Programs and partnerships with the Oregon Department of Education, Oregon’s K-12 institutions and school districts, and the Oregon University System aim to serve Oregon students throughout their educational path and to ensure that students are prepared for post-secondary education. In addition to the state or system-wide programs and collaborations listed below, each OUS campus or center has strong K-12 school relationships and partnerships. Also in addition to the OUS-administered partnerships listed below, the Oregon Student Assistance Commission (OSAC) administers a variety of Oregon, federal, and privately funded student financial aid programs for the benefit of Oregonians attending institutions of postsecondary education, including the Oregon Opportunity grant (the State of Oregon need-based financial aid program), the ASPIRE Program, and others. The partnerships below represent programs or initiatives coordinated by or partnered with the Oregon University System at the system level.
The Oregon Board of Education and the Oregon State Board of Higher Education meet as the Joint Boards to facilitate student pathways and address issues of common concern in the public K-12, community college, and university systems.
- The Unified Education Enterprise is a task force of the Joint Boards of Education that develops, implements, and monitors initiatives for PK- 20 education system alignment and integration.
Student access and outreach partnerships
- Regional Fall Counselor Conferences Each fall, OUS sponsors regional conferences for high school counselors which focus on key OUS admission and student transition issues and give counselors and admissions personnel an opportunity to discuss issues pertaining to higher education accessibility and student success.
- Fall High School Visitation Program Each fall, the seven OUS institutions send a team of university admissions representatives to public and private high schools in Oregon. The team conducts a two-hour program on both high school and college campuses that informs prospective students about preparation for college, college admission requirements, college costs, financial aid and scholarships, programs of study, and career opportunities. Schools that do not participate in the program can access informational materials such as the OUS Viewbook at Counselor Resources.
- Oregon College Access Challenge Grant (CACG): The Oregon College Access Challenge Grant is a statewide college access initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Education and coordinated by a multi-agency team including all postsecondary education sectors in the state. The State of Oregon currently holds two CACG grants. The 2008 grant supports the Adult Learner College Line (877-848-4669) in which trained specialists answer questions from potential postsecondary education students; a website for adult learners and other prospective students, www.OregonOpportunities.gov; a “train the trainer” initiative in which guidance counselors, volunteer mentors, and human service and community agency staff are trained in financial aid basics; and a marketing and advertising campaign to spread awareness of these and other college resources in the state.
In2010, the State received a second one-year CACG grant which provides funds to expand Oregon K-12 programs that increase the number of pre-college aged students prepared to succeed college, including the ASPIRE program and others.
- Oregon GEAR UP: Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs Oregon GEAR UP is a collaborative program supported by a federal GEAR UP grant that works with school districts, colleges and universities, and partner organizations across Oregon to increase the number of low-income Oregon students who pursue and succeed in post-secondary education. High expectations for all students are at the center of the GEAR UP program. The program supports middle and high schools in their efforts to create a culture of high academic expectations, promote early awareness of college opportunities, and engage students in college and career planning activities. The program focuses on five areas to help increase college-going behaviors: rigor, relevance, the right classes, relationships, and the reality of affordability.
- OUS Native American Resource Guide This publication offers information about campus resources, web sites, financial aid resources, community college transfer processes, distance education, and more for Native American students and families.
Career pathways partnerships
- GET REAL: Explore Engineering and Computer Science Campaign The GET REAL website is part of a collaborative outreach effort of Oregon University System (OUS), Oregon high school teachers, and many of Oregon’s top industries, to provide college and career information about the fields of engineering and computer science to high school juniors and seniors.
- Oregon Pre-Engineering and Applied Sciences Initiative (OPAS) OPAS is a collaboration of industry, non-profit, and public educators and leaders working to help achieve the Engineering and Technology Industry Council’s goal of increasing the number and diversity of Oregon students pursuing engineering and similar fields at colleges and universities. OPAS develops and implements strategies that expand formal and informal educational opportunities in pre-engineering, computer science, and other applied sciences for students in middle and high school.
- Oregon Robotics Tournament and Outreach Programs (ORTOP) Administered by OUS, ORTOP is a volunteer-led team robotics program that implements the Jr. FIRST LEGO League, FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge programs for students in kindergarten through high school. All three programs are based on national and international programs offered by FIRST. Students experience the challenges and rewards of technical teamwork and gain insights into possible careers in engineering, computer science, and other technical areas. Students build and program robots, prepare research presentations, and compete in local and state tournaments.
- Course Approval Each spring Oregon high schools update their lists of college prep classes to accurately reflect the courses being offered in the following academic year, through the OUS online college preparatory course approval system. This information helps students to demonstrate proof of adequate academic preparation prior to being offered admission at one of Oregon’s public universities.
- Integrated Data Transfer System (IDTS) IDTS is a system to transmit student transcripts between high schools, community colleges, and universities in Oregon. By connecting the state’s three education sectors, the data system supports student progression from high school to college and between postsecondary institutions.
- Oregon High School Freshman Profile OUS reports feedback to Oregon high schools on their graduates who enrolled as first-time freshmen at OUS institutions. Each profile includes data on OUS enrollment, entering academic profile such as average high school GPA and SAT, as well as freshman performance information such as average first year college GPA and average performance in certain courses.