St. Helens residents looking to further their education will have the opportunity to take a Portland Community College course for free this fall.
PCC is offering a no-cost adult basic education program with instruction in reading and writing starting next week on Sept. 23.
The classes will be held Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. at the St. Helens WorkSource office, 500 N. Columbia River Highway, Suite 320.
The classes will provide instruction for students to learn basic math, reading and writing skills in order to help prepare for college-level classes, or for students to pass the GED exam, a press release from PCC explained.
Andrew Roessler, a division dean at PCC’s Rock Creek Campus who works with college preparation, noted that nearly 275,000 Oregonians don’t have a high school diploma, and an estimated 442,000 people over the age of 25 are unemployed or make less than $15 an hour in wages. Offering education courses can help prepare people for new opportunities.
“PCC’s Adult Basic Education classes are designed to help students improve their reading and writing skills so they are better prepared for college level classes, to get a better job, and to pass the GED exam,” Roessler said in an email.
PCC is planning to offer the classes to create pre-college education opportunities in Columbia County in conjunction with ongoing efforts to establish advanced manufacturing education in con-
junction with the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center in Scappoose, a press release from the school stated.
PCC has previously offered adult basic education courses in St. Helens, but challenges with enrollment created difficulties in making the classes viable.
A class planned in St. Helens over the summer was ultimately canceled due to low enrollment when only one person signed up, Roessler explained.