By: Emily Henry, OSU Open Campus Coordinator in Tillamook

We had a great week at Oregon’s first Tech Trek camp here in Tillamook at Tillamook Bay Community College! Tech Trek is a nationwide science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) camp for 8th grade girls that we brought to Tillamook through a start-up grant from the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

Tech Trek at TBCC is the only Tech Trek camp in Oregon and the only such camp in the country that is at a community college rather than on a university campus. We had 34 girls from rural, coastal Oregon communities who spent a week immersed in STEM activities—from using the Pythagorean Theorem to build kites to investigating the effects of ocean acidification on the shellfish industry to learning about women pilots and astronauts at Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum.

The girls left with new experiences, new knowledge about STEM subjects and STEM careers, and new friends and mentors. Eventually, we hope that we will see these girls go on to take more math and science courses in high school, be more likely than their peers to major in science and math subjects in college, and eventually increase the number of women in the STEM workforce here in Oregon. After just a week, I had a camper tell me ‘I want to learn to fly a plane now’ and another say ‘I think I want to be a computer scientist when I get older’ and I think, we are well on our way to this goal.

This camp would not have been possible without the support of the community; grants from AAUW, Ford Family Foundation, Tillamook Estuaries Partnership, OSU Precollege Programs, and Tillamook School District #9; individual donations; and the work of our camp planning committee, staff, and volunteers—thanks to everyone for this amazing week!

By: Keely Moxley, OSU Open Campus Coordinator in Klamath Falls

Rebecca Brooksher, a 28 year old mom of two, was the first graduate of a new agricultural sciences degree completion program, offered in Klamath Falls through Oregon State University and Klamath Community College (KCC). This is the story of her busy graduation weekend.

 

 

Thank you so much, Rebecca, for sticking with the program and encouraging others to do the same!

To learn more about Rebecca’s story, check out the Herald and News article

For this month’s First Monday update I’m trying something a bit different. Let me know what you think about this format, and please take the time to respond to the question I pose at the end.

In the video I reference materials from this year’s Natural Resources Leadership Academy. You can download those here:

Have a great July!
Scott

Oregon State University recently hosted “OSU Extension Reconsidered,” a day-long event as part of a national conversation about how the arts, humanities and design could be a part of how Extension meets community needs.

View photos from the day.

More than 50 people were invited, including OSU Extension faculty, members of OSU outside of Extension, and community members, many of whom had little or no experience with Extension.

After a long day of exploring possibilities together, this group identified many dimensions of how such work could be considered.

Many agreed that including arts into outreach programming augments the identity and pride that comes with places.  When asked about possibilities, respondents identified things including leadership through art, math art, film, urban design, photography, music, and oral histories–among others.

Of course, we are familiar with limitations of resources-and Extension’s current workforce doesn’t have many members who are deeply trained in this area. But in true form, our stakeholders are ready to step up, contribute where possible, and help to design and fund a beginning in this area.

Participants shared reflective observations following the event.

  • “Extension is seeking to broaden its scope, reach, and purpose.”
  • “…awareness of and appreciation for creative/innovative efforts within OSU Extension to connect and engage across disciplines (and R vs L  sides of our brains).”
  • “The deep history of extension services.  The connection between agriculture and arts.”
  • “OSU Extension’s depth of impact in a wide range of communities was greater than I thought.”
  • “It’s all about communication.  Getting people talking is the key and the beginning point.  The exercises modeled at OSU could be replicated elsewhere.”

The images below are visual representations of the day developed by College of Liberal Arts students.

What opportunities do you see in this area? If you attended this event, what did you take away?

Innovation-is-the-Responsibility-of-the-Whole-Institution-300x215Click here to download The EvoLLLution’s interview

The following interview is with Dave King, associate provost of outreach and engagement at Oregon State University. King is an industry leader when it comes to devising innovative approaches to post-graduate education; he and his team spearheaded a post-baccalaureate BS in computer science that’s turning the heads of employers and administrators alike. In this interview, he discusses innovation in the graduate education space and shares his thoughts on the role of outreach and continuing education (CE) in driving this innovation.

1. Why is it important for institutions to be innovative in their approaches to post-baccalaureate, graduate-level programming?

It’s important because of the competitive nature of the marketplace these days. We seem to be at a point where we’re seeing a lot of new programs that are being very creative in the way they attract students. Innovation is going to be critical to be successful. Innovation also really has to drive learner success. [The combination of the two] is why it is so important.

2. What role does outreach and CE typically play when it comes to innovating a university’s graduate programming?

We have a fairly unique integration here among our credit, non-credit and CE and extension programs. We try to create a ‘spectrum of access’ so any learner can find, across this spectrum, any spot they want to fall into that hits what they need.

It could be, from one end of the spectrum, just raw information straight from a research project that somebody with a PhD could manipulate for their own purposes in their business. On the other end would be fully online graduate degree programs. In the middle, you have all of these other areas that we’re talking about — CE, individual credit courses, undergraduate degree programs, extension programs.

The importance of connecting those is that when you start to create learning opportunities anywhere along that spectrum, you should be able to use those at other spots along the spectrum. That way, you’re improving learner success by providing them access to whatever type of learning opportunity they need.

3. Ideally, how should the responsibilities of individual faculties and outreach/CE be divided when it comes to creating and delivering innovative graduate-level programming?

Although the faculty members have responsibilities, it really should be driven more by the learner. There are learners out there who need graduate degrees, without question. Those folks are going to be rewarded for getting their graduate degree in the marketplace by employers and other entities in society. What really should drive it is what the learner needs are.

The graduate faculty who are creating these programs need to find a spot along the spectrum that supplies the learner access in the best way possible to [meet their] needs. Not everybody needs to have a degree. Take a 50-year-old worker; we still would like to see someone of that age come back to learn things, but they probably don’t need a graduate degree. They probably just need to be better at their job tomorrow.

4. When it comes to understanding what learners need, does outreach play a role at all in helping faculties understand what the various learners coming back to the school actually need, or is that more of a responsibility each faculty and department maintains internally?

Outreach, obviously, depending on how your institution comes at it, should have a better understanding of what’s going on in communities, in certain aspects of the target audience, because in many cases the outreach programs are actually in those communities and can bring that information back to the campus in a way that actually helps people understand what the needs are. Individual faculties and departments and disciplines, as a whole, all contribute to our understanding of what the learner needs are.

5. When it comes to developing the innovative approaches to delivering this programming, does outreach play a role there or is that again mostly held within departments themselves?

At our institution, there are quite a few faculty members we work with who have split appointments. They just naturally bring some of that outreach understanding to the table. But overall, no matter where you are within the faculty structure, it’s up to the faculty to understand the value of innovation in meeting the learner needs. Just, for instance, think about how you effectively improve learner success in a flipped classroom or in a blended classroom and apply that not only to the outreach areas, but to graduate programs and to others. We spend a lot of time worrying about economies of scope in graduate programs where we think about economies of scale in undergraduate programs. We need more graduate programs with a finite number of students who are successful. Innovation is about the only way we actually grow in those areas.

6. Is innovation an explicit priority of outreach units, or a byproduct of the demand to drive accessibility and revenue?

I don’t think you can be successful without innovation; however innovation unto itself probably is not going to be attractive enough to faculty members. You have to actually show how innovation improves learner success.

7. Is there anything you’d like to add about the role of innovation in graduate education and how outreach can take the lead in supporting an institution’s focus on graduate programming?

With the competitive nature of the graduate marketplace right now, the graduate students we’re getting are expecting to have as much opportunity of success as possible. A lot of times, we’ll see students come to a program fresh and new, who bring new ideas themselves. In engagement, in outreach, these days, what I say is we have to learn as much as we teach and listen as much as we talk. It’s not just any one of us or the early adopters or even the faculty administration or any individual sector in this discussion bringing innovation to someone else. Everybody involved, together, learning from each other and then moving ahead with the innovative ideas.

This interview has been edited for length.

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Key Takeaways

  • In order for an institution to be successful in the modern higher education marketplace, innovation must come from every level, not just continuing education.
  • Innovation is critical to ensuring an institution can meet the needs of prospective students at every stage of the academic spectrum.

Emily Jane DavisName: Emily Jane Davis

Position: OSU Extension Specialist in Forestry and Natural Resources Extension; and Assistant Professor, Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society. I provide technical assistance and applied research to natural resource collaborative groups, agencies, nonprofit organizations, and others.

Hometown: A small town in New Hampshire

# of years at OSU: Less than one—I joined OSU in April 2014 after 4 ½ years at UO in the Institute for a Sustainable Environment.

Best part of your job: I help people figure out how to work better together in the face of conflict and uncertainty about best forest management practices.  I enjoy seeing them building relationships and trying out new things, as well as the excuse to travel around rural Oregon constantly.

Something someone might be surprised to know about you: I collect agates, jasper, and other geological treasures in Oregon’s rivers and deserts and tumble them.

Favorite book/movie/album: Books by Louise Erdrich, Mary McCarthy, and John Updike; movies including Dead Man and The Empire Strikes Back; and too much music to choose.

OSU Open Campus earns national recognition

OSU Open Campus (formerly Oregon Open Campus) was selected as the western regional winner and national finalist for the C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Award from the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. Congrats to Beth Emshoff, Jeff Sherman and the rest of the OOC team on this well deserved recognition.

Learn more about this award distinction and download the OOC award application

Legislative conversations starting up

As part of the university’s budget, the three Statewide Public Services (Extension is one) are beginning conversations with legislators as a way to gain insights into their priorities and how we can position ourselves to contribute to Oregon’s most pressing needs.

Take a look at the “leave behind” that describes our budget requests and five areas of emphasis (PDF)

OSU to host Oregon Environmental Literacy Program

In 2007, Oregon passed legislation that began six years of planning for a program dubbed “No Oregon Child Left Inside”. Among the outcomes was a rich plan to expand work around environmental literacy. Beginning in 2014, the Oregon Environmental Literacy program (OELP) will be administered by OSU and led by a team of faculty with Susan Sahnow at the helm. The steering committee is scheduled to start meeting this month.

Learn more about the background and commitment to environmental literacy (PDF)

Health Extension Run 2014

Oregon State University’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences will become Oregon’s first nationally accredited College of Public Health and Human Sciences. To bring awareness to this distinction and the power of living a healthy lifestyle, two college undergraduates – and brothers, Isaiah and Jeremiah Godby – are running to 30 out of 36 Oregon counties, stopping at OSU Extension Service offices along the way and encouraging community members, alumni and Beavers fans across Oregon to join them – whether you walk, run or use a wheelchair.

Find out when the run will be in your area

Upcoming professional development opportunities

KaetyHildebrandName: Kaety Hildenbrand

Position: Extension Marine Fisheries Educator with Oregon Sea Grant

Hometown: Newport, Oregon

# of years at OSU: 11

Best part of your job: I love working with the commercial fishing fleet! I grew up in a commercial fishing family, and being able to work with fishermen brings a profound sense of connection and culture to my life. I have learned so much from the commercial fishermen that I work with, not just about fishing, and fisheries issues, but about life, love, and family.

Something someone might be surprised to know about you:  That my dad was the nation’s first marine extension agent. I actually work from the same office that he did. When I got the job 11 years ago, I pulled his old desk out of storage and still work from it today.

Favorite book/movie/album:

My favorite books are: Salt in Our Blood by Michele Longo-Eder, and Ferdinand, a children’s book that I love reading to my kids.

My favorite movies are: The Amercian President.

 

SilviaRondonName: Silvia Rondon

Position: Associate Professor, Extension Entomologist Specialist

Hometown: Lima, Peru (Hermiston, OR since 2005)

# of years at OSU: 8

Best part of your job:

Talk and meet people and FLC

Freedom !!! I love the idea to guide my program following the needs of my clientele.

Location !!!! Eastern Oregon is a “hidden” gem.

Co-workers !!! The people I work with at the HAREC are just great.

Something someone might be surprised to know about you:

I love music (good music): AC/DC, Creed, Artic Monkeys, oldies Billy Idol, and others. Soft side: John Mayer and Nora Jones J

Favorite book/movie/album:

Favorite book: Mi planta de naranja Lima (My plant or orange-lime) by Jose Mauro Vasconcelos. Movie: Serendipity and Star Wars.

Smith-Lever Act CentennialThe first week in May is historic.

On May 8, 1914, the Smith-Lever Act was enacted that established outreach units at Land-grant universities across the nation. On May 8, 2014, a convocation in Washington, DC will commemorate this national policy and all the associated successes of taking knowledge to the people.

Learn more about plans to celebrate this important milestone.

As a member of the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, I spent significant time in the last month reading and discussing promotion and tenure dossiers for OSU faculty.

Undergirding all conversations about the more than 70 candidates was the question of scholarship. For faculty responsible for outreach and engagement, scholarship is demonstrated in diverse ways—unlike the conventional peer-refereed publications expected of researchers.  To qualify, scholarship must meet three criteria—1) original intellectual work 2) validated by peers, and 3) communicated. I am glad to report that faculty conducting engaged scholarship are recognized with career advancement. It is clear, though, that work remains to better define how peers are selected and how communication helps to implement associated innovations.

Two weeks ago at the Vice Provost Awards for Excellence luncheon, Dave, Deb and I distributed plaques and checks to several outstanding examples of engaged work. Congrats to all of this year’s recipients!

IN THE NEWS

QUESTION OF THE  MONTH

Q. The new Leadership Development Program for Executives is for faculty.  Are there thoughts for a strategic talent pipeline for staff?  Both for movement within the classified system and also from classified to professional faculty?  If we could increase retention of our many talented and dedicated staff, we would also better capitalize on the investment the Division has made in their hiring, training, and development.

A. What a great question! In fact, professional development, skill building and career advancement for division staff are critical to our collective success. While there are some campus-wide programs that include classified staff, we need to consider unique options for Outreach and Engagement, and I invite input and suggestions from all.

Should we consider a special internal development program? What should it contain? How about a job exchange or shadowing program that allows people to experience another setting? Maybe we should design an annual office tour that would spend a day on the road visiting off-campus division facilities. Internships? Your ideas are welcome.