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Interview with Deborah Cochrane by Chris Riser on March 8, 2010, in the Portland Teachers’ Program office on the Portland Community College Cascade Campus.

Deborah describes her experiences working at the Whitney Young Learning Center and being the director of the Portland Teacher's Program.


Deborah Cochrane is the founding and current (2015) director of the Portland Teachers Program (PTP). The PTP operates in partnership with Portland Community College, Portland State University, Portland Public Schools, University of Portland, and the Beaverton School District to enable marginalized students to obtain education credentials and teaching positions. The program was initiated by Portland educational leaders who wished to address the lack of diversity amongst teachers working in Portland Public Schools and in the greater Portland metropolitan area.

The full-tuition program has had over 130 successful graduates and currently has 65 students enrolled. Upon completion of their degrees, students in the program are obliged to apply for teaching positions in PPS or the Beaverton School District and serve for at least three years. Through her work as director of the PTP, Deborah Cochrane has contributed significantly to the diversity of educators in Portland-area public schools.

Prior to her position with the PTP, Cochrane advocated for equal rights in education in numerous roles, including work with the Urban League of Portland and in Portland State University’s Educational Opportunity Program.

[from a biographical essay by Rebekah Averette]


For more information on Deborah Cochrane please see the Black United Front Oral History digital exhibit.

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