Winter 2020

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. 

When you hear the terms "hunger" or "food insecurity," you may not immediately think of college students and a university setting, but a significant percentage of college students are struggling with challenges to meet their nutritional, quality, and quantity food needs. The percentage of university students that are deemed "food insecurity" is approximately three to four times the national average or surrounding population percentage.

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. 

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). 

Racial Equity In Oregon

This Capstone partners with the Community Alliance of Tenants, Taking Ownership PDX and the Urban League. Students will learn the history of BIPOC communities in Oregon while working with our partners to fight racism, white supremacy and to create a different future for Oregon. Students in this course will learn how to write grants, work directly with organizations centering BIPOC homeowners and tenants and, if they choose, use their own skills and talents to support these organizations. All of this work can very easily be translated to working professionally in a nonprofit organization! A wide variety of project opportunities exist -- everything from scheduled shifts to projects that can be conducted on your own time and schedule.

Story, Portraits, and Civic Action

This online course explores how civic action, and the process of story finding and telling through the medium of digital portraiture, as inspired by Humans of New York, can effect change in our community. Each student is expected to volunteer thirty hours with a community organization of their choice over the duration of the term. Positions must be arranged before the term begins.

Over the course of the term, students will be expected to photograph and interview three to four people with whom they come in contact while volunteering at their respective sites. Students will submit a portfolio of their favorite portraits, paired with compelling excerpts of their interviews, as inspired by Brandon Stanton’s ongoing Humans of New York project. These will then be published on a course Instagram account, and made available to our community and the public at large. Not only will the project showcase the great spectrum of volunteer work and civic action that our students are participating in and contributing to, but importantly, this work will be humanized with particular stories, voices, and faces. 

How do I transform my own life? How do I transform my community and the world?

Sustainable Living

In light of looming environmental crises, what can individuals do to change direction? In this course we collectively examine our society to determine which cultural and personal values support, and which inhibit, sustainability.

Grant Writing for Animals: Shelter Pets

Approximately  2.7 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs - about one every 11  seconds - are euthanized in U.S. shelters each year. This class partners with a local no-kill animal shelter to further its goals of eliminating the unnecessary euthanasia of healthy or treatable companion animals in the community and finding them permanent, loving homes. 

Students will participate in the various aspects of grantwriting, including locating appropriate funders and ascertaining the needs of the community partner, as well as writing and reviewing grant proposals.  A significant portion of this course is spent in online discussions, allowing students to explore the social/cultural dynamics of pet overpopulation, the ethical dilemmas presented by it, and the rise of the no-kill revolution in the United States. Please have a webcam or smartphone available for the discussions. 

The end project will be a presentation and portfolio of grant proposals addressing the current needs of the community partner. Please contact Kimberly Mukobi, kmukobi@pdx.edu, for more information.

 

 

Pages