value community education that nurtures personal development,
fosters dialogue and increases civic participation.
Many Portlanders call for education programs that serve
the entire community, regardless of age, background
or experience level. Respondents advocate for the creation
of more community-based classes and opportunities, with
the ultimate goal of encouraging and empowering everyone
to learn. They want Portlanders to adopt
and enjoy the practice of “lifelong learning”—furthering
their education, gaining vocational skills, exploring
areas of personal interest and enriching their lives.
community education programs are seen as very effective and people want
more of them, as well as better advertising of these opportunities to
boost participation. Not only do respondents desire more courses open
to the public on a wide variety of issues, many called for ways to
educate the entire population on pressing issues through far-reaching
public awareness campaigns and open seminars. They want community
leaders and elected officials to “get the word out” about local affairs
and policy decisions that affect people’s lives. By openly sharing
information and encouraging conversations between community members and
government, people believe Portland will make better public policy
Note: The idea of community
education shows up repeatedly in all sections of this
report, and was often listed as a strategy to overcome
challenges or to preserve what we hold most dear.
Summary of Main Ideas
value lifelong learning and recognize that education
exists outside formal institutions.
of the challenges we face can be addressed through
- Educational institutions
should offer a wide array of courses open the public that meet community interests.
- Portlanders need job skills
and professional development classes in order to adapt
to the changing economy.
- Community education brings
people together and builds civic capacity.
value lifelong learning and recognize that
education exists outside formal institutions.
- Respondents appreciate the many community-based
opportunities for education and learning available
- Portlanders want residents of all ages and
backgrounds to have equal and open access
to high-quality learning experiences that
promote personal and career development.
- People would like to see Portland commit
to, and nurture, all forms of learning.
- Service learning—the integration of meaningful
community service with instruction and reflection—is
highly prized in Portland.
- Many think that public schools should provide
educational lessons that incorporate community
service and hands-on, experiential learning
into the curriculum.
value the people and the organizations
that help the community because I have
met people that have helped me with the
language in this country.”
would like to see]… a strong public educational
system that links classroom and community
- Create and support informal educational
programs and nonprofits, such as the Village
of the challenges we face can be addressed
through community education.
- Portlanders often tout community education
as a component necessary to solving issues
- Portlanders would like to see greater efforts
made to build broad community awareness around
issues such as:
- The importance of natural areas and
- Sustainable practices;
- Land-use and environmental policy (see
Livability: Land Use);
- Personal health and education;
- Home ownership;
- Cultural differences;
- The City budgeting processes; and
- Rules about sharing the road, particularly
between cyclists and motorists.
- Respondents want to strengthen the capacity
of community members to participate in civic
affairs through raising awareness of community
issues, needs and assets.
- Through increased information sharing and
cooperative problem-solving, Portlanders believe
that we will make better decisions.
- Education is frequently viewed as the only
way to achieve large-scale behavioral change
for the entire community (e.g., recycling).
- Increase the accessibility of public policy
conversations so that they are more open and
inclusive. As one Portlander put it, “People
should be able to participate without having
to pass the acronym test.”
seems key. We need to give people the
skills/tools they need in order to tackle
issues and implement intelligent/reasonable
community dialogue happening. Educate
the voting public. Not just sound bites,
but solid information about what it takes
to seriously support and infrastructure
and systems which are healthy and thriving.”
would like to see] regular community summits—a
la Portland’s budgeting process—that invite
the community to come and share and help
problem solve around specific issues.
Invite not just the usual suspects but
anyone who has an interest and a perspective
public education workshops and open houses
to teach people about important issues.
These should be free and well advertised.”
institutions should offer a wide array of
courses open the public that meet community
- Respondents want major educational institutions such as community colleges and universities to offer
a wide range of community education opportunities
that meet the diverse interests of Portlanders,
including courses on gardening, technology,
history and more.
- Portlanders often mention appreciating Portland
State University and Portland Community College
for their contributions to individual and
community education, and for the variety of
value Portland Community College, PSU
and the opportunities for education and
self-improvement for adults of all ages.”
love PCC, with its diverse non-credit
course offerings at reasonably affordable
rates and the chance to take classes all
need job skills and professional development
classes in order to adapt to the changing
- Portlanders link community education and
opportunities for career advancement to their
own economic prosperity and to the prosperity
of the entire city.
- Many respondents want to see greater availability
of employment and career-related education
options, such as professional development
workshops, job training programs, computer
classes and English language courses for new
immigrants (see Economy:
- Portlanders want to have access to the knowledge
and skills they need to excel in their professional
lives, particularly as the economy shifts
and technology advances.
the future, there are] more job opportunities
and training for low skills workers that
did not have the opportunity to go to
would like more opportunities for career
development and more apprentice programs
education brings people together and builds
- Portlanders need more quality opportunities
to share experiences, learn from each and
build community trust.
- Respondents call for programs that connect
youth with elders as well as programs that
promote interaction between diverse members
of the community.
- They believe that engaging people across
differences builds social capital and increases
civic engagement (see Social
Issues: Civic Engagement).
- People assert that community conversations
and healthy debate bring deeper issues to
the surface, enabling the community to address
"root causes" of problems.
the general public informed … Get people
actively engaged in benefiting their own
as well as the general community at large.”
would like to see] public education about
the city’s needs and how they are important
to all of us.”
cannot go forward unless people are educated
in where we are going, and what each of
us as individuals can do to get there
… Have neighborhood gatherings so they
can talk about what their concerns are
and get involved in how to best fix it.”
- Hold neighborhood gatherings to
surface common concerns and initiate problem
solving and action.
- Create a “college of elders,” so that older
community members have the opportunity to
share their wisdom with others.