Category Archives: Student News

Student focused news in the College of Education

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COE Faculty Instilling Confidence and Inspiring Success

In a recent interview, senior Elementary Education (with a concentration in Science) major, Beth Wantz, credits COE and MSITE faculty with having a profound influence on her life.  She feels that they “truly care” about their students and go above and beyond to help them succeed.  She gives particular credit to Tammy Lee, explaining that, “Mrs. Tammy Lee has inspired me in so many different ways.  She has pushed me with my assignments and lessons throughout my college career because she knows what I am capable of doing.  Mrs. Lee has given me many opportunities outside of school that will greatly benefit me as a teacher, such as taking me to the National Science Teacher Association Conference in the fall of 2013.  With doing this, Mrs. Lee has given me the confidence that every effective teacher must have in order to benefit their students.  Mrs. Lee has also taken the time to teach me how to be a good teacher and a good person.  She is my biggest influence and my role model.”

Teachers teaching teachers–clearly a step in the right direction.

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Teacher Cadet

East Carolina College of Education Hosts Future Teachers for Teacher Cadet Day 2014

2014 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year, James Ford

2014 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year, James Ford

One hundred plus potential teachers from high schools within the East visited the campus of East Carolina University on October 15, 2014 for Teacher Cadet Day. The Office of Professional Development and Student Outreach within the College of Education offered this event to high school students who are enrolled in the North Carolina Teacher Cadet Program.  It is an innovative year-long or semester-block activity-based curriculum for high school juniors and seniors. The course is designed to promote a better understanding and create interest in those students who may consider teaching as a profession. It is an honors program that details many components of the education environment and involves students in content, application, observations and teaching in preschool, elementary, middle school, and high school settings.

While on campus students listened to a keynote address by the 2014 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year, James Ford. Mr. Ford is a world history teacher at Garinger High School with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Students also attended a Program Fair with representatives from the various program areas in the College of Education, as well as representatives from teacher education programs across campus.  This was followed by informative sessions around the theme of the conference: What’s Your Superpower? I TEACH.  Students participated in sessions on college admissions, career exploration, and options for teacher education. In addition, these prospective teachers engaged in a dialogue with teacher education students in a panel discussion. The visiting students completed their day on campus with a trip to West End Dining Hall and tours provided by ECU Admissions.

Teacher Cadet students from Duplin, Gates, Johnston, Nash, and Wayne counties participated in Teacher Cadet Day 2014. Special thanks is extended to Ms. Christa Monroe for her efforts in organizing this recruitment event.

For more information about the College of Education’s efforts in the area of teacher recruitment, please contact Dr. Laura Bilbro-Berry at bilbroberryl@ecu.edu or 252-328-1123.

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Science Education Club on the Path to National Recognition

It’s official!  The Science Education Club has completed all the requirements and workshops to be officially registered as a student organization at East Carolina University.  This has been a two year project that was finalized by the work of graduate student Megan Garner, and undergraduate elementary science concentration students: Beth Wantz, KC Hart, Kayla Sager, and Lauren Brewington.  The club is under the direction of faculty adviser, Tammy D. Lee who speaks with pride of the student’s accomplishment, “We are very excited to have this recognition at the university level so we can now apply for national recognition at the National Science Teacher’s Association.  The students have been diligent in their work and pursuit of this recognition which demonstrates their dedication and desire to be a part of science education and to have others participate in a student organization of a collected interest, Science! I am honored to be a part of this journey with these students.”  For more information about the Science Education Club visit them at their website or contact Tammy D. Lee at leeta@ecu.edu.

Dynamic Dialogue about Diversity panelist

Event Discussed Difficulty Recruiting, Retaining Diverse Educators in Schools

On October 15, 2014, the Office of Professional Development and Student Outreach in the College of Education collaborated with the Office of Equity and Diversity and the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center to offer a Dynamic Dialogue about Diversity event entitled “Diversity in Education.

This event featured a roundtable discussion between the 2014 North Carolina Teacher of the Year, James Ford, and two local educators, Juan Castillo from Greene County Schools and Joey Crutchfield from Pitt County Schools. The discussion integrated the topic of assessment of diversity within the teaching profession. The distinguished panelists shared the African American, Latino American, and Native American perspectives as well as their thoughts on the lack of representation of male educators from these subgroups in the classroom.

The panelist and participants engaged in dialogue about the challenges facing higher education in meeting the need for focused recruitment and retention in teacher education programs of underrepresented populations. The impact of the presence of these subgroups in the classroom as teachers as well as the support found in the schools and school systems that encourage retention in the profession was also intertwined into the conversation.  Additionally, current students and faculty shared how East Carolina University is meeting the needs for the recruitment and retention of diverse populations of students.

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Why Does Accreditation Matter? A Student Perspective.

As a student, I can recall several times when professors have shared that the program I am in is “accredited.”  My mental response was “That’s nice.”  I didn’t care.  All I wanted to know was when the next assignment was due, and what I had to do in order to pass that assignment, the class, and then get my degree.  Sure, it is great that my program has been given a stamp of approval by some mystery third party, but all of that is outside my realm of experiences.
Then a friend of mine at another university shared that they had failed their bid at re-accreditation.  When she graduated, her degree would be from a non-accredited program.  I asked her what that meant for her.  She told me that it would be harder for her to find a job because employers would see her degree as having less value than one from an applicant who had graduated from an accredited program.  Some employers might not even consider her qualified, despite her degree.  She had always wanted to move to the New York-New Jersey area, and now she wasn’t sure she could find a job in that competitive market.  New Jersey actually has a law requiring applicants to notify employers if their degree is from a non-accredited institution.  At that moment, I became alarmed.  Does that mean that all of my hard work might come to mean nothing if the program I was in suddenly lost its accreditation?
All of a sudden my immediate focus of passing the current assignment and class seemed less relevant.  After all, my current assignment and class would mean nothing if I couldn’t find a job after receiving my degree.  I was upset for my friend, who had always studied hard to maintain a high GPA so that she could go anywhere once she graduated.  Now her options were limited.  Attending and graduating from an accredited program suddenly became important to me, and I realized how important it was all along.

In today’s world of online universities and degrees, employers are concerned about hiring quality individuals.  In today’s job market, it can be hard to find a job when there are few positions and many applicants.  Employers look to whittle down the applicants they consider, and one of the first filters they use is whether or not the applicant has attended an accredited program.

Don’t let all of your hard work be in vain.  Make sure your program is accredited, or you may have just gone to school for nothing.

Written by:
Elbert E. Maynard
MSA Principal Fellow
East Carolina University

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CAEP Prep: What is the LCSN?

The Latham Clinical Schools Network (LCSN) is a network of 38 public school systems located throughout eastern North Carolina, who collaborate with the EPP at ECU in order to form a school partnership among teacher candidates and faculty.  LCSN provides quality field placements for pre-service teachers with trained clinical teachers in diverse public school settings.

The LCSN is critical to the EPP successfully meeting the expectations of Standard 3, Field Experiences and Clinical Practice, Collaboration between the Unit and School Partners.  Collaboration with the LCSN allows the EPP to strategically and proactively address concerns.  One common issue collaboratively addressed through LCSN was the need for criminal background checks for field experiences (practicum) and clinical practice (internship).

The in-depth collaboration between ECU EPP and LCSN partners leads to synergistic gains for the partners.  For the COE, partnerships from the LCSN support the TQP grant, focused on the clinical practice component.  Instructional Coaching in LCSN member district (Pitt County Schools and Greene County Schools) was an original TQP clinical practice reform, and is also a Pirate CODE innovation.  For LCSN, professional development is provided annually for all clinical teachers who mentor an intern during clinical practice through the fall and spring Clinical Teacher Conference and through other annual conferences, themed workshops, and collaborative professional development opportunities.  These events unite EPP faculty and clinical partners in support of candidates.

Prior to the Site Visit, it is important for our public school partners in the LCSN to know about the EPP’s programs and Pirate CODE.  LCSN representatives serve on the Council for Teacher Education, and are the crucial communication conduit for the EPP to the public schools.

Once the Site Visit schedule is determined, individual faculty, candidates, clinical teachers, university supervisors and other EPP stakeholders may possibly be invited to meet with the Site Visit Team.

Learn more about the Latham Clinical Schools Network: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/oce/Clinical_Schools.cfm

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Rebekah Currie

Mathematics Education Student Named Outstanding!

NCCTM_logoCongratulations to Rebekah Currie, named the Outstanding Mathematics Education Student from the Eastern Region of North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM)!!!

Rebekah is a senior double major (BS Mathematics Education and BA Mathematics), Maynard Scholar, member of the Honors College, member of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, intern at South Central HS, student worker in the MSITE office, Vice-President of the Gamma Chapter, and is very active in the community. Rebekah was nominated by the faculty, provided professional information and experiences for the nomination form, and then her materials were considered by the NCCTM Awards Committee.

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LEED Students, Alumni featured at NC Community College System Conference

Laura Bethea

Laura Bethea, a 2nd year student, presented on The Use of Focus Groups in Assessing Career Services and Promoting Student Success.

Doctoral students and alumni of the EdD program in educational leadership, higher education concentration were featured throughout the North Carolina Community College System Conference, October 12th-14th. Presentations included the following:

  • Beyond Silos: Working Together to Develop a Comprehensive Student Success Agenda, Levy Brown (with Kelley Evans, John Gray, Robert Rogan, & Sharon Thompson),
  • The Use of Focus Groups in Assessing Career Services and Promoting Student Success, Laura Bethea (with Lynn Kavcsak),
  • The Growing Student Diversity in the North Carolina Community College System, Devon Hall & Angie Adams,
  • Bridging the Gap: Innovations in Transitions, Katrina Arnold (with Laurie Weston & Belinda Grubbs),
  • Distance Education Regulation: Implications for E-Leadership, Jolee Fedak, Kimberly McGhee, Erica Schatz, & Darcie Tumey (with Dr. Crystal Chambers),
  • Flip your Classroom by Using the Free, Open Educational Resource HP  LIFE eLearning in your Business Courses, Darcie Tumey (with Brenda DeLee),
  • Engaging and Utilizing BioNetwork Resources, Maria Pharr (with Vernon Shoaf). Ms. Pharr was also on tap to demonstrate BioNetwork’s Mobile Training Lab.

This group of students and faculty were joined by John Paul Black (c/o 2009), presenting on

  • The Foundations and Future of the NC Community College Leadership  Program (with Celia Hurley),
  • Academic and Psychosocial Interventions for Developmental Mathematics Students (with Karen Hill and Patricia Phillips).
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MSITE Recruits at Teacher Cadet Day

The Fall 2014 Teacher Cadet Day featured the 2014-15 North Carolina Teacher of the Year and had the theme “What’s Your Superpower? I TEACH!” Faculty and students from the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education (MSITE) recruited during the Program Fair portion of the agenda. The 100 or so teacher cadets (mostly seniors, with a few juniors) visited tables and discussed programs, all the while getting answers to questions on an education scavenger hunt. At the MSITE table we had brochures, recruitment/advising handouts, rulers, scholarship opportunities, and candy. Part of the draw to the table was an activity – roll a 7 or 11 with a pair of dice and win a bag of M&Ms. There were 20 students who signed up, indicating that they have some interest in mathematics or science teaching.  A special thank you to the MSITE students and faculty who participated: Dr. Ron Preston, Dr. Rhea Miles, Dr. Charity Cayton, Amanda Penwell, Taunya Stevens-Johnson, Jenny Jones, and Rebecca Ray.

Abby Colley

Graduate from Elementary Science Concentration Wins NCSTA Outstanding Student Teacher Award

North Carolina Science Teachers AssociationOn October 13, 2014, Abby Colley received a letter from the Elementary Science Concentration Awards Committee chair notifying her that she was the recipient of the NCSTA Outstanding Student Teacher Award. She will receive her award on November 6, 2014 in Winston-Salem at the NCSTA conference award ceremony. Abby is a well-deserving graduate from the Elementary Science Concentration and is currently teaching 4th grade at Ayden Elementary in Pitt County. It is excellent students like Abby who, through the power of their example, are helping to grow the elementary science program at ECU. Visit our website page to learn more about the Elementary Science Concentration in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education.