PCC Future Connect Maintains Impact During the Pandemic

The city is a proud sponsor of the PCC Future Connect program, which is nationally recognized for its programming to support first generation and low-income students to stay in school and complete a certificate or degree. This scholarship program provides on-going wrap-around services to students and is designed to eliminate barriers and support academic success and retention. Every Future Connect scholar receives a personalized academic advisor as well as access to career guidance, internships, and transfer support. Program participants are 85 percent students of color with close to 90 percent whose EFC (estimated family contribution) is $0.  

Over the past year as the program was forced to go completely remote, PCC Future Connect has shown great success in its adaptations to the pandemic.  

“This last year has been tremendously difficult for all of us and COVID has dramatically changed how we serve our students,” said Josh Laurie, PCC Future Connect Program Director, in a recent presentation to Beaverton City Council. “Yet the basic principles—creating a sense of belonging and culture of care at a large institution—remain the same within the program.” 

Flexibility and innovative strategies such as utilizing an SMS text platform to connect with students and working to get over 100 laptops and hotspots into the hands of graduating high school seniors before summer has helped the program sustain its reputation for impact on students. Over the past year, the program lost just 1 percent of its returning cohort as compared to the national average in community colleges of around 17 percent of students lost. 

The city has sponsored a cohort of 50 Beaverton students each year since 2013. With the city’s support and supplementary state funding, the program has been able to serve 424 Beaverton students since 2013. City support for the PCC Future Connect Program is highlighted as a priority in the Beaverton Community Vision and the City’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan. 

For more information about the program, visit www.pcc.edu/future-connect.