NSF grant for computational thinking research

SOU team gets NSF grant to work on “computational thinking” curriculum

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University has been awarded a three-year grant totaling nearly $1 million from the National Science Foundation to help K-5 teachers develop  “computational thinking” skills in the Ashland and Phoenix-Talent school districts. The work will build upon a $299,000 grant SOU was awarded in September 2019 to launch the collaborative research project – which was a success despite the abrupt shift to an online format during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both grants are part of the NSF’s Computer Science for All program, which is intended to extend computer science and computational thinking (CT) opportunities to all K-12 students in the U.S. Computational thinking refers to a set of thought processes traditionally used in computer science to identify and define problems and their solutions. The CT curriculum developed by local teachers, in partnership with SOU researchers, will address barriers associated with implementing computing curriculum in early grades because it will be incorporated into core subjects and introduced in an “unplugged” manner – without computers or technology.

Maggie Vanderberg, an associate professor of computer science at SOU and the leader of the research team for the NSF project, said the grant is dream come true.

“We need to find equitable ways to broaden participation in computer science to increase diversity in the traditionally white male-dominated field,” she said. “And this idea of integrating computational thinking into core subjects will ensure all students have the opportunity to build CT skills during their regular school day – which will also serve them in many other aspects of their lives.

“By building off of what we learned in the previous project, and creating new partnerships across Oregon, we have the ability to make a significant impact across the state.”

The project will include 20 local elementary teachers from the Phoenix-Talent School District’s Orchard Hill, Phoenix and Talent elementary schools, and the Ashland School District’s Bellview, John Muir, Helman, Walker and Willow Wind elementary schools. As co-researchers, the teachers will construct a computational thinking curriculum by embedding the thought processes into existing lessons and then test and refine the effectiveness of those lessons. The goal is to empower all students with the skills necessary for success in middle and high school computing curriculum, and eventually in technologically-rich careers .

“We are excited to continue our partnerships with the Ashland and Phoenix-Talent School Districts,“ said project team researcher Eva Skuratowicz, director of the Southern Oregon University Research Center (SOURCE). “This is a unique opportunity for K-5 and higher education in the Rogue Valley to work together and create a curriculum that can be used nationwide.

Ashland Superintendent Samuel Bogdanove explained the benefits for his district.

“The NSF grant has provided a great opportunity for teachers to delve into strategies that support early computational thinking skills development,” he said. “The project supports the work of the regular classroom teacher in an accessible way by offering tools and strategies that fold easily into classroom learning.

“I look forward to the expansion of the work provided by the grant, and the passion it will spark in the minds of students.”

Phoenix-Talent Superintendent Brent Barry shares in the excitement of continuing work on the project. “Our teachers benefit from top-notch professional development and training, which in turn will benefit all of our students as they continue their education,” he said. “This grant provides the opportunity to expand what we have learned to more teachers and students. Phoenix-Talent is grateful for the partnership with SOU and Ashland School District.”

The program will grow over the next three years to include collaborations with researchers at the College of William & Mary in Virginia and Oregon State University’s Cascades Campus in Bend, and teachers in Lincoln County School District and Redmond School District, The ultimate goal is to develop the beginning of a K-12 computing curriculum pipeline in the state of Oregon. The three-year NSF grant totals $999,806 and will fund the team’s work beginning in October and running through September of 2025.


Central Point schools in partnership with SOU

Central Point district signs college access agreement with SOU

(Ashland, Ore.) — The Central Point School District and Southern Oregon University finalized an intergovernmental agreement last week that will guarantee a path to college admission for the district’s students. Basic contact information for Central Point high school students will be shared with SOU, which will promote college attendance and provide timely enrollment guidance.

The arrangement – which will improve college access, especially for traditionally underserved students – is the fourth of the rare agreements that SOU has negotiated this spring and summer with southern Oregon school districts. The university signed identical pacts with the Medford, Ashland and Grants Pass districts.

“There are many students in our region who mistakenly believe that college is not an option for them,” said SOU Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Neil Woolf. “These agreements allow us to communicate with students about the many opportunities that are available to them. Almost any student with the desire to achieve has access to academic programs at SOU that will help them become career-ready and prepare them for lifelong success.”

Prospects improve for students and their communities throughout southern Oregon when they are encouraged to attain their educational goals, Woolf said. The university is working to establish similar partnerships with school districts throughout the region.

The Central Point School District will provide SOU with basic “directory information” about its students – name, school, mailing address, school email address, phone numbers and grade level or expected year of graduation. The agreement ensures that the district and university will comply with all federal and state privacy laws, and that no information will be provided about students whose parents have asked their school not to disclose the information.


New Sustainable Tourism Management program at SOU

New SOU program offers degree in Sustainable Tourism Management

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University’s newest academic program will provide students the tools they need to recognize and address the role of sustainability in the tourism industry, and to become leaders of tourism-related organizations – from regional to global – that commit to sustainable business practices.

SOU’s unique Sustainable Tourism Management bachelor’s degree program will get underway this fall term with a core curriculum of classes from the university’s Business, Social Science and Environmental Science and Policy departments. It is offered through the SOU School of Business.

Those who major in Sustainable Tourism Management will learn about the importance of environmental and conservation practices in the operational, strategic and financial objectives of tourism-related organizations and destinations. They will come to understand the social responsibilities of those organizations to protect and preserve the resources and cultures that make their areas attractive to visitors, and to contribute to the long-term success of destination communities and environments.

“Learners in the Sustainable Tourism Management program will become experts in integrating sustainable planning, practices and policies in the growing tourism industry of southern Oregon and beyond,” said a document proposing the new program.

The program aligns with SOU’s vision statement, to be “an inclusive, sustainable university for the future that guides all learners to develop the knowledge, capacities and audacity to innovate boldly and create lives of purpose.”

“SOU collaborates across academic divisions, facilities, student life, housing and landscaping to forward our deep commitment to sustainability,” said Vincent Smith, director of the Division of Business, Communication and the Environment. “This new program will build on our existing collaborations between the Business program and Environmental Science and Policy program to serve our region’s growing sustainable tourism industry.”

Students in the program must complete 36 credit hours of required lower division coursework in business, environmental science and tourism, and 52 credit hours of required upper division coursework – including two courses in applied research and an internship. Required courses include “Sustainable Tourism,” “Tourism Policy and Planning,” “Tourism Economics,” “Case Studies in Corporate Sustainability,” “Environmental Sociology” and “Ecological Economics and Sustainable Development.”


National award for SOULA for Chinese Diaspora Project

SOU Laboratory of Anthropology project receives prestigious national award

(Ashland, Ore.) – The Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA) has received a national Award of Excellence from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) for its Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project. The recognition is part of the AASLH Leadership in History Awards, the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation of state and local history.

The Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project is a multi-agency collaboration with the shared mission to promote research and education on Oregon’s early Chinese residents. The project partners include the Medford District of the Bureau of Land Management, the Malheur National Forest, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Oregon State Parks, the Oregon Historical Society and the Portland Chinatown Museum. Researchers use local history and public archaeology to challenge dated stereotypes and highlight the transnational lives of the Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans that helped establish the early infrastructure and economic industries of Oregon.

The project’s partners and affiliated OCDP Chinese American Advisory Committee share resources and expertise, conduct archaeological excavations, apply cutting-edge technology, model best practices and current scholarship, and aim to identify opportunities and overcome challenges in centering the history of the Chinese diaspora in Oregon.

The project will be hosting a number of public outreach events across the state this summer, including a public archaeology day at the Gin Lin Mining Trail in the Applegate Valley on Saturday, June 25, and a public archaeology day at the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site on Saturday, July 16.

The AASLH Leadership in History Awards recognize 53 people, projects, exhibits and publications across the nation this year. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history.

The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also bring public recognition of the opportunities for small and large organizations, institutions and programs to make contributions in this arena.

The AASLH is a national nonprofit association that provides leadership and resources to help the history community thrive and make the past more meaningful for all people. For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, contact AASLH at (615) 320-3203, or visit the website.


New degrees in Music Industry and Production

SOU offers new degree in Music Industry and Production for 2022-23

(Ashland, Oregon) The Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University has launched its newest degrees – a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science in Music Industry & Production Studies (MIPS).

“I am so thrilled to see MIPS take off,” said Derek Keller, Ph.D., assistant professor of music at SOU. “Imagine yourself as an ‘artist in residence,’ composing, producing, performing your own music and preparing for a career in the industry. The MIPS program is an incubator for musical creatives and entrepreneurs who seek an open, welcoming environment to prepare for a career in tomorrow’s music industry.”

The new degree program is a robust one that features course sequences in audio & music production, music theory, aural skills, piano proficiency, music industry, business, and economics. Certificates in Music Industry and Production, and Sound Design – and a micro-credential in Audio and Music Production – are also offered for individuals that do not wish to pursue the full degree.

“MIPS is a unique blend of academics, specialization in music and entrepreneurial development,” Keller said. “I want our graduates to be ready to meet the future with poise, critical thinking and cutting edge audio tools, and to be adaptable with both academic rigor and vocational skills. We also happen to be an AVID learning partner, one of only two in the state!”

AVID is the software developer of Pro Tools, the industry-standard audio/music production software, as well as Media Composer and Sibelius. Students put their developing knowledge and skills to work in the MIP Lab and the Control Room of the Music Recital Hall at SOU.

“Students produce their own and their colleagues’ music, manage and direct live events, and contribute to our social media outlets,” Keller said. “All of this leads to network building and work experience that is résumé worthy.”

The MIP program is already gaining attention both locally and within the music industry.

“I wish they had this curriculum when I was in school,” said Andy Osborn, Artists & Labels Operations Manager at Bandcamp.com, and a featured guest artist in one of the SOU Music Program’s music industry courses this year.

“It is so terrific that you are offering these new opportunities to students and providing the cutting-edge tools and training they need; I would love to help any way I can,” wrote Ryan Wines, CEO of Marmoset Music, an SOU Alum and member of the SOU Foundation Board.

MIP classes feature regular guest artists and presenters from all sectors of the music industry.

In MUSIX, MIPS’ flagship ensemble, students compose, rehearse, produce and perform their own music. This music is released and accessible through both public/live performance and regular media outlets.  MUSIX has already released two EPs, and will release its first full-length LP in fall 2022.

“Our next release event will be in Lithia Park,” Keller said. “MUSIX recent performances are available on the OCA YouTube page, on Spotify, Pandora, or Bandcamp, or follow MUSIX on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.”

“We want our students to have complete control over their creative work, learn the power of their copyright, create a network of professional colleagues and write, produce, teach, arrange compose for film/video/radio, work in merchandising/retail/promotions/social media, manage performance venues, etc. – the industry is vast,” Keller said. “You can land a successful career in music outside of pursuing rock stardom, or performing cover music.”

The new BA/BS in Music Industry & Production Studies is now available to prospective and current students. SOU features open enrollment with rolling admissions, which means that any student can enroll at any time and begin pursuing their degree path. To apply to SOU go to https://sou.edu/admissions/apply/

To assist students, SOU’s Music Program offers over $160,000 in music scholarships, and many opportunities for work study and student employment. For more information on scholarships go to: https://app.getacceptd.com/oca.

For more detailed information about the new degree programs, contact Keller at kellerd@sou.edu.


Digital Cinema capstone project breaks new ground

Digital Cinema capstone project breaks barriers at SOU

Digital Cinema student Tabitha Wheeler is spearheading a capstone film project unlike anything seen before at SOU. The project is likely to catch the eyes of movie lovers in the Ashland community and beyond, following its successful crowdfunding campaign, backing from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and a passionately committed cast and crew.

Wheeler, a senior at SOU, wrote and is director and head producer of the film, “The Lost Years of Shakespeare.” She developed the script in early 2021, with the story following a woman who finds herself entwined in a mystery surrounding the cryptic death of Shakespeare. The film is set mostly in Ashland, and features landmarks such as the Ashland Springs Hotel and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It features professionally choreographed sword fights, and ties in with real historical events.

Wheeler began her career at SOU as an athlete, playing soccer. Having a long time love for filmmaking, dating back to elementary school, she chose Digital Cinema as her area of study and quickly flourished in the program. She has taken a break from soccer over the past year, and has gone full speed into her capstone project.

She began an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign in March, and met her goal by the middle of April. There was an outcry of support from the Rogue Valley community, and the project quickly caught the attention of the local film community. More than $7,000 was raised through crowdfunding, exceeding Wheeler’s original goal and setting records for Digital Cinema capstone budgets.

The film is currently in production, with plans to wrap up shooting in mid-June and to begin post-production work shortly after. Wheeler and her crew plan to have a finished product by November, and to submit the project to various film festivals. They’ve had multiple location shoots, including trips up to Portland and the Oregon Coast. A shoot inside the OSF’s Elizabethan Theater is planned for this summer.

The capstone for Digital Cinema usually takes the form of a long term film project, with a full, student-run crew. Students typically spend a whole year in pre-production and research before filming even begins. The Digital Cinema capstone is intended to allow students to show their specialized skills, and get experience working on a long-term film project.

SOU News sat down with Tabitha Wheeler in this podcast interview. Listen here and subscribe to SOU News podcast with Nash Bennett on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts or Spotify.

Story by Nash Bennett, SOU Marketing and Communications student writer

Gilman Scholarship recipients

Two SOU students awarded prestigious Gilman Scholarships for study abroad

(Ashland, Ore.) — Two Southern Oregon University students have been awarded the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship in the spring 2022 scholarship round to support their upcoming study abroad programs. The prestigious scholarships support U.S. undergraduates of limited financial means in pursuing study or internships in countries around the world.

Zion Blackburne of Rogue River, who is a digital cinema major with a minor in business administration, will study at Dankook University in South Korea. Tiana Gilliland of Grants Pass, who is double-majoring in business and healthcare administration, will study at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom.

The Gilman Scholarship Program, one of the largest scholarship programs for study abroad, is part of the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It has supported more than 34,000 Gilman scholars traveling to more than 155 countries since its inception in 2001.

“We know that studying abroad can have a significant positive impact on students’ academic and career journeys, but many students automatically write-off the opportunity as financially out-of-reach,” said Ariel Bloomer, education and abroad advisor for SOU. “I’m glad that programs like the Gilman scholarship exist to boost access to international education and help our students grow critical skills, like language, cultural agility and comparative analysis.”

Blackburne, an SOU senior, will participate this year in Dankook’s seven-week summer program, which provides a unique opportunity for students to gain professional skills and attend classes. He will lead Korean university students in conversational English lessons during the first three weeks, followed by a four-week academic program in which Blackburne will take Beginning Korean Language and Design Strategy and Planning courses. He will have opportunities outside the classroom to explore Korean culture through activities such as kimchi-making, K-pop dance class, Korean tradition knot art and a Buddhist temple stay.

SOU has a longstanding relationship with Dankook University that dates to an original “Institutional Friendship Pact” in 1970. The connection is celebrated in spaces on the SOU campus including the Stevenson Union’s Dankook Room, which features Korean art and mementos exchanged from visiting dignitaries over the years. Dankook University students visit Ashland on exchange during the academic year, while SOU students primarily participate in their English-taught program over the summer.

Gilliland will spend her entire sophomore year abroad through an SOU exchange with the University of Nottingham, where she will be based in the Department of Philosophy. She hopes to learn more about the United Kingdom’s publicly funded healthcare system, the National Health Service, and use her study of ethics as a foundation for a career in healthcare leadership. Traveling from Grants Pass to Nottingham, Gilliland plans to make the most of her UK experience by joining student societies around her interests – particularly the University of Nottingham Skydiving Club, the largest of its kind in the UK.

The exchange with Nottingham is one of the newest in SOU’s portfolio. Ashland welcomed its first two exchange students from Nottingham during the 2019-20 academic year. The University of Nottingham is one of the UK’s elite research universities, with approximately 40,000 students in a dynamic city in central England. Exchange students to SOU come from Nottingham’s multidisciplinary Department of American and Canadian Studies, and take courses such as American Legal History, U.S. Foreign Relations, Health Care Policy and American Indian Identities while living in Ashland.

The Gilman scholarship is named for the late U.S. Rep. Benjamin Gilman of New York, who received the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Medal in 2002. “Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views but adds an enriching social and cultural experience,” Gilman said. “It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”

The Gilman scholarship is among the most competitive national programs for undergraduates seeking to fund their study or internship abroad experiences. Its scholarships are intended to make study abroad more accessible to outstanding and diverse American students who have high financial need and may not otherwise be able to fund an international, academic experience.

Applicants for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship must be undergraduates in good academic standing who receive a Federal Pell Grant as part of their financial aid package. Successful applicants receive as much as $5,000 to apply toward study abroad program costs.

Those who apply must identify a study abroad program that is the best fit for their academic, personal and professional goals, and complete a scholarship application that consists of three essays. Deadlines are in March and October of each year. For more information on eligibility and the application process, students can connect with the SOU Office of International Programs via email (studyaway@sou.edu).

Prior SOU Gilman scholars include Starlie Bertrand ‘22 of Ashland, who completed her bachelor of science in communication at the University of Calgary in Canada through National Student Exchange. While in Calgary, she took classes including Global Communications Governance, Communications History and Digital Rhetoric, and took advantage of her proximity to Banff National Park to spend plenty of time in the scenic Canadian Rockies. She hopes her experience abroad will help her launch an international career.


Crew Experience is underway

SOU Digital Cinema program launches unique “Crew Experience”

(Ashland, Ore.) — After a two-year pandemic delay, Southern Oregon University has launched its innovative, new, 12-credit spring immersion course called “The Crew Experience.” Student filmmakers spend an entire term learning on location, collaborating under the supervision of faculty and experienced industry mentors on the set of a significant film project designed to emulate the professional working environment.

Students had to apply and interview for their crew positions and were placed based on the experience, skill levels and portfolios of work they have accumulated in preceding classes. No other film or media program in the Pacific Northwest offers such an experiential approach to professional production training.

“This is truly ‘higher’ education, what college ought to be,” said Andrew Gay, associate professor and chair of Communication, Media & Cinema at SOU, and the principal architect of the Crew Experience.

“Today’s film student is savvy,” he said. “They know they can learn the buttons of a camera or editing software on YouTube, so why spend the tuition on film school? What we’re offering is professional immersion — hands-on training, working side-by-side, on-set with both faculty and industry veterans. It’s about learning the set culture, the lingo and procedures that mark professionals from amateurs. You can’t get that from a YouTube video.”

Thanks to a generous sponsorship from Canon USA, SOU students are working with a higher caliber of camera equipment than ever before. The company has loaned SOU two full C500 Mark II camera packages with cinema lens kits, providing students the opportunity to work with professional-grade gear as they develop their skills. Students who successfully complete the Crew Experience are eligible to receive SOU’s new micro-credential in Set Skills for Cinema Production, in recognition of their achievements.

Ashland-based producer and founder of Film Southern Oregon Gary Kout is one of the industry mentors working with Digital Cinema students in their final week of production. Kout also kicked off the term with an inspiration keynote address encouraging students to make the most of this unique opportunity.

“Filmmaking is as much a craft as it is an art, and the inner workings of a film set is an understandable mystery to those who’ve never been on one,” Kout said. “So to get a real education in film production, one has to get their hands on the gear and their bodies on a set. The Crew Experience provides this invaluable opportunity to SOU film school students that will benefit them greatly as they move into careers in the industry.”

Courtney Williams, another local writer-producer, 1st assistant director, and board member for the Oregon Media Production Association (OMPA) is another set mentor this term.

“Hands-on experience is one of the most valuable ways to learn filmmaking,” Williams said. “The Crew Experience is just that. Students experience rigorous planning, on-their-feet decision-making, creative-problem solving, and unexpected inspiration — what it really takes to make a movie!”

The Crew Experience has been shooting throughout the Rogue Valley this term and will continue production through Sunday, May 29. Gay said the project chosen for the Crew Experience was created specifically to pose significant production challenges for the students to overcome as a crew – such as working with a large crowd of extras during COVID and having to shoot in remote, rugged locations. The filming locations have included the Medford Railroad Park, downtown Medford, Porters Restaurant in Medford, Rogue Valley Roasting Co. coffee shop in Ashland, the Mill Creek and Barr Creek Falls trails in Prospect, and a private residence in Medford.

Rick Bailey, president of Southern Oregon University, commented on the unique program. “We are very proud of the students, faculty and staff who make The Crew Experience possible,” he said. “It is a great example of interdisciplinary collaborations leading to powerful experiential opportunities for our students. Opportunities like this make Southern Oregon University a truly one-of-a-kind institution.”

Media members may contact SOU to schedule a set visit for photography and/or video interviews on Saturday, May 28, while the student crew are filming at the Medford Railroad Park.


SOU's Campbell Center renovation is complete

OLLI community comes together to complete Campbell Center renovations

The Campbell Center on campus has finished its 25th anniversary classroom renovation project, which began in 2018. More than $600,000 was raised for the project, and students in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at SOU can now enjoy new, comfortable chairs, better lighting and much more.

The Campbell Center, on Frances Lane just east of the Cascade Complex, was formerly a World War II barracks, before being incorporated into the SOU Campus and used as office spaces, dorms and student family housing before becoming the home for OLLI at SOU.

The program offers educational courses for local adults who are age 50 and older. It provides a wide array of learning opportunities – everything from how to use various internet programs to learning a new musical instrument. The current OLLI catalog includes an assortment of courses in 15 broad subject areas – most taught by local OLLI members with expertise in one or more specific subjects, and all serving as volunteers.

Learn more about taking courses at OLLI here.

Fundraising for the Campbell Center renovation came from a variety of sources, including university and community organizations. OLLI’s own volunteer community accounted for hundreds of donations and a majority of the project’s funding.

Local wildlife artist Pam Haunschild painted a black-and-white mural of a nature scene in the members lounge at the Campbell Center, and portions were colored in periodically to track donations and the fundraising goal. The mural now stands fully colored, for OLLI attendees to enjoy.

The renovation features seating that is both more comfortable and accessible. Other new accessibility features include restrooms in each classroom, and new and improved LED lighting. OLLI has also implemented multipurpose audio/visual setups to enhance remote learning.

Overall, the Campbell Center has a modernized and improved feel, enhancing an already rich learning environment for members of the Rogue Valley community.

Please enjoy this video showcasing some of the newly renovated features at the Campbell center:

Story and video by Nash Bennett, SOU Marketing and Communications student writer/videographer

College access agreement signed by SOU, Grants Pass schools

Grants Pass schools sign college access agreement with SOU

(Ashland, Ore.) — The Grants Pass School District and Southern Oregon University finalized an intergovernmental agreement on Friday that will make college admission information more widely available to students. The district will make basic contact information for Grants Pass  high school students available to SOU, which will promote college attendance and provide timely enrollment guidance – improving college access, especially for traditionally underserved students.

The arrangement is the third in a series of the rare agreements that SOU has negotiated over the past few weeks with southern Oregon school districts. The university signed identical pacts with the Medford and Ashland districts.

“These agreements illustrate our commitment to work in partnership with school districts throughout our region to make high school students aware of the opportunities that are available to them,” said SOU Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Neil Woolf. “Many students mistakenly believe that college is beyond their means. We want them to know that the life-changing benefits of a college education are accessible to virtually any student with the desire to achieve.”

Woolf said that communicating more efficiently with the region’s high school students – and encouraging more of them to attain their educational goals – will improve the prospects of students and communities throughout southern Oregon.

SOU President Rick Bailey said partnerships such as those with the local school districts lead to focused efforts on areas of mutual interest. “We all agree that helping people achieve their academic goals and become career-ready is good for the students, the schools, the university and the region,” Bailey said. “Relationship-building is the first step toward achieving the result that benefits us all. It is our intention to offer similar partnerships with every interested school district in the region and beyond.”

The Grants Pass school district will provide SOU with basic “directory information” about its students – name, school, mailing address, school email address, phone numbers and grade level or expected year of graduation. The agreement ensures that the district and university will comply with all federal and state privacy laws, and that no information will be provided about students whose parents have asked their school not to disclose the information.