The Rural Communities Development Fund seeks to encourage the ideas, programs, and partnerships which equip students to address the unique needs faced by rural communities around the state and nation. While Oregon Tech’s footprint now extends throughout the state and region, our residential campus continues to be located in the rural community of Klamath Falls, Oregon. We understand that rural communities share the statewide need for a skilled workforce of professionals in STEM and healthcare fields, and entrepreneurial innovators, but face a different set of challenges than their urban counterparts.
Oregon Tech’s Klamath Falls campus offers a unique rural living lab where students have the opportunity to address real problems faced in rural communities, and build the skills and networks which will be the building blocks of their success. The Rural Communities Development Fund provides immediate, flexible resources for investment in ideas and partnerships which will provide impactful experiences for students, and strengthen rural communities.
Oregon Tech has a long tradition of creating mutually beneficial partnerships in the Klamath region, which serve to build the capacity of both students and community. The Rural Communities Development Fund will provide the opportunity to explore new ideas and build upon successful initiatives such as Catalyze Klamath Falls Challenge, service learning partnerships which address underserved populations in the basin, including dental hygiene outreach programs, Applied Psychology partnership with DHS, and projects which serve the community and provide applied experiences for students, like the Population Health Management Research Center and Applied Behavioral Analysis Clinic both located in downtown Klamath Falls.
Investments will be made with a focus in several areas which are key to our goal of building both our students and rural partners, with an emphasis on those which will provide the greatest return to students, faculty, the university, and rural community partners. Key areas of focus include: