Winter 2021

Active: 
yes

Farm Ed for Youth: Growing Stories
This Capstone will partner with the Sauvie Island Center (sauvieislandcenter.org). The mission of the Sauvie Island Center is “educating youth about food, farming, and the land.”  Students will work collaboratively with the Sauvie Island Center staff to develop curriculum for school age children, help the Center to tell the story of Oregon farmers and of farm education, and support Center staff in developing and maintaining the organization’s field trip site at Topaz Farm on Sauvie Island. Students will have the option of volunteering remotely or on site at Topaz Farm, learning about sustainable food systems and the impact of farm education; the course will offer opportunities for students to develop skills in educating and storytelling to help transform the relationship between humans and their environment and thus enact social change.

Community Psychology Capstone - Dancis

This two-term capstone will explore a core community psychology framework--Participatory Action Research (PAR). In the spirit of learning by doing, students will partner with groups on campus to design action research projects around the course theme: Disrupting Systemic Racism at PSU. These projects will involve collecting data and using those data to inform social action. The course will culminate with group reflections on the projects and on Participatory Action Research as a Community Psychology competency.

Anti-Bias K12 Education (online)

The Black Lives Matter at School week of action and call to anti-racist curriculum year round was initiated by Seattle educators in 2016 in response to bomb threats by white supremacists toward students and teachers wearing Black Lives Matter/We Stand Together t-shirts at John Muir Elementary School.  Inequity in curriculum, curricular violence, bias in textbooks, lack of access to diverse authors and representation in school libraries all contribute to the “achievement gaps” that both federal and state education departments often focus on in their initiatives and data tracking.

Criminal Justice Reform

This in-person course will explore issues of social justice in criminal justice.  Students will focus on a community-based approach in collaboration with the community partner  to learn about reducing barriers to exiting the criminal justice system.  These include clemency, parole, prison litigation, immigration and refugee status, mental illness and incarceration, non-unanimous juries and removing the criminal related barriers that keep individuals in poverty.   Specifically, the Capstone students will partner with the Oregon Department of Corrections Division of Research and Evaluation, https://www.oregon.gov/doc/research-and-requests/Pages/research-and-statistics.aspx to work on a community-based research project. Students enrolling in this course will need to pass the security volunteer background check administered by the Oregon Department of Corrections prior to the course starting.  Students should contact the professor immediately after registering to begin this process.

Meditation and Service

Meditation and mindful awareness encompass a philosophy of living with a quiet mind, open heart, and in service to others; they are our primary practices in this capstone. We will explore mindful awareness and meditation as foundations for personal, community, and global health and well being. Our meditative practices, ancient Eastern philosophy, racial equity, and social responsibility will inform how we engage in service learning. By serving with non-profit community partners we will practice empathy and compassion while deepening our understanding of housing and houselessness and their intimate connection to health and well-being.

Curriculum and Material Development for Heritage/Indigenous Language (INDIGENOUS LANG ACTIVISM) 

The goal of this course is to give students a solid background in historical and societal issues that influence language diversity through hands-on collaboration with current language sustainability efforts. This capstone partners with endangered language communities in the Northwest (tribal language programs in general and the Warm Springs Tribal Language Program, specifically) to work together to support those programs by giving students “on-the-ground” skills to accompany class studies. Capstone students will develop language and/or pedagogical materials that will support the endangered language programs/teachers in their work to offer language classes in their communities. General class instruction will be exclusively online or hybrid and those students who can meet at the PSU campus may be able to participate in a visit to the language communities to increase students’ practical understanding of the language and community issues for their final work. All students who are interested in Indigenous and/or language activism are welcome to this capstone (regardless of any prior familiarity with Indigenous languages or history), and especially those who are interested in supporting our community partner’s fund-raising efforts and curriculum/teaching activities.  Students in this capstone are strongly encouraged, as a class goal, to foster a healthy online community and collaborate with peers through group work. Members from our community partner and other guest speakers will also join online (likely using Zoom), and other online meeting times will be determined by class and community participants’ availability and schedule.

Sustainability, Food Justice, and Food Sovereignty at the PSU Learning Gardens Lab

This course will focus on how we can create sustainable and just change in our food system, and beyond. Students will explore the concepts of sustainability, sustainability leadership, food justice, and food sovereignty through community-based learning with the PSU Learning Gardens Lab (LGL).

Food Insecurity: PSU & Beyond

Food insecurity is a challenge for students, children, parents, migrants, long-term citizens, old, young, and all other label you might apply to someone. In this online course students have the opportunity to do their "25 hours of service" in a food-scarcity-related organization in their own community. The service component of the course offers an important connection and correlation between the course materials and the validated and verified aspects of food insecurity. Students often reflect on their service as a crucial and valuable component of the course that connects students with their own community as well as tying together the topics of the course.

Higher Education in Prison

Drawing on poetry, political theory, sociological texts, film, and personal narratives, this course offers an introduction to prison and its critiques, as well as the power of education to transform individuals and societies. This hybrid course meets once a week at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF); Capstone students will study together with women enrolled in higher education at the women’s prison, about 20 minutes south of PSU in Wilsonville. Successful background clearances are required in order to participate.

Racial Justice & Voice: Black Civil Rights

This course combines critical race theory, the history of the Black Civil Rights Movement, and critical service-learning methodology to develop a symposium plan for Campus Compact of Oregon's annual programming honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. PSU Students will design a teach-in style event that centers the voices and needs of partner campus representatives, community interest groups and advocates, and student activists representing Portland's Black community; thematically this project seeks to connect the historical to the contemporary, and the regional to the national, to develop a new vision of Campus Compact's MLK Day programming.

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