Sylvania ROOTS program to be shuttered, Cascade to Continue

By Bridge Staff|August 14, 2015Cascade, News|

In a letter to the college staff dated August 13, Heather Lang, Dean of Students for the Sylvania campus, posted the following:

It is with a heavy heart that I report that we received notification from the U.S. Department of Education that grant funding for our Sylvania ROOTS (TRIO-Student Support Services) Program will not be renewed.

This news comes as a shock, as we have had a highly successful 15-year run with the program at Sylvania and submitted a very strong grant application. Unfortunately, this is a competitive process and, although we exhausted all efforts to receive funding for another cycle, we simply were not successful. While it is tempting to linger in asking why we were not successful, a better approach is to find comfort in the fact that all of the funded programs across the nation, including our very own PCC Cascade, will be offering much needed support services to deserving students seeking improved lives through education.

Our program will officially end on August 31. Be assured that current ROOTS staff and my office will be working diligently on a transition plan with the goal of extending continued academic and support services to all current ROOTS students. The service of ROOTS Director, Michele Cruse, and the ROOTS staff team will be extended past the official program end date in order to assure a smooth transition.

Over the past 15 years, our Sylvania ROOTS program has served over a thousand low-income, first generation students, as well as student with disabilities. The program has served as a model of excellence, locally and regionally, related to higher education student persistence, success, and completion. I would like to sincerely thank our current staff – Michele Cruse, Sara Neill, Sarah Elsasser, and Juanita Lognion  – as well as past directors and staff – Lynn Montoya-Quinn, Miriam Friedman, Michael Morrow, and Pattie Hill – for their incredible efforts and commitment to the success of this program, and most importantly, to the success of each and every ROOTS student. We are also grateful for the broad-based support the program has experienced at the campus. The program thrived because of contributions of faculty and staff serving on the ROOTS Advisory Board, assisting with promotion of the program, and partnering with the ROOTS team for student success in multiple ways.

The absence of this program and its staff will be a significant loss to the Sylvania Campus and the PCC community. We are working on plans to appropriately commemorate the program in the upcoming months. I will share details as they emerge.

Sincerely,   Heather

A call to the Dean of Student’s Office at Cascade confirmed that that program is continuing. Southeast and Rock Creek have not offered the ROOTS program.  ROOTS is a federally funded program awarded on competitive grants. It’s goal is to help with the retention of first-generation college students, students coming from low-income backgrounds, and disabled students. More can be learned about the program, which will continue at Cascade, by visiting

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