Spring 2020

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Sustainable Food Systems and Educational Farms at Learning Garden's Lab Site

The time is ripe to be part of the growing sustainable food movement! This class addresses the current food issues that face urban citizens by holistically engaging students in the many layers of Portland's local food and farm culture.  Students will critically analyze the state of our current food systems while being engaged in positive solutions to agricultural-related issues. The community partner and classroom is the Learning Gardens Lab, where students will gain hands-on farming experience, experientially explore their personal connection to food and the land, participate in the Learning Garden programs, and positively contribute to food security in our greater community.

Students will contribute to an ongoing research project on access to healthcare. Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on their own experience with the healthcare system as well as collect, analyze and disseminate information on access to primary care in the US. No prior research experience required. Results will be presented to Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research.

Immigration and Refugee Resettlement in East Portland (REFUGEE YTH IN PDX)

According to Communities of Color in Multnomah County: An Unsettling Profile, “In total, people of color in 2008 (by traditional Census Bureau counts) comprise 26.3% of the population of the county. When we add the Slavic community to these data, […] the size of the community totals over 200,000 residents." A large number of these residents are immigrants and refugees. The Coalition report finds that these communities face sharp disparities compared to whites in education, income, poverty, and other metrics. The report states that “our pathways to effective practice lead us to prioritize service delivery that stretches far beyond the framework of ‘cultural competency’ into ‘culturally-specific services.’”

Creating Global Citizens

Global citizenship is of utmost importance as our societies are increasingly becoming more connected through media and technology. There is a growing disparity in the American school system that allows only the privileged students to participate in meaningful and engaging cultural learning. Schools that receive funding and support are able to facilitate cultural exchanges in person for students and faculty, while the majority of students in the public system receive little financial support and are left without any type of cultural exchange or enrichment program. This capstone will provide this needed and valuable cultural exchange.

Artwork featuring fat people of various races wearing diverse style of clothing, holding hands

Leadership and Mentoring 

The mentoring of young people takes many forms. Some young people grow up with a sibling, relative or another adult ally who serves as a mentor to them. Some benefit from formal mentoring programs in schools or from community organizations. Not everyone enjoys access to regular mentoring, yet research shows that mentoring has tremendous benefits for both the mentor and the mentee. These benefits include the development of leadership skills, increased interpersonal communication, improved relationship-building skills, and increased self-awareness. Armed with these skills, a young person has greater potential for success in many settings.

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. 

Nationally, approximately 1 in 6 children live in food insecure households. Recent reporting suggests that food insecurity rates for households with children have tripled since the onset of the pandemic.

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