Accessing the Cultural Capital Essential to Student Success


Accessing the Cultural Capital Essential to Student Success (ACCESS)

The ACCESS Program is designed to help support students during their first year at Portland State University by providing academic advising, help with identifying and setting academic goals, and referrals to campus and community resources. In addition to these support services, students participated in a college success class.  In an attempt to alleviate financial deficiencies ACCESS students receive $1000 in tuition remission per quarter during their first year at Portland State University.

All Access students receive/participate in the following:

  • General advising
  • Mandatory academic advising every term
  • Early registration opportunities
  • Scholarship/financial aid assistance
  • Referral to appropriate support services
  • Fall term College Success Class 


  • You must be admitted at Portland State University.
  • You must be an incoming student in the Fall of 2020.

Participation Requirements

  • Participation in the ACCESS Program Orientation
  • Participation in Portland State University’s mandatory New Student Orientation
  • Enrollment in the ACCESS College Success Class, Fall term 2020
  • Regular meeting with ACCESS Program Adviser
  • Regular meeting (weekly) with ACCESS Peer Mentors
  • Submission of term progress reports from your instructors
  • Successfully completion of 12 credit hours and no more than 14 per term
  • 2.0 cumulative and 2.50 term grade point average
  • Enrollment in courses or workshops deemed academically beneficial by the ACCESS Program Adviser
  • Attendance of all mandatory group meetings (family Appreciations, Spring Challenge, Scholarship Workshop)
  • Application to 3 scholarships for Fall 2021 with assistance from the ACCESS Program advisor.



Participants engage in a two-week Connect Program & College Success Course prior to starting fall term to get a head start, connect with new students, peer mentors and learn about PSU resources that are essential to student success. Central themes to this two-week Connect Program & College Success Course includes exploring cultural identity, establishing community among incoming students, and learning strategies for academic success, such as study skills, time management, money management and effective communication. The college success course is designed specifically to addresses challenges that diverse students sometimes encounter.  The course will provide an overview of the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully transition to college. Students will: share their educational goals, personal strengths, and cultural norms; identify areas in which they may need support; and become familiar with support services and other resources on campus and in the community.

Admission to the ACCESS Program is offered to both candidates who demonstrate academic promise and those who desire to excel academically. That is, admission is not solely determined by merit, but by potential to excel academically. Although a limited number applicants are admitted into the ACCESS program, all that are eligible are encouraged to apply.

A completed application package consists of the following:

  • A copy of your letter of admission into P.S.U
  • A completed Access Program application
  • An personal essay (500 word Max)
  • A copy of an unofficial transcript
  • A copy of your financial aid award (if available) or a statement of your financial need.

Send your complete application to:
African American Student Service Coordinator
Diversity and Multicultural Student Services
Mail code: D.M.S.S
Portland State University
PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97207-0751