PSU, MHCC forge new partnership

When winter term 2004 begins, Portland State University and Mt. Hood Community College will combine efforts in offering programs to students that will allow MHCC students to earn a bachelor’s degree in social science and in child and family studies through PSU.

According to the PSU School of Extended Studies, a bachelor’s degree in social science is the most commonly pursued major at PSU and, therefore, all off-site campuses offer core courses in social science.

Karren DeVoll, PSU program coordinator, has worked along with MHCC to help get the program initiated and put in place.

“It’s very exciting to take PSU off campus,” DeVoll said.

For those students pursuing a degree in child and family studies, the MHCC and PSU School of Extended Studies says the program will help create an understanding of family systems and the diverse socio-cultural contexts in which children and families progress.

DeVoll said this program, “makes higher-education more accessible.”

The partnership was initiated in part to further cross-campus associations in providing higher education. By offering off-campus education opportunities, PSU helps bring schooling to people restrained by issues of transportation.

“I think it’s a really good thing,” Joan Jagodnick, a PSU adviser said. “A lot of students are place-bound due to transportation.”

A 2002 study conducted by the Office of Research and Planning at PSU concluded that 91 percent of students live off campus, reaffirming the need for more locations of schooling in and around the Portland area.

The PSU Extended Studies mission statement says the “courses are offered in a flexible format sensitive to your scheduling constraints and through multiple modes of teaching and learning. Although all courses are standard university courses, you meet and interact with instructors and other students in some unique ways.”

The emphasis on educational diversity and learning opportunities has been a long time issue of importance at PSU. President Daniel Bernstine has made it apparent throughout his time at the university the significant role diversity plays in a well-rounded education. The Diversity Initiative Bernstein outlined in 2000 states diversity “enriches the educational experience, promotes personal growth, strengthens communities and the workplace, and enhances a person’s personal and professional opportunities.”

Part of the Extended Studies mission is to bring PSU to the community.

The MHCC campus will be one of the many campuses to host a partnered degree program with PSU’s School of Extended Studies. Other campuses offering similar advancements through PSU are located in Beaverton, Salem, Gresham and Clackamas.

Jagodnick said this new partnership is significant to the education community.

“This is going to give students an opportunity to accomplish a bachelor’s degree,” she said.

An informational session about the program will be held today, May 28 from 5-7 p.m. at the Mt. Hood Community College Center in the Fireplace Lounge. The session is free and open to the public. For more information, call 503-725-5511.