CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University is launching an initiative to create seamless pathways to higher education for Black, Indigenous and Latino communities in the Portland area through collaborating with organizations serving these communities.
Access OSU will launch with an event today at the OSU Portland Center. Leaders from community organizations, K-12 schools, higher education partners and elected officials will learn about the initiative and offer input to shape its development.
“Access OSU will advance OSU’s commitment to the many vibrant communities who call Portland home. Working hand-in-hand with community partners, our goal is to provide culturally relevant programming that develops knowledge, skills and resources to remove barriers and create access to higher education,” said Scott Vignos, OSU vice president and chief diversity officer. “This will lead to more successful student and family transitions to higher education and success while pursuing a degree and career.”
Access OSU is a partnership of four Oregon State divisions – the Office of Institutional Diversity, Extension and Engagement, Student Affairs and Enrollment Management – and the OSU Foundation and Alumni Association.
The initiative will weave together community-based programs and Oregon State’s many programs serving students and their families from youth to college graduation, including STEM camps, Outdoor School, pre-college programs for middle and high school students, student support initiatives, career development opportunities, and alumni affinity resources.
“Access OSU is designed to close the transition gaps between these programs and provide a more seamless pathway to higher education for minoritized community members,” Vignos said.
Working with a team of leaders from the university, OSU Director of Community Diversity Relations Temmecha Turner will coordinate Access OSU from the OSU Portland Center in Pioneer Square. A community advisory board will also be launched in the coming months.
To date, Access OSU has engaged more than 15 community organizations from across the Portland area, leading to new collaborations and deepening existing relationships. The OSU Portland Center provides an easily accessible location for Access OSU community partners to hold events, trainings and meetings, while serving as a “front door” to engagement on Oregon State’s Corvallis and Bend campuses and Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Vignos said.
Access OSU is being launched at a time when enrollment of students of color continues to increase at OSU. Fall 2022 enrollment included 10,030 students of color. That’s nearly double the number from 10 years earlier. The university’s Corvallis campus is home to seven cultural resource centers and a number of programs designed to support the success of minoritized students, including the Dr. Larry Griggs Center for Black and Indigenous Student Success.
About Oregon State University: As one of only three land, sea, space and sun grant universities in the nation, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Our more than 36,000 students come from across the globe, and our programs operate in every Oregon county. Oregon State receives more research funding than all of the state’s comprehensive public universities combined. At our campuses in Corvallis and Bend, marine research center in Newport, OSU Portland Center and award-winning Ecampus, we excel at shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.