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LCC’s Rites of Passage program grows to meet demand

Students of color sitting at computer stations.
Desola Lanre
Students of color work on research projects.

A multicultural support program that started nearly 30 years ago at Lane Community College is expanding.

Rites of Passage launched in 1996 as a summer program. It serves middle and high school students of color, by providing culturally-affirming academic support.

Greg Evans headshot
Brian Bull
Greg Evans, LCC’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the founder of the Rites of Passage program.

Now, a partnership with LCC’s Regional Technical and Early College program will expand Rites of Passage to a year-round experience. Participants will earn two college credits per term.

Greg Evans is LCC’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the program’s founder. He said the program still lets students stay centered within their own individual cultures, and that demand has only increased over the past 27 years since Rites of Passage began.

“The need has grown commensurate with the growth in the minority populations within Lane County,” said Evans. "The need in terms of the kind of education that will help assist them to being self-reliant, and self-aware. And creating positive self-images for themselves is critical to foster their future success.”

Students in the program will receive academic advising, as well as help with financial aid, time management, and an overview of academic degrees.

Middle and high school students who identify as Black/African American, Native American, Asian and Pacific Islander, or Latinx are eligible for the Rites of Passage program. LCC offers four, each coordinated by faculty coordinators in the college’s Concepción “Connie” Mesquita Multicultural Center. The Multicultural Center invites all interested high school students to learn more about the RTEC program and how it can help them succeed in college. For more information, visit theRTEC andMCC websites or contact the Multicultural Center directly at mcc@lanecc.edu.

Note: LCC is the license holder for KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.