COE Professional Development

This summer, the College of Education is proud to present virtual professional development (PD) sessions to Arkansas teachers via Zoom. PD credit hours approved by DESE/ADE will be offered for each session. Please scroll through this page for session and presenter information.

These sessions are NO COST! Space is limited, but session recordings will be available at a later date. 

PD credit will not be awarded for those who cannot attend in person via ZOOM.  Recordings of the sessions might be available but viewing will not result in PD credit.  Modifications will be made for persons with disabilities.  Please contact Ashton Hankins at ahankins@uca.edu prior to the workshop for accommodations.

If you have any questions, please contact us at coe@uca.edu. For technical issues, please contact the TLC at tlc@uca.edu or the Zoom Help Center.

Shaping an Equity Vision: Reflection of Outcomes & Process
Trends & Issues in Special Education
Utilizing Technology Tools for Investigation in Virtual and Face-to-Face Learning
Creative COVID Classrooms: Literacy Learning in a New Hybrid Environment
Building an Online Space for K-12 Learners
Cultivating Opportunities for Equity in the Digital Age
Creative COVID Classrooms: Literacy Learning in a New Hybrid Environment


Shaping an Equity Vision: Reflection of Outcomes & Process

Presented by: Dr. Stacey Loyless and Dr. Shelly Albritton
June 24, 2020 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT
Recording: https://youtu.be/6W3ps9A6L54

In this session we examine the necessity of analyzing and being reflective about Process – what we do as adults. The triangulation of Vision-Process-Outcome is paramount in leading schools toward authentic equity. Vision should inform Process and Process should influence Outcomes. Far too often when we look at our school organizations, we fail to recognize the organization’s Vision leading to uninformed Processes. The lack of consistency in the goals, philosophy, and priorities among school constituents and stakeholders can lead to Processes that results in lower levels of student achievement.  Further complicating the situation is the nearly exclusively focus on student Outcome data as a measure of school performance. Thus, the focus on Process connects Vision to Outcome.

Two-hour session targeted for those who desire to have a positive leadership influence in their school and district, regardless of current position or title.

About the presenters:
Before joining the UCA Department of Leadership Studies, Dr. Stacey Loyless served over 30 years as an educator in Texas public schools; 22 of those years were in leadership positions. Prior to UCA, he acquired experience as a science teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal, principal, central office administrator, and university adjunct professor. In addition, Dr. Loyless has provided instructional and leadership consulting services to K-12 districts. Dr. Loyless received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Tarleton State University in May 2014. Research interests include instructional design, student agency & engagement, educator efficacy, and equity minded leadership.

Dr. Shelly Albritton is a Professor in Leadership Studies in the College of Education at the University of Central Arkansas. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Educational Leadership and Research of the College of Psychology and Education at the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS where she majored in Education Administration and Supervision. She has been serving leadership students for 17 years and is serving as program coordinator for the past eleven years. Before working in higher education, Dr. Albritton served in a public-school setting for eight years as a junior high school language arts teacher, a district-wide parent liaison leader, and a middle school administrator. Dr. Albritton’s scholarship focuses on leadership, distance learning technologies in education leadership preparation programs, school improvement, social justice, and educational equity.


Trends & Issues in Special Education

Presented by: Mrs. Dee Dee Cain and Mrs. Kristen Doran
June 30, 2020 from 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM CDT
Recording: https://youtu.be/cVueT3_ecGU

Participants will learn about three current trends and issues in special education. The three trends include High Leverage Practices in special education, Data Driven Assessment & Instruction and The Science of Reading & the special educator. We will walk through the trends and issues as well as learn how to implement these trends and issues into classrooms in a way that benefits everyone.

This session is for special education teachers K-12 as well as related services professionals in K-12 schools. Participants will walk away with a strong knowledge of the high leverage practices in the area of special education,  how to comb through an educational evaluation to glean the information that can services providers understand the needs of students and how to approach the science of reading in the special education classroom. Participants will be given s handouts that can be implemented in any special education setting.

About the presenters: 
Mrs. Dee Dee Cain is an Instructor at the University of Central Arkansas. Her research interests are linking assessment and intervention, dyslexia and inclusion.  She is currently serving her second term as the President of the Arkansas Federation of the Council for Exceptional Children. She has training in several science of reading and dyslexia programs.  Dee Dee has served on International Dyslexia Association accreditation teams. She advocates for teachers, parents and students to help them navigate the system known as special education.

Mrs. Kristen Doran is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Central Arkansas in the Department of Elementary, Literacy and Special Education. She earned her Masters’ Degree at Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH and utilized her training while serving her school community as the Supervising Title I Teacher in a NH K-5 school. She is a Wilson Trained Dyslexia Therapist and is near completion of her Dyslexia Practitioner Certification while serving students with Dyslexia 6-8 hours a week. As an Acadience Reading Mentor, she trains all teaching interns in the screening measures of basic early literacy skills designed to identify at-risk students efficiently and effectively. Her research interests include maximizing intervention time while utilizing scientifically based instructional programs with fidelity.


Utilizing Technology Tools for Investigation in Virtual and Face-to-Face Learning

Presented by: Dr. Debbie Dailey, Mrs. Michelle Buchanan, and Dr. Jason Trumble
July 9, 2020 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT
Zoom: https://uca-coe.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcpfu2vrjsoE9Um1d1RIh63eiYUYN_uNfA7

Technology tools can help augment a problem-based learning experience by providing and/or increasing student content knowledge and skills, enabling creative problem solving through shared ideas, and offering opportunities to learn in an authentic, real-world environment. Utilizing tools such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) allows students to gather information, data, and/or evidence from a seemingly authentic environment. This webinar will present multiple tools that can be used to engage students and guide them through a problem-based learning experience in a virtual or face-to-face environment. Participants will explore ways to use problem based learning in their own curriculum. An example problem will be created and participants will engage in solving the problem using available and interactive technology tools. Discussion will ensue on how a real-world problem could transform instructional practices in both virtual and face-to-face classrooms.

This session is for teachers of all subjects and grade levels who are interested in problem-based learning using real-world and current problems.

About the presenters:
Dr. Debbie Dailey is an associate professor of education and interim chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning at UCA. She has authored and co-authored multiple journal articles, books, book chapters, and products focused on K-12 STEM and gifted education. She has delivered numerous professional development workshops and presentations at local, state, national, and international venues.

Mrs. Michelle Buchanan is currently the STEMteach program coordinator at UCA. She taught junior high science and engineering for 14 years and she received many national awards for her teaching, curriculum, and lessons including the following: TED-Ed Distinguished Educator, PBS Innovative Teacher Award, Edward C. Roy National Teacher of the Year, and U.S. Department of Education’s Star Teaching Award, to name a few. Buchanan is a National Board Certified Teacher and a licensed gifted educator. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Leadership with an emphasis on Gifted Education.

Dr. Jason Trumble is an assistant professor and the coordinator of the Digital Age in Teaching and Learning Ed.S degree in the Department of Teaching and Learning at UCA. He is an ISTE Certified Educator, recently received the “Unruliest Professor” award by Unruly Studios,  and is a frequent AERA, ISTE, and SITE presenter.


Creative COVID Classrooms: Literacy Learning in a New Hybrid Environment

Presented by: Dr. Amy Thompson, Mrs. Sheri Hight, and Dr. Susan Perry
July 22, 2020 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT
This session has reached its meeting capacity, but we’ve added another session! Click here to go to the listing for the new session
Click the link below to be added to the waitlist for this day/time.
Waitlist: https://forms.gle/t35xcToEcLs3WUTA9

In light of the ongoing pandemic, schools and teachers need to be prepared for hybrid learning in the fall. Our struggling learners will need our help now more than ever. RTI needs to continue in order for these students to be served. Participants will learn and discuss ways to continue RTI utilizing small groups online. Participants will focus on the organization, materials, and strategies needed to effectively pivot with uninterrupted instruction.

This session is meant for teachers of all grades who want to learn more about how to engage with and conduct literacy instruction in small groups online. Participants will build their literacy toolbox and leave with evidence-based strategies and technologies to address this important need.

About the presenters: 
Dr. Amy Thompson, Assistant Professor and Graduate Reading Program Coordinator in the Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education Department at the University of Central Arkansas, has a passion for helping teachers understand dyslexia, the science of reading, RTI, and assessment and intervention. Dr. Thompson has created webinars entitled Dyslexia 101 and Supporting Students with Dyslexia through Technology for Accutrain Professional Development in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She has delivered numerous professional development workshops and presentations at local, state, national, and international schools and conferences. She has served on an International Dyslexia Association accreditation team. Dr. Thompson has authored and co-authored book chapters and journal articles focusing on preparation of literacy teachers and technology in literacy. Dr. Thompson has a BSE in Elementary Education, a M.Ed. in Reading, and she holds a Ph.D. in Leadership with an emphasis in reading and dyslexia. Before coming to higher education, Dr. Thompson taught in the Little Rock School District in 3rd and 4th grades and is in her 21st year in education. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in Literacy and a licensed Reading Specialist.

Mrs. Sheri Hight is a PALS Interventionist/Support Specialist for the Virginia Beach City Public Schools in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a Reading Interventionist that is student-centered and advocates for students with learning differences. Sheri utilizes multisensory and structured literacy interventions to ensure her students individual needs are met.  Sheri is also a founding member of the Decoding Dyslexia Virginia, Hampton Roads chapter.  She also volunteers on the Virginia Beach City Public Schools Special Education Advisory Committee.  Additionally, Sheri has had speaking engagements at local and state reading and education conferences.  Presentations include: Dyslexia for a Day Simulation and What is Dyslexia?, Dyslexia and the Orton Gillingham Approach and RTI, and Breaking the Reading Code and the Emotional Impact on the Dyslexic Student. Mrs. Sheri Hight holds a Bachelor of Art in Psychology from Texas Tech University and a Master of Science in Reading with a Dyslexia certificate from the University of Central Arkansas.

Dr. Susan Perry has a B.S. in elementary education from Oklahoma State University, M.Ed. in special education from Loyola College, Ed.S. in Reading from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and an Ed.D. in Higher Education with an emphasis in Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).  She is also a retired Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, National Board Certified in Literacy and is an Alphabetic Phonics Academic Language Therapist.  Susan has been an educator for more than 20 years.  During this time, she has served as an elementary education teacher, special education teacher, literacy coach, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, K-12 Literacy Specialist with the Arkansas Department of Education, Research Associate, Visiting Professor, and Assistant Professor.  Susan’s research interests include RtI, literacy disorders, higher education and disabilities, ADD, best practices in teaching children how to write, and the reciprocal relationship between reading and writing. 


Building an Online Space for K-12 Learners

Presented by: Dr. Erin Shaw and Ms. Ashley Cooksey
July 22, 2020 from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM CDT
Zoom: https://uca-coe.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIvcO6rrj4oGt3oURbm–iyzWGcYZt-Un11

This session will focus on best practices for building instructor presence and creating a space for student interaction in online classrooms. Building an online space for K-12 learners requires the addition of spaces for students to interact with their instructor, as well as fellow classmates. Multiple modes and formats for interactions will be discussed.

Any K-12 educator interested in learning how to effectively build an online classroom space using an Acceptable Use Policy, classroom management techniques and ensuring student engagement through student interaction. This is a brief insight into some of the issues in which K-12 teachers and students experienced due to the novelty of transitioning from a face-to-face course to a fully online class without pre-planning.

About the presenters: 
Erin C. Shaw, EdD, is an assistant professor for the University of Central Arkansas- she is the program coordinator for the Library Media and Information Technologies program and the Instructional Technology program. She is a member of ISTE, AAIM, ALA/AASL, and the Arkansas Literacy Association. Dr. Shaw spent 24 years in K-12 schools as a science teacher and school librarian before joining the faculty at UCA in 2017. She is national board certified in school library media and is a coauthor of the book Online Teaching: Tools and Techniques to Achieve Success with Learners. Her research interests include online teaching, integration of technology, information and digital literacy and is an advocate for school libraries and ensuring equity and access for all learners.

Ashley J. Cooksey is an adjunct instructor for the University of Central Arkansas. She is the past-president of the Arkansas Association of Instructional Media (AAIM) and a member of ISTE, ArLA, and ALA/AASL. Ashley is a blogger for AASL’s Knowledge Quest. Ashley is a Coding and Early Literacy Subject Advisor for codeSpark Academy, a Wakelet Ambassador, as well as a Flipgrid Ambassador and certified teacher. She is a passionate advocate for student voice, blended learning, creating a growth mindset in education, and using social media to enhance learning.


Cultivating Opportunities for Equity in the Digital Age

Presented by: Dr. Michael Mills, Dr. Donna Wake, and Mrs. Jessica Herring Watson
July 29, 2020 from 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM CDT
Zoom: https://uca-coe.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIkcequrz8tGNRbT0QuLaXG9ogeO5UmZ-7G

Participants will learn and discuss the inequity present in our schools based on race and income level, with a specific focus on how digital learning has bridged opportunity gaps in one sense and deepened them in others. Participants will engage in a honest, thought-provoking session focused on what systemic barriers need to be removed in our schools and learn about specific instructional approaches to addressing inequity in the classroom.

This session is meant for teachers of all grades and of all subjects who want to learn more about how to address the deep inequities present in our schools. Participants will gain fresh insight into this pressing issue with compelling local data from Arkansas and leave with high-impact strategies for addressing inequities in classroom instruction.

About the presenters:
Dr. Michael Mills, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of Central Arkansas, is a leading expert on the practical uses of mobile technology, particularly on using collaborative tools to better engage students and to design strategies for effectively integrating mobile devices in the classroom. He is an SXSWedu, ISTE, and SITE presenter and has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished Educator and Google Education Trainer and has served on the advisory boards for SXSWedu and the Apple Distinguished Educator Program for the Americas. Feel free to follow him on Twitter (@MichaelSMills).

Dr. Donna Wake currently serves as an Associate Professor for the University of Central Arkansas College of Education. Her research interests are critical literacy, teacher education reform, writing process, assessment, and technology in education. She holds degrees from Temple University, La Salle University, and Hendrix College.

Mrs. Jessica Herring Watson is a Clinical Instructor in the College of Education at the University of Central Arkansas, working with both graduate and undergraduate education students. She is a former middle school and high school English teacher, an Apple Distinguished Educator, ISTE Certified Educator, and Google Certified Educator. Jessica is fortunate to work with K-20 teachers and students in a variety of settings as a teacher and trainer. She has earned a Masters in Teacher Leadership and Instructional Facilitation and is currently a doctoral student studying Instructional Design and Technology. She was named Teacher of the Year for Benton Middle School in 2014, and in 2016, was an ISTE Technology in Action Award recipient for her work with coding in the literature classroom. As an ISTE, NCTE, AMLE, ILA, and SXSWedu presenter, Jessica’s primary focus is on creating meaningful relationships between technology-enabled learning and engaging pedagogy.


Creative COVID Classrooms: Literacy Learning in a New Hybrid Environment (REPEAT SESSION)

Presented by: Dr. Amy Thompson, Mrs. Sheri Hight, and Dr. Susan Perry
July 29, 2020 from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM CDT
Zoom: https://uca-coe.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwkcuioqzgrG93CdulBww3Pab3vUVGa7-bo

In light of the ongoing pandemic, schools and teachers need to be prepared for hybrid learning in the fall. Our struggling learners will need our help now more than ever. RTI needs to continue in order for these students to be served. Participants will learn and discuss ways to continue RTI utilizing small groups online. Participants will focus on the organization, materials, and strategies needed to effectively pivot with uninterrupted instruction.

This session is meant for teachers of all grades who want to learn more about how to engage with and conduct literacy instruction in small groups online. Participants will build their literacy toolbox and leave with evidence-based strategies and technologies to address this important need.

About the presenters: 
Dr. Amy Thompson, Assistant Professor and Graduate Reading Program Coordinator in the Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education Department at the University of Central Arkansas, has a passion for helping teachers understand dyslexia, the science of reading, RTI, and assessment and intervention. Dr. Thompson has created webinars entitled Dyslexia 101 and Supporting Students with Dyslexia through Technology for Accutrain Professional Development in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She has delivered numerous professional development workshops and presentations at local, state, national, and international schools and conferences. She has served on an International Dyslexia Association accreditation team. Dr. Thompson has authored and co-authored book chapters and journal articles focusing on preparation of literacy teachers and technology in literacy. Dr. Thompson has a BSE in Elementary Education, a M.Ed. in Reading, and she holds a Ph.D. in Leadership with an emphasis in reading and dyslexia. Before coming to higher education, Dr. Thompson taught in the Little Rock School District in 3rd and 4th grades and is in her 21st year in education. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in Literacy and a licensed Reading Specialist.

Mrs. Sheri Hight is a PALS Interventionist/Support Specialist for the Virginia Beach City Public Schools in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a Reading Interventionist that is student-centered and advocates for students with learning differences. Sheri utilizes multisensory and structured literacy interventions to ensure her students individual needs are met.  Sheri is also a founding member of the Decoding Dyslexia Virginia, Hampton Roads chapter.  She also volunteers on the Virginia Beach City Public Schools Special Education Advisory Committee.  Additionally, Sheri has had speaking engagements at local and state reading and education conferences.  Presentations include: Dyslexia for a Day Simulation and What is Dyslexia?, Dyslexia and the Orton Gillingham Approach and RTI, and Breaking the Reading Code and the Emotional Impact on the Dyslexic Student. Mrs. Sheri Hight holds a Bachelor of Art in Psychology from Texas Tech University and a Master of Science in Reading with a Dyslexia certificate from the University of Central Arkansas.

Dr. Susan Perry has a B.S. in elementary education from Oklahoma State University, M.Ed. in special education from Loyola College, Ed.S. in Reading from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and an Ed.D. in Higher Education with an emphasis in Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).  She is also a retired Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, National Board Certified in Literacy and is an Alphabetic Phonics Academic Language Therapist.  Susan has been an educator for more than 20 years.  During this time, she has served as an elementary education teacher, special education teacher, literacy coach, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, K-12 Literacy Specialist with the Arkansas Department of Education, Research Associate, Visiting Professor, and Assistant Professor.  Susan’s research interests include RtI, literacy disorders, higher education and disabilities, ADD, best practices in teaching children how to write, and the reciprocal relationship between reading and writing.


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