Category Archives: Office of Teacher Education (OTE)

News from the Office of Teacher Education


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

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.

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

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 or contact Dr. Laura Bilbro-Berry at 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 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

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!”

COE Seal - Feature Image

Faculty in Elementary Mathematics Education Sought

The Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education is seeking applications and nominations for a nine-month, full-time, fixed-term faculty position in the College of Education, East Carolina University to begin August 12, 2015.

Job Description: Teaching Faculty in Elementary Mathematics Education.

Rank/Salary: Commensurate with qualifications.

Application Due Date: June 29, 2015

Responsibilities of the position include: Teaching multiple sections of undergraduate elementary mathematics methods courses, developing ongoing partnerships with principals and teachers to coordinate field experiences, curriculum development and planning with other faculty, attending cross-curricular meetings in the elementary education program, assisting other faculty with recruitment and retention, and evaluation of mathematics degrees and concentration programs.

Minimum Qualifications:

  1. Masters degree in Mathematics Education or Related Field with a minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in mathematics education
  2. Demonstrated record of excellence in teaching and leadership in mathematics education
  3. North Carolina teaching license

Preference given to candidates with (optional):

  1. Three or more years experience teaching preK-6 mathematics
  2. Experience with designing and providing professional development in elementary mathematics teaching or in teaching mathematics/mathematics education courses for prospective elementary school teachers
  3. Active participation in NCCTM affiliates
  4. Program evaluation experience

Special Instructions to Applicants: Candidates must submit the following documents online at (1) a letter of application describing academic background, specific skills, and experiences relevant to the position, including professional development with teachers; and, (2) a current vita. Candidates also must submit a copy of all official transcripts and arrange to have three current letters of reference sent directly to: Dr. Katie Schwartz, MATE Search Chair, Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education, College of Education, Flanagan 352, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858. Finalists will be asked to teach a class session of an elementary mathematics methods course and should be prepared to discuss their experiences and philosophy of teaching. Screening will begin June 29, 2015 and continue until position is filled. Official transcripts required upon employment.

Department Homepage:

ECU Statement: East Carolina University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action University that accommodates individuals with disabilities.

Individuals requesting accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should contact the Department for Disability Support Services at (252) 737-1016 (Voice/TTY).

Proper documentation of identity and employability is required at the time of employment.

Teaching Faculty in Elementary Mathematics Advertisement

SECU Partnership East Group Picture

SECU Partnership East Welcomes New Cohorts from across the State

On Saturday, June 6, 2015, the College of Education welcomed four cohorts who will be joining State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) Partnership East this summer and fall. Students spent the day in Speight Building learning about their new majors in elementary and special education from College of Education advisors and faculty members. In addition, these new teacher education students toured the Teaching Resource Center in Joyner Library as well as spent time getting to know their new advisors and fellow cohort members.

SECU Partnership East students will begin their degree programs this summer or in the fall where they will take courses online with East Carolina University faculty. Intrusive advising and field placements in the students’ home-counties are incorporated into the SECU Partnership East degree completion programs. The goal of SECU Partnership East is to grow teachers close to home to provide access to teacher education degrees in rural areas. This year marks the 13th year of Partnership East which has graduated 655 teachers since its inception in 2002. Students in the new cohorts live primarily in rural eastern North Carolina but this newest crop of future teachers also includes individuals from the piedmont and mountain regions of North Carolina.

The new cohort orientation offered participants an opportunity to interact with their advisor and fellow students with whom they will learn in a variety of virtual platforms over the next few years. One participant shared, “I love the energy today. I’m so excited to get started and I’m glad I chose ECU! I feel better being able to meet everyone…it will make it easier for when we are online.” Students were also provided with detailed information about resources at East Carolina to include financial aid, library resources, and other academic support systems for distance education students.

SECU Partnership East involves a partnership between East Carolina University, North Carolina community colleges, and public school systems. Students can pursue degrees in elementary education and special education general curriculum. Beginning in 2016, middle grades education with language arts and social studies concentration will be offered. The degrees are offered in a part-time format for all 3 degrees with full-time options available for elementary education. To qualify, students must have prerequisite coursework from a North Carolina community college as well as meet testing and grade requirements. For more information about SECU Partnership East, interested individuals are encouraged to visit: or contact Dr. Laura Bilbro-Berry at or 252-328-1123.