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Thread: What have you heard about Oregon universities?

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    What have you heard about Oregon universities?

    I.e.
    Has anyone heard anything positive (or maybe more importantly, negative) about Univ. of Oregon, Oregon State, Southern Oregon Univ., or, especially **Portland State Univ.**?

    At 44, changing careers, I need to try to save on tuition. Might be willing to play non-resident tuition, but want feedback about my own state first. Thx!

  2. #2
    University of Oregon is the premier research university for the state. Never been there, but my boss did and he loved it. Eugene is a nice place. Oregon State University (Corvallis) has a good reputation for technical programs. It's an original land-grant university, so they focus on the applied sciences.

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    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    University of Oregon is the premier research university for the state. Never been there, but my boss did and he loved it. Eugene is a nice place. Oregon State University (Corvallis) has a good reputation for technical programs. It's an original land-grant university, so they focus on the applied sciences.
    I think Portland State's planning program is pretty well respected. Good faculty and you can't get a much better urban laboratory than Portland.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

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    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rygor View post
    I think Portland State's planning program is pretty well respected. Good faculty and you can't get a much better urban laboratory than Portland.
    Yes. Their urban ecology and green infrastructure projects are pretty good, and good staff all around.

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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by LeeAnn View post

    At 44, changing careers, I need to try to save on tuition. Might be willing to play non-resident tuition, but want feedback about my own state first. Thx!
    If your career change has anything "planning" related I would seriously, think about it. Seriously. Take a very hard look. Hate to bring up "at your age" but this profession it takes many many years to start earning some decent money, let alone retirement. Just my 2 cents.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

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    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    It completely depends on what field you are interested in. Planning? PSU and UofO have great reputations. Marine biology? OSU is great. Drama? SOU is great.

    PSU is an urban campus very much integrated into downtown Portland. UofO is also urban, adjacent to downtown Eugene, but much less a part of it. With OSU you're in Corvallis: nice little city, easy drive to Portland and the coast. SOU is in Ashland, a small city, but always picked as one of America's top small towns, especially for retirees. It's warmer and drier there than any of the other three. As far as CITIES are concerned, I'd pick Portland over all the others, followed by Eugene, Ashland (but Mrs.Otis would not live there since it is too hard to get to the beach from there), and Corvallis, in that order. That's just my personal taste, though. YMMV.

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    Oregon universities

    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    If your career change has anything "planning" related I would seriously, think about it. Seriously. Take a very hard look. Hate to bring up "at your age" but this profession it takes many many years to start earning some decent money, let alone retirement. Just my 2 cents.
    What do you call "decent money"? 40k sounds totally livable.

    ** What I'm looking for in a university's program:
    In a perfect world, (ideal position) I'd like to work with helping catastrophic situations, i.e. hurricanes or safe drinking water, and of course do not expect this to happen overnight. There will be at least four years of school. Not considering city planning or green issues for my daily job. **

    Good idea. -After over a decade and a half, a good hard look at working with violent and suicidal people where pharma. companies rule, I have little influence over a broken, volatile mental health system, work weird shifts, and is ruining my health makes the choice *so* hard. I do intend to volunteer with homeless people after exiting the mental health/chemical dependency field.

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    Quote Originally posted by Otis View post
    It completely depends on what field you are interested in. Planning? PSU and UofO have great reputations. Marine biology? OSU is great. Drama? SOU is great.

    PSU is an urban campus very much integrated into downtown Portland. UofO is also urban, adjacent to downtown Eugene, but much less a part of it. With OSU you're in Corvallis: nice little city, easy drive to Portland and the coast. SOU is in Ashland, a small city, but always picked as one of America's top small towns, especially for retirees. It's warmer and drier there than any of the other three. As far as CITIES are concerned, I'd pick Portland over all the others, followed by Eugene, Ashland (but Mrs.Otis would not live there since it is too hard to get to the beach from there), and Corvallis, in that order. That's just my personal taste, though. YMMV.

    **Really appreciate evaluations of reputable programs with emphasis on helping with disaster relief and/or safe water in developing countries.**

    I live in Portland and the gray makes me want to be somewhere sunny. NONE of the Oregon universities are on the radar/lists of good programs. I'm hesitant to study at PSU: just haven't heard much good in the past 15 years and they were insulting to my alma matter, which was uncalled for. UCLA and UC Santa Barbara are the west coast universities that are mentioned as reputable. -But in-state tuition makes me consider Oregon, or relocating to establish residency in CA, TX, or FL.

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    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    University of Oregon is the premier research university for the state. Never been there, but my boss did and he loved it. Eugene is a nice place. Oregon State University (Corvallis) has a good reputation for technical programs. It's an original land-grant university, so they focus on the applied sciences.
    *thank you*. helpful.
    really want a sunnier, warmer climate, but out of state tuition...

  10. #10
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I know you're talking primarily about Oregon schools, but I noticed that you want emphasis on helping with disaster relief and safe water in developing countries.

    I'm inclined to recommend that you relocate to Texas to establish residency, and attend the University of Texas. They do a combination Masters in Community & Regional Planning and Latin American Studies--essentially a planning degree geared toward developing countries. They've done a lot of programs on-site in places like the Dominican Republic, looking particularly at post-disaster recovery and future resiliency (they got an award from National APA last year). The UT program has become more applied in recent years, and it is resulting in a much better and more respected program with a good reputation in and out of state.

    Texas A&M also has a good hazards center built into their planning program, but they are not active in applying it to developing countries. If you want to focus more exclusively on disaster & hazard mitigation and de-emphasize working in developing countries, Texas A&M might be the better choice. Of course, then you'd have to live in College Station.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    I know you're talking primarily about Oregon schools, but I noticed that you want emphasis on helping with disaster relief and safe water in developing countries.

    I'm inclined to recommend that you relocate to Texas to establish residency, and attend the University of Texas. They do a combination Masters in Community & Regional Planning and Latin American Studies--essentially a planning degree geared toward developing countries. They've done a lot of programs on-site in places like the Dominican Republic, looking particularly at post-disaster recovery and future resiliency (they got an award from National APA last year). The UT program has become more applied in recent years, and it is resulting in a much better and more respected program with a good reputation in and out of state.

    Texas A&M also has a good hazards center built into their planning program, but they are not active in applying it to developing countries. If you want to focus more exclusively on disaster & hazard mitigation and de-emphasize working in developing countries, Texas A&M might be the better choice. Of course, then you'd have to live in College Station.

    First, THANK YOU for the input. And although TX is it's own country, with expectations that many of us will "play" like freaks (i.e. those of us who gravitate toward punk sensibilities) if we do not readily meld into TX norms... the weather and friendly people I'm sure could make up for this...

    Questions: Although when I think of my interests (the U.S., Africa, or the Pac Islands) I'm unsure why I'd want to focus on Latin Amer. Is there a program that focusses more on the places I'm interested in, and more on GIS, which I would think would be needed for disaster relief?

    Concern: Need to take classes to boost my GPA to even apply for a BS program. Suggestions? My grades are not great! This feels pretty intimidating...

    "Masters in Community & Regional Planning": I don't see how I need planning. Am I wrong? Does everyone need it?

    Since I will have to get a second bachelor's, (my original alma matter was not accredited the way universities want), this likely means that I need to establish in-state residency to afford tuition. Would TX's BS program be appropriate?

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    If I were in your shoes, wanting to go to a state school, needing a second bachelors degree, I would consider a community college near the state u. you want to eventually attend.

    A lot of states have community college programs that guarantee admission (often with scholarship) to the state u. if you get good grades. That would get some basic courses done at low cost and get you halfway done at your chosen school.

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    Cyburbian chupacabra's avatar
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    The University of Hawaii planning program has a disaster management certificate.
    You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind.

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    Quote Originally posted by sleepy sheep View post
    If I were in your shoes, wanting to go to a state school, needing a second bachelors degree, I would consider a community college near the state u. you want to eventually attend.

    A lot of states have community college programs that guarantee admission (often with scholarship) to the state u. if you get good grades. That would get some basic courses done at low cost and get you halfway done at your chosen school.

    AWESOME ADVICE. Will look into this: have not wanted to relocate just hoping to get into my chosen program.

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    I do know the UO planning program does have a program focus on disaster resiliency and post-disaster recovery. Planning as a field does not deal as much with the actual disaster relief part of it; I am not sure which programs do so this may be worth exploring as it sounds like you may not be set on "urban and regional planning". (Perhaps its "Disaster Management" as chupacabra mentions?) You may check out the UO RARE (Resource Assistance for Rural Environments) program as well?

    Is it really not possible to enter an MA program (perhaps with a few classes at PSU to prep you) or to transfer your electives and basic requirements as you get a second BA? It seems like this could really cut down on the 4 years in school ... perhaps advisors would be willing to work with you. I remember PSU being fairly generous in their transfer policies when my wife looked at it, but I know universities can be sticklers.

    It sounds like identifying those who work in and educate about disaster management, and meeting with them to figure out the best program for you, is a good next step.

    Also re: getting a foot in the door for work - I believe Amricorps VISTA does quite a bit of work with the Red Cross, etc. Might even be a way to test the waters and get some money for school and some respect in your application process. Again, your mental health experience has no doubt prepared you to deal in the stressful situations that would arise (as well as work in municipal government! : ) ) I admit my ignorance about this field! But any way to build on your experience to date is a good thing - you are not starting over, but transitioning to something new. Best of luck!
    Last edited by docwatson; 30 May 2011 at 1:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally posted by docwatson View post
    I do know the UO planning program does have a program focus on disaster resiliency and post-disaster recovery. Planning as a field does not deal as much with the actual disaster relief part of it; I am not sure which programs do so this may be worth exploring as it sounds like you may not be set on "urban and regional planning". (Perhaps its "Disaster Management" as chupacabra mentions?) You may check out the UO RARE (Resource Assistance for Rural Environments) program as well?

    Is it really not possible to enter an MA program (perhaps with a few classes at PSU to prep you) or to transfer your electives and basic requirements as you get a second BA? It seems like this could really cut down on the 4 years in school ... perhaps advisors would be willing to work with you. I remember PSU being fairly generous in their transfer policies when my wife looked at it, but I know universities can be sticklers.

    It sounds like identifying those who work in and educate about disaster management, and meeting with them to figure out the best program for you, is a good next step.

    Also re: getting a foot in the door for work - I believe Amricorps VISTA does quite a bit of work with the Red Cross, etc. Might even be a way to test the waters and get some money for school and some respect in your application process. Again, your mental health experience has no doubt prepared you to deal in the stressful situations that would arise (as well as work in municipal government! : ) ) I admit my ignorance about this field! But any way to build on your experience to date is a good thing - you are not starting over, but transitioning to something new. Best of luck!
    Thanks so much. PSU admissions was plainly, blatantly insulting to my alma matter, without any recognition that this might not be the way to act. -And also (more understandable, considering the accreditation) will not accept my 300 and 400 level classes, but may accept community college classes. I *so* do not want to attend PSU after hearing various stories about some experiences with prof.s on power trips. We had a lot of nurturing and shared meals at the private school I attended. -But then, power plays seem common in many schools, from what I'm hearing.

    Good idea: "identifying those who work in and educate about disaster management". -Need to get away from mental health and this type of stress: to make sure this field will not be too closely related. -No interest in urban planning!

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