PRINEVILLE, Ore. -

The OSU Open Campus program has had special impacts in Crook and Jefferson counties in recent years, as local experts, volunteers and educators work with Oregon State University to broaden the educational opportunities for area residents.

The program was just recognized nationally for its efforts to better meet local educational needs with innovative approaches.

Among the area programs and operations that have taken place in Crook County recent years:

  • In Prineville, OSU Open Campus partners raised over $5 million and built a collaborative higher education facility, the COCC Crook County Open Campus.
  • The county funded a network administrator certificate to meet needs of technology companies relocating to Central Oregon.
  • “Backpack to Briefcase” partners with the county Juvenile Justice agency to help youth offenders improve cognitive behavior and complete high school.
  • At the request of the business community, a “Soft Skills Series” certificate was developed and is taught three times a year

Also in Jefferson County:

  • Jefferson County provides 25 per cent coordinators’ salaries and support.
  • Juntos has become the most successful Latino student success program in Oregon, including development of a club to support students and families, fundraise for scholarships,and several parents now volunteer as instructors.
  • Ana Gomez, Juntos coordinator, has been named to the Quality Education Commission by the governor, and is now partnering with a school in Bogotá, Columbia, to develop an international virtual exchange program.
  • OSU Open Campus partners across the entire K-12 system with programming: “Gift of Literacyfor first graders; “Seeds of Science” for fifth graders; monthly “Hangin’ Out” in the high school lunchroom with Jennifer Oppenlander to talk about career or college plans; and job shadowing for sophomores and juniors in high school.
  • The welding project resulted in nine unemployed or under-employed adults getting jobs.
  • The Career and College Expo with Kids Club targets low-income families.
  • Juntos Club, sponsored by Madras High School, keeps students and their parents connected after freshman year cohort through their senior year.
  • Jefferson County hosted Juntos facilitator training for 50 community and university partners in spring, 2014.