The University of Oregon’s College of Education has received a gift of $6 million from the Quest Fund to endow its HEDCO Clinic, which has provided low-cost, educational services to the Eugene-Springfield community for six years.
The new endowment will cover much of the operational cost that had been borne by programs that give students hands-on clinical experience. This critical support will enable the clinic to extend its reach and redirect existing funding to the college’s research activities, according to UO President Michael Schill.
“Our long-term vision is to expand the college’s clinic and capabilities to become the educational and social-services equivalent of a modern teaching hospital,” he said. “This very generous gift is a game-changing step toward achieving that goal.”
The HEDCO Clinic currently houses the UO’s Speech-Language-Hearing Center and Center for Healthy Relationships. These centers are staffed by master’s degree students in communication disorders and sciences, and couples and family therapy. Fees average $15 per client, which enables many community members to receive the help that they might not find or afford elsewhere. The new gift will broaden the clinic’s impact, according to Randy Kamphaus, dean of the College of Education.
“This gift allows our academic programs to expand their capacity, train more clinicians and better serve our community members — nearly half of whom have significant financial challenges,” Kamphaus said.
He added that beyond its core competencies in teacher and administrator education, the College of Education is highly regarded for its excellence in clinical and human services.
Future plans for the clinic now include establishing a center for the family-based treatment of autism, and reading and math tutoring, both of which would build upon the college’s strengths across many disciplines.
The additional services enabled by this gift also will help the college close the “translational gap,” or how the work of its researchers is applied in practice.
“The HEDCO Clinic is positioned to become a vital resource in the Pacific Northwest as we work to bring our knowledge and expertise to families and children in need,” Kamphaus said. “This endowment takes years off that process, and we couldn’t be more grateful.”
The UO currently is ranked No. 2 in the nation among graduate schools of education for research productivity per faculty member. Research funding typically hovers around $30 million per year ($32.9 million in 2014-15). Overall it is ranked No. 12 among all colleges of education and No. 5 among public institutions.