well-being, and your overall life plan.

Students take preparatory courses in:

  • College Survival and Success
  • Financial Survival
  • Career and Life Planning.
Unpack social constructs

Students will also participate in a group experience that aims to unpack systems of oppression that have been socially constructed and which have negatively impacted marginalized male goal attainment. These social constructs include male socialization, hegemony, patriarchy, toxic masculinity, criminality, race, identity, and sexuality. Many marginalized males are unaware of the social forces at play that consistently reinforce negative stereotypes, stifle emotional growth, and impede successful societal integration. Without knowledge of the forces at play, males tend to suffer in silence and respond to the world in self-destructive ways, including self-medicating, violent behaviors, social isolation, suppression of feelings and depression.

Awareness = understanding

By creating awareness, and sharing experiences, the men will come to understand themselves and their life stories differently, moving from victims of society to survivors, and from survivors to active contributors to society. Through this process of learning and reflecting, the successful completers will obtain college credits to pursue their purpose, armed with education and empowerment to change their life situations, and also improve their communities.

You will gain the following:
  • A better understanding of your academic strengths
  • A better understanding of your goals and how you will achieve them
  • An understanding of how to access resources for academic advising, career advising, and personal support on campus
  • An understanding of how to navigate the college system
  • Improved communication skills
  • Study skills
  • Time management skills
  • Confidence in yourself!

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Meet the facilitator

Stephen MossStephen Moss leads the R.I.S.E. program. Growing up, Stephen learned firsthand about the obstacles met by men of color in the education system. In his journey from the streets of Detroit to an MBA graduate, he's seen the severe levels of discouragement and community barriers that face  marginalized males.  He realizes the need for support in order for these men to achieve their goals in life.

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