Two GSE students honored by PSU for diversity accomplishments

Each year PSU honors individuals for their outstanding accomplishments in making PSU a more diverse, inclusive campus. Awardees are selected from students, faculty, staff, and the campus community. This year’s honorees from the GSE are PACE student Ebony Oldham, who received an award from the Commission on Sexual and Gender Equity, and incoming GTEP student Nancy Perry, who is the winner of the Commission on the Status of Women Essay Contest. Congratulations to Ebony and Nancy. We are proud of you!

Previous awardees from GSE faculty, staff, and students include:
Aslihan Alkurt, ’17
Carmen Anderson, ’10
Julie Esparza Brown
Tara Cooper
Esperanza De La Vega
Samuel Henry, X 2
Virginia Luka, ’16
Ebony Oldham
Lynda Pullen
Judy Bluehorse Skelton, ’08
Shannon Sprague, ’14
Yer Thao
Hope Yamasaki, ’12

Alumnus Victor Vergara selected for national leadership academy

img_vergara_vicGSE alumnus, Victor Vergara, ’17, is one of 16 Latino educators across the US chosen for the Superintendents Leadership Academy by the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS). This is a yearlong leadership development program to prepare the next generation of Latino superintendents.

Vergara, who emigrated from Chile in 1995, completed the PSU Bilingual Teacher Pathway program and the Initial Administrator’s Licensure program, all while working for Woodburn School District. He was promoted to assistant principal of Woodburn’s Valor High School and in 2012 was named Oregon Assistant Principal of the Year by the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators.

Vergara completed the Educational Leadership Doctorate program in 2017 and is now the Director of Bilingual Education for Walla Walla School District in Walla Walla, Washington.

TriMet hosts Orientation and Mobility students in summer intensive


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

GSE students are learning how to ride TriMet’s public transportation system blindfolded this summer.

When the Visually Impaired Learner (VIL) and the Orientation and Mobility (O&M) cohorts began this term, students came to campus for their initial three-week summer intensive course. Except for this session, these classes are delivered entirely online. Because these are regional programs, some of the VIL and O&M students are from as far away as Alaska and Maryland.

Amy Parker, O&M coordinator and new GSE faculty member, contacted TriMet’s training division to see if there was interest in working with PSU O&M students. TriMet personnel graciously responded and hosted 11 students and 4 instructors at TriMet facilities in Portland. TriMet provided bus passes, safety vests, classroom space, and seasoned TriMet trainers who collaborated with faculty for hands-on lessons.

Continue reading

US News & World Report ranks GSE online early childhood master’s in top 21

img_eceThe Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education program has earned a high spot among early childhood programs in the country. US News & World Report announced that PSU’s three-year-old program merits 21st place among universities offering early childhood programs.

The Online ECE is grounded in an inquiry approach to education in which learners dialogue with colleagues from diverse early childhood settings across the country and the globe. The program engages students creatively in the uses of new technologies offering opportunities for early childhood professionals to access professional development where they live. This fully online, non-licensure program focuses on inclusive education for young children. It was designed in collaboration with two departments: Curriculum and Instruction, and Special Education. It features an action research project, an option for a campus summer intensive, and opportunities for study abroad.


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.

Continue reading