Fall 2019

Active: 
yes

This capstone is designed to provide an opportunity to learn about Spanish culture and society by means of synchronous and asynchronous discussion group forums between American and Spanish middle and high school students.  The communities of students will be from: Portland, Oregon, various schools in Washington state and Zamora, Spain.  These forums will be between paired classes (one USA and one Spanish) of similar grade and language level and will be facilitated and monitored by both teachers of each class.  Each grouping of classes will be assigned 2 capstone students. 

Environmental Justice and Salmon. The Columbia river flows through our region in physical and metaphorical ways. Present in the story of the river and the salmon that navigate it are social issues, history and conflict that continue to impact NW communities. Through a place-based, experiential approach we will engage this content. Over the course of the term we will spend the majority of our class time outside of the classroom near the river and at sites of cultural or geologic importance.

This fully online course is for students who are interested in creating and facilitating a community event. This Capstone partners with Portland Parks & Recreation Adaptive Inclusion Program. Each term, students will plan and facilitate a community event that has already been arranged with the community partner prior to the start of each term. You can expect the event to be during the last 2 weeks of the term (event date and time will be announced in the first week of classes). Students will be challenged to develop skills in: event planning, speaking, listening, building community relationships, and affecting social change. This course will not be addressing fundraising or grant writing as part of event planning. 

Philosophy for Children (P4C) programs promote the development of critical thinking, metacognition (thinking about thinking), and ethical and social responsibility through philosophical inquiry. In the P4C capstone, students will learn about best practices in P4C and discuss the practical and philosophical issues of teaching philosophy to K-12 students. Course work will include researching and developing P4C activities and materials, collaborating with Portland-area teachers, leading K-12 student discussion on philosophical themes, and documenting activities.

During this course students will grow in their cross-cultural skills and understanding. They will learn about refugee resettlement and the systemic educational obstacles that English learners face and overcome.Students completing this capstone will have a well developed sense of their civic identity as it relates to newcomers in their local communities.

Social Justice In K-12 ED Capstone

Since the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, the “achievement gap” has been at the forefront of discussions about school equity.  The public has been tuned into this so-called “achievement gap” alongside shocking high school dropout rates, lack of access to equitable early childhood education, public disinvestment in the education system, disparities in access to higher education, and more.   According to the Children’s Defense Fund’s 2012 State of America’s Children Report, the gaps (more accurately and truthfully described as opportunity, wealth, or access gaps) between high and low income students is 30-40% greater now than a generation ago.  This same report details that a lack of access to early childhood education can lead to 25% of at-risk youth dropping out and 60% never accessing higher education.  This study goes on to state that while 76% of high school students graduate within four years, only 2/3 of black and Latino students graduate within this same time frame (Children’s Defense Fund). 

Water Scarcity (online) 

 The project will work alongside  Water4 Foundations, a non-profit that is focused on water scarcity issues.  Students will address needs affecting the field of water scarcity.  Students may participate in the following service-learning:

Research cultural practices and country dynamics to assist NGOs transition into new markets;

      Research water technologies, benefits/drawbacks of each, identify best practices; and

      Survey water scarcity activities, map out industry trends, and conduct gap analysis. 

Older Americans have been witness to great social and political changes in the lives and acceptance of LGBT people in American society. As the Stonewall generation of boomers near their later life, is estimated that as many as 7 million older adults will identify as LGBT by 2030. These seniors face unique challenges in accessing the care and rights that enable them to age with dignity and stability. For many LGBT seniors, recent research has marked a disconcerting trend of going "back into the closet" for fear of intolerance and survival in senior housing, assistance and care facilities.

Racial Equity In Oregon

This Capstone partners with the Urban League and the Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT) to confront housing disparities and strengthen the voice and influence of communities of color in Multnomah County, Oregon.  Students will learn the history of communities of color in Portland while engaging in programs with the Urban League and CAT to expand renter’s assistance programs and support those who have been newly housed. 

Performing Arts Advocacy

The arts play a critical role in stimulating creativity and in developing vital communities.  They have a crucial impact on our economy and are an important catalyst for learning, discovery and achievement in our county.
 

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