The Department of Teaching and Learning Announces New Masterís Degree Program in Teacher Leadership
The Department of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education is excited to offer a new master’s degree program developed for today’s classroom teachers, particularly teachers seeking their National Board Certification and teachers who are expanding their professional careers through teacher leadership positions. This new degree program is titled Advanced Studies in Teacher Leadership.
Teacher leadership has emerged as a vital topic in contemporary education. In the era of accountability, classroom teachers are fulfilling many different leadership roles in their areas of service, and this new degree program focuses on the ever-changing roles and responsibilities of teachers as leaders within their classrooms, schools, and districts. Classroom teachers now serve as instructional coaches or leaders, policymakers, department chairs, and directors of learning communities. The unique curriculum, instruction, and assessments woven throughout this program inform and support teachers to enhance their efficacy and to equip them for the 21st century. Plus, the entire program is aligned to the standards set forth by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Completing the ASTL master’s program will position teachers for successful completion of their National Board certification.
The new ASTL program offers two special features. One, teachers may choose to study one of four tracks. The four tracks include early childhood education, middle level education, instructional facilitation, and content expertise. With some tracks, teachers may add additional endorsements, such as middle level and instructional facilitator, to their standard teaching licenses. Second, this new degree program is designed for today’s busy teachers. The program provides flexibility for practicing classroom teachers by offering most of the courses one of three ways: online format, hybrid format (half face-to-face with half online), or Saturday courses. Through the new Advanced Studies in Teacher Leadership master’s degree program, today’s classroom teachers can increase their educational professionalism and broaden their career opportunities.
UCAís FALL 2010 MAJORS FAIR
The University of Central Arkansas Majors Fair was held on October 7, 2010, at the UCA Student Center.
Representatives from all campus colleges and some of the campus clubs sponsored booths to advise prospective students about their individual college programs of study. The College of Education drew a wonderful attendance of students expressing interest in becoming classroom teachers. This year, the COE student organization, Teachers United, decorated their booth with a Western motif and won the Spirit Award. Faculty and staff in the COE would like to say thank you to all of the student participants and booth advisors.
Dr. Tammy Benson, chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning highlighted this fall’s event, “Thanks to our wonderful faculty and students who made the day a great success by working the booth and meeting with students along with setting up and taking down the booth. All of you are greatly appreciated including Kathleen Atkins, Candace Barnes, Gary Bunn, Mara Carwein, Rob Christensen, Janet Filer, Marilyn Friga, Chris Hogan, Kathy Moore, Patty Phelps, Donna Wake, Steve Ward, and Barbara Wilmes along with other faculty and staff who contributed to the booth.
Participating students included Jacquie Dubrava, Austin Emerson, Chantelle Harris, Cassie Howard, Jessie Kocourek, Brooklyn Morgan, Amanda Ozanich, Becky Sichmeller, and Amy Walden. Ms. Marilyn Friga, chair of the college recruitment and retention committee, added, “Thanks to all of you for your recruitment efforts! We sure have spirit!”
In other recruiting news, faculty and students from the UCA College of Education participated in the Little Rock School District’s College Night held October 5, 2010, at the Statehouse Convention Center. Mr. Steve Ward represented COE faculty and was joined by student representatives Amanda Ozanich and Rebecca Sichmeller, who are members of the College of Education Teachers United student organization. The three representatives spoke with high school juniors and seniors about UCA’s teacher education programs showcasing the benefits of a UCA education. The event was well-attended by Little Rock School District students and their parents.
Recently, the College of Education also participated in “Becoming an Arkansas Teacher,” an educator recruitment event hosted by the Arkansas Department of Education. COE Dean Diana Pounder and MAT program coordinator, Dr. Gary Bunn represented the college at this event attended by approximately 300 people who received information about becoming a teacher in Arkansas. Most of people attending this educator recruitment event hold undergraduate college degrees and are considering a career change as classroom teachers, the target candidate for the UCA College of Education Master of Arts in Teaching degree.
MAT PROGRAM RECEIVES NATIONAL AWARD
The Master of Arts in Teaching Program received the Association of Teacher Educator's 2010 Distinguished Program in Teacher Education Award at the annual national convention in Chicago. MAT program Director, Dr. Tammy Benson, and MAT faculty members, Dr. Nancy Gallavan, Dr. Gary Bunn, Dr. Lisa Daniels, Dr. Sharon Otwell, and two MAT graduates, Vivi Bradshaw and Jennifer Merritt, conducted a presentation about the MAT program at the annual ATE conference in February, 2010. The award was presented to the MAT faculty at the subsequent ATE banquet.
UCA's MAT program was implemented four years ago to better serve those candidates who already held an undergraduate degree to become licensed k-12 teachers. The MAT program has over 300 graduate students enrolled in the program at this time with 112 of these students currently teaching in the schools of Arkansas, many in high need geographic areas.
Dr. Tammy Benson, MAT Director: It is such an honor to receive this award which is the result of a joint effort throughout our college, the Professional Education Unit and the university and we gladly share this honor with our colleagues. It has been a great privilege for me to work with the dedicated and talented MAT faculty and over 500 graduate students who have experienced this program. We have so many incredible students who have come back to school to follow their dreams to be a teacher and make a difference in the lives of the children they teach. Helping them to succeed in that endeavor has been a dream job for me.
The award for the Distinguished Program in Teacher Education was established to recognize and honor outstanding teacher education programs that exemplify collaboration between local education agencies and institutions of higher education in program development and administration. This award is designed to stimulate development and innovation which will bring into harmony all those agencies which have direct involvement in the preparation of teachers. It also is intended to emphasize the ATE's concern for quality in teacher preparation. The award Committee gave priority to the following program characteristics in making its award decision: 1. The program has been cooperatively developed and administered by institutions of higher education and local education agencies along with other appropriate educational agencies. 2. The program has clearly stated goals directed at the establishment of identifiable teacher behaviors. 3. The program has an evaluation protocol that is appropriate, operational, and directly related to its goals. 4. The program provides data to demonstrate that after program implementation, goals were achieved. 5. The program is based on theoretically sound principles that are adaptable to other teacher education programs.
Graduate Expresses Appreciation to UCA for his Teaching Career Opportunity
Ryan Raup, a P-4 2009 Spring graduate, contacted us recently to express his appreciation for his opportunity to become a teacher.
It has been a long and interesting road for me to get where I am this morning. I am closing a chapter of my life at Acxiom and opening a grand new adventure. I would like to thank each and every one of you for your time in getting me to where I am today. This morning I am preparing myself for my first official day as an elementary teacher and I am excited. The hours each of you put in every day are more valuable than you can imagine. I hope you all know how vital you are to the future of education in the state of Arkansas. The number of lives that you touch is immeasurable. Since I stepped into my room I have been full of optimism and sheer joy that I get to do this every day. I get to make a difference in a child’s life every day. I get to help define a community of leaders every day. I get to see kids smile every day. I get to see my 4 year old son jump up and down laughing and smiling that Daddy doesn’t have to go to work at night anymore. I get to call myself a teacher every day! You all are special and you all make a mountain of difference.
- Ryan Raup
We encourage other alumni and friends to contact us with your reflections on and appreciation for your experiences with our College of Education faculty and programs. Send e-mails to Ms. Debbie Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION WELCOMES DR. DIANA POUNDER
Dr. Diana Pounder
Diana Pounder, new Dean of the College of Education, comes to UCA with considerable national recognition for her leadership, research, and professional service in the field of educational leadership. She was identified among "the 50 most productive and influential scholars in the field of educational leadership nationally" in a study published in Teachers College Record (Tschannen-Moran & Nestor-Baker, 2004).
"I am delighted to join the UCA faculty and to be affiliated with a university that has such long and strong roots as an educator preparation institution. I am impressed with the commitment of the College of Education faculty to high quality educator preparation and development, and to equitable educational access and outcomes for all school students. I look forward to contributing to UCA's reputation as the premier College of Education in Arkansas." Dr. Diana Pounder
Dr. Pounder served most recently as the Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Utah, a department ranked among the top 20 educational leadership departments for over 25 years by U.S. News and World Report.
Pounder is an Arkansas native who earned a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics (1971) and a Master's of Education in Guidance and Counseling (1973) from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She earned a Ph.D. degree in Educational Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1984), ranked among the top three educational leadership programs in the U.S. Prior to working in research university settings, Dr. Pounder served for 10 years in public schools as a high school math teacher, a secondary guidance counselor, and a middle school principal.
UCA Faculty Partner with the William J. Clinton Presidential Center
Clinton Presidential Library - Photo Credit - A.C. Haralson
On September 25, 2009, UCA College of Education Instructor Marilyn Friga, and UCA Department of History Faculty Dr. Patsy Ramsey partnered with Education Specialist Kathleen Pate of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library to provide social studies teachers from around the state of Arkansas a “We the People: The Citizen and The Constitution Workshop.”
The primary goal of the program is to promote civic competence and responsibility among the nation’s elementary and secondary students. The instructional program enhances students’ understanding of the history and foundations of the institutions of American constitutional democracy. The workshop provided K-12 teachers with the opportunity to collaborate and integrate the Center for Civic Education program to the curriculum. The workshop focused on innovative strategies to enhance student learning. The participants also learned of teaching strategies including constitution games, reading and study skills, political cartoons, mock trial simulations, and guided discussion as authentic assessment and preparation for Congressional Simulated Hearings. All participants received a full classroom set of textbooks with instructional guides funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The workshop concluded with a presidential tour of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library Center.
Special Education Graduate Program approved for Distance Education
The Department of Early Childhood and Special Education recently received permission from UCA, Arkansas Department of Education, and Arkansas Department of Higher Education to transition our Master’s program in special education to an on-line delivery format. Starting this January, courses will begin moving towards on-line delivery. Thirty of the 36 hours will soon be completely on-line with practicum courses being offered in traditional format. For more information please contact Dr. Patty Kohler-Evans at 501.450.5444.
UCA College of Education Graduates Excel
Rebecca Elms, a recent Early Childhood Special Education B.S.E. graduate, was awarded the Arkansas Council for Exceptional Children 2009 Distinguished Teacher of Special Education Award. Audi Alumbaugh, a recent Special Education M.S.E. graduate, was awarded the Arkansas Council for Exceptional Children 2009 Advocate Award. Dusty Brown, an Early Childhood Special Education candidate, was awarded the College of Education Outstanding Student Award. Meghan Morris, an Early Childhood Education major, was recently featured on the front of Sync, an Arkansas news magazine focused on highlights and current events occurring in Central Arkansas.
The College Student Personnel Administration (CSPA) program’s first year students submit entries annually for the Virtual Case Studies national competition sponsored by StudentAffairs.Com. From 2006-2009 at least one of our students' case studies has placed in the top four awards. Also, over 90% of the CSPA graduates in the last four years have either taken entry level professional positions or continued their graduate studies.
Graduates of the school leadership program continue their high performance on the School Leader Licensure Assessment, a national exam administered to school administration program graduates. UCA graduates’ average score in 2008-2009 was 20 points higher than required by the Arkansas Department of Education and on par with the national average. UCA has a 100% success rate on this examination for the last four years.
Graduates of the school counseling program in 2008-209 continued their record of a 100% pass rate on their national counseling examination. Over 50% of these students have accepted a school counseling position prior to graduation.
One hundred percent of all College of Education students passed the Praxis III Classroom Performance assessment, with each area scoring above the state average. The PRAXIS III is an assessment of classroom performance created by Educational Testing Service (ETS) to assess the skills of beginning teachers in classroom settings, using direct observation of classroom practice, review of documentation prepared by the teacher and semi-structured interviews. These assessments are administered to all graduates of teacher education programs in the state of Arkansas.
The new Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program's first graduates completed their program of study in 2008. These MAT graduates performed, on average, above the state mean on the PRAXIS III assessment. Thus, these graduates are achieving outstanding classroom performance results, demonstrating that this program not only attracts high numbers of students, but also yields high quality novice teachers to the profession. UCA’sMAT program has been nominated for the Outstanding Teacher Education Award with the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE).
College of Education Students Attend State Conference
This year 30 students attended the Arkansas Council for Exceptional Children Conference in Hot Springs on November 11-13. The students facilitated 60 sessions, sold t-shirts, and made over $1200 at the silent auction. The students were able to meet many administrators and teachers from across the state. They really got to see the bigger picture of what being a teacher is all about.
Secondary Candidates Experience Field Enrichment
Secondary level teacher candidates enrolled in Integrated Curriculum, Planning, and Assessment (MSIT 4321) during the fall 2009 semester had the opportunity to learn from several Conway Public School guests. At various times throughout the semester, Dr. Patty Phelps, instructor for the course, invited the following individuals to share their knowledge and expertise: Mr. Ron Seymour, Ms. Molly Walchuk, Mr. William Richardson, Dr. Peggy Woosley, and Ms. Leigh Masterton. These guests shared insights and advice with the teacher candidates on such topics as using the curriculum frameworks, designing alternative assessments, making connections with other subject areas, interviewing for a job, and enlisting the aid of the library media specialist. Teacher candidates found the field experience extension an enriching dimension of the course.
Dr. Phelps greatly appreciated the willingness of these educators to give of their time and professional expertise. The middle level section of the course is site-based at Bob Courtway Middle School where guests are able to share frequently with those teacher candidates.
UCA C of Ed Recruiting Efforts Reach Statewide
The College of Education at UCA is proud to sustain a reputation throughout Arkansas of preparing exceptional classroom teachers, counselors, and administrators. This process begins through the recruitment of exceptional students into its education programs. In recent months UCA has broadened its recruiting efforts to attract a more diverse population of candidates into the teaching profession, further enhancing the positive impact our future graduates have on student performance throughout the state. These efforts include four recruitment trips around the state to Monticello, Pine Bluff, Little Rock, and Pulaski County with the UCA Office of Admissions. In addition UCA holds high school recruitment days known as Bear Facts Days where high school students meet with COE representatives to learn more about education programs. To encourage students to consider the teaching profession, the college has sent follow-up letters to all of the students identified through one of the above recruitment events.
At the graduate level, faculty have attended teacher fairs at the beginning of the fall semester, Arkansas Association of Education Administrators Conference, Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges Conference, the Council for Exceptional Children Conference and the Teach Arkansas: Alternate Routes to Teaching fair to recruit for graduate programs offered in the college. The College of Education faculty look forward to continued involvement with the UCA Admissions Office and other recruitment events.
Dr. Gary Bunn represented the College of Education at the Southeast Arkansas College Fair at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Nearly 2,000 high school students from the region visited the 2 day event where more than 90 students visited the College of Education table to learn about our teacher education program. Students provided their contact information, which is now being compiled for a follow-up response by the College and by individual programs.
Educational Honor Society Inducts New Members
Dean Pounder with the chapter officers: Meryl Vaughn, Kathryn Smith, Macy Ponder, and Laina Gaddis
Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, conducted their initiation ceremony through the Pi Beta Chapter of the University of Central Arkansas (UCA). The ceremony was conducted in Mashburn Hall at UCA on Thursday, March 18. The ceremony was led by the chapter officers: Kathryn Smith, Macy Ponder, Meryl Vaughn, and Laina Gaddis under the direction of the chapter counselor, Mara Cawein. An introductory greeting was given by the Dean of the College of Education, Dr. Diana Pounder.
The Society inducts only those individuals who have exhibited the ideals of scholarship, integrity in service, and commitment to excellence in teaching and its allied professions. Selection as a member of Kappa Delta Pi is based on high academic achievement, a commitment to education as a career, and a professional attitude that assures steady growth in the profession.
This year’s initiates include the following:
FALL Initiates - Kimberly Abide, Wanda Maltbia, Julie Beaver, Beverly Newborn, Mary Cole, Lisa Ortega, Stephanie Daub, Mitch Parker, Sara Deeter, Tina Pipes, Ron Edwards, Laura Powell, Cassandra Howard, Sunny Styles-Foster, Whitney Kelly, Kristine Thomason, Lynzie Lamb, Rebekah Williams, April Ledbetter, Alisha Womack, Brandy Loyd, Catherine Young, and Rachel Lynn
SPRING Initiates - Amanda Allred, Jaclyn Langston, Bradley Baker, Sarah Martin, Kristy Clark, Miranda Ratliff, Misty Doughty, Katelyn Rickard, Mindi French, Ashley Sites, Erica Gray, Kirsten Stewart, Megan Harvey, Rachel Tyler, Kara Hensley, William Vann, Jessica Herring, Mary Whitney, Aida Kuettle, and Senetra Williams
Founded in 1911 at the University of Illinois, Kappa Delta Pi is the largest honor society in education, representing 572 undergraduate and professional chapters and more than 45,000 active members. Its most distinguished members over the last century have included Margaret Mead, Albert Einstein, George Washington Carver, and current leaders in education Howard Gardner, Maxine Greene, and Carol Gilligan. The Pi Beta Chapter at UCA was organized on May 7, 1982 by Dr. Paul Peterson.