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Strategic Plan | Extend Our Leadership in Community Engagement

Portland State University has developed a reputation as a national model for urban universities that enhance their region by working with partners to solve problems. As the Portland metropolitan region grows and evolves, we can seize the opportunity to be a key partner in that evolution.

OBJECTIVE: Enhance engagement opportunities to further strengthen the reciprocal relationship between PSU and the broader community.

Initiative 1: Support Lifelong Community Engagement

1.1 Sustain the community engagement experience throughout the lives and careers of alumni by connecting students and campus initiatives to alumni who wish to remain engaged.

1.2 Commit PSU to ongoing dissemination of knowledge about collaborative practice, community-building and social justice to empower the lifelong engagement of PSU graduates in their communities.

1.3 Expand engagement with regional school districts to ensure more students are prepared for college.

Initiative 2: Make PSU’s Engagement More Visible and Accessible

2.1 Organize, communicate and disseminate information on collaborative opportunities, projects and outcomes.

2.2 Facilitate opportunities for partners who wish to join us for community-based learning, applied and collaborative research, internship placement and initiatives that build community.

2.3 Create a research academy to analyze the practice and impact of engagement and inform the world about effective community collaboration through research, data collection and academic writing. 

Initiative 3: Enhance Internship Opportunities

3.1 Encourage academic programs to establish internship programs where relevant to their curricular mission.

3.2 Expand community-based learning opportunities prior to the senior capstone.

3.3 Offer flexible internship opportunities for students who face challenges in balancing family, work and learning responsibilities, or for students who require accommodations.

Initiative 4: Elevate PSU’s Role as a Regional Anchor Institution by Advancing Our Strategic Partnership Agenda

4.1 Strengthen and deepen university-wide strategic partnerships with key businesses, government and civic organizations to deliver on regional goals related to economic and workforce development, innovation and entrepreneurship, urban sustainability and community health.

4.2 Align PSU’s workforce and career pathway strategy with regional economic plans.

4.3 Work in concert with Oregon Health and Science University and other partners to create innovative health and life sciences programs.

4.4 Build university wide infrastructure and capability to coordinate and communicate key components of PSU industry/economic/workforce development agenda – i.e. internships, career pathways, entrepreneurship, and industry cluster support.

4.5 Develop a strategy for leveraging our purchasing, employment, and investment priorities to advance equity, sustainability and community wealth-building.

Equity Lens

  • Acknowledge that authentic community engagement is reciprocal.
  • Commit to collaboration that is mutually beneficial and brings real value to (and does not harm or diminish) PSU’s community partners.
  • Help PSU and its partners build greater capacity for advancing community wellbeing by designing partnerships that maximize social justice and racial equity.
  • Develop partnerships that take into consideration the full costs of internships, service-learning, and experiential learning pedagogies.
  • Accommodate students with limited financial resources who may struggle to balance family and work with the time commitments required by community based learning.