Effecting Change

Instructor Name: 
Vicki Reitenauer
Course Description: 

In this course, each student will explore what it means to work for community change by engaging in a committed community service experience of at least 3 hours per week with a community partner of her/his choice and exploring the meaning of that work through reflection, dialogue, readings, activities, and collaborative projects. This course is intended to allow students with longstanding volunteer commitments to continue those commitments in the fulfillment of their Capstone requirement, although students new to community service are welcome in the course as well. Students will enter the course with their community partners chosen and their work plans developed and approved by a representative of their community partner, in consultation with the instructor. Registration in the course requires instructor approval; contact Vicki Reitenauer at 503-725-5847 or vicr@pdx.edu for more information or to begin the registration process.

The goals for this Capstone are as follows:

  • To provide PSU Capstone students with a personal, academic, professional, and creative meaningful service-learning opportunity; and
  • To further the missions of a variety of organizations in the greater Portland area through the sustained service efforts of PSU Capstone students.
Project Description: 

One portion of your grade will be based on the final product and the team effort required to complete it. This final product will be a project we will co-determine through a consensus decision-making process during the first 3 weeks of the term and work on through the final weeks of the term. This product may directly benefit one or more of your placement sites and/or promote general community change. As we collaboratively outline the projects that the team(s) will be taking on, we will articulate our shared goals and objectives for what we'd like that work to accomplish. When the work has been completed, we will assess the outcome of that work using the criteria we established during the planning phase. The final product itself will be worth 40 points. This grade will be shared by all members of the class.

Additionally, you will earn up to 40 points for your contributions to the team on which you serve to complete our final product. At the conclusion of the project, you will assess your own and your teammates' contributions to your collective efforts, and these assessments will become the basis for this grade. More details on this to follow.