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Students and Families: Applications Now Open for Grants and Scholarships

Eugene, Oregon | The Higher Education Coordinating Commission, Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) encourages students statewide to apply now for grants and scholarships at OregonStudentAid.gov. OSAC awards more than $80 million each year in state-funded grants and privately funded scholarships to help students meet their college expenses. More than 500 privately funded scholarship opportunities are available to eligible Oregon students with a wide range of interests and needs, in addition to the state-administered Oregon Promise and the Oregon Opportunity Grant.

OSAC SCHOLARSHIPS: Students must apply online at OregonStudentAid.gov and submit a completed OSAC scholarship application and all other required materials by March 1 at 5:00 p.m. Students may explore over 500 scholarships and apply for up to 40 with one application, and there is no cost to apply. Scholarship funds are available for graduating high school seniors, college undergraduate and graduate students, GED and homeschooled students, community college and vocational school students, single parents returning to school, and more. Students who submit their applications by February 15 at 5:00 pm may be entered in a drawing to win a $1,000 OSAC Early Bird scholarship.

OREGON PROMISE: Current high school seniors and GED recipients can now apply for the Oregon Promise grant, which covers some or all tuition at Oregon community colleges. Students must enroll in a community college within 6 months of graduating from an Oregon high school or receiving a GED. Minimum GPA and GED requirements apply. Visit OregonStudentAid.gov for eligibility details and rolling application deadlines or see the Oregon Promise fact sheet here. Students who graduate from high school early in fall 2016 (between July 1 and December 1, 2016) who plan to attend community college in Winter 2017 must apply for the Oregon Promise by December 1. Students in the high school class of 2017 who plan to attend community college in Fall 2017 must apply by July 1; those who apply by April 1 will receive early notifications. See the fact sheet above for additional details on applications and eligibility. This funding opportunity is subject legislative approval in 2017.

OREGON OPPORTUNITY GRANT AND OTHER STATE AND FEDERAL AID: The Oregon Opportunity Grant is Oregon’s largest state-funded, need-based grant program that helps students pay for college at public community colleges, public universities and participating private institutions statewide. Students should complete either the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA) for the upcoming school year. The ORSAA is Oregon’s alternative to the FAFSA for students who are not U.S. citizens nor eligible non-citizens, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students. OSAC uses data from the FAFSA or the ORSAA to determine students’ eligibility for the Oregon Promise, the Oregon Opportunity Grant, and numerous scholarships. Information from the FAFSA is also used to determine eligibility for federal aid, including the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loans, and Federal Work-Study.

To take advantage of scholarship and grant opportunities, visit OregonStudentAid.gov to begin an application or learn more about all available grants, scholarships, and other financial aid. Also see Plan and Pay for College on the HECC website.

Endi Hartigan, Communications and Policy Specialist | Office: 503-378-6769 | Cell: 971-701-4032 | endi.hartigan@state.or.us
Source: Bob Brew, Deputy Executive Director and Director of Office of Student Access and Completion | bob.k.brew@state.or.us

Time to turn back the clocks and let your light shine!

Be Seen. Be Safe. Dress bright morning and night

As daylight saving time ends Sunday morning, Nov. 6, TriMet and our partners want to remind everybody to turn clocks back an hour, change the batteries in smoke detectors and increase safety when walking and biking.

During the darker months, TriMet encourages our riders to “Be Seen. Be Safe.” Wear light or bright colors, add reflectors and/or reflective accessories and use safety lights. These steps are proven to increase safety. Also, make sure you can see as well. Look up and don’t let hoods, scarves or umbrellas block your view as you scan both ways when safely crossing streets and tracks. And for drivers, use extra caution in dark hours and rainy conditions, and always be on the lookout for cyclists and pedestrians.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released data showing traffic deaths rose in 2015 by 7.2 percent over the prior year, ending a 5-decade long trend of declining fatalities.

TriMet and partner street teams will be out and about throughout the region the week of November 7, handing out safety lights to riders.

Be Seen. Be Safe. Tips

Wear light or bright colorsbe-seen-be-safe-2
Research shows a pedestrian in dark clothing will not be seen by a driver until they are 55 feet away, giving the driver less than one second of reaction time. When walking or biking in the dark hours, go with light-colored or bright coats. Or, light or bright accessories such as scarves, hats, gloves, shoes and backpacks can help you be seen.

Add reflectors/reflective accessories
According to the Federal Highway Administration, studies have shown that the risk of being hit by a motorist in the dark is eight times lower when wearing a safety reflector. Companies make hats, coats, bags and other apparel/items with reflective elements. Or add reflective tape, stickers or reflectors to your backpack, coat or bike. Reflective vests can be found at local construction supply stores and can be an inexpensive alternative.

Use safety lights
Safety lights are the best way to see and be seen. Use lights freely whether on a bike or flashing blinky lights attached to clothing or bags. Many products, such as armbands, hats and vests, come with lights in them. Carrying a flashlight can be helpful too.

For more safety tips go to trimet.org/beseen.

Help our bus operators spot you

Before you head out for the bus stop, think about your visibility. At some stops during the dark morning and evening hours, it can be difficult for our bus operators to spot riders. Wave a reflector, wear a safety blinky light, have a small flashlight or use your cell phone display to alert the operator as a bus approaches. Some mobile devices and mobile apps, including the free TriMet Tickets app, have a strobe or light feature for this purpose. Please do not shine flashlights or bright lights in operators’ eyes. It can also be helpful to wave as the bus approaches.

Night Stop gets riders closer to destinations after dark

TriMet’s Night Stop allows bus operators to drop riders off along the route between bus stops — if it’s safe to do so. Here’s how Night Stop works:

  • Between 8 p.m and 5 a.m., in neighborhoods outside Portland City Center and Lloyd District, ask your operator if it is possible to be dropped off at a non-designated stop along the route.
  • Make the request a block or two ahead of where you would like to get off the bus.
  • Your operator will determine if there is safe spot to deboard; if unsafe, the operator may drop you at an alternate spot, if possible.
  • If the bus turns left in the same block as the requested stop, the drop-off will be after turn is made.

Contact: Lauren Parker
Phone: 503-962-6434
Email: parkerl@trimet.org

Oregon Afterschool Conference


Join OregonASK at Chemeketa Commnity College in Salem on October 22, 2016 for the Oregon Afterschool Conference! This year’s theme of Stepping Into the Future will support program directors and front line staff to continually improve and and innovate within their afterschool and summer programs. All participants will be able to choose between a variety of 1-3 hour workshops that explore dozens of topics related to afterschool, summer and informal education.

Workshop Topics Include:

  • Social-Emotional Learning
  • Family Engagement
  • Cultural Conversations
  • Health & Wellness
  • Technology
  • Academic & Enrichment
  • Tools & Resources

Check out the conference brochure for a full list of sessions and register now to join us for the whole day for only $99!

Building Early Learning Partnerships for a Strong Foundation in Education

shutterstock_210283747-resizedThe Early Learning Division invites you to participate in an upcoming conference titled Building Early Learning Partnerships for a Strong Foundation in Education. This conference, which will bring providers of early learning services and K-3 educators together for a shared professional learning experience, will take place on November 17-18, 2016 at the Portland Airport Sheraton.

The overarching theme for this event is building capacity to support children’s social-emotional development as a key component of school readiness and academic success. Areas of emphasis will include engaging families as partners in children’s learning and development, P-3 professional learning communities, and strengthening developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive practice.

We are excited to feature two exceptional keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Alisha Moreland, Executive Director of Oregon Health Sciences University’s Avel Gordly Center for Healing
  • Dr. Melanie Berry from the University of Oregon’s Center for Translational Neuroscience.

Both Dr. Moreland and Dr. Berry bring deep expertise in how trauma affects children’s early brain development and how adults can best support children who have experienced traumatic events in their young lives.

Visit COSA’s website for more information and to register.

A limited number of scholarships are available to support early learning providers to participate in this conference. These scholarships will cover the full cost of conference registration. 

Please contact Brett Walker with the Early Learning Division at brett.walker@state.or.us or by phone at 503.378.5160 with any questions you have.

We look forward to seeing you in November!

Preschool Promise, Oregon’s Free Preschool Program, Begins This Month

Vale, Oregon’s education service districts first day of Preschool Promise.

Early Learning Hubs across the State Will Implement Preschool Promise

(Salem, Ore.) – Oregon’s innovative free preschool program, Preschool Promise, begins this month with rolling starting dates across the state. Oregon’s mixed delivery preschool pilot supports children and families living at 200 percent of the poverty level. Preschool Promise will reach approximately 1,300 children in Oregon.

“Economic status should not get in the way of building a solid foundation for any young learner,” Governor Kate Brown said. “Preschool Promise is a critical step in addressing this persistent equity gap in our education system so that all students have access to the supports and learning they need to thrive.”

In 2015, the Oregon Legislature enacted House Bill 3380, the creation of a new, publicly-funded, high quality preschool system. The model leverages high-quality, local and culturally-relevant early child care and education programs. By incorporating a “mixed delivery” approach, the preschool model will provide opportunities for families to access and choose the preschool program which best meets their needs. The Early Learning Division developed the model, the implementation process, and worked with community partners to create access for children to preschool.

“None of this would have been possible without four years of building an early learning system focused on kids and families,” said Pam Curtis, chair of the Early Learning Council. “We are moving to the next frontier of quality preschool for children who are furthest from opportunity.”

The Early Learning Hubs applied in early 2016 to implement Preschool Promise and recommendations were presented to the Early Learning Council for its vote at the March meeting. The five regional hubs selected are: Eastern Oregon Early Learning Hub, Marion Polk Early Learning Hub, Lane Early Learning Alliance, Southern Oregon Early Learning Services, South Central Oregon Hub and the Northwest Regional Hubs that include NW Regional, Early Learning Multnomah, Early Learning Washington County and Clackamas County.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the applications submitted for Preschool Promise in Malheur and Baker Counties,” said Kelly Poe, director of community based services for the Malheur Education Service District. “With fewer preschool options for local families, Preschool Promise generated hope and excitement. In a region that experiences some of the highest poverty in Oregon, Preschool Promise has provided access for 50 children who would not have access to preschool otherwise.”

Media Contact: Karol Collymore, (503) 930-1434


LOGO (2)

Text-to-911 planning and implementation is underway in Oregon and Southwest Washington, and should be available throughout Oregon in the next 24 months. The Portland-Metropolitan Region implemented an interim pilot project to receive text-to-911 messages, and after months of successful testing, went live on August 23, 2016.

The National Emergency Number Association slogan is “Call if You Can, Text if You Can’t,” which means calling should still be the primary method for reaching a Public Safety Telecommunicator. Text-to-911 should be used  by those who are unable to speak during an emergency, such as persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, have a speech impediment, or who are unable to verbally communicate safely. This service is free, and is a text-only service.

For more information, please visit the Text-to-911 website.

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