Community Psychology Consulting

Instructor Name: 
Keith L. Kaufman, Ph.D.
Course Description: 

Note: This is a two-term Capstone (winter and spring terms) and has either a three or four credits per term option.


This course focuses on the development of consultation skills applicable for use with a broad range of organizations and utilizes a Community Psychology perspective. Students will join one of several available consultation teams, each working collaboratively with a particular community partner on a project to address a critical organizational need. Community partners organizations are typically working in the fields of child/social welfare, social justice, health/mental health, violence prevention, education, criminal justice or community development. The capstone strives to foster the development of practical skills related to organizational consultation and collaboration, program evaluation and development, effective teamwork, technical communication, as well as ethics, inclusion, and social responsibility. Previous capstones have assisted community partners with a broad range of projects. For example, evaluations to assess program effectiveness, creating the foundation for new programs, enhancing prevention and safety efforts, and supporting/assisting with the development of a major community training event. Over the past 15 years, this capstone has worked with more than 40 campus and community organizations to successfully meet their consultation needs. (See a detailed description of the capstone and its past partners below)

Goals of Community Psychology:

  • Inquiry and Critical Thinking - Students will learn various modes of inquiry through interdisciplinary curricula—problem-posing, investigating, conceptualizing—in order to become active, self-motivated, and empowered learners.
  • Communication - Students will enhance their capacity to communicate in various ways—writing, graphics, numeracy, and other visual and oral means—to collaborate effectively with others in group work, and to be competent in appropriate communication technologies.
  • Diversity, Equity and Social Justice - Students will explore and analyze identity, power relationships, and social justice in historical contexts and contemporary settings from multiple perspectives.
  • Ethics, Agency, and Community - Students will examine values, theories and practices that inform their actions, and reflect on how personal choices and group decisions impact local and global communities.

Examples Of Past Capstone Community Partners:

Previous “community partners” have included agencies concerned with violence prevention, sexual health, social justice, family violence, cultural issues, poverty, immigration, and stress. For example, our community partners have included the Multnomah County Youth Commission; STARS/4REAL: Middle to High School Relationship Education and Life Skills; Girls/Boys Strength (Family Division of PPB); Tryon Community Farm; IRCO (Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization - African Refugee Support Group Project); Sexual Assault Resource Center (Prevention & Intervention Programs); Native American Youth & Family Center (NAYA); Portland Emanuel Hospital’s CARES NW Prevention and Assessment Program; Raphael House of Portland (Women’s Shelter); and Adaptive Sports Northwest (ASNW).


Project Description: 

The following link provides a detailed description of this capstone course as well as examples of past projects with campus and community partners:
Detailed Capstone Description & Past Projects with Campus and Community Partner