News

PSU Investing in Portland Teachers Program
Author: Jillian Daley
Posted: February 11, 2020
Portland State University College of Education (COE) Dean Marvin Lynn announced this week that the PSU Office of Academic Affairs and the COE mutually pledge to commit significant resources to support seven to eight new students per year to join the Portland Teachers Program (PTP).

PTP is a teacher prep program that has successfully recruited and prepared educators of color to teach in Portland and Beaverton for more than 30 years. Lynn said that the COE plans to continue to support PTP, despite PSU’s ongoing fiscal challenges.

“PTP represents a powerful success story, and it’s one we’re going to keep on telling for a long, long time,” Dean Marvin Lynn said. “We are just as committed to the program as we were when it started it in 1989.”

PTP—a partnership between Portland Public SchoolsPortland Community College, and the Beaverton School District—requires students to teach in Portland or Beaverton schools after graduating. Students complete their lower division requirements at PCC and then transfer to PSU for two years or three years. PTP  has contributed to Portland schools’ success as having the highest teacher diversity in Oregon at about 20%, Lynn said.

Inclusion is one of three key imperatives of the COE’s 2019-22 Strategic Plan and is a value the College will work to fulfill through the ongoing recruitment and retention of diverse students, faculty and staff, and other related initiatives. In addition, the University’s Strategic Plan names expanding a commitment to equity as among its chief goals, and PTP has a proven history of contributing to equity for PSU and the community.

“PSU not only can commit to seven to eight new students a year for PTP, we are honored and proud to be able to carry on this important tradition for our University and to support our community as a whole,” PSU Interim President Stephen Percy said.

PTP began to coalesce 34 years ago when people of color in the community told local and state officials that more teachers of color were needed in Portland-area public schools. Community members said more diverse teachers could lead to better outcomes for students of color. Three years later, the program launched.

PTP has been changing students’ lives ever since. Just last year, graduate Laurel Monroy told COE staff: “I couldn’t have gotten through school without PTP’s financial support, and also the community it created.”

Photo: From left to right: Emilie Walker and Laurel Monroy were honored during a celebration for Portland Teachers Program graduates May 31, 2019, at the Portland Community College Cascade Campus. Photo by Jillian Daley

To share stories about the College of Education, email Jillian Daley at jillian@pdx.edu.