PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The kids at Faubion Elementary in Portland have benefited from having next-door Concordia University students come into their classrooms and help. Soon, though, the college kids will be moving into a new building with the grade school students.
Faubion’s Assistant Principal Jen McCalley told KOIN 6 News the newly rebuilt Faubion will have classrooms for her elementary school kids and classrooms for aspiring teachers from Concordia’s Education program when it re-opens in two-and-a-half years.
“We’re really trying to revolutionize what we’re doing in education,” she said. “We are allowing Concordia University students to learn how to become top notch urban educators by actually giving them a school where they can actually practice their craft as they’re learning.”
The total cost of the Faubion rebuild is $43 million. One-third of that amount is being paid by Concordia.
Kevin Matheny, the Chief Development Officer at Concordia, showed drawings of the finished product that has grade school classrooms and college classrooms under the same roof.
In fact, the principal’s office is right next to Concordia’s Dean of Education in Northeast Portland.
“If you want to be a teacher you’re going to come into an education setting the very first day you come to college,” said Concordia University’s Kevin Matheny. “You’re not going to be waiting for a couple of years in a classroom. You’re going to be right in the middle of an educational setting. From day one you’re going to know if you want to teach school.”
McCalley added, “This is very unique. We have researched the United States and have not found anything like this yet.”
Administrators from both schools say the new arrangement will benefit everyone.
College kids who want to teach will have a real life teaching experience, and grade school kids will get additional attention from college kids eager to teach.