Portland State University Strives to Increase Student Engagement

Portland State University is looking to increase student engagement and build more of a sense of community in this new blended learning environment.

As part of this, PSU’s School of Social Work has partnered with InScribe digital communities. Through this collaboration, students at PSU will have a new way to connect with one another, access support, and motivate and encourage each other in their academic and professional ventures. 

PSU takes pride in its commitment to student success and believes that students succeed when they are connected to opportunities and support to achieve their goals. In PSU’s Student First initiative, four main areas of focus are emphasized to define metrics and create courses of action: Persistence, Academic Success, Affordability, and Student Experience. PSU has been nationally recognized for these efforts, being named in the 2022 Best Colleges guide for its increased social mobility, commitment to service learning, and creation of an innovative campus environment. 

With the perspective of the Student First initiative’s four pillars in mind, this new partnership is expected to foster student success by increasing student engagement and building a sense of community. The institution’s digital community, powered by InScribe, provides students with an engaging space to share information and cultivate meaningful relationships. 

"At PSU, students come first, and we want to do everything we can to help every student feel the power of connection," said Mollie Janssen, BSW Online Coordinator at PSW. "No matter where our students come from or how they identify with our school and each other, we want them to have a place where they can be themselves and feel a sense of belonging. Our goal is to use InScribe's communities to facilitate that all-important anytime, anywhere connection so students can get the help and encouragement they need when they need it most."

InScribe's digital communities tear down the innate barriers of traditional support silos in higher education, giving students a single place to turn to when they’re in need of help and support, according to the company. Students benefit from on-demand, peer-to-peer, and student-to-expert collaboration, which  in turn helps them feel more connected, increasing student engagement, satisfaction, and retention. PSU's School of Social Work is commodifying InScribe's digital community platform and mobile app interface to empower students in its bachelor's and master's programs to share experiences and create meaningful connections. 

PSU’s students will now have the opportunity to contribute to conversations in a way that they deem comfortable and authentic. They can now easily connect with others who share similar interests, backgrounds, and goals. For instance, students can easily join LGBTQIA+ student groups, student parent groups, BIPOC groups and more, enriching their student experience and learning environment.

"PSU's vision to develop a greater sense of community among its students and make sure all learners feel supported is especially critical today," said Katy Kappler, CEO of InScribe. "Knowing someone is in your corner and building these authentic relationships is an important part of the education experience, and we are grateful to work with the PSU team to create engaging and inviting spaces where students can thrive.”