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What is Diversity and Multicultural Student Services at PSU?

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Here at Portland State University, we know that diversity is an essential part of student learning and education. The Diversity and Multicultural Student Services (DMSS) is a resource available to all students that honors the diversity of all people by providing resources, assistance and community. 

Due to COVID-19, physical offices are currently closed however there are many online resources for students. There are nine different departments within DMSS:

Disability Resource Center (DRC)

The mission of the DRC is to make university life accessible to students with disabilities. They identify, evaluate and reduce or eliminate barriers to student access and equity. They foster community and create opportunities to promote disability culture.

The DRC has an informative YouTube channel with many videos that explain what they do, how to use their services, and training for PSU faculty and staff to make their work accessible to all.

You can get in contact with an Access Counselor & Consultant or Adaptive Technology Specialist by phone (503-725-4150) or by emailing drc@pdx.edu

Cultural Resource Centers

The Cultural Resource Centers (CRCs) create a student-centered inclusive environment that enriches the university experience. They honor diversity, explore social justice issues, celebrate cultural traditions, and foster student identities, success, and leadership. They provide students with employment as well as volunteer and leadership opportunities. Along with extensive programming, these spaces offer resources such as computer labs, lounge areas, and study spaces. All are welcome!

The CRC has a virtual newsletter to keep you updated. They will be hosting virtual spaces through Zoom and you can check their calendar for events. Students can send an email to cultures@pdx.edu for more information or stay engaged by following their Facebook and Instagram

The centers include:

Pre-College Programs

Upward Bound, a college preparation program for high school students, has been hosted at Portland State University since 1980. It was funded by the U.S. Department of Education as a year-round program designed to improve students' academic and study skills in high school and to develop their career and educational plans. This preparation helps them enter college and succeed in higher education. Educational Talent Search is an educational access and information program sponsored by PSU and also funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Multicultural Retention Services

These services provide academic support, campus navigation, and connections to the community. Many of these provide mentor services or opportunities for scholarships. 

Advising for students is available through Google Hangouts. Send an email to your advisor. If you don’t have an advisor, you can send an email to the program you’re interested in, listed below.

Includes:

  • African American Student Services: Provides academic advising, community, connection to scholarship opportunities, leadership development and connections to on-campus African American student organizations. Email: vvdaul@pdx.edu
  • Asian & Pacific Islander Student Services: Provides academic advising and counseling, access to printers and study spots, scholarship aid, student advocacy and support and opportunities for leadership development. They also provide referrals to API Community Resources and Volunteering Opportunities. Email: michellelee@pdx.edu
  • Native American Student Services: Aims to provide student services to Native American and Alaskan Native students to support academic success. Here you can receive advising, counseling and advocacy. Additionally, you can participate in Financial Aid and Scholarship workshops, leadership development opportunities and get connections to campus life. Email: trevino@pdx.edu
  • Latino/a/x Student Services: Assists students with academic advising, identifying scholarships, career and internship opportunities, connections to on-campus Latino/a/x student organizations, and support for Latino/a/x families. Email: emagana@pdx.edu
  • Diversity Scholarship Program: This is a scholarship program that students can apply for. Preference is given to applicants who are Oregon residents, have financial need and are first-generation college students. It is a renewable tuition-remission credit for 12 credits at the resident tuition rate, excluding fees. Applications are due by February 1st of every year. Email: perlap@pdx.edu

Retention Programs

Multicultural Retention Services also offers four retention programs students can apply to:

  • Accessing the Cultural Capital Essential to Student Success (ACCESS): Focuses on African/African-American/Black college experience. Designed to help first-year students with academic advising, goal-setting, and connections to campus and community resources. Students also participate in a college success class and receive $1,000 in tuition remission per quarter during their first year at PSU. 
  • EMPOWER Program: This program is designed to help first-generation Asian and Pacific Islander identifying students during their first year at PSU (transfer or freshman). This program is a year long and gives students support and community. Additionally, students will receive tuition remission, mentors, academic advising and counseling, a college success course and assistance with applying for scholarships.
  • Gaining Awareness & Networking for Academic Success (GANAS): This program focuses on Latino/a/x students and provides $3,000 tuition remission. In addition to meeting the program requirements, students must participate in Multicultural Retention Services community-building activities and workshops that focus on Latino/a/x culture. 
  • Navigating Access to Indigenous Opportunities through Networking and Support (NATIONS): This program focuses on Native American/Alaskan Native students and provides one year of support and mentorship for first-generation, low-income students who will be starting in the fall. 
  • Guide, Persist, Succeed (GPS Program): This program offers general academic and community support to first-generation, low-income students from diverse multicultural backgrounds. Continuing students who are not part of any of the retention programs above may apply for this program. 

Student Legal Services (SLS)

SLS provides free legal services to current eligible PSU students. If you meet the guidelines, they can help with things like bankruptcy, employment laws, tenant laws and name/gender changes.

Other services provided by SLS:

  • Internship opportunities for students from all areas of study.
  • Explore the Law: a free program for students who want to explore law as a career. Through this program, students will learn about what to expect in law school and what to expect in a lawyer career. This is a free program that provides access to many valuable activities, including networking, LSAT preparation and workshops on how to finance law school. 
  • Advisory Board Staffed by students and administration, this board makes decisions for SLS. Students, faculty, staff and community members are welcome to apply.
  • Notary services

You can make a virtual appointment with SLS. They are also currently offering free webinars on coronavirus and the law.

TRIO Student Support Services (SSS)

In 1965, Congress established a series of programs to help low-income Americans enter college, graduate and move on to participate in America’s economic and social life. These programs are funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and are referred to as the TRiO programs. While student financial aid programs help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, TRiO helps students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education.

SSS aims to expand educational opportunity to students who are underrepresented in higher education, increase retention and graduation and build an inclusive community that supports student success. Students can apply to this program to get access to their resources. Some services they offer include academic and career advising, workshops, study lounge and quiet areas, free printing and scholarship resources.

Students can contact their advisor by email. Advising appointments can also be made by email. You may send general questions to triosss@pdx.edu.

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Veterans Resource Center (VRC)

The mission of the VRC is to support individuals’ unique transition to school life. Services are available for students, faculty and administrators. They promote an environment that is inclusive and engaging for student veterans, active duty members, dependents, women, non-veterans, LGBTQIA+ and people of various racial/ethnic compositions and abilities. They offer a student lounge, computer space, leadership opportunities, and student employment programs.

VetSuccess is a program through the VRC that places an experienced Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor directly on campus to provide support to veterans and their families. They can help with VA benefit questions, coordination with other PSU services, disability compensation claims, employment information and more.

You can send questions to psuvrc@pdx.edu.

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Native American Student & Community Center (NASCC)

The NASCC is a gathering space to celebrate and empower student success through culturally relevant programming, academic support, and inter-generational community engagement. Their mission is to preserve and perpetuate inter-tribal connection for Native American/Alaskan Native/Pacific Islander students and their allies through tradition, ceremony and storytelling. 

The NASCC features a standard classroom, two conference rooms, full-service kitchen, computer lab, a fireplace lounge, and an eco-roof garden. From above, the NASCC is shaped like a salmon, with rooftop walkways and ramps designed to represent the fish’s scales and backside.

The Community Center is currently closed but you can still reach out to staff working remotely with your questions. Robert Franklin with the Native American Student and Community Center can be reached at ref4@pdx.edu.

Dreamers

Dreamers is a web page that is intended to assist incoming/prospective DREAMER/DACA students in finding on-campus resources, resources outside of Portland State, and financial aid. On this website,students can find information about Immigrant and Refugee resources, immigration law help and connections to local communities and organizations such as Adelante Mujeres, Africa House, and One Oregon.

They also have detailed information about how to apply for financial aid for DACA students, a Dreamer Road Map, and scholarship opportunities.

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A diverse community is a strong community. PSU strives to create a supportive and empowering experience for all our students and ensure equal opportunity for everyone. These resources are intended to provide a space where students can meet with advisors, connect with their community, explore identity, and enhance their time in college. We are excited to welcome everyone to our shared community. Be sure to visit DMSS to learn more about these impactful programs. General questions about DMSS can also be emailed to leston@pdx.edu

DMSS, Multicultural Student Services, resources, Veterans Resource Center, Disability Resource Center, diversity