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The Collins Foundation Awards PNCA $30,000 to Support Student Persist and Thrive Initiative

Release date: 03/13/12

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March 15, 2012

Lisa Radon, Communications Specialist
Pacific Northwest College of Art, 971 255 5528

Becca Biggs, Director of Communications
Pacific Northwest College of Art, 971 255 5511

The Collins Foundation Awards PNCA $30,000 to Support Student Persist and Thrive Initiative

Portland, OR – March 15, 2012 – Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) has been awarded a $30,000 grant from The Collins Foundation in support of PNCA’s Persist and Thrive initiative to increase enrollment and retention of students and to support core student services. Persist and Thrive is a collaborative effort that reaches across PNCA offices critical to all aspects of student engagement. As targeted efforts to recruit students from underserved communities intensify, PNCA is working to improve academic assistance, increase counseling and mentorship capacities, offer meaningful opportunities for students to connect with peers, and ultimately, ensure academic success for students of all abilities and backgrounds. Through Persist and Thrive, PNCA aims to shape a student body that is talented, diverse, and thriving, thus building alumni who can become key participants in their creative and business communities.

PNCA’s enrollment has been increasing at a brisk pace, doubling in the past eight years. The College is expecting to enroll 1,000 students by 2018. Along the way, PNCA has maintained small class sizes and an individualized approach to learning with faculty deeply engaged with students both in and out of the classroom and studio. PNCA has thoughtfully approached growth to maintain the strong sense of supportive community that students identify as being a reason for choosing PNCA.

As part of its planned growth, PNCA has increased its outreach efforts to under-represented populations via a number of initiatives. This has resulted in steady growth in the diversity of the student population.

In order to provide further support for students as enrollment increases PNCA has taken a number of steps under the Persist and Thrive initiative. In Fall 2010, Victor Maldonado was hired as the College’s first Inclusions Specialist to support successful inclusion for all members of the College’s expanding community into the College culture, especially those from under-represented populations. Maldonado helps students form strategies for success at every point of their academic careers by offering targeted workshops, facilitating informal gatherings to forge connections between students, and providing one-on-one mentoring. In Fall 2011, the College hired Kavin Buck as its first Vice President for Enrollment Services. Buck, coming to PNCA from UCLA’s School of the Arts and Architecture, brings expertise and leadership in building a comprehensive enrollment services program. And since 2010, Kate Copeland has been strengthening Career Services, connecting students to work study opportunities, research tools, grant workshops, and counseling to build professional skills during their college experience, and ultimately find gainful employment upon graduation. Through Persist and Thrive, the College shapes a student body that is talented, diverse, and thriving, thus building alumni that become key participants in their creative and business communities.

“PNCA’s goal is to reach out to underserved communities to offer a successful experience to a wide range of potential students,” says Vice President of Enrollment Services Kavin Buck. “We are determined, through a coordinated effort of academic initiatives and enrollment services, to assist these students in realizing a complete college experience from first year to graduation and thanks to the support of The Collins Foundation, we are another step closer to meeting that goal.”

The Collins Foundation exists to improve, enrich, and give greater expression to the religious, educational, cultural, and scientific endeavors in the state of Oregon and to assist in improving the quality of life in the state. The Collins Foundation is also a 75th anniversary sponsor of the Museum of Contemporary Craft in partnership with Pacific Northwest College of Art.

About Pacific Northwest College of Art
PNCA prepares students for a life of creative practice and has been an influential force in art and design education in the Pacific Northwest since its founding in 1909. Today PNCA enrolls over 600 students in 15 undergraduate and graduate programs, and another 1,500 students through its continuing education programs. Since its founding in 1909, Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) has become a leader in innovative educational programs that connect students to a global perspective in the visual arts and design. In addition to its 10 Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees, PNCA offers five graduate degrees under the auspices of its Ford Institute for Visual Education (FIVE): an MFA in Visual Studies, a Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies, an MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research, an MFA in Collaborative Design, and an MFA in Applied Craft and Design developed with the Oregon College of Art and Craft, the first inter-institutional degree of its kind in the US.

PNCA is actively involved in Portland’s cultural life through exhibitions and a vibrant public program of lectures and internationally recognized visiting artists, designers and creative thinkers. The Portland Monthly, in its January 2012 issue, called PNCA the “crown jewel of Portland’s creative class.” With the support of FIVE, the College has an operating partnership with the nationally acclaimed Museum of Contemporary Craft. For more information, visit

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