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MAPS to Equity in Education and Student Success
MAPS to Equity in Education and Student Success

The MAPS (Mentor: Alder Elementary and Portland State) mentor program at Portland State University connects PSU student mentors with students, many of whom are from low-income, minority families, at Alder Elementary School in Gresham, Oregon. Every week during the Fall, Winter, and Spring academic terms, student mentors from PSU volunteer in classrooms at Alder and offer Alder students one-on-one mentoring. In addition to helping teachers and students in their day-to-day lesson plans, mentors work to build strong relationships with Alder students through engaging students in conversations and activities that get them excited about college.

The MAPS program began in 2011 when PSU adopted a grade level (Dreamer class) at Alder through the I Have A Dream Foundation (IHADF) Oregon. The aim of the partnership was to support IHADF’s goal to help low-income students in a particular grade level achieve success in school, college, and career.

Alder Elementary is one of the most diverse schools in the Reynolds School District with 27 different languages spoken on campus and students coming from a variety of racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds. Their school motto is: “At Alder School, we strive to be a community of lifelong learners, to honor diversity and to pursue excellence.” Almost all of the students at Alder are eligible for Oregon’s free and reduced lunch program.

The MAPS program is operated by the Student Community Engagement Center at PSU. Student mentors are dedicated to education, knowledge, social justice, and community engagement, and above all else, the success of every student in Oregon.