The power of possibilities

Imagine going to class each week not in a lecture hall, but in an elementary school classroom. Or health clinic. Or food pantry. Or maker space. That’s the idea behind 3 to PhD®  – an integrated, immersive learning partnership between Concordia University, Portland Public Schools’ Faubion School, Trillium Family Services, basics (formerly Pacific Foods), and Kaiser Permanente — a partnership designed to close the opportunity gap and ensure that every child can fulfill their potential. The collective vision, years in the making, is for a safer, healthier, and better educated community— something that can be replicated anywhere in the nation and beyond.

The home of this groundbreaking new model is a three-story, 138,000 square foot 3 to PhD facility, serving up to 800 pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade students and home to Concordia’s College of Education, students, faculty, and staff. 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. 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.

Students working with students to improve outcomes for all

Every day, dozens of college students from Concordia University help – and learn – at Faubion School. They serve as mentors, tutors, and one-on-one reading coaches. They teach art class, lead recess, demonstrate scientific theories, and run a food club. Welcome to 3 to PhD! Concordia students gain unparalleled experience in their fields. Faubion students gain reading skills, life skills, and the confidence that comes from having even more adults who care about them and are invested in their educational success. It’s a win-win for everyone involved – including parents, families, and the surrounding community.

 3to PhD means creating safer, healthier, and more educated communities – from prenatal care during the first trimester (3) to Pursuing your Highest Dreams (PhD).

The 3 to PhD Campus

Home of preK-8 Faubion School and Concordia College of Education

Meeting and gathering spot – the heartbeat of the community

Early childhood education center

Kaiser Permanente 3 to PhD Wellness Center

Food club offering low-cost organic and nutritious food

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) maker space

For students in Concordia’s College of Education, 3 to PhD means being fully immersed in an elementary school setting beginning their first day in college. 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.

“At the end of this past school year at Faubion, I went to help the teachers pack up their classrooms. There were also some students from another Portland university helping with cleanup that day, and they told me how they haven’t had any classroom experience yet – even though they were heading into their senior year. I was like ‘Wow, I’ve been in the classroom for my whole program!’ ”

Tijera Johnson ’19Secondary Education