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The Journal of General Education

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Community-Engaged Scholarship -- Higher education


Although University Studies at Portland State University often receives attention for its signature curricular structure of year-long thematic mentored Freshman Inquiry, thematic mentored Sophomore Inquiry, thematic departmental Cluster courses, and community-based Capstone courses, it is the underlying pedagogical values and philosophy that represent the real revolution in higher education—a revolution that is ongoing at Portland State. Few large state universities can claim to offer a quarter-century of experience with general education change of this magnitude. This article addresses how a shared purpose evolved over the course of University Studies' history and was impacted by what various leaders emphasized during their tenure. Representing bookends of the quarter-century existence of University Studies, two voices make up the authorship of the article: the president of Portland State at the time of the founding of University Studies, who catalyzed the processes that led to this ground-breaking program, and the current executive director, who has made transparent the ethic of care embedded in the program from the start. Together, the authors tell the story of University Studies' past and present and look to its future, highlighting how evidence-based, relational, caring innovation has resulted in the program through the collaborations of its empowered constituents.


Copyright © 2018 The Pennsylvania State University; permission granted to Portland State University Library to host the published version.



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