Portland Community College pilot program admits all Beaverton High School graduates

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Portland Community College launched a pilot program to admit all graduating seniors from Beaverton High School in an effort to increase access to higher education.

The direct admissions pilot will allow all Beaverton High School and Early College High School graduates from the 2024-25 school year to be directly enrolled at PCC starting in the fall of 2025.

School officials said the program targets vulnerable, and underrepresented students – including low-income, first-generation, foster youth, and students from minority backgrounds.

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“The move is a significant step toward creating equality of opportunity for students in underserved communities,” said PCC Executive Dean for K12 and Community Partnerships Vicky López Sánchez. “By streamlining the admissions process, PCC aims to save students valuable time and remove the potential barrier of a daunting application process. This approach ensures that students, often overwhelmed by the complexities of taking their ‘first step,’ can embark on their educational journey with the assurance of admission to PCC.”

The one-year pilot will eventually expand to include all Beaverton schools and other districts within PCC’s service area, officials said.

According to PCC, the program will help students save time in preparing for admissions, removes potential barriers to higher education during the application process, and can reduce student’s stress while navigating college.

“At the very least, students will know they are admitted to PCC. Staff can help them navigate their next steps to get a successful start at the college and help them explore our career and academic pathway options,” said Bridget Jones, PCC’s director of admissions and recruitment.

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School officials hope the pilot will increase college attendance, bring a sense of belonging in college environments, and provide more access to job training skills.

“The Beaverton School District is pleased to be partnering with PCC on this important pilot project,” said Superintendent Dr. Gustavo Balderas. “We value this opportunity that grants automatic access to college and career training for our graduating seniors, especially those who have been historically underrepresented in higher education. We are hopeful that this new initiative will alleviate some of the stress and struggles associated with the college admissions process for both our students and their families.”

PCC, Oregon’s largest community college, has several partnerships with local school districts, including dual enrollment programs with Portland State University, Oregon State University, Oregon Institute of Technology, and Linfield College.

PCC also offers dual credit agreements with local school districts so students can earn college credit while in high school.

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