June 26, 2019

ICYMI: Lane Community College’s Rites of Passage bolsters students of color

Jim Garcia, coordinator of Lane Community College’s Chicano/Latino Student Program, listens to a student while teaching. Photo credit: Andy Nelson at The Register-Guard

Lane Community College’s Rights of Passage program — a multicultural curriculum focused on serving students from African American, Asian, Pacific Islander, Latinx and Indigenous communities — increases participation and graduation rates for underserved middle and high school students of color in Lane County, encouraging them to learn more about their own cultural history, traditions, folklore, literature and heritage.

“What’s the importance of having an instructor, educational leader or other role model who looks like, talks like and comes from a similar background as their students?” asks journalist Alisha Roemeling in a Register-Guard article covering the Rights of Passage program based in south Eugene, Oregon:

“We provide [students] with the role models they need, like educators and other professionals in our community, to help them see that they can achieve great things too,” said Greg Evans, founder of Lane Community College’s Rites of Passage program. “They don’t see teachers and other support staff who look like them all day, every day at school, but they’re in this program and they come from the communities that they represent.”

Meyer's Equitable Education portfolio awarded a $185,000 three-year grant to support expansion of the Rites of Passage program. You can learn more about LCC’s Rites of Passage program here.