Our connection to Portland goes back long before CLA’s establishment as a college in 1973. Whether it’s been through outreach, research, performances or exhibits, our presence has a history of enriching Oregon’s largest city.

Now our connection is about to get stronger.

This fall, CLA is offering its first degree in Portland: our top-ranked online bachelor’s program in psychology, with a hybrid option. Students will have the opportunity to blend online learning with face-to-face sessions and internship counseling at OSU’s new location in Pioneer Square.

“We’re excited to prepare students to be successful in whatever field they choose and in their pursuit of graduate studies,” says Kathryn Becker-Blease, director of the School of Psychological Science. “Our students will be especially qualified in mental health fields, and tuned in to the well-being of their communities.”

Becker-Blease also cites partnerships with Portland-area businesses, non-profits and governmental organizations as a strength of the new program.

“We know a stronger workforce pipeline is a challenge to growth in Portland,” she says. “We’re happy to step in and fill that role.”

The Career Launcher

To Dr. Jennifer Connor-Smith, the academic world and the private sector belong together.

In her career she’s been a professor and researcher, as well as a private child and family therapist. To her, each world is crucial to understanding the other.

And she’ll help bridge that gap for students enrolled in the hybrid Psychology program in Portland.

Connor-Smith will be teaching classes at Oregon State’s new Portland location and serving as the Psychology program’s internship coordinator.

Her private sector work will inform her teaching, and she’ll connect students to metro-area professionals and internship opportunities that will help them get vital workplace experience.

“The Portland program is designed to be career-launching, and not only for students who want to work in a clinical setting,” she says. “Students will be able to do internships throughout the school year in many other settings, like advertising, criminal justice, human resources, law enforcement and business.”

The result? A pathway from school into work, or graduate school.

“Our students will be well connected and prepared to take their next steps as soon as they get their degrees.”

Diversity in the Classroom

To Aleksandria Grabow, the best thing that can happen in her classroom is that her students use the knowledge they learn in their everyday lives.

Grabow, a doctoral student at the University of Oregon studying counseling psychology, wants the hybrid courses she is developing for CLA’s psychology program in Portland to reach non-traditional students and students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

“We’re reaching out to people with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, to people who are parents or who have other things going on,” Grabow says. “The goal is to draw all of the identities and elements of their lives into their classes, and make this information relevant to them.”

Whether their end goal is to become a behavioral psychologist or pursue another field, the cultural competency they will learn in their classes with Grabow will be a key to their success. So will their skills in behavioral modification, which Grabow is teaching in the fall.

“You can apply behavioral modification to work in clinical or school psychology, or in business or organizational psychology,” she says. “But it’s relevant everywhere. You can apply it to parenting, to training your dog, even to quitting smoking. I’m looking forward to getting my students excited about the impact things from class can have on their lives.”

Go here to learn more about our psychology program in Portland. 

Alumni and community partner participation is a crucial element of our Portland program. Get in touch with us if you want to engage with the School of Psychological Science in Portland to help build community and student support. We’d love to hear from you!