Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

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YESS  we have progress

PCC teams are rising to the equitable student success challenge. Here’s a summary of some current activities:

Guided Pathways

The Subject Area Committees (SACs) with corresponding majors at Portland State University will complete program maps for their disciplines by the end of spring term. This will support student transfer to PSU, our primary transfer partner. Additional program maps to other Oregon universities will follow.

In addition, the Guided Pathways team met with Dr. Rob Johnstone during the all-day YESS summit in April to discuss Pathways models and implementation.  Going forward, the team has begun the discussion around clusters/meta-majors, with the bulk of that work to be developed in fall 2019.

About 20 members of the Guided Pathways team represented PCC at the statewide Guided Pathways Institute held at Chemeketa Community College in May, with PCC joining other community colleges from across the state working on Pathways.

Our goal is to develop PCC’s pathways by June of 2020.

Check out the Guided Pathways video to see why this work is so important.

Advising Redesign

Our professional advisors and coaches have engaged in over 1,700 hours of professional development in support of creating a more equitable, holistic advising program for our students. They are working closely with the Advising Council to ensure the group is providing feedback on the Advising Redesign Initiative as is positioned to help sustain the program into the future. They are also coordinating with the Guided Pathways Team to ensure our two groups are working in tandem to develop a guided pathways program that has clear academic pathways and comprehensive student supports.

New student advising and registration sessions have been scheduled for summer. They will be promoted to admitted students through a range of direct marketing tactics.

Coming fall 2019

  • Assign advisors to all new credit students
  • Implement early alert system
  • Implement new student on-boarding resources

Conversations will soon begin to merge Advising Redesign and Guided Pathways work. The general goals of these teams are to improve our system through:

  • Recommendations around the student experience in terms of course sequences (which will be brought back to SACs)
  • Academic support
  • Advising
  • The placement process
Gateway Courses

Teams have tackled the challenges students and faculty face in:

  • Math
  • Reading & Writing
  • Placement

The math team comprised of 16 faculty, staff and administrators has collaborated to develop recommendations for interventions to improve student success. The reading and writing team is addressing the need for consistent and equitable student support across the college. The  placement team worked through 14 meetings to create the Placement System Recommended Action Plan.

Strategic Course Scheduling

A group of over 50 staff, faculty and administrators are documenting and coordinating our scheduling processes to help inform the next phase of this work.

Data Capacity

The Data and Technology Task Force has made progress on multiple initiatives this year:

  • Began building data capacity with the hiring of a (1-Year Temp) Programmer/Analyst to create future YESS-related ARGOS reports
  • Expanded data literacy development through presentations
    • “Data is Fun!  Best Practices for Use of Data in the Deans’ Enrollment Report”
    • “How to Look at Data – In Community”
    • “On the Same Page – Elements of a Data Story”
  • Finalized YESS metrics with formal definitions underway to inform ARGOS programming
  • Collected feedback in spring YESS Summit breakout session to inform learning and future communication of YESS Metrics
  • Shared Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE) Key Findings shared with President’s Cabinet and Data Team now have login access to further explore college findings, data portal, etc.
Strategic Enrollment Management

Progress is occurring on multiple initiatives:

  1. Identified and prioritized 21 on-the-ground improvements to student on-boarding and advising
  2. Engaged consulting effort to interview, study, research and recommend systemic improvements to improve the college’s enrollment pipelines.
  3. Implemented advanced communication tools to engage with prospective students and improve the admissions process
    1. The student recruitment advertising campaign generates 40% of the leads for Enrollment Rx, and the campaign is continuously refined for improvement
  4. Implemented several small and medium changes to the college website to improve prospective students access to next steps and additional information
  5. Began systemic integration of college program web pages to  begin to funnel inquiries to the recruitment team and program advisors
  6. Expanded on-going outreach efforts to regularly reach out to target student populations. Implemented intensive personal phone call campaigns to reach students in danger of deletion for non-payment – realizing a 50% reduction in deleted students during the first 2 DNP periods.
  7. Marketing and Admission Recruitment Coordinators are collaborating to develop more comprehensive and effective strategies, plans and tactics to communicate with prospective students
  8. A new Tri[Met campaign has been launched to encourage adults to consider taking online classes at PCC
Campus Level Activity

Teams across the college are applying YESS principles and priorities to the specific needs of their locations.

Rock Creek

The PCC Rock Creek YESS Committee has approximately 40 members representing a diverse group of faculty, administrators, staff and students that are actively engaged in supporting the district YESS goals. The RC YESS committee meets regularly and focuses on developing a common understanding around guided pathways, increasing knowledge around PCC data and metrics for student success, and integrating a clear practice of sharing out the key district YESS initiatives as they are incorporated into our campus work.

  • In an effort to collaborate and share information, Rock Creek has members on each of the district workgroups. Campus administration, faculty and staff participate on the Strategic Enrollment Management, Reading/Writing, Math, Guided Pathways, Advising Redesign and YESS data workgroups.
  • One of the key initiatives that Rock Creek is focused on is the Advising Redesign and campus-based focus for successful onboarding of incoming students. Core team members are involved on the Advising Redesign workgroup, advisory members on the rollout of the new advising software, and actively involved in the Early Alert planning group.
  • Concentrating on the creation of a shared understanding, the RC YESS team identified a focus on Achieving the Dream initiatives and the ideas that are transforming community colleges across the nation with guided pathways. A campus wide book club currently meets monthly to discuss best practices and key PCC processes as a team promoting cross-departmental sharing and a culture of knowledge.
  • Embedded in every meeting, RC YESS identifies culturally relevant and campus supported activities that connect students to the YESS work that is critical to their success at PCC.

The Southeast Campus formed the Leadership Council to guide campus engagement and strategy around YESS. This year the Southeast Campus:

  • Integrated YESS initiatives in unit plans
  • Provided opportunities to participate in culturally responsive teaching activities
    • Nearly 73% of all faculty participated

Created an inventory of high-impact teaching practices to eliminate opportunity gaps.


The YESS team has focused on classroom practices supporting equitable student success.


Champion groups for YESS focus areas and associated projects have been established to help make the work more sustainable and ongoing.