Patrick Lanning

Oregon’s education system has been one of the major topics in the State’s transformational agenda over the years. The state’s efforts, through various programs and initiatives and partnerships, have led to a significant improvement in the average rate of high school graduations in the past few years. This is an indication of the importance of commitment to achieving long-term success.

Having worked through comprehensive campus challenges for a combined period of 25 years, Patrick Lanning is no stranger to the value of commitment for transformational change. He is the Campus President for Yamhill Valley Campus and knows too well the challenges faced by Oregon’s education system and the efforts taken to mitigate them.

Mr. Lanning is an alumnus of the Oregon State University where he obtained a B.S Psychology, M.S Leadership Studies, and Ed.D. with focus on Leadership and Organizational Success. He previously taught as a faculty member at the Lane Community College and served for a combined 10 years on the College Executive Teams at Chemeketa Community College and Lane Community College.

The recent positive improvements in Oregon’s graduation rates are detailed in reports indicating the critical elements leading to the positive outcomes. The themes of relationships, equity and partnerships seemed to feature in all critical elements.

By fostering the formation of clear education pathways, students are more engaged in their studies as they see the relevance of their time in school. Oregon’s education system requires students to build an education plan each year starting 7th grade with the support of an adult.

The plan highlights the student’s strengths and helps the student to set goals and outline a plan they can use to realize those goals. Helping students and families understand the pathway from school to career may be Oregon’s best insurance that students understand why they are in school and work towards graduation and career, regardless of their social networks or family backgrounds.

Oregon uses quality data systems to engage each student and his/her support system to work together in ensuring the student graduates ready for college and career. Some of the measures implemented include providing real-time information about attendance and disciplinary action for poor behavior. For parents and guardians, access to such data allows them to have appropriate dialogue with the student. On the other hand, the student is empowered to take ownership of their success as they prepare for graduation.

Setting up an inclusive school culture has also proved to be particularly effective in increasing Oregon’s high school graduation rates. Strategies such as partnerships with communities and active parent engagement, restorative practices and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports(PBIS) have been instrumental in building a system that includes all students rather than pushes them out of the system.

Another significant project by the state of Oregon, the Small School Initiative has also achieved widespread acceptance and shown tremendous success. Overall, a combination of various initiatives, partnerships and collaborations by the State of Oregon and the community at large have led to a reduction in the opportunity and achievement gaps.