News

Mills Awarded 2014 College Teacher of the Year

Mills ACTELA AwardDr. Michael Mills was recently named 2014 College Teacher of the Year by the Arkansas Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts (ACTELA). Dr. Mills received this award at the annual Arkansas Curriculum Conference held November 6-7, 2014 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Nominees for the award must show evidence of outstanding teaching, professionalism, and service in English/Language Arts (emphasis on recent achievements), must currently be employed as a full-time teacher, must have at least five years of service teaching in Arkansas schools, and must be available to accept the award at the Fall luncheon. Nominees are judged on their teaching (innovations, successes, honors), professionalism (research study, publication, membership and participation in professional organizations, honors), and service (school, community, state, nation). Award winners received a plaque and gift.

Dr. Mills currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning (College of Education). He holds a BA in English Language and Literature/Letters, a MEd in English/Language Arts Teacher Education, and an EdD in Educational Leadership and Administration. Dr. Mills has been at UCA since 2011 and has had numerous publications and accolades related to his expertise in instructional technology, curriculum and assessment, and classroom management.

MAT Program Receives 2nd Program Award

MAT SRATE AwardThe Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) was recently awarded the Innovation in Teacher Education Award at the annual Southeastern Regional Association of Teacher Educators (SRATE) Conference held in Charleston, South Carolina. The Innovation in Teacher Education Award recognizes/honors outstanding teacher education programs that have developed innovative approaches to teacher preparation. Programs that want to be considered for this award must complete an application along with a description of the program and its ability to have a positive impact on teacher education. A program from each participating state is then selected by the SRATE Awards Committee to receive the honor.

Established in 2006 with 77 teacher candidates, the MAT program has grown to approximately 450 teacher candidates and is currently one of the largest graduate program on the UCA campus. Currently, 424 teacher candidates have graduated from the MAT program. This program gives students with a baccalaureate degree the opportunity to become certified Arkansas classroom teachers. The MAT is a 36 to 39 hour graduate degree program that offers two tracks for licensure: Middle Level (grades 4-8) and Secondary (grades 7-12). Students accepted into the program are also given the opportunity to secure a Provisional License which would allow them to teach in their own classrooms while completing the program. For more information about the MAT program please check out our website at www.uca.edu/mat.

Dr. Terry James, SRATE Interim Executive Secretary and Chair of the Leadership Studies Department at UCA, presented the distinguished award to a group of MAT faculty who presented on the innovative program at the SRATE conference in Charleston, South Carolina.   Those faculty members included Dr. Nancy Gallavan, professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning; Dr. Tammy Benson, Chairperson of the Department of Teaching and Learning, Ms. Chris Hogan, Clinical Instructor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, and Ms. Amy Thompson, MAT Program Coordinator in the Department of Teaching and Learning.  The award was brought back to UCA College of Education to share with the many faculty and staff that work collaboratively and effectively to keep this program successful.

UCA Students and Faculty Present at International Leadership Conference

ILACONWAY, November 4, 2014 –Students and faculty of the Interdisciplinary PhD in Leadership Studies program (LEAD) at the University of Central Arkansas have recently traveled to San Diego, California, to present research at this year’s annual conference of the International Leadership Association. The International Leadership Association promotes a deeper understanding of leadership knowledge and practices for the greater good of individuals and communities worldwide.  ILA’s conference theme this year was Conscious Leading for Global Change: Emergence of our Collective Realities.

The LEAD program director, Rhonda McClellan is pleased that 18 students and two faculty presented original research at this year’s conference. “ILA is an international organization that publishes top-tier journals in leadership and hosts a variety of conferences and meetings for scholars in the field to share their research. Our presentations and attendance at this conference highlights the quality of UCA’s PhD program. Out of all proposals sent to ILA, we learned that only 30% were accepted, ours being among that percentage.” Further, LEAD students and faculty had an opportunity to meet scholars whose work they encounter in the classroom and use in their own research. Many of the papers presented at this year’s conference resulted from the various community field-based projects for which the program is becoming well-known and from students’ dissertations. Presentations included a study of economics of educating women in Arkansas, literacy action in higher education, leadership development and community engagement, and several other topics that focus on improving quality of life markers in Arkansas.

LEAD student, Emily Lane, was excited for the opportunity to present at an international conference and proud to represent UCA and the LEAD program.  “The work we do in this program is indispensable, and we are always happy to present our work and spread the word about the mission of our program to any listening audience.  This year’s conference was an eye-opening experience for everyone involved and provided us with priceless opportunities to network with other scholars and leaders, and it also gave us more impetus to continue the work of enhancing human and community capabilities.”

The LEAD program is now accepting applications for its incoming 2016 cohort. For more information on the conference and the presentations by LEAD students and faculty and for general information about the program, visit www.ila-net.org.

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Rhonda McClellan
Director-LEAD Program
501-852-0912
phdleadership@uca.edu

C OF ED MASHBURN CENTER EXPANDS ITS SERVICES

In keeping with Dr. Mashburn's mission to equip all Arkansas teachers to help struggling learners reach their optimal level of success, the Mashburn Center for Learning has created the Mashburn Center for Learning Resource Center (MCLRC). The resource center also provides professional development for teachers, administrators, instructional facilitators, and other educators. MCLRC serves as a resource for all educational stakeholders to provide accurate and current information about best practices. We will continuously update this resource center with current Arkansas Adolescent Literacy Intervention (AALI) and Mashburn Institute for Social, Emotional, and Service Learning activities and additional resources. When time permits, please view the electronic resource center at www.aalimashburn.com. If a link is password protected, please use Mashburn as the password.

 

For additional information, contact:

Mark J. Cooper, Ph.D., L.P.C.
University of Central Arkansas
Professor, Dept. of Elementary, Literacy, & Special Education
Director, Mashburn Center for Learning
501-450-3171
mcooper@uca.edu

 

College of Education Hosts 2nd Annual EdCamp

Edcamp2The second annual Edcamp Arkansas was held on Saturday, September 27, 2014 on the University of Central Arkansas campus. This year, over fifty participants attended the all day event and included teachers and administrators from across the state as well as college and university personnel and pre-service and in-service teachers.

The event began at 8:30am with registration and session creation. Participants then work to build the sessions for the day based on interest in the room. Once again the annual “rock-paper-scissors” activity led to the session presentations. At the end of the day, participants engaged in an App Attack activity and closing remarks accompanied. Door prizes were contributed by the following very generous donors: AETN, BoomWriter, LiveBinders, Book Creator App, BrainPop, Flocabulary, Vocabulary Spelling City, Edutopia, the UCA Department of Teaching and Learning, and the UCA College of Education.

photoThe 2014 Edcamp Arkansas event saw the grassroots creation of 16 separate sessions including sessions in technology curriculum and assessment, and teacher leadership. A full list of sessions included: (1) Joyful Teaching, (2) Differentiated Instruction, (3) Assessment Strategies, (4) Teacher Efficacy and Leadership, (5) Classroom Management, (6) Cultural Competence, (7) Parental Involvement, (8) Dyslexia/Dysgraphia, (9) Teaching Writing and Blogging, (10) Common Core and PARCC Strategies, (11) Bloomboard/TESS, (12) Virtual Arkansas and K-12 LMS Options, (13) Technology and Math Instruction, (14) Evernote, (15) Google Apps, and (16) E-Texts/Multitouch Texts.

The Edcamp model provides one recent and increasingly popular approach to providing relevant and responsive professional development. An Edcamp is often referred to as an “unconference” in that no pre-set agenda exists. Instead the content and sessions of the Edcamp day relies solely on the participants with common foci being technology, pedagogy, and current issues and trends.

Participants of an Edcamp engage in an ad-hoc community structure as they are called upon to lead or take part in conversations they define. If a participant feels their needs are not being met, they are welcome to join another session on their own initiative. The underpinning philosophy of Edcamp is that the agenda that emerges the day of the camp is the only agenda that could have happened and is therefore the right agenda for those who attended (Boule, 2011).

Edcamp 1 Edcamp 3

Edcamps possess certain shared attributes. They are free to all participants. There is no vendor or commercial presence, although Edcamps can seek sponsorship. Edcamps can be hosted by anyone interested in the Edcamp vision and mission. The sessions are determined the day of the event and do not have to take the form of formal presentations. Edcamps are reliant on the “law of two feet” where participants are able to change sessions as they wish. Social media (i.e., blogs, wikis, Twitter, Facebook) can be used to continue the work started the day of the camp (Edcamp Foundation, 2012). Additionally, technology is a presence at the camp in the form of interactive connectivity and presentations (i.e., backchannels, twitter, polling sites, video rooms).

College of Education Assistant Professor Recognized for Research Skills

MillerDr. Rachelle Miller, assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, was recently awarded an $80,000 grant from the Windgate Foundation to complete program evaluation for the next three years for Arkansas A+ Schools.  Arkansas A+ Schools combines arts integration and multiple learning pathways to nurture creativity and critical thinking skills in all students.  She will be completing this evaluation with College of Education Associate Dean Dr. Donna Wake, and Dr. Jeff Whittingham, associate professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning.

In addition to program evaluation, Dr. Miller will be working with the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to write items for the Gifted Education Praxis Exam.  She was recently certified as an Item Writer for ETS and looks forward to contributing to this assessment. Dr. Miller currently teaches courses for the Department of Teaching and Learning and for the Leadership PhD program.

COE Tea-time Talks

This year, representatives from the departments of Early Childhood, Leadership Studies, and Teaching and Learning are pleased to host a series of afternoon talks. Faculty and students will lead discussions of their recent scholarly activities. Presentations will be made by faculty and students throughout the college and will allow time for discussion. Of course, tea and crumpets (well, Coke and cookies) will be served. All are welcome.

Fall 2014

Thursday,September 25th                     Donna Wake and Michael Mills
Mashburn 103, 
2:30-3:30

Donna Wake will discuss the Web 2.0 tools she uses in her online course to increase candidate engagement and collaboration. Tools she will showcase include google documents, Voicethread, microsoft Photostory 3, Aurasma, Voki, Toon Doo, Storybird, Zooburst, Reale Writer, Story, Wordle, Educreations, Smore, Haikudeck, Powtoon, Blendspace, Today's Meet, and Poll Everywhere.

Michael Mills will discuss the advantages and challenges of authoring and disseminating digital course resources, with a particular focus on practical implementation strategies.

Thursday, October 23rd                         Rene Crow & Mary Pearson
Mashburn 103, 
2:30-3:30

Rene’ Crow will discuss the social and emotional learning curriculum currently being co-written with Dr. Mark Cooper and the evidence throughout the literature highlighting the strong correlates of academic success and social and emotional learning. The curriculum serves as a strong evidence-based resource for teacher candidates, elementary school teachers, and school counselors who need a dependable, practical, and developmental guide as they plan and implement curricula in this area.

Mary Pearson will discuss her mixed method study looking at Customized Employment Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities in Arkansas, including her findings the study, findings thus far, and opportunities that have occurred for those involved with this study, as well as future directions.

Thursday, November 20th               Candice Barnes, Mark Cooper, & Patty Kohler
Mashburn 103, 1:40-2:40                  with Elizabeth Hudspeth & Lindsay Bean

Candice Barnes, Mark Cooper, Patty Kohler, along with Elizabeth Hudspeth and Lindsey Bean, seniors, will share their work with teachers and students in Kitale, Kenya in May, 2014. Working side by side, UCA instructors, teacher candidates, recent graduates of UCA, and teachers from the Seeds Academy in Kitale developed and implemented social emotional focused lessons with the theme, "Making Minutes Matter."

Spring 2014

If you have a recommendation or want to volunteer for the spring 2014 lineup, please contact Patty Kohler-Evans, Alicia Cotabish, or Rhonda McClellan.

Make A Difference Day

mdday_logoOn October 25, 2014, from 10:00 AM until 11:30 AM, UCA will host the first annual Kids Helping Kids Make a Difference Day at the UCA Soccer Field. This event will provide a unique opportunity to increase awareness and understanding among children in our community about the needs of others and how they can help. The event will include both fun activities and tangible opportunities for children to make a difference in the lives of others.

Craig O'Neill of "Today's THV" will emcee the event. The Make a Difference Day event will be followed by the UCA Homecoming Parade at 12:00 PM and the UCA Pre-game Homecoming Ceremony, beginning at 5:30 PM. There will be a Make a Difference float in the parade and a pre-game public recognition honoring Conway students who have contributed to Making a Difference in the lives of children locally and globally.

For more information about Make a Difference Day, please visit http://makeadifferenceday.com.

Edcamp Arkansas, Second Annual Event

edcampArkansas Logo (Official)The second annual Edcamp Arkansas is scheduled to be held on Saturday, September 27, 2014 on the University of Central Arkansas campus. Last year, over sixty participants attended the all day event and included teachers and administrators from across the state as well as college and university personnel and pre-service and in-service teachers. The event will begin at 8:30am with registration and session creation.

The Edcamp model provides one recent and increasingly popular approach to providing relevant and responsive professional development. An Edcamp is often referred to as an “unconference” in that no pre-set agenda exists. Instead the content and sessions of the Edcamp day relies solely on the participants with common foci being technology, pedagogy, and current issues and trends.

Participants of an Edcamp engage in an ad-hoc community structure as they are called upon to lead or take part in conversations they define. If a participant feels their needs are not being met, they are welcome to join another session on their own initiative. The underpinning philosophy of Edcamp is that the agenda that emerges the day of the camp is the only agenda that could have happened and is therefore the right agenda for those who attended (Boule, 2011).

The first Edcamp was held in May 2010 in Philadelphia, and over 200 Edcamps have been held since that inception. The vision of the Edcamp Foundation is to "promote organic, participant-driven professional development for K-12 educators worldwide" (Edcamp Foundation, 2012).

Edcamps possess certain shared attributes. They are free to all participants. There is no vendor or commercial presence, although Edcamps can seek sponsorship. Edcamps can be hosted by anyone interested in the Edcamp vision and mission. The sessions are determined the day of the event and do not have to take the form of formal presentations. Edcamps are reliant on the “law of two feet” where participants are able to change sessions as they wish. Social media (i.e., blogs, wikis, Twitter, Facebook) can be used to continue the work started the day of the camp (Edcamp Foundation, 2012). Additionally, technology is a presence at the camp in the form of interactive connectivity and presentations (i.e., backchannels, twitter, polling sites, video rooms).

For more information, please visit http://edcamparkansas.org/.

First Annual Edcamp Arkansas - October 2013

First Annual Edcamp Arkansas - October 2013

College of Education Faculty Named to National Leadership Positions

aliciacotabishDr. Alicia Cotabish, assistant professor of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education, has been appointed to a 3-year term on the highly selective Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Standards Committee.  The Nominating Committee reviewed over 300 applications, granting only 25 applicants this unprecedented opportunity to truly shape CAEP as the new accrediting body for education preparation.

CAEP’s mission is to advance excellence in educator preparation through evidence-based accreditation that assures quality and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 student learning.  More than 900 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP accreditation system.  Educator preparation providers include traditional institutions of higher education, as well as alternative pathways such as residency programs.

Dr. Cotabish also serves as 2013-2015 President of the Arkansas Association of Gifted Education Administrators (AAGEA) and as the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Specialized Professional Association (SPA) representative for CAEP.  Beginning in the fall of 2015, CAEP will have a new process in place along with revised national standards for the elementary level. Dr. Cotabish along with Susan Johnsen (Baylor University), Jennifer Jolly (Louisiana State University), and Ann Robinson (University of Arkansas at Little Rock) will be authoring a companion NAGC CAEP SPA book to guide universities through NAGC/CEC SPA accreditation. Sample assessments, accreditation criteria, and best practices will be included.  The College of Education is honored to have our distinguished faculty shape the national landscape in CAEP Spa Accreditation and in the field of gifted education.