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PSU receives grant to help students get degrees faster and more affordably
Author: Scott Gallagher
Posted: July 17, 2014

(Portland, Ore.) July 17, 2013 — As public research universities seek to keep pace with an evolving student body, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) today announced that Portland State University is one of seven public urban research universities that have been selected as a participant in a one-year, innovative project that seeks to transform the way higher education is delivered.  Portland State will receive $225,000 as part of the Transformational Planning Grant (TPG) project to research, develop, and test new, scalable university ideas that can increase access, improve success rates, and reduce costs to students.

The grant will help PSU move forward with its “rethink PSU” initiative, a larger campus-wide effort underway to improve teaching and learning at the University by investing in innovation.

"This grant will help us rethink how PSU delivers education at a time when we face swift technological changes, reduced public funding and new demands from an increasingly diverse student body," said Wim Wiewel, PSU president.  

Wiewel and Provost Sona Andrews challenged faculty and staff last fall to propose new ways to adapt to the rapid changes in higher education, such as the growth of online education and the rising cost of tuition. The APLU grant will continue the “rethink” effort by supporting PSU’s goals to create streamlined pathways for transfer students, use of data analytics in student success, and help plan the development of flexible degrees.

“This is a real opportunity for PSU to think creatively about the challenges we face and create learning environments for students that address current and future needs,” Andrews said.

APLU and USU conducted a rigorous application and review process for urban universities interested in participating in the TPG project.  The seven institutions chosen demonstrated evidence of being early adopters, measured by the degree to which they have already begun to convene stakeholders and implement system-level change.

“Public research universities are being asked to educate more students and effectively prepare them for the workforce and society at the same time they continue to face reduced state and local funding,” APLU President Peter McPherson said. “Portland State is well-positioned to identify effective ways forward that can help transform the delivery of public higher education as we know it.  We are eager to assist and foster Portland State University’s development of what will certainly be a promising approach to improving quality and success in the current environment for public research universities.  And we are equally excited about the potential to scale up their new ideas for public institutions across the country.”  

About Portland State University (PSU)
Located in Portland, Oregon, PSU has about 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students. PSU’s motto is “Let Knowledge Serve the City,” and we provide every student with opportunities to work with businesses, schools and organizations on real-world projects. Our downtown campus exhibits PSU’s commitment to sustainability with green buildings, while sustainability is incorporated into much of the curriculum.