College of Education Ranked #1 in Online Master’s in Adult Education by

By Emily Taylor

Portland State University’s College of Education’s Master’s of Science in Education, Postsecondary, Adult and Continuing Education (PACE) received the top ranking in’s 2021 evaluation of online master’s program in adult education.

The report highlights the versatility of a master’s in adult education, offering opportunities in higher education as well as business, non-profits, healthcare, and government. For this ranking, evaluated 398 online master’s degree programs in adult education/learning from 171 regionally accredited universities. Each program was ranked on a scale of 0 to 100 based on its cost, flexibility, course offerings, outcomes, reputation, and faculty. With a score of 98.2, Portland State University received the #1 ranking for 2021.

“Our students continue to find our Postsecondary, Adult, and Continuing Education (PACE) master’s program prepares them well for a variety of career opportunities,” said Candyce Reynolds, Ph.D., Professor, Postsecondary, Adult and Continuing Education and Interim Chair, Educational Leadership and Policy. “The program offers access to expert faculty and rigorous and relevant curriculum in a flexible format designed for working adults.”

Graduate Profile: 2021 Inclusive Elementary Graduate Vittoria Tanisha Looks Forward to Creating inclusive Classroom for Her Students

Vittoria Tanisha will graduate this spring with her master’s in Inclusive Elementary Educator Program (IEEP).
(Photo provided by Vittoria Tanisha)

By Emily Taylor

Vittoria Tanisha was overjoyed to help welcome students back to their first-grade classroom at Capitol Hill Elementary in Southwest Portland this month as PPS students began to return to schools. Tanisha has been completing the clinical field experience portions of her master’s degree from PSU’s College of Education at Capitol Hill Elementary since Fall of 2019.

“In March 2020, when we had to transition suddenly to online only, we weren’t able to say goodbye to students in person,” she explained. “Then this month, as I greeted each of the students that I’ve been teaching online all of this school year, I could see them smiling behind their masks,” she said.

Throughout the program, Tanisha has valued the balance between textbook and discussions in her coursework at PSU and the hands-on practice gained through her practicum teaching experiences. Although she wasn’t able to complete all of her practicum in person, reflecting on the sudden switch to online teaching Tanisha says it was “difficult, but ultimately a great opportunity and a chance to be creative” in engaging students  in the online format.

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One Year In: How PSU’s Community Counseling Clinic Continues to Adapt to Serve the Community

By Emily Taylor

Javier F. Casado Pérez, Director of the Community Counseling Clinic

The Community Counseling Clinic is the training clinic for PSU’s Counselor Education Department (part of the College of Education). It allows counseling students to gain experience working with clients and offers the community a valuable option for low-cost, quality counseling services. Perhaps one of the lesser known resources on campus, the clinic offers individual, relationship, child, family, and group counseling services to clients from the local Portland community and the greater metropolitan area.

In March 2020 when the PSU campus closed due to the pandemic, the clinic also closed. However, the clinic team was committed to maintaining this important resource and the essential role it serves both to counseling students and to the greater community.

Clinic Director and Assistant Professor, Counselor Education, Javier F. Casado Pérez is proud that the clinic was only completely shut down for two weeks.

“Thanks to the extraordinary dedication of our team, and the incredible support the clinic received from the COE and the greater PSU technology team, we were able to begin offering services virtually via Zoom by the beginning of April 2020,” said Casado Pérez.

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Osvaldo Avila, PACE alumnus, works to expand access to postsecondary education

Osvaldo Avila, the Talent, Innovation, & Equity administrator at Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), earned his master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy in the College of Education’s PACE program. Photo credit: Raul Prudencio

By Emily Taylor

“A long story” is how Portland State University alumnus Osvaldo Avila describes his educational and career path. Through his experience navigating higher education as a non-traditional, first generation, Latinx college student, Avila identified a passion for helping others from marginalized communities to do the same.

As a student at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Ore., Avila found himself surrounded by people with similar backgrounds, who he felt uniquely understood his experience, and who wanted to make a difference. James McNicholas in the office of student life at Chemeketa encouraged him to become a student leader. This opportunity to be a resource to other students sparked Avila’s interest in leadership.

Based on his love of accounting in high school, his original plan was to major in business and pursue a career in accounting. However, when Avila transferred to PSU to complete his bachelor’s degree, he learned about the Postsecondary Adult and Continuing Education (PACE) master’s degree program and quickly recognized “that this was the avenue I needed to take.”

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Mobility Matters 2021 virtual field trip to Fort Vancouver explores accessibility for all

Screenshot of Blacksmith station during Fort Vancouver virtual tour. (Provided with permission by participant)

By Emily Taylor

On February 26, Mobility Matters 2021 provided a virtual field trip to the Fort Vancouver National Site for the more than 650 who registered. Hosted by the Orientation & Mobility (O&M) and Visually Impaired Learning (VIL) programs in the College of Education, this was the fourth annual Mobility Matters. Each year the event highlights a different aspect of transportation and education accessibility for people with disabilities. Registrants for this online event included 397 K-12 students with visual impairments from as far away as Hawaii and the UK, and 270 adults, including teachers, parents, other caregivers, orientation and mobility experts, and others interested in accessible learning and recreation.

Student, C., participating in Mobility Matters. (Photo provided with parent permission)

During the virtual “walking” tour via Zoom, park staff provided historical and archeological details of the Fort Vancouver site, which was headquarters for London-based Hudson’s Bay Company’s interior fur trade from 1825 to 1860. To augment their virtual tour experience, 362 registered students were mailed learning kits with items such as a tactile map of the fort, a 3D printed floor plan of one of the stations, and a replica artifact from the Fort Vancouver gift shop (hand-forged hook, leather pouch with marbles, glass bead necklace, heritage seed packet, etc.). Throughout the tour, presenters helped orient participants using the 3D maps. Students from the Washington State School for the Blind shared presentation duties, reading portions of the virtual tour. Sign language interpreters provided translation throughout the event.

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COE professor Kelly Cutler testified in support of proposed anti-noose law

Kelly Cutler, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Practice, Curriculum & Instruction in the College of Education, offered support for Senate Bill 398.

By Emily Taylor

Kelly Cutler, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Practice, Curriculum & Instruction in the College of Education, provided testimony on Tuesday March 2 in favor of Senate Bill 398, a proposed new law in Oregon that would make intimidation by display of a noose a Class A misdemeanor.

Cutler shared the lasting negative impact of the noose found on the construction site of the college’s new building on the Portland State campus last year.

“I witnessed the panic and dismay spread across the staff and faculty in our college as a result,” Cutler said. “This act of intimidation not only seemed to traumatize BIPOC members, but our LGBTQ members as well.”

Unfortunately, the incident at PSU is not an isolated one, with other instances occurring in Portland and throughout the state. According to the Oregon Department of Justice, hate crimes and bias incidents in Oregon increased 366 percent in 2020.

“Passing this new law would be a first step towards demonstrating that our state does not accept hate crimes or intimidation tactics of any kind,” added Cutler.