Portland, OR. “Students working with students to improve the outcomes for all.” That’s the description of a new partnership between Concordia University and Portland Public Schools’ Faubion School in Northeast Portland. On August 29th, supporters will have a grand opening to celebrate the launch of this unique partnership called “3 to PhD”. It’s an ambitious new model of education aimed at helping disenfranchised students and thereby, the whole community.

The home of this new model is a three-story, 138,000 square foot facility, serving up to 800 pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade students and home to Concordia’s College of Education, students, faculty, and staff.

Staff from Concordia University, Faubion School, Trillium Family Services, Basics (formerly Pacific Foods), and Kaiser Permanente have started their training to work in the new facility.

Portland Public School’s Faubion Elementary and Concordia University have been neighbors for 63 years, sharing 24 adjacent acres in Northeast Portland. Now they’ll share the new facility where college students studying education will teach some of the most impoverished kids in the state.

“From day one, Concordia students from every degree program will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in their field while making an appreciable difference in the lives of Faubion students and families.” Administrators explain, “At Concordia, our mission as a Christian university is to prepare leaders for the transformation of society. The 3 to PhD initiative is our mission in action — working collaboratively to strengthen the community from the ground up.”

Concordia education students learn how to be effective teachers by watching, learning, and doing – often inside a real elementary school class. Students also serve as reading tutors and help out in classrooms. And since the entire College of Education is embedded inside a school, students will also have the opportunity to interact with parents, administrators, and support staff, experiencing all aspects of daily life in a school environment. The program was made possible by a capital improvement bond passed by Portland voters and millions raised by Concordia University.

The grand opening party will be Tuesday, August 29th, from 3-5pm at 2930 NE Dekum, Portland, OR 97211. Parking is limited, public transit encouraged.