Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

New Directions

Are you looking for support and community as you adapt to being a college student?

The PCC Rock Creek WRC, College Success and Career Guidance, and Women’s Studies Department collaborate to offer a year-long, strengths-based, student-centered, supportive learning community dedicated to easing the transition to college and career for single parents, first time and returning students, students who have had significant life changes and shifts prior to their return, etc.

This program is for students of all gender-identities, but centers the needs for all women and/or those who identify with the lived experiences of women. The New Directions cohort celebrates a multi-generational model of learning and embraces and celebrates the knowledge that students have acquired through lived, real-world applied experiences and centers those in the classroom.

Though funding that used to provide student’s tuition and fees, transportation, and materials assistance has been cut, we have re-modeled the program. Beginning Fall 2020, The New Directions Program will be offered as a cohort model over three academic terms, with the courses being offered entirely remotely in the fall during COVID and hybrid with an option for entirely remote for those who will be unable to meet at Rock Creek once in-person courses return.

With this cohort model, our goal is to positively impact recruitment, retention, persistence, and completion of already socially and economically challenged populations by giving students the ability to develop a peer relationship over the year, leading to increased motivation for learning, persistence, and ultimately program completion.

What will you learn?

  • Skill development to increase comfort with the virtual and online environment (Zoom, Google, FaceTime, etc)
  • Personality styles and assessment
  • Identity development and diversity
  • Healthy relationships and communication
  • Decision-making and goal setting
  • Confidence and self-efficacy
  • Self-management
  • Self-advocacy
  • Career interest assessment
  • Career research skills
  • Critical analysis of women in society and intersectionality
  • Connection of personal experience with contemporary social and political issues

What’s covered in this sequence?

  • College thriving skills: What do you need to be successful at PCC? Through a reciprocal learning and sharing environment, you will discover what supports you have and how to find them at PCC, in your community, and at home.
  • Online communication: Is it ok to wear PJs during a Zoom meeting? How quickly should I respond to emails? I’m new to social media – how do I communicate about issues important to me?
  • Leadership development: You will develop existing skills, learn new ones, practice in an encouraging environment, and build confidence in who you are.
  • Budgeting: By the end of winter term, you will have an idea of which budgeting formats work for you, and discover tools to continue using in the future.
  • What’s next? You’ll have the opportunity to brainstorm future career paths, shadow classes, connect with professionals, work on resumes, and prepare for interviews.

Additional support services

  • Mentoring and support
  • Leadership and Volunteer Opportunities
  • Academic advising, counseling, and referrals

Meet the instructor

  • Kiera Hansen, MSW (they/them)
  • PCC employee:
    • Rock Creek WRC Coordinator
    • Part-time faculty in College Success and Career Guidance
  • PCC student:
    • Alcohol and Drug Counseling program certificate
  • “Prior to joining the PCC community at the beginning of the 19-20 academic year, I spent 10 years doing community-based work with survivors of trauma. I am so excited to be at PCC, to work with students, and offer what I have found to be fun and accessible tools and methods to support thriving in academia for those who are often left out.”

If you have questions about this course sequence and/or would like to register, contact Kiera.

“You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.” – Angela Davis

Courses in the sequence

  • Fall Term: CG 100 (3 Credits) College Survival and Success (class meets Monday evenings with additional independent learning time to allow for flexibility)
  • Winter Term: CG 130 (2 Credits) Today’s Careers (class meets Monday evenings with additional independent learning time to allow for flexibility)
  • Spring Term: WS 101 (4 credits) Women Studies (with a potential to take differing identity-based courses if this does not fit well)

Admissions process

To be considered for admission, you must complete the following steps:

  • Contact Kiera Hansen, RC WRC Coordinator, to go through the application and interview.
  • Apply for federal financial aid through FAFSA.
  • Take the free PCC college placement test (RC Building 9 Testing Center – call 971-722-7523 for open times).
  • Apply to PCC as a credit student.