SALEM — Governor Kate Brown announced an investment of $1.6 million today for three Oregon higher education institutions to launch an initiative called “Moon Shot for Equity” that aims to close equity gaps for Eastern Oregon students at two- and four-year colleges and universities by 2030.
The three schools, Eastern Oregon University (EOU), Treasure Valley Community College (TVCC), and Blue Mountain Community College (BMCC), will work together as part of a five-year, student-centered comprehensive strategic plan to identify and remove systemic barriers that are preventing access and attainment to a post-secondary education degree.
“Every student in Oregon, no matter who they are or where they come from, deserves equitable access to higher education. We must invest and innovate to break down the barriers that have kept too many Oregonians from succeeding in higher education,” said Governor Brown. “This initial investment is just the start of a program to deliver lasting and meaningful change this year and in years to come. Every person in Eastern Oregon – and throughout the state – should be able to attend college and earn a degree.”
This initiative is part of the Governor’s work with public universities and community colleges to embrace innovation and focus on working smarter across education sectors to support students through every stage of education. The $1.6 million will be funded with federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER II) dollars. GEER funds are reserved for allocations by governors through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.
Working with national experts with proven success, EOU, TVCC, and BMCC will use research, technology, and advisory services focused on change management and equity training. Moon Shot for Equity universities and colleges must also commit to removing systemic barriers to success and collaborating with other schools in their area to establish common academic pathways that facilitate student transfers between two- and four-year institutions.
“This initial investment is a critical first step to launching this five-year initiative,” said Tom Insko, President of EOU. “Together, I believe we can reshape the future of post-secondary education in eastern Oregon, which means eliminating the equity gap and making sure all students reach their attainment goals in less time and money and set the path to better career outcomes.”
“Open and equitable access is the core of what we strive for here at BMCC,” said J. Mark Browning, President, BMCC. “We are excited about how Moonshot for Equity can help us reach those goals and deliver even greater success for students.”
“We look forward to strengthening our regional partnerships and identifying ways we can improve transfer options for students to seamlessly continue their education in eastern Oregon,” said TVCC President Dr. Dana M. Young. “Not only will this give us access to resources to enhance student opportunities, but Moonshot for Equity connects us to experts and expertise to ensure our classes and services align to support student success.”
More information about Moonshot for Equity is available here