OCCD receives $340K to recruit and train diverse early childhood trainers

img_occd340A grant of $340,000 for the “Growing Master Trainers” project, aims to increase the number of early childhood trainers by mitigating barriers to training that are often experienced by communities of color, reaching those who are linguistically and culturally diverse, and supporting providers who are in rural communities. The project is funded through a collaboration of ten Oregon and Washington funders.

The Oregon Center for Career Development (OCCD) at Portland State University has a mission to support Oregon’s youngest children. OCCD provides leadership in statewide professional development standards, develops and provides trainings for childcare providers, and supports approximately 600 trainers throughout the state. These trainers provide training to early learning and after-school providers, many of whom work in Oregon’s Office of Child Care licensed facilities. OCCD has a contract with the Office of Child Care to certify and support the trainers and maintains the database of 23,000 individual Oregon childcare providers and their professional development progress. The challenges for OCCD are manifold. As Oregon’s 0–5 population becomes increasingly diverse, early childhood facilities and childcare providers need support in multiple languages and cultures in both urban and rural communities.

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GSE early childhood graduate honored in California

img_maranoMark Marano, ’18, was named Early Educator of the Year by Child360, a Los Angeles–based nonprofit that advocates for young children in Southern California. Marano earned an MS in Early Childhood: Inclusive Ed and Curriculum & Instruction from Portland State University as an online student. He works for Long Beach City College Child Development Center and Learning Lab, in Long Beach, California.

Marano believes it’s important for men to go into early childhood. “There’s not a lot of men in this field,” he said. “I want to serve as a role model to future educators. Specifically, I want them to see that early childhood is a viable option that they can make a living doing, and it’s a serious career. I think it’s important to have men in early childhood education so that children early on can see men in caregiving roles.”

From his nomination:
“Inspired by the unmet needs of his younger sister as a child, Mr. Marano is committed to making every child feel seen, and equal to their peers, no matter their culture or economic background. He takes this philosophy beyond his classroom and spearheads a school-wide teacher training initiative focused on anti-bias education and creating inclusive classroom environments.”


About Child360
Formerly known as LAUP, Child360 was a part of a California statewide early childhood movement that was established as a nonprofit in Los Angeles County to support the care and development of the county’s youngest learners. Over the years, Child360 has supported the operation and development of more than 900 early learning providers in Los Angeles County, touching the lives of over 200,000 children through enriching curricula and nurturing environments aimed to best prepare children to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. Since then, the nonprofit has grown in scale and scope throughout Southern California and is now taking on critical action for children nationwide.

GSE students receive PSU 2018 President’s honors

Each year PSU students are selected for Presidential Awards that celebrate the exceptional work they have done during their time at PSU. These awards include all PSU students, not just those who are graduating this spring. GSE is proud to have two of the top recipients.

University Service

img_rileylakosRiley Lakos, ’18, is a graduate of the Educational Leadership Master’s program. They received the University Service Award for involvement, initiative, and leadership in activities that benefit and enhance PSU students’ experiences. They specialized in Postsecondary, Continuing, and Adult Education (PACE) and hold a certificate in Student Affairs in Higher Education. PACE is the second PSU master’s degree for Lakos, who earned an MSW from the School of Social Work in 2017.

After helping to coordinate the University Studies freshman and sophomore mentor program as a Graduate Assistant, they now work full-time as an Office Specialist for the department. They are on the advisory board of the Queer Resources Center and have been closely involved in the PSU food pantry.

Community Engagement


Amie Riley, a student in the Educational Leadership Doctoral program, has received the President’s Community Engagement Award. Recipients of this award are celebrated for their participation, initiative, and leadership in off-campus community engagement activities.

She has a master’s degree in Education Leadership and Policy with an emphasis in Sustainability Education.

She has worked as a graduate assistant supporting community-based learning (CBL) in the Office of Academic Innovation. Riley has been working to advance the CBL efforts at PSU through support for the ongoing Engaging Exchanges discussion series, the CBL Institute for Japanese Faculty, and the PSU CBL Faculty Summer Institute, as well as development of numerous pedagogical and administrative CBL resources.

She is an active member of many community-based organizations and nonprofits, including the ACLU, Audubon Society, International Nonprofit Collaboration Network, the Willamette Riverkeepers, and Standing Up for Racial Justice. She founded the international nonprofit Casa Verde in Nicaragua that focuses on global citizenship and sustainability.

She is a current student in the GSE’s doctoral program working toward an EdD in Educational Leadership and Policy.


GSE hooding/commencement ceremony highlights

GSE has over 500 graduates in the class of 2018, earning bachelor’s, master’s, doctorates, licensure and certificates. All of our GSE candidates are outstanding students who are planning to make a difference in their careers. These are just three of their amazing stories.

Family of three graduates with master’s degrees together

Photo of Duong family

(L to R), Peter Duong, Hoang Nguyen, Dean Marvin Lynn, and Don Duong.

Husband and wife Don Duong and Hoang Thi Cam Nguyen, and their son, Peter Duong, are refugees from Vietnam who wanted to make a new life in this country. They are planning to be teachers, completing master’s degrees from the PSU Graduate School of Education this spring.

They have worked in Portland’s immigrant community teaching English. Don taught in the Vietnamese Language Immersion Program at Roseway Heights School and completed the Bilingual Teacher Pathway program at PSU. Peter has undergraduate degrees from PSU in science and math. Peter and Hoang would like to teach math.

The family is grateful for the help they have received, especially from their extended family in Vietnam.

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GSE commencement is inaugural event in Viking Pavilion

Esperanza De La Vega poses with her Bilingual Teacher Pathway cohort outside Viking Pavilion.

Esperanza De La Vega poses with her Bilingual Teacher Pathway cohort outside Viking Pavilion.

The long-awaited Viking Pavilion hosted its first capacity event June 15, with the annual GSE Academic Hooding and Commencement Ceremony. This was the first time the GSE Academic Hooding was combined with an official commencement, enabling students to attend just one event. The GSE conferred 360 students with master’s and doctoral degrees while also performing the traditional hooding to signify advanced degree completion. The ceremony was recorded on Facebook for those who could not attend and is now available for viewing.

The newly renovated Viking Pavilion seats up to 3,500 guests and reopened to students, athletes, and visitors in April. It is intended to be used for PSU basketball games and multipurpose events. The venue was sustainably designed and has many new features that enhance the experience for guests, including two giant video screens at opposite ends of the space.

PSU’s newly inaugurated ninth president, Rahmat Shoureshi, officiated and was joined by Marvin Lynn for his first Academic Hooding and Commencement Ceremony as dean of the GSE. The special guest speaker was Karen Fischer Gray, Oregon’s 2018 Superintendent of the Year.

Students from the Graduate Teacher Education Program who are future music teachers assembled an impromptu choir for a superb rendition of the national anthem. The Bulls and Bears Drum Group performed a Native American honor song.