Teachers United Supports Local School Project

On November 14, 2013 Teachers United student organization sponsored a bake sale to raise money to support Theodore Jones Elementary school's Boost for Backpacks program in Conway, Arkansas.   The backpack program assists students get healthy nutrition after school hours.  Thanks to the customers, the UCA Teachers United members, the College of Education’s Teaching and Learning Department, and sponsors Marilyn Friga and Angela Greenland for their efforts in meeting the needs of a local partnership school.   Also, thanks to the generous anonymous donors that matched the raised bake sale funds.



Soaring Wings Initiative: Giving Flight to College of Education Students

(Submitted by Crystal Voegele, Teaching and Learning, Clinical Instructor)

soaring wings medalion

Most Faulkner county residents have heard of Soaring Wings Ranch and the phenomenal, inspiring lengths that they go to support foster children here in central Arkansas.   The ranch is a residential facility that is Christ-centered and serves children who have been abused, orphaned, abandoned, neglected, or in need of a family.  With so many children, Soaring Wings Ranch could use some extra ranch-hands, especially when it comes to educating these children, and that is where the College of Education heeded the call, forming an official partnership.

According to the educational specialist for Soaring Wings Ranch, Julia Groce, “This partnership is unique because it is mutually beneficial for all involved! Soaring Wings Ranch (SWR) and Greenbrier students benefit by receiving one-on-one personalized educational support, something that is hard to come by during the school day.  For SWR students this is especially helpful, as there are up to seven other children that need homework assistance in their homes after school.  UCA education candidates benefit from having the experience of looking at students in a very personal way.  As a teacher it is easy to look at students as a group, but a teacher must learn to focus on the individual learner to maximize educational impact.  UCA students are rising to this occasion by arriving to tutoring prepared with extensive materials including educational applications for mobile devices and engaging educational support materials.  UCA students are not only helping directly with academic content knowledge, but also assisting students with organizational and study skills that lead to academic success.  UCA students are able to provide tutoring services to our children that would cost SWR thousands of dollars if we were to hire private tutors.”

Greenbrier Public Schools graciously agreed to host all tutoring sessions and provide a mentor for each site where students are served.  Due to the professionalism of UCA students and the success of this initiative, Greenbrier has also allowed additional students to join the SWR tutoring sessions.  As this partnership continues to grow, so do the children of SWR.

This past weekend, SWR hosted its half marathon in Conway, which boasted over 2,000 participants and hundreds of volunteers.  Each runner received a metallic medal in the shape of expanded wings with the engraved message, “Giving Children a Chance to Soar.”  UCA teacher education candidates do this every day they serve in such a needed capacity!

soaring wings photo

UCA College of Education Partners with Faulkner County Retired Teachers

The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) College of Education and the Faulkner County Retired Teachers Association (FCRTA) recently collaborated to provide mock interviews for its fall 2013 Internship II students. The students are spending the last semester of their undergraduate college careers student teaching in the public schools and are ready to begin searching for teaching jobs.

To help these students prepare for job interviews, the students spent 10-15 minutes one-on-one with retired teachers in a simulated interview.  After the interview, the interviewer gave pointers and immediate written feedback to each student.  Students were encouraged by the comments and felt better prepared for an actual interview. One of the UCA students, Barrett Parten, remarked, “I thought the mock interviews were so very beneficial for my growth as a future teacher. It was great hearing an experienced individual give me advice on how to word my answers and to pay closer attention to detail. I feel like because of these interviews, and the advice of my interviewer, I am better prepared for future job interviews!”

Because of this ongoing collaborative partnership with UCA, the FCRTA has been honored on a state level with the “2011 Outstanding Youth Service Project” award by the Arkansas Retired Teachers Association. This project serves as a model for other chapters throughout the state. According to Sharon Rapp, FCRTA member, “It is both rewarding and enjoyable for members of our unit of retired teachers to conduct the mock interviews.  This partnership with the College of Education allows each of us to play a small mentoring role in the preparation of the next generation of young teachers.”

Dr. Diana Pounder, Dean of the College of Education, said, “The College of Education is extremely proud to have such an active, committed group of former teachers as advocates for its students and programs with this win-win collaboration which began in 2011.”

Members of the Faulkner County Retired Teachers Association who participated in the recent mock interview project with the UCA College of Education include: (Front row, left to right) Jennie Webb, Mary Pat Cullum, Laura Clark, Sharon Rapp (Back row, left to right) Steve Clark, Doretta Bright, Kathryn Starr, Becky Vint, Julia Fraser, Mary Kay Joslin, Carolyn Lewis, Hervey Galloway

Members of the Faulkner County Retired Teachers Association who participated in the recent mock interview project with the UCA College of Education include:
(Front row, left to right) Jennie Webb, Mary Pat Cullum, Laura Clark, Sharon Rapp
(Back row, left to right) Steve Clark, Doretta Bright, Kathryn Starr, Becky Vint, Julia Fraser, Mary Kay Joslin, Carolyn Lewis, Hervey Galloway


Kati Baldwin, Middle Level Education major, being interviewed by Jennie Webb, retired teacher.

Kati Baldwin, Middle Level Education major, being interviewed by Jennie Webb, retired teacher.

UCA College of Education Wins Spirit Award at Recent Majors Fair

Congratulations goes to the College of Education (COE) for winning the Spirit Award at the Majors Fair held October 3, 2013 in the Student Center Ballroom. This year’s display was very creative and had a lot of students stopping to get information about the programs offered in the COE. This year’s Majors Fair had a record number of students attending, with a 35% increase in student participation over last year. Students attending the Fair enjoyed the excitement the College of Education booth generated and the great way the booth was decorated. Special thanks goes to the department of Early Childhood and Special Education instructors Angela Greenland, Leeann Howard, and Jamie Dallas, and COE Educational Advisor Shannon Williams, for working the booth and engaging the support of College of Education students.

COE wins Spririt Award

This is UCA


This is UCA YouTube

Education Students and Faculty Attend Minority Student Dinner

On Monday, Sept 23, the College of Education participated in UCA’s annual Dinner for First Year Minority Students. About 15 first-year minority pre-education majors attended the dinner hosted by the Provost Office.

Dr. Pounder, Dean of the College, Dr. Carolyn Williams, Assistant to the Dean, and faculty members Dr. Angela Webster-Smith, Dr. Shoudong Feng, and Pre-Education Advisor, Mr. Shannon Williams were also in attendance.

President Courtway and Provost Runge welcomed students, faculty, and guests.  Ms.Thelma Moton, Founder and Executive Director of a non-profit organization entitled Choosing to Excel, made an inspiring speech that encouraged students to pursue and achieve their academic goals. The COE faculty also had casual conversations with the students and answered their questions regarding their programs of study, teacher education admission requirements, financial aid, and various other issues.


minority dinner 2minority dinner 1

The Mashburn Voice

UCA's Mashburn Center for Learning team is excited about introducing The Mashburn Voice, an abbreviated publication designed to represent the struggling learner. Our intention is to share Dr. Mashburn's voice through this publication. While abbreviated in scope at the present time, the voice has much potential for growth in breadth and depth. In fact, we will publish Dr. Mashburn's first lecture in the next edition. Our plan is to share the voice within and outside our university community.

We hope the recipients of The Mashburn Voice will share the electronic publication with your constituents. I ask colleagues to share the publication with all teacher education candidates. Hopefully, our Conway School District partners will share the publication with their administrative team. The publication has already been shared with our 40 plus Certified Professional Developers who represent our Arkansas Adolescent Literacy Intervention.

-Dr. Mark Cooper

Volume 1, Number 1 - October 2013

Prospective teachers can attend Transition to Teaching Meet and Greet Events

OCTOBER 9, 2013

Dr. Carolyn Williams, special assistant to the dean for external funding and special projects, at carolynw@uca.edu or 501-450-3627.
Michelle Wynn, administrative specialist I, at mwynn@uca.edu or 501-450-5443.


CONWAY— Future and master level teachers in the Harrison and North Little Rock areas can learn more about the Partnership for Transition to Teaching grant during Meet and Greet events in October and November.

The Partnership for Transition to Teaching is a $2.3 million federal grant awarded to the University of Central Arkansas in 2011 to teachers for instruction in 10 partnership school districts across the state. The grant provides up to $5,000 in tuition payments for qualified mid-career professionals and recent higher education graduates to become licensed teachers in partnership school districts.

Officials from the partnership school districts, community team leaders, university administrators leaders will share information and updates about their role in the partnership during these special recruitment events. The Meet and Greet events are scheduled for the following times:

4 p.m. Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Harrison High School Library
925 Goblin Drive
Harrison, Ark.

4 p.m. Wednesday, November 20, 2013
North Little Rock School District
2700 Poplar Street
North Little Rock, Ark.

For more information about the Transition to Teaching program or the Master of Arts in Teaching, visit  uca.edu/MAT, email transition@uca.edu or call 501-450-5443.

10 Things I Never Knew about Being an Academic Chair: Lessons Learned from Year One in Administration

Written by: Tammy Benson, Ed.D.
Published On: September 28, 2013

Full article can be found at the Magna Publications website.

UCA STEMteach students work with Vilonia 3rd graders

Full article can be found on the Vilonia School District website.