Category Archives: Community Outreach

COE Seal - Feature Image

Professional Development Opportunities for 2015-2016

The Office of Assessment and Accreditation’s professional development for the 2015-16 academic school year will have two different overarching themes for participants. The workshops will be presented in two different formats to better fit the schedules and preferred learning styles of those interested in attending.  Participants will have the opportunity to attend either a face-to-face or an online session.

Google Apps for Education – A Progressive Workshop Series

Google Apps for Education are becoming a powerful tool in the Pk-12 education world.  Google has created a cost-effective way to bring collaboration tools to the classroom.  This has led to greater integration and implementation of this tool in the classroom with many of our LCSN partners using them.  If you have any questions contact Jason Whited at whitedj@ecu.edu.

Instructional Design for Online Student Success

This professional development series will focus on motivating and retaining online learners by developing a course that incorporates interactive tools, student collaboration, and a variety of assessment activities. In addition, these sessions will include strategies for creating and fostering a sense of community in online or blended courses.  If you have any questions about this workshop contact Holly Fales at heathh@ecu.edu.

Zurawski

COE Alumna and Current MAEd Student Named Pactolus Teacher of the Year

Melissa Zurawski was named Teacher of the Year at Pactolus School in Pitt County where she teaches fifth grade English Language Arts. She is in her fourth year of teaching and uses the principle, “Effort rather than ability leads to success,” to guide her work with students. She explains, “I want my students to understand that they should forever put their all into everything they do and always be perseverant. My students understand that I believe in them and that regardless of their strengths and weaknesses, they will succeed if they put forth effort in all they do.”

Melissa earned her BS in Elementary Education in 2010 and is currently continuing her studies at East Carolina University in the Master of Arts in Education – Reading Education Program. She explained, “Throughout my experience in the READ Master’s program, I have gained knowledge of specific reading interventions to use with my students who are struggling in reading. I am learning new strategies that build a strong literacy foundation and target areas of needed instruction for my students. I am becoming a lifelong learner and I am always encouraging my students to do the same. There is no barrier in a child’s reading education that cannot be moved, no bridge that cannot be crossed and no gap that cannot be closed with the dedication of teachers that care.”

palooza2

College of Education is Busting Myths about Teaching

On August 23, 2015, the College of Education helped welcome over 5,000 students at Pirate Palooza, the university’s largest annual welcome back celebration, held in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. . Pirate Palooza featured a variety of ECU traditions and activities where students had the chance to participate in athletic games, speak with vendors, enjoy food, and win prizes!

The College of Education hosted an outreach and recruitment booth at Pirate Palooza with a theme of: Myth Busting: Why You Should Teach! which featured information about the 17 undergraduate teacher education programs and 23 graduate and certificate programs ECU offers.

College of Education faculty and staff engaged students in conversation to dispel myths about the field of education and teaching through an interactive, informative activity. Students were able to choose a question related to teaching and respond to whether it was a truth or myth. Topics covered through the activity ranged from questions about salary to the employment demand for teachers.

It was a successful night for the COE team that staffed the Palooza Outreach booth, speaking with 232 students, many of whom expressed an interest in education and or teaching. Students were impressed with the College of Education representation at the event and the opportunity to get interesting factoids about the teaching profession, college, and ECU.

The College of Education was proud to participate in this event as a creative method of outreach, recruitment, and retention for teacher education programs!

For more information about teacher education at East Carolina University, please visit our website at http://www.ecu.edu/coe

techfest

COE Instructional Technology Consultants Attend Pitt County Tech Fest

On August 10th, College of Education Instructional Technology Consultants, Christine Wilson, Jason Whited and Holly Fales attended Pitt County Schools’ 10th Annual Tech Fest at South Central High School. Over 500 educators from Pitt County and surrounding school districts gathered at Tech Fest to learn about the latest ways to implement technology in the classroom.

Teachers, media specialists, and technology facilitators from across Eastern North Carolina conducted a majority of the sessions with several technology vendors also presenting. Popular sessions included Google Apps, NearPod, and Canvas LMS. In addition, teachers shared examples of projects and lessons from their classes that utilized technology to reach a vast range of learners. The majority of sessions were interactive, with attendees using their own devices to participate.

The Pitt County Robotics Team provided entertainment during lunch with a demonstration of Roboxsumo, a cost effective robotics activity where robots are constructed of cardboard. Participants also had an opportunity to try 3D printing, Stop Motion Video and Green Screening throughout the afternoon.

Attending Tech Fest provided an opportunity for the COE ITC team to connect with school partners and gain additional insight into how technology is being utilized in local classrooms. For more information about Pitt County Tech Fest visit https://sites.google.com/a/pitt.k12.nc.us/tech-fest-2015/.

Dr. Lori Flint

Dr. Lori Flint Elected to National Position

National Association of Gifted ChildrenDr. Lori Flint, of East Carolina University’s Department of Special Education, Foundations and Research, has been elected chair-elect of the Counseling and Guidance Network of the National Association for Gifted Children.

The mission of this network is to address the critical need for attention to the affective needs of the gifted individual, and not just their academic needs. This Network is dedicated to eliciting the social and emotional growth of individuals who are gifted and talented.In addition, it also emphasizes the planning and implementation of a variety of systems and services for meeting those needs.

Dr. Flint also researches, writes about, and delivers professional development on social-emotional teaching and learning.

Adrienne Lee displays the Teacher of the Year award she earned as a first-year teacher.

What Do SECU Partnership East Students Do After They Graduate From Their Online, Degree-Completion Program?

They go on to become leaders in their classrooms and schools! This is definitely the case for Adrienne Lee, a 2014 Special Education graduate. Ms. Lee is currently serving as a Kindergarten through 5th Grade Adaptive Special Education teacher at Poplar Springs Elementary School in Stokes County. As a former teacher assistant, Ms. Lee completed her degree in special education part-time through SECU (State Employees’ Credit Union) Partnership East by taking her coursework all online and completing her field experiences and internship in her home county. She transferred from Forsyth Technical Community College where she completed her first two years of her teaching degree into SECU Partnership East where she finished her degree while continuing to work as a teacher assistant.

Ms. Lee shared, “I know my experience as a TA was an advantage to my success but I know my education prepared me to be a knowledgeable teacher.”

Her experiences within the East Carolina University College of Education prepared her to have a positive impact on the children with which she worked this past school year. Ms. Lee reports that her students made tremendous gains during the academic year and performed exceptionally well on their end of grade assessments. She notes that her students’ success has been a result of a lot of effort. She stated, “I will admit I put in some very long hours but I am so excited about how my students have been received in school and in the community.”

Her efforts at positively impacting exceptional needs children have been recognized by others. Her educator peers within her school recently recognized her as Poplar Springs Elementary Teacher of the Year. As a first year teacher, this honor is a testament to Ms. Lee’s talent and dedication to her profession.

East Carolina University’s College of Education is very proud of this novice teacher who is making a difference in the lives of children in Stokes County. Providing access to teacher education degrees through SECU Partnership East is a long-standing commitment the college has toward growing teachers for rural areas within the state.

Ms. Lee sums up the importance of having convenient access to education: “ My dream would not have not come to fruition without the SECU Partnership East and ECU.”

For more information about SECU Partnership East which is involves a partnership between North Carolina Community Colleges, public schools and ECU’s College of Education, please visit www.ecu.edu/pe or contact Dr. Laura Bilbro-Berry at bilbroberryl@ecu.edu or 252-328-1123.

The East Carolina University College of Education has established SECU Partnership East. Through collaboration and innovation, the partnership focuses on preparing teachers who will help meet the demand for well-trained professionals in the classrooms of North Carolina and beyond. This endeavor involves partnerships with community colleges and public schools across eastern North Carolina.

Dr. Linda Patriarca

East Carolina University’s Own Dr. Linda Patriarca Nationally Recognized

Dr. Linda A. Patriarca is named one of “The 30 Most Influential Deans of Education in the United States ” according to a new list. This will leave the College of Education at East Carolina University in a great position as she steps down and hands the reigns to Dr. B Grant Hayes who will be taking over as dean at the end of July.

In preparing the listing of Deans of Education, the researchers’ goal was “showcasing how they have had an invaluable impact not only on the field of education as a whole, but also on the lives of the future teachers of America whom they have shepherded through their programs.”

The list was compiled by researchers at Mometrix Test Preparation. The list was compiled through analysis of state and national awards and honors, education program rankings, degree program rankings and level of pay received by graduates of the teaching programs. It was developed as a way to honor individuals dedicated to educating the future workforce.

edTPA

edTPA Data Help Ensure Readiness to Teach

Dr. Diana Lys, Director of the Office of Assessment and Accreditation

I recently had the pleasure and honor of delivering the keynote address for the 2015 edTPA Mid-Atlantic Implementation Conference in Towson, Maryland. As a longtime supporter and champion of observation- and performance-based educator preparation and assessment, I was eager to share with peers from across the nation who are at different places on their journey with edTPA.

First, I wanted to commend each person for being there. By the virtue of their attendance and leadership, participants were helping shift the negative tone of dialogue around teacher preparation by highlighting innovative practices and committing to positive change. At the core of the narrative is a shared rallying call to ensure each teacher candidate enters tomorrow’s classroom ready to teach.

Quality teacher preparation matters, and too much external criticism of teacher preparation exists for the field to be fighting against itself. As a field, we have a moral obligation to prepare the best possible beginning teachers for school children; to ensure each graduate is ready for his or her first day of school. edTPA is a positive, uniting step forward.

For example, teacher educators are practically drowning in data. Yet what are we doing with it? In a program without actionable teacher candidate performance data, program improvement efforts often lack momentum or direction. At East Carolina University, our faculty were convinced our students were well prepared, but we couldn’t prove it. Something was missing. That something was a shared, validated summative assessment confirming the program’s outcomes.

Common Data Get Oars “Rowing in Unison”

Today, we use edTPA data to plan our program-improvement journey. By using a common performance assessment, all of the institution’s oars begin rowing in unison. The educative nature of edTPA helps programs to identify strengths and gaps and offers direction for improvements.

edTPA data help to build a culture of inquiry; again, the educative nature of edTPA has a uniting power for faculty, bringing them together to examine candidate portfolios and to assess their programs at a deeper level. In many ways, edTPA helped to break down the tall, isolating silos in teacher education.

edTPA is one improvement that launched others. We are developing new embedded signature assessments as formative metrics prior to edTPA. We are reconceptualizing our clinical practice through a 2:1 coteaching model, and early data and partner feedback are very positive.

As director of assessment and accreditation, I can’t underscore enough the power and value of edTPA in our accreditation process for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation—a process that builds like a wave. edTPA was an essential uniting factor across our educator preparation programs, allowing us to surf that wave rather than letting it pummel us into the sand. With the right leadership, edTPA:

  • Provides valid and reliable candidate performance data
  • Fosters a culture of evidence in your teacher preparation program
  • Informs evidence-based program improvement

Let’s Not Waste Our Time

In a recent commencement speech to her son’s graduating class, ABC news correspondent Martha Raddatz said, “Don’t waste your time on those who don’t bring out the best in you.”

Similarly, let’s not waste our time on assessments that don’t bring out the best in our candidates and our programs. Let’s not waste our time on assessments that don’t inform our program improvement efforts and that fail to drive our programs in a positive direction.

Let’s focus the energy of our people, our program improvement efforts, and our analysis on data that are valid, reliable, and content and context specific.

And finally, let’s not be silent about what is best—what matters for the field. Make our voices heard as we endeavor to expand our reach with edTPA—blog, tweet, post, share your stories.

This article was also published to the EdPrepMatters blog at http://edprepmatters.net/2015/06/member-voices-edtpa-data-help-ensure-readiness-to-teach/

Delilah Jackson

Dr. Delilah Jackson, 3-time Alumna, Named Superintendent of Washington County Schools

Dr. Delilah Jackson has been a long-time Pirate, earning her BS in Elementary Education, MAEd in Educational Leadership, and EdD in Educational Leadership all in the College of Education at East Carolina University.

Since earning her teaching license, she has served the children and parents of Pitt county, as a teacher,  assistant principal, principal, and finally worked her way up to Assistant Superintendent. “Pitt County Schools has been my teacher for 25 years,” Jackson said in a news release. “I am thankful for all who have been a part of my journey. I will miss each and every person that has had an impact on my life as educator in this school system.”

After 25 years, she is going to step out of Pitt county to move into the role of Superintendent of Washington County Schools. “My new role as superintendent of Washington County Schools will allow me to expand my impact on the lives of children,” Dr. Jackson said. “I am excited about my new opportunity, and I am looking forward to serving the students, parents, and community of Washington County.”

Nikki Manning

Partnership East Made it Possible for Nikki Manning to Become a Teacher

The moment you walk into Nikki Manning’s first grade classroom, you get the feeling something exciting is going to happen.  Nikki teaches at Benvenue Elementary School in Rocky Mount, NC.  She landed a job with Nash-Rocky Mount schools immediately after graduating from East Carolina University in December, 2012 and she says she loves the classroom.  Her kids love her too!  According to Denise, one of the first graders I met while visiting the school, “Ms. Manning makes us so happy!  She is the best teacher I’ve ever had.”

Nikki’s mother cared for children in her home while Nikki was young.  Many of her clients were teachers, which gave Nikki the opportunity to help out in classrooms at an early age.  While completing an internship in high school, she decided that she, too, wanted to be a teacher.

She found SECU Partnership East to be exactly what she needed to complete her degree while working two jobs.  Nikki says attending Nash Community College and then completing junior and senior coursework at ECU gave her the flexibility she needed to pursue her dream of teaching.  “I highly recommend Partnership East to everyone I can.  It is truly a great program and I feel that it more than prepared me as an educator.  The great instructors, advisors, and supervisors surely made the process that much more enjoyable, too!”