Educational Equity Community of Practice

A cluster of Capstone courses address issues of educational equity. They are one of the many places on campus where this important issue is engaged. The learning goals, beyond those of the University Studies program generally, that are engaged in this cluster of courses are outlined below. We hope that these resources allow you to connect with this community of practice and continue your engagement in this important issue.

Find educational equity organizations to join, volunteer with or learn about.

For a information and updates about educational equity engagement at PSU and in the great Portland area please see the blog for the educational equity Community of Pratice.

Sample syllabi by educational equity faculty:


Cluster leaning goals:

1. Education, Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility: Education as Essential to Healthy, Functioning and Democratic Society

Education is the cornerstone of individual and community success. It is the means by which one of the goals in a democratic society–to prepare individuals to become responsible citizens who can work to improve social conditions, to promote appreciation of diversity, to engage in collective decision making, to promote the common good–is realized. As a cohort of teachers, we work to help students understand the imperative of educational equity to a healthy democracy, and then encourage and facilitate students in linking with community partners and alumni to engage this goal.

2. Exploring and Dismantling Barriers to Educational Access (Power and Privilege)

As a cohort of educators we introduce and help students to recognize and learn about the various barriers to educational equity. We are committed to directly addressing cultural sensitivity, privilege, and power imbalances as they play out in education settings and education policy. We provide various invitations to students to read, interpret, discuss and write reflectively about their own experiences to analyze social position, bias and privilege. Additionally we invite students to participate in collective political action, linking with community organizations and alumni, among others.

3. Educational Experiences as Fostering Pathways to Success

The educational equity Capstone cluster starts with the view that all children deserve the opportunity to attain a quality education. Importantly, educational capital can serve as a leveling mechanism in our society, which fosters social justice. We work to facilitate an understanding of this perspective, and to underscore the importance that education (both K-12 and postsecondary) has in fostering individual and collective (societal) gains.

4. Developing Leadership

The social change model of leadership suggests that citizenship involves active community participation, which stems from a sense of responsibility to the communities in which we live.  Whether expressed explicitly or not, these courses encourage a new generation of leaders who, through the courses, understand that they can act as leaders to effect change without necessarily being in traditional leadership positions of power and authority. Catalyzing students (leaders) of all disciplines to feel empowered, to encourage and empower others, and to work together with others in their community, can facilitate and promote educational equity and access for all.  We strive to develop students’ leadership potential and inspire them to become more civically engaged and to promote social change, overall, and in education, specifically.