NWCLA is a new kind of college built on relationships, bringing the best of the liberal arts to a richly inclusive student body in the heart of Portland.

The health of our communities depends on dynamic thinkers who can approach complex systems with curiosity, creativity and nuance. In order to create a more equitable and inclusive future, we will also need leaders drawn from a wide range of backgrounds. NWCLA will be a two year liberal arts college for students who will become these thought leaders.

Sculpture by Crystal Schenk and Shelby Davis (crashstudioart.com).
Photo by John Urang 

STUDENT SUCCESS BUILT ON RELATIONSHIPS

NWCLA will focus on the crucial first two years of college, offering a rigorous yet supportive academic environment, where full-time faculty teach a richly inclusive and deeply diverse student body recruited from the talent we know is right here in Oregon.

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KEEPING IT LOCAL

Recruitment will be local (Portland metro area), and focus on building relationships with high school staff and teachers to identify students who would benefit most from a NWCLA education.

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STUDENT COHORTS

Students take courses with the same cohort throughout their two years, giving them the time to develop relationships with peers and professors and create a vibrant, tight-knit intellectual community.

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FACULTY TEAMS

Students spend two years with a core group of faculty who are engaged in collaborative pedagogy.

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INTEGRATED CURRICULUM

Based on the success of learning communities, the two-year curriculum is integrated to encourage coherent cross-subject learning. Faculty collaboratively develop syllabi and scaffold assignments to build skills across disciplines and quarters.

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EQUITY, DIVERSITY, INCLUSION

Learning increases when students interact with classmates from different backgrounds. Society benefits when a more diverse group of students pursues liberal arts education. NWCLA will prioritize admitting and retaining a diverse student body through its recruitment practices.

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AFTER NWCLA

Whether students decide their next step means attending a four-year college or university, entering the workforce, or pursuing an alternative program of study, NWCLA will provide them with the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions.

OUR STUDENTS, OUR CITY

We know that the best way to serve both our students and our city is by cultivating thick networks that encourage exploration and ongoing dialogue. By creating teams of community members and supporters, we will begin these conversations that will continue long after the first students walk through our doors. 

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COMMUNITY & STUDENT OUTREACH

Through strong connections with local organizations and high schools, NWCLA will work with teachers and mentors to identify students who would benefit from NWCLA’s rigorous yet supportive academic environment.

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ARTS & CULTURE

The liberal arts are thriving all over the Portland area in theaters and galleries, at concerts and at book readings. NWCLA will tap into this rich artistic tapestry and show students that NWCLA is only the beginning of their intellectual engagement with the world.

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BUSINESS & INDUSTRY

NWCLA will create an open dialogue with local business leaders to understand their workforce needs, help our students make informed career choices, and create a network that connects students with potential employers.

A NEW MODEL FOR LIBERAL ARTS EDUCATION

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RETHINKING GENERAL EDUCATION

NWCLA will act as a lab school, sharing best practices with other institutions that may want to integrate elements of our work into their programs.

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LOWER COSTS

“How much does it cost to educate a student?” NWCLA will constantly ask how a new kind of school might answer that question.

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SCALABLE & REPLICABLE

NWCLA is an incubator, whose practices can be shared and modified to benefit students in a number of settings.

Be a part of starting a new kind of college. Donate today!

NWCLA BOARD

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DR. MICHAEL AXLEY

Dr. Michael Axley (Treasurer) is a board certified anesthesiologist and holds a faculty position at Oregon Health and Science University as a Regional & Acute Pain Medicine Specialist. He has been involved in diversity initiatives at OHSU and in the Portland community. Dr. Axley holds an M.D. from Cornell Medical College, an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University School of Journalism, a B.S. in General Science from Portland State University, and a B.A. in Literature from Reed College.

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JANINE GATES

Janine Gates currently works for the City of Portland. She has also worked for Multnomah County, Self Enhancement Inc (SEI) and other nonprofit organizations and schools in her hometown of Portland, OR and in Atlanta, GA. As a volunteer, she has assisted high school and nontraditional students receive access to and resources for college. Janine holds a B.A. in Political Science and Social Justice from Spelman College.

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MATHEW LAURITSEN

Mathew Lauritsen (Secretary) is an attorney practicing primarily in the areas of commercial litigation, contract law, creditors’ rights, and bankruptcy litigation. As a litigator, Mathew has pursued and defended claims involving commercial contracts, loan enforcement, enforcement of security interests in real and personal property, judicial dissolution of business entities, appointment of commercial receivers, fraudulent and preferential transfers of property, and denial of bankruptcy discharge. Mathew earned an undergraduate degree at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts and his law degree from the University of Washington. Before joining Kell, Alterman & Runstein, L.L.P., Mathew was an associate for the Northwest law firm Ball Janik, L.L.P.

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DAMIEN MUNSINGER

Bio coming soon…

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ROBYN STEELY

Robyn Steely (Board Chair) is a Training and Organizational Consultant and former Executive Director of Write Around Portland, a nonprofit providing creating writing workshops to communities across Portland. In her consultant work, she provides creative, relationship-based training, facilitation, and organization development for nonprofits, NGOs, social change, advocacy, and mission-based organizations. Current and previous clients include: The Wilderness Society of Australia, Wellstone Action, the Alliance for Nonprofit Management, Oregon Labor Candidate School, Five Keys Charter School and Programs, Human Services Council, Oregon Child Development Coalition, Oregon Walks, Momentum Alliance, and College Possible. Robyn holds a BA in African-American Studies from Washington University in St. Louis.

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DR. JOHN URANG

Dr. John Griffith Urang is an assistant professor of Media and Film Studies at Marylhurst University. He was a visiting assistant professor at Reed College from 2007–2011 and an assistant professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute from 2011-2012. He has also taught at the University of Chicago, Roosevelt University, Portland State University, and in Oregon Humanities’ Humanity in Perspective Program. He holds a doctorate in Germanic Studies from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Bard College.

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DEBORAH WALSH
Deborah Walsh is Dean of Students at Oregon Episcopal School and teaches Constitutional Law, Modern Social Movements, and U.S. History. She currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for Bitch Media and is a member of the Education Advisory Board for the World Affairs Council. Before her career in education, she worked as an associate attorney at Stoel Rives and as a judicial clerk for the Oregon Court of Appeals. Deborah holds a B.S. in History and Religious Studies from Saint Mary’s College and a J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law.

NWCLA STAFF

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DR. JENNIFER SCHUBERTH

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND PRESIDENT

Dr. Jennifer Schuberth comes to the Northwest College of Liberal Arts after three years as a senior business strategist at the ICA Group, a non-profit consultancy that provides financial modeling and business and policy consulting to nonprofits and businesses focused on creating sustainable jobs, especially for low income individuals. As an assistant professor at Portland State University, she started a popular program in the academic study of religion that grew to more than forty minors in two years. She also taught in the Freshman and Sophomore general education program at PSU, as well as trained and taught in the University of Chicago’s College Writing Program. She has taught at the University of Chicago, Portland State University, Oakton Community College, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and in Oregon Humanities’ Humanity in Perspective Program, a college program for low-income individuals. She holds a doctorate in Philosophy of Religion, as well as an M.A. in Humanities, from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis with majors in literature and financeEmail.

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CARIE FASZHOLZ

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS AND EXTERNAL RELATIONS

Carie Faszholz has a broad background in higher education administrative work, providing leadership and support for diverse institutional operations such as university admissions and student services, continuing education and special programs, Office of the Dean of the College, Office of the University President, and commencement and alumni relations. She served most recently as Coordinator for the Northwest Five Consortium, a grant-funded faculty development initiative for institutional collaboration between Lewis & Clark College, Reed College, University of Puget Sound, Whitman College, and Willamette University. In previous management positions at the University of Western States, Brown University, and Stanford University, Carie was responsible for program development and implementation, and in close partnership with university colleagues, the programs under her direction transitioned and thrived. Carie holds a BA in Anthropology from Western Washington University, and an MA in Whole Systems Design from Antioch University Seattle. Her graduate studies provided deep exploration on the art and science of building connections, and she aspires to engage systems thinking as she participates in the collaborative work of the NWCLA. Email

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BETH WHITE

DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Beth White has over fifteen years of experience in development in nonprofits focused on social justice and education. She spent the past eleven years as development director at Write Around Portland (WAP), a nonprofit that provides free creative writing workshops in hospitals, shelters, senior centers, prisons, schools and treatment facilities. WAP also publishes these writers’ work, and holds readings by workshop participants. While at WAP, Beth managed a successful and diversified development and fundraising program including small, major and sustainer individual giving, private foundation and government grants, annual events and the creation of a fee-for-service earned income program. She more than tripled the individual donor base in her time at WAP. Beth is also an organizer and cohort member with SURJ PDX (Showing Up for Racial Justice), has been on the donor relations committee for McKenzie River Gathering, and holds a BA in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Carleton College. Email.

RESOURCE COUNCIL

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    SUZI MARTINEZ CARTER

    Consultant

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    NONI CAUSEY

    CEO at Black Educational Achievement Movement (BEAM)

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    NANCY DAVIS

    Strategy Consultant

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    ADAM DAVIS

    Executive Director, Oregon Humanities

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    SUSAN HENKING

    President, Shimer College

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    PAIGE HILL

    Program Coordinator, College Possible

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    KEVIN JONES

    Director, Actor, and Co-founder, The August Wilson Red Door Project

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    STEVE KATSOUROS

    Dean and Executive Director, Arrupe College, Loyola University Chicago

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    KIM MALEK

    Founder and Owner, Salt & Straw

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    DAVE VEAZEY

    Director, University Assessment, Accreditation, and Research, Pacific Lutheran University

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When do you begin accepting students?

We plan to begin recruiting students in Fall 2018 and welcome our first cohort of students in Fall 2019.

What kind of degree will students receive?

We will offer an associates degree (A.A.)

Note: We are seeking regional accreditation through a partner institution and applying for degree authorization with the state of Oregon. We make no claims to be offering a degree at this time and cannot until we received official approval.

Where will NWCLA be located? Will there be dorms?

NWCLA will be located in downtown Portland near public transportation. NWCLA will not have dorms. 

Will admissions depend on SAT scores or standardized tests?

No. Students can submit scores, but they are optional.

For more information see “Keeping It Local.”

Will there be “majors” and “credits”?

Yes credits, no majors. NWCLA is on a quarter system and students will take 16 credits per quarter over two years. There are not summer courses. Students will not have majors, as most classes will correspond to “general education” requirements at most four-year institutions.

Will there be grades?

Yes. Students will receive grades, as well as personalized feedback.

Will students be able to take classes at other local colleges?

NWCLA is working on the details of how students will take classes at other institutions. Because NWCLA’s curriculum is fixed, we assume most students will not be taking classes elsewhere. However, each student’s needs will be assessed in terms of what classes they might need to take an another school. For example, if a student expresses interest in becoming a physics major when they transfer to a four-year college after NWCLA, we will work with the student to figure out how they can take classes at a local institution so that they are not behind with their science sequences when they transfer.

Will NWCLA have a professional skills development component?

Yes. See the sections on “Life after NWCLA” and  “Business and Industry”

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MAILING ADDRESS

618 NW Glisan St, #303D, Portland, OR 97209

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY

The Northwest College of the Liberal Arts does not discriminate on the basis of protected classes including race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, military status, veteran status, genetic information, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, status as a parent, family relationship, or on the basis of any other category protected by law. The Northwest College of the Liberal Arts does not consider any of the above attributes in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.