Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Community Partner Profile: Oregon 150

February 14, 2009 marks Oregon's sesquicentennial (150th birthday) and Oregon 150 wants to help you celebrate! Oregon 150 was created to "remember Oregon's past, celebrate the present, and inspire people to dream of the future." And with over 70 community partners, the support of political and community leaders state-wide, and an extensive calendar of activities, celebrations and service events, Oregon 150 is working to establish "a robust, sustainable future by knitting the entire state together as one community."

Visit www.oregon150.org for more information and to get involved!

Campus Profile: Southwestern Oregon Community College

Southwestern Oregon Community College is no stranger to service; over the past year SOCC’s capacity to civically engage its campus in the surrounding community has blossomed. An example, Service Saturdays provide an opportunity for students, faculty and community to work together on monthly, local volunteer projects. And in October, 2008 SOCC hosted an overwhelmingly successful 1st annual Community Involvement Fair, connecting the campus and surrounding community to 15 service organizations. Much of this is a direct result of the hard work of Oregon Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA member, Julia Rose, during the 2007/08 school year.

Currently, SOCC is preparing to celebrate MLK Day for an entire week (January 19 – 23, 2009) with presentations, speakers, entertainment and service opportunities. Through a partnership with Human Rights Advocates of Coos County, SOCC students, faculty and the surrounding community will come together to:

-View and discuss films focusing on social justice

-Volunteer with Habitat Build and Bay Area Senior Center

-Raise awareness around local poverty, hunger and homelessness at the Hunger Banquet and Faces of Homelessness Panel

-Learn about the impact of the historic Negro Baseball League through singer, filmmaker, author and speaker Byron Motley

And more. For details, click on the image below.

Fast Facts: Southwestern Oregon Community College (SOCC)
President: Dr. Patty Scott (Interim President as of 10/08)
School Formed: 1961
Type: Public community college

Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Enrollment: 14,500 annually
School Mascot: Lakers
School Colors: Red and blue

Mission Statement: Southwestern leads and inspires lifelong learning and provides quality learning opportunities.

SOCC includes two-year transfer programs, one and two-year professional/technical programs, short course occupational programs, adult education, a high school diploma program, and adult enrichment courses.

National Service Chairman and Former CEO Urge Service Stimulus

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Written by Stephen Goldsmith,
chairman of the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service and Harris Wofford, former CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
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The start of the holiday season brings anguish for many families across the country. More Americans are struggling to make ends meet. They will be in need of support and services just at the time when the nonprofits who can help meet those needs are facing precipitous drops in giving. Food banks' supplies are set to reach new lows. Yet this year we will see millions of citizens reach out in record numbers to assist those in need -- offering food, special care and compassion.

As the government seeks to deal with the economic crisis and relieve the distress felt by millions of families, we should not overlook the great American tradition of service. More than 60 million citizens every year are providing service to their neighbors and their communities.

Lawmakers who will soon consider a financial stimulus package should also consider a ''service stimulus.'' Repairing the roads and bridges of our physical infrastructure is urgently needed, but we also need to expand our civic infrastructure dramatically.

President-elect Barack Obama has vowed to make service a central cause of his presidency. In his call to service outlining plans for a large expansion of citizen service, he said he would reach out to Republicans, Democrats and independents alike, young and old, and ask all of us for our service and active citizenship. ''We need your service, right now,'' he said.

Here are a few examples of what ''We the People'' can do right now and in the year ahead:

• We can help children in danger of dropping out of school by volunteering as tutors and mentors.

• Skilled professionals (lawyers, accountants, et al.) can go door to door in distressed communities to assist families facing mortgage foreclosure.

• Volunteers can support displaced families and children by helping them transition from homeless shelters to more permanent housing.

• Since financial stress and unemployment can lead to substance abuse, psychological despair and homelessness, community assistance centers and shelters will need many new volunteers and basic supplies.

As two who support national and community service from different sides of the political aisle, we look to President Obama and Congress to shore up the civic infrastructure in order to help meet some of the most pressing human needs, build common cause, and strengthen the union's civic purpose. In each area of need, the limiting factor is not American goodwill but the ways and means of recruiting, training and deploying people who want to play a part in meeting critical community needs.

More than a million new mentors and tutors are needed to help young people succeed in school, gain admission to college, and find work. Our new president demonstrated that millions of volunteers can be actively engaged in a political campaign. Now is the time to show that a call to service from the president, using powerful new Internet means of communication, can engage millions Americans as active-duty citizens working together to meet the urgent needs of our communities.

This citizen service stimulus finds much common ground in the campaign pledges of Obama and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and most recently in the Serve America Act, introduced by Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, that greatly increases the numbers of AmeriCorps members.

However any such new government resources should be viewed not as a jobs program but as assets and agents necessary to manage and train millions of volunteers. These new forces can be rapidly assigned to existing nonprofits to recruit and organize unpaid, shorter-term volunteers.

Last year 75,000 AmeriCorps members recruited more than 1.7 million local volunteers. One of the best examples of this is AmeriCorps' relationship with Habitat for Humanity, where members don't just build homes, but most of all recruit, train and manage the community volunteers on whom Habitat relies. AmeriCorps members serving with Habitat for Humanity helped mobilize 200,000 community volunteers to build 1,700 homes.

Of course federal efforts to build civic infrastructure need not only come from new federal funding. Our new president can take other significant steps, including requiring other federal grant programs to incorporate ways that volunteers could assist in accomplishing the grant's purpose.

In the can-do civic spirit that is the true strength of America, let's not wait for the Congress and the new president to strengthen our civic infrastructure. In this holiday season, let's begin a new era by offering service on a scale not seen since World War II. And on Jan. 19, the day before the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States, let's honor Martin Luther King's day -- as Congress in 1994 directed us to do -- not as a day off, but as a day-on for citizen service.

OSU President Ed Ray Considers Current State of Investments in Education: Public Missions, Private Dollars and Ordinary People

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Written by Ed Ray, President of Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. This article is from
Inside Higher Ed Online.
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You can tell a lot about institutions – and societies – by how they invest their money. This is why many public college and university leaders, myself included, are so concerned by the shameful spiral of disinvestment in public higher education in America.

At a time when our global competitors from Ireland to China are investing aggressively in their higher education systems, almost every state in our nation is headed the other direction. This pattern, now nearly three decades old, not only hampers our ability to be engines for economic prosperity, it also threatens our historic — and essential — role in creating opportunity for students who have traditionally looked to us as their gateway to success.

Varying degrees of recovery in state funding for public higher education in the last two years offered a glimmer of hope — until the current economic slow-down. Forecasts of further financial turmoil and economic uncertainty are dramatically undercutting states’ general revenue budgets nationwide, and that surely will mean further belt tightening for campuses that have long since run out of notches on their belts.

In 1980, states funded nearly half of the operating budgets of public campuses. Twenty-five years later, states were covering only one-fourth of the bills, and that percentage has since fallen even further. Here in Oregon, for example, our largest public universities receive only about 15 percent of our funding from the state. Consequently, students have been forced to pick up a larger share of the cost of their education through tuition increases.

According to the College Board, tuition and fees for in-state students at public institutions went up 6.4 percent this year, to $6,585. Add in room and board, and annual costs now average $14,333. If you think that’s steep, try covering the estimated $25,200 expenses of an out-of-state student.

It will get worse. So far, 17 states anticipate midyear budget cuts that could result in midyear tuition increases for the 14 million students enrolled in universities there, according to a senior leader of the American Council on Education. Colleges and universities in other states, including my own, are already being asked to produce scaled-down budgets in anticipation of revenue shortfalls for the next fiscal year or two. Already, our neighbors in the University of California and California State University systems have announced plans to roll back enrollment by thousands for the coming academic year, and California high school seniors are scrambling to apply by newly announced deadlines at the end of this month.

The long-term consequences of these ever-shrinking budgets are troubling, indeed. America no longer risks simply falling behind educational needs in an increasingly sophisticated, technology driven global economy; we now face the prospects of being mostly privately funded and losing our public mission.

Lest we forget, that public mission is to provide higher education opportunities to students who often come from ordinary or worse economic and social circumstances, many of whom are capable of accomplishing extraordinary things. In fact, the history and the promise of this great nation is predicated on the fact that social and economic mobility have provided the dynamism that has created the most technologically sophisticated and prosperous nation on earth. Education has been the most powerful source of that mobility and dynamism. If public universities are forced to abandon that public mission for lack of funding, we are at risk as a nation of creating a permanent underclass of disadvantaged citizens who have little or no stake in our society and of losing the dynamism that has served us so well at the very moment when challenges we face relative to global economic competition have never been greater.

There are further, clear benefits to society within this public mission. The average college graduate working full time, for instance, pays roughly 134 percent more in federal income taxes and about 80 percent more in total federal, state and local taxes than the average high school graduate. In Oregon, it has been estimated that an average group of 1,000 college graduates will generate at least $62 million in state income taxes over the course of their lifetimes.

For a land grant university like Oregon State, which I serve as president, it would be easy to adopt a private mission and to keep our financial house in order. This would allow us to focus on what is good for the university in terms of reputation and financial strength, rather than considering how effectively such actions might address public needs, including access for qualified students. There is no shortage of companies that might like to support proprietary research at our university and other similar

institutions, and we could market our academic programs in high-demand fields to wealthy, out-of-state-students, charging private college tuition in the process. We could abandon teacher education programs and devote resources to those activities that attract the most outside support.

But all of the above would mean no less than an abandonment of our founding values. The Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890 provided land and money for states to establish public campuses “to promote the liberal and practical education” of their working-class citizens. President Lincoln referred to the land grants as the “people’s colleges.” For more than 140 years, colleges and universities established through those initiatives have helped to create the world’s best-educated workforce and fueled a dynamic, innovative economy. Where will the most financially vulnerable students on those campuses turn if they are priced out of the most affordable option for a four-year degree – increasingly, the basic credential required to compete in today’s job market? Where will the American economy be without the enhanced contributions that education prepares them to make in the workplace? We should all lose sleep considering the answers to those questions.

Oregon State University created an innovative financial aid program this year in support of that land grant mission – the Bridge to Success Program. Combining federal Pell Grant funds, Oregon Opportunity Grant monies, donations from Oregon State supporters and operating funds redirected toward this program, Bridge to Success aimed to cover tuition and fees for some 1,500 students this fall – 10 percent of our in-state students. With the economy spiraling downward, response to the initiative escalated; aid awards were given instead to a breathtaking 2,900 students; demand surely will grow significantly next year, as will the challenges to ensure the program’s sustainability.

Other public universities in states whose economies have been hit harder than ours are feeling the pinch more immediately and more deeply. There are no easy answers for any of us, only a collective recognition that our nation’s capacity to move forward rests in large measure on our ability to find solutions. State and federal governments need to consider funding strategic investments in the enrollment capacity of community colleges and public universities to provide access to quality higher education for an increasingly diverse population of students; such students often come from ordinary circumstances but often have extraordinary potential. To do so requires more support for public higher education from existing funds and possibly new sources of revenue. There is no way around it: Public higher education needs public investment.

Our public universities have represented hope to generations of Americans. In a campaign year in which the concept of hope has become central to our electoral dialogue, we must not forget that real hope, meaningful hope, requires financial investment and that among the institutions in need of a financial rescue plan, public higher education must be a top priority.

Capture the Impact: Alternative Break and Service Day Photo/Video Contest!

What does Community Service and Engagement look like?

Alternative breaks and service days are a unique way for students to learn first-hand about important community issues, and to take action toward resolving these issues. With several service opportunities on the horizon, ORCC would like to invite students and faculty from all member campuses to capture and communicate what community service and engagement looks like to them by taking part in Capture the Impact: Alternative Break & Service Day Photo/Video Contest!

Prizes will be awarded to submissions that best capture the experience and impact of civic service and engagement. So dust off that camera lens, sign-up or host a service experience and get creative!

Download an information sheet, application and photo/video waiver here.

Oregon Students Give Back During the Holidays

Lane Community College Students Get Creative to Fight Hunger

An annual fund raiser for Florence Food Share, which helps almost 600 families a month, proves to be a community favorite as locals shop bowls crafted by students and local artists.

The 13th annual Empty Bowls fund raiser was held recently and the forecast is that it is the biggest yet. Florence Food Share Executive Director Karen Lyn said that they only had 60 bowls left unsold of more than a 1,000. “It went very, very well,” said Lyn. “We definitely raised more than in the past.”

This year the Western Lane Community Foundation awarded a grant for the purchase of more than 3,000 pounds of clay. A workshop, called a “Bowl-In,” had Lane Community College pottery classes teamed with high school art students to create bowls stamped with a design by Vicki Sieber-Benson.

“This truly is a labor of love," said Empty Bowls Committee member, Cindy Wobbe.

There were several changes this year; most noticeable was a change in venue. [Yet] at times, even the Florence Events Center (FEC) appeared to be too small for this popular event. A long line formed inside the FEC lobby and stretched out the front doors as shoppers waited for their chance to buy a unique piece of art for a good cause.

Empty Bowls was started in Michigan in the early 1990s as a way for artists and art students to make a personal difference through their art. Since then, it has become an international fund raiser, raising millions of dollars to fight hunger worldwide.

“It’s a direct link. People relate to buying a bowl to help put food on someone’s table,” said Lyn.

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From Siuslaw News Online. Read the full article here.
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Southern Oregon University Softball Team Celebrates with Local Family

For the Southern Oregon University Softball team, it really is the season of sharing. The 20 college girls who make up the team take great care in selecting presents for a less fortunate Southern Oregon family.

"We started this tradition three years ago when Coach Fritts came, and each year we get assigned a Christmas family," says SOU Softball Senior Utility Player Joelle Riekeman. "The best part is knowing we're doing a good thing. We all plan ahead to save to be able to do this," says Riekeman. For some girls, that includes giving up their weekly Starbucks runs.

While the Raider softball team is gearing up for their regular season, the girls are never too busy to give back to the community they represent.

"Even though we're in college, we can definitely make a difference. Every little bit helps, even if it's just setting aside 10 or 15 dollars. When we combine it all, it makes for everyone else to have a really good Christmas, and I think people just need to realize there is a lot out there you can do," says Riekeman.

"We all know we have a lot of memories throughout our college experiences, but this is one we can go back and say we gave gifts to families in need, we had a feast and had a lot of fun decorating balls," says Fritts.

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From KDRV.com. Read the full article and view video here.
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Concordia Student and Portland Trail Blazer Martell Webster Offer Helping Hand to Motorist

It was icy in the West Hills, and the road was steep. Todd Patterson was driving to the store to buy firewood when he saw an elderly woman in a beat-up maroon sedan, wheels spinning, stuck on the hill.

Patterson, 29, is a student in the Concordia University master's degree program, and someday he wants to teach high school social studies to native Spanish-speaking students. But on Tuesday he just wanted to help. So he pulled his truck to the side of the road, skated to the rear bumper and started pushing along with another man who had stopped to help.

Of course, cars drove past. Lots of them. [But] what's the holiday season without a feel-good surprise?

A black luxury SUV coming down the hill slowed, then pulled to the side and stopped. Its windows were tinted. The driver door opened, and a man with a blue walking boot on his left foot stepped out and tip-toed across the ice to help.

It was Martell Webster.

The Blazers small forward will miss another month of play because of a stress fracture in his left foot. X-rays last week revealed the injury that has kept him out for all but a few minutes of the season isn't improving. So maybe he was acting against medical advice when he stopped to help move that car, but the grandmother who raised Webster with good values and a love for others would tell you he was just doing what he was taught.

"It was the way I was raised," Webster said. "If someone needs help, you stop and help them."

Webster got there, the car got going. The senior floored it, sped up the hill and disappeared over the crest. The other man helping walked off, too. But Patterson just stood there, looking at Webster, wondering how in the world one of the biggest Blazers fans in the city had come face to face on the hill with a player he loves to cheer for.

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From OregonLive.com. Read the full article here.
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Western Oregon University Wolves Help Local Food Bank

Western Oregon University and the Central Lion's Club partnered again in December to help needy families in the Monmouth and Independence area.

Local basketball fans benefitted as well. On Saturday, December 13, those attending Western Oregon women's and men's basketball games at the Physical Education Building can gained free admission with two cans of food or other non-perishable food items.

All food items were donated to the Ella Curran Food Bank, serving Monmouth and Independence.

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From WOUWolves.com. Read the full article here.
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PNCA Dean of Students Receives Community Award

Michael Hall, Dean of Student Services at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, has received a community award from the NW Examiner for his role in creating awareness and promoting bike safety in the wake of two tragic deaths in 2007.

When two Pacific Northwest College of Art students were killed while bicycling a year ago, the small campus in the Pearl District was traumatized.

Hall called special meetings to help students cope with their grief and turn their fears into action. He helped mobilize the school and the city to bring in speakers on bike safety, provide low-cost bike helmets, create special bike parking and educate drivers.

Hall didn’t just deal with the tragedies, he went on the offensive and tried to do everything he could to improve the safety of biking around their campus.

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BikePortland.org. Read the full article here.
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Mentors Give New Teachers Guidance

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Written by Su-Jin Yim, writter for the Oregonian. Read the entire article here.
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Career educator Katy Mayer looks at the Big Three automakers pleading before Congress and has one big thought: Those people need to talk to some 9-year-olds she knows.

A new mentor to first- and second-year teachers in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District, Mayer recently visited a class of fourth- and fifth-graders and found them quizzing each other on math.

"To see 9- and 10-year-olds asking each other, 'How can you justify that? Don't just tell me what you did, tell me why you did it.' It's like, wow," the former principal says. "It really gives you a lot of faith for the future." That kind of critical thinking is built over time, with a teacher dedicated to nurturing inquisitive minds.

Novice teachers don't always have the skills, which is one of the reasons the West Linn-Wilsonville district partnered with six other Clackamas County districts, Clackamas Education Service District and Marylhurst University to launch a mentoring initiative this year with a $400,000 state grant.

The Legislature last year allocated $5 million to mentoring programs statewide to increase the effectiveness of new teachers, principals and superintendents. Eleven applicants, representing 85 school districts, won money.

The state program is part of a larger push nationwide to better train and support new teachers. Barack Obama's presidential campaign pledged to expand mentoring programs and noted that 30 percent of new teachers leave their jobs within the first five years of their career. Research shows that high-quality teachers are the single biggest factor in student achievement, more than poverty or class size.

The Clackamas County program funds three full-time and three part-time mentors to work across the organizations. Individual districts also have their own designated mentors, who meet weekly with their assigned teachers. All teachers attend a monthly class and spend 15 hours observing a veteran teacher's class.

Some school districts, such as the North Clackamas School District, already have teacher training and professional development programs in place to provide one-on-one feedback. West Linn-Wilsonville schools have a welcoming program for teachers new to the district, but it's not aimed at novice teachers.

The support is important because teaching has become more complex as society has diversified, Mayer says. "I think we have higher expectations for schools," says Mayer, who started teaching in 1972.

Phil Anderson, a first-year teacher at Willamette Primary School in West Linn, says he's already benefited by talking with Mayer about classroom management and planning lessons. "As a first-year teacher, there's so many standards; it's really overwhelming to look at all of them," he says, adding that the mentoring program has been extremely helpful. "I can foresee it being even more beneficial the more I teach after three or four years."

All conversations with mentors are confidential, which frees teachers to discuss concerns and get support from other newbies.

It's unclear whether the Clackamas County consortium, which includes Canby, Estacada, Gladstone, Lake Oswego, Oregon City, Oregon Trail and West Linn schools, will be funded again next year, but the state grant is included in the governor's new budget.

Lending an empathetic ear is an important part of mentoring, but it is not the key piece behind the state funding, says Bev Pratt, education specialist at the Oregon Department of Education. "It isn't so much so you have someone there to support you, but it's someone to actually help you in your classroom and to become a better teacher," Pratt says. "And what does better teaching really look like?"

The state program is designed to help new teachers benefit from others' experience and recognizes that novices deserve more help. "Just like in other professions, there is sort of an intern time where you (should) have that extra support," Pratt says. "Their skills will improve as they go along."

Marylhurst University Chosen for Sony World Photography Awards Student Initiative

Marylhurst University is one of 14 institutions in North America chosen to compete in Student Focus, the Sony World Photography Awards' university program. Sixty institutions across six continents will be competing in the awards and Marylhurst University is one of the select few to have been chosen to take part in this prestigious international awards program.

The Sony World Photography Awards (WPA), now in its second year, has expanded its student initiative to create a truly global competition to find tomorrow's photography professionals. With the environment as the central theme of the Sony World Photography Awards 2009, the brief for the students is to create an image which highlights an environmental issue specific to their country.

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Marylhurst University Online. Read the entire article here.
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