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Early College Access Project

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    Angela Nusom

Peel away the layers of the Early College Access Advocacy Project, one of 14 projects taking place through the newly launched Center for Community Engagement at Lewis & Clark’s Graduate School of Education and Counseling, and what emerges is a picture of students and professionals converging around a shared desire to create lasting change in the lives of young people who were once thought to have limited opportunities for success.

Angela Nusom is an Ed.D. candidate in Lewis & Clark’s Education and Leadership Program as well as a faculty member at Centennial Learning Center, an alternative high school in East Portland. Driven by a desire to better her students’ lives, she decided to develop a project to help them overcome barriers to college access.

Nusom forged a partnership with Mollie Galloway, director of research and assessment, and Andraé Brown, assistant professor of counseling psychology. Together, they created a curriculum that would guide students to explore the fundamental question: Why do some students go to college and others not?

“I didn’t think college was for me until someone actually started believing in me,” says 18-year-old Jessica Willis, one of 10 Centennial students who participate in the weekly program at Lewis & Clark. Willis now has 50 college credits and hopes to attend Lewis & Clark as an undergraduate this fall. “Now I can help other alternative school students realize they’re capable of college too.”

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