Pathways to Opportunity

Pathways to Opportunity (PTO)

What is Pathways to Opportunity?

Pathways to Opportunity (PTO) is a statewide project supported by the Oregon Presidents' Council and the Higher Education Coordination Commission's Office of Community College and Workforce Development.

The Pathways to Opportunity initiative is designed to increase equitable access to education, training and economic mobility. It encourages inter-agency collaboration and “braiding” of service funds in an effort to increase resources and services that can better support those facing financial barriers to education. PTO brings together Lane County social service agencies, Community Based Organizations and workforce partners, with a shared interest in closing opportunity gaps and improving access to education and workforce development opportunities. 

A “Hunger on Campus” study in 2016 of students from higher education institutions across the country, including Lane, cited that 64 percent of food insecure students also reported some type of housing insecurity in the past year and 15 percent of food-insecure students reported they experienced some type of homelessness. Nationally, about 2 in 3 community college students experience food insecurity and about half of community college students experience housing insecurity, based on the 2017 “National Study of Basic Needs Insecurity in Higher Education.” That study also found that 13 to 14 percent of community college students experienced homelessness.

National Attention:

Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield and Brian Sponslor just released a new report that contains a lot of great information relevant to our PTO work. It highlights Oregon as a best practice for both our PTO work/HB 4043, and DHS's work to increase SNAP access for students. New Report: Leveraging Public Benefits

National Skills Coalition also highlighted our PTO work and our partnership with them: NSC Blog Post

Statewide PTO Website

For more information, contact Rosa Lopez at or (541) 463-472