About Us

Project Background

In 2003, Innovation Partnership (a non-profit organization based in Portland, Oregon) brought together a 30-person Consensus Panel of community leaders and professionals from the fields of education, business and government to review research on student retention and achievement. This examination and synthesis of existing research was done at the request of several local foundations — led by the Jubitz Family Foundation — and was the basis for the creation of a report called “Student Retention Essential Building Blocks.” The purpose of the study was to determine which education programs would be the most effective in retaining students, and thus should receive priority funding.

The research demonstrated that a significant part of students’ success is directly linked to having a one-on-one relationship with an adult who truly cares about what happens to them. The project’s Steering Committee found that most “Cultural Competency” trainings for teachers and non-profit organizations were one-time experiences that didn’t focus on relationship building or encourage people to revisit them.

As a result, the Steering Committee decided to address the dropout issue by working with community, education, government and business sectors to create a non-traditional, relationship-building training that would assist both professional and volunteer mentors and educators. Welcome to Connecting with Students.

The Connecting with Students Team

Ruth Scott - Executive Director - Ruth Scott is one of Portland, Oregon's most dynamic civic leaders and successful advocates for community improvements. For twenty years, she has taken a leading role in bringing together and mobilizing diverse groups around projects that make Portland a better place to live and work. See more.

Kate Stetzner – Education Partnership Director - Educational Trainer & Outreach Coordinator – National Accts.. Kate has more than 30 years experience in education. See more.

Sarah Cohen – Business & Marketing Manager

Connecting with Students
610 SW Alder, Suite 500 • Portland Oregon 97205 • P: 503-223-4475