Category Archives: COE in the News

Students in Corey Gilman’s second-grade class use a mix of old-school and new technologies in the classroom. Photo: Peggy Barmore

Former Dean Keeping Teacher Preparation in the Spotlight

Dr. Linda Patriarca, former dean of the College of Education and current Special Education professor may be on hiatus, but she is still making sure that East Carolina and the work done in the College for teacher preparation stays in the spotlight, as shown in the US News and World Report article “Colleges Struggle to Blend Tech, Teacher-Training Lesson Plans.”

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

The Education Living-Learning Community

The New Education Community of Scholars Get Acquainted and Settle In

One week ago today, the College of Education welcomed 31 new Teacher Education students to ECU and moved them into the newest residence hall on campus, Gateway Residence Hall. This group of students is our newest cohort of Education Living-Learning Community members, which consists of 12 Abernathy, Lane and Maynard Scholars and an additional 19 teacher education students who have expressed an interest in community service and teacher education leadership opportunities within the ECU community.

Over the last week, these students have moved to campus, participated in a campus “meet and great luau”, participated in the ECU teambuilding Challenge Course, and attended their first days of class together, including a cohort section COAD 1000. These 31 new members join our other three cohorts of students and make up our Education Community of Scholars Program (formerly known as the ECU NC Teaching Fellows and Maynard Scholars Program). Please enjoy the video of their exciting week and help me welcome these newest Pirates to our College.  https://animoto.com/play/VXBSN78BIPD6fkoHINEwKQ

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/.

Ellen Dobson

Dr. Ellen Dobson Serves on National Taskstream Panel

Photos Courtesy of Taskstream

In June 2015, Dr. Ellen Dobson, Assistant Director in the COE Office of Assessment and Accreditation, was an invited panelist at Taskstream’s CollabEx Live in New York City. Dr. Dobson participated on a panel addressing CAEP standards and program assessment with Mel Horton of Central Connecticut State University and Courtney Peagler of Taskstream. She also led a roundtable discussion on the use of Taskstream in preparation for the CAEP accreditation process.

In addition to serving on  the panel, Dr. Dobson was also recently recognized as a Taskstream Knowledge Ambassador. This group is a collection of Taskstream clients and advocates who are especially committed to advancing assessment and continuous improvement on their campuses. They work together to promote dialogue and engagement around best practices in assessment.

ECU has used Taskstream since 2009.

Ellen Dobson Leading Discussion

ILS Teacher Prep

Reading Education Faculty Member Elizabeth Swaggerty co-authors Preliminary Report on Landscape of State-level Standards for Teacher Preparation for Literacy Instruction

Dr. Elizabeth Swaggerty headshotThe International Literacy Association issued the first of a two-part report by its Teacher Preparation Task Force reviewing preparation that U.S. teachers receive to teach literacy and how different state departments of education differ in their requirements. The 13-member task force, co-chaired by Deanna Birdyshaw of the University of Michigan and Elizabeth Swaggerty of East Carolina University, includes leading literacy experts from across the country.

The task force used a two-part procedure to inform this preliminary report. The first part included compiling information about requirements for teacher preparation in literacy from 50 state education department websites between July and October 2014. The taskforce then interviewed state education department officials from 23 states to confirm the data collected and to increase understanding of how literacy instruction was addressed in the certification guidelines.

The preliminary report uncovered inconsistent standards and criteria for preparing teachers on how to teach literacy. “While there are limitations to this data and further review is underway, our initial findings show that few states require coursework related to preparation to teach literacy,” said Birdyshaw. Angela Rutherford, University of Mississippi, explained, “Surprisingly, our analysis showed only 18 states require specific courses in literacy for elementary teacher candidates, and half the states did not require specific coursework in any of the licensure areas. Further, there do not appear to be any requirements for literacy experiences during student teaching or other required practica.”

“Our primary takeaway is that all stakeholders need to be involved in the conversation about how to improve preparation of preservice teachers to design and implement instruction that increases the literacy learning of children in kindergarten through grade 12,” added Swaggerty. “We hope this initial report is a starting point for that conversation.”

Given the importance that state education standards and assessments play in the review of Teacher Education Programs, analysis of the data suggests:

  •  Systematic and comprehensive research that investigates preservice program features that effectively prepare candidates to develop students’ literacy across all grades and in all disciplines should be conducted and shared.
  • State standards and assessments related to literacy teacher preparation should be research based and of sufficient quality to provide the feedback needed to develop or revise teacher education curricula and state certification guidelines.
  • State guidelines for preservice teacher preparation should make explicit reference to what candidates should know and be able to do in relationship to literacy instruction.
  • All preservice teachers should be required to participate in activities during their practica that develop their ability to design literacy instruction and monitor literacy growth.

In considering the findings, the taskforce recognized three primary limitations to the research.

  1. This is a preliminary report with the second phase ongoing.
  2. Teacher education programs are in transition, with state education department officials from 15 of the 23 states interviewed stating that changes were being made to teacher certification requirements in the coming year.
  3. State education officials interviewed were knowledgeable about the teaching requirements, but not necessarily experts in the areas related specifically to teaching literacy.

Swaggerty emphasized, “The report shares information gathered about certification requirements at the state level, not teacher education programs. Many teacher education programs go above and beyond the state requirements and have wide-ranging experiences related to teaching literacy.”

The second year goal is to interview Teacher Education Programs officials, administrators, and professors in all 50 states to determine how they are integrating the guidelines.

Preliminary Report on Preparation for Literacy Instruction. pp. 1-13. Newark, DE: International Literacy Association. http://www.literacyworldwide.org/docs/default-source/where-we-stand/teacher-preparation-report.pdf

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.

Bob Porter

Grant Writing Workshop Series Opportunity Available

Grant Writing Workshop Leader Robert Porter, PhD, has presented grant writing to leading universities and medical schools internationally. He is coming to ECU this Fall to conduct three focused sessions. RSVP early as seating is limited to forty (40) per session.

All sessions will be held in the Mendenhall Student Center Great Room 1

Session 1: Writing Successful Grants –  September 22, 2015 (8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)
Session 2: Grants in the Humanities and Social Sciences – September 22, 2015 (1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
Session 3: Writing Proposals to the US Department of Education – September 23, 2015 (8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)

To attend, please RSVP to : betcherg@ecu.edu

Start arriving at 8:00 a.m. for the morning sessions and at 1:00 p.m. for the afternoon session.

Session 1: Writing Successful Grants

This is an introductory workshop that covers basic principles of good grant writing, starting with the phrasing of a compelling research theme to the actual construction of the proposal itself. Major differences between traditional “academic prose” and persuasive grant writing are highlighted. Common pitfalls that can lead to early rejection of good ideas are reviewed, matched with practical strategies for better writing. Special attention will be paid to the perspectives of grant reviewers and how to write in ways that will meet their expectations.

  •  Killer mistakes in grant writing and how to avoid them
  •  Two critical steps that will double your chances for success
  •  How to win over the grant reviewer
  •  Simple keys to a more powerful writing style
  •  Visualization: Using illustrations to “sell” your project

Session 2: Grants in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Starting with the National Endowment for the Humanities, this workshop will cover a number of funding sources of particular interest to disciplines broadly grouped in the humanities and social sciences. Specific grant programs will be reviewed, together with eligibility requirements, funding levels, and lists of projects recently funded by each program. Key elements of the NEH grant review process will be covered, and excerpts from successful proposals will be highlighted. Additionally, participants will be guided to numerous opportunities posted by private foundations.

  • Overview of NEH mission, structure and budget
  • Fellowships and residency programs
  • Awards targeted to junior faculty
  • Support for graduate study and doctoral dissertations
  • Key do’s and don’ts for success

Session 3: Writing Proposals to the US Department of Education

Of the wide range of grant programs offered by the US Department of Education, a select few are targeted to university-based researchers. This session will focus on funding tracks within key DoE divisions such as the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES), the Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII), and the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE). Guidance will be provided on locating current and future funding opportunities, eligibility requirements, proposal structure, and DoE grant review procedures. Excerpts from successful proposals will be examined as models for preparing key sections. Topics to be covered include:

  • Navigating the DoE grant process
  • Deconstructing the Application Notice
  • Organizing the proposal
  • Understanding DoE grant review and selection criteria
  • Writing critical proposal elements: Need for Project, Research Objectives, Quality of Project Design, Quality of Project Personnel, and Project Evaluation

For more information, please visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-cas/oor/events.cfm

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.