New Grant Helps in All the Right Places

PSU’s Center for Academic Excellence recently was awarded a highly competitive 1.2 million-dollar grant for civic engagement by the Corporation for National and Community Service/Learn and Serve America. The funds will be used to support the university’s community-based learning (CBL) projects, the goal of which are to “let knowledge serve the city.” Those involved in the planning process have hopes to affect positive local change in the city of Portland by focusing on the following issues:

-Decreasing hunger. According to the Oregon Center for Public Policy, Oregon families suffer one of the worst hunger problems in the nation, with an average rate nearly twice that of most other states.

-Improving K-12 education. The Portland K-12 system alone faces an estimated budget shortfall of up to $50 million. Students involved in CBL projects will take an active role in shaping the education of a younger generation.

-Reducing the rural-urban divide. Massive budget cuts and fiscally grim projections demonstrate that the divide between rural and urban Oregon is growing more and more.

Through the help of Learn and Serve America, PSU will be able to offer a number of sub-grants to Oregon colleges through the help of the Oregon Campus Compact, the local affiliate of a national organization working toward civic engagement in higher education.

PSU will sponsoring a number of public events to raise awareness regarding this issue, including an event headlined by renowned sociologist Robert Putnam in February.

For more information regarding the CAE, go to, or call 503-725-5642.