Category Archives: Partnership East

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.”

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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

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.

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!”

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: www.ecu.edu/pe or contact Dr. Laura Bilbro-Berry at bilbroberryl@ecu.edu or 252-328-1123.

Guilford County Teacher Expo

Guilford County School’s 2015 Teacher Expo Ready to Hire Graduates

Around the country, thousands of college seniors are making their final preparations to enter the workforce as a professional educator. As the third largest school district in North Carolina, Guilford County Schools has many opportunities for new teachers. They seek the most passionate and well-trained teachers. Due to their dedication to hiring and retention, they are hosting a unique comprehensive hiring event on Monday May, 11 staring at 9:00 A.M. at the downtown Marriott in Greensboro, called the “Get in the Game” 2015 Teacher Expo.

This FREE event is specifically for teachers who desire an opportunity to meet face-to-face with over 80 Guilford County principals with available positions. On hand will be representatives from their Benefits, Curriculum and Professional Development departments. There will also be information about their unique Mission Possible program, GCS-ACT and Lateral Entry licensure. Area vendors will also be on hand to provide information about relocation services to Guilford County.

All that is required of graduates is to register and be prepared to be hired on the spot, as Guilford County’s HR staff is prepared to process on site all teachers who receive letters of intent. So please get your resume ready and decide which school in Guilford County you would like to begin your career!

Students can register via this link: http://bit.ly/GCSTeacherExpoReg

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Educators Gather to Gain Super Teaching Powers

CTC_2015-1642On March 31, 2015, 220 clinical teachers, university supervisors, faculty and staff gathered for the 2015 Spring Clinical Teachers’ Conference at the Greenville Hilton sponsored by East Carolina University’s College of Education and the Latham Clinical Schools Network. The theme for the conference was iTeach: What’s Your Superpower? and included a keynote address by Ms. Jami Dickerson, Pitt County teacher and Northeast Region Teacher of the Year. Ms. Dickerson challenged teachers to develop their superpowers by building relationships with their students, making their classroom engaging, and through displaying passion for the profession.

CTC_2015-1610Participants could select from sixteen different breakout sessions where they learned about technology, teaching methods, and ideas to support their students at a variety of grade levels. The professional development sessions were offered by ECU faculty and guest presenters and were designed to assist teachers with enhancing their “superpowers” as teachers. One participant commented, “I enjoyed learning new ideas in a fun, engaging way.”

CTC_2015-1607Along with the superhero theme of the day, participants were asked to name a super teacher they knew and why they considered these individuals to be outstanding educators. These comments were shared throughout the day on Twitter and on presentation screens as a celebration of the wonderful educators within the East.

The clinical teachers who participated in the event have been assigned interns that are completing their educator preparation programs and will graduate this spring. The student interns served as unpaid substitutes in the clinical teachers’ classrooms so that these individuals could attend this professional development opportunity. An intern commented about her clinical teacher, “I’m glad to take over my teacher’s classroom for the day since she has done so much to help me. She deserves this day!”

CTC_2015-1598The College of Education was proud to sponsor this event as a way of saying thank you to the clinical teachers who work tirelessly to support teacher education interns during their year-long internship. We are grateful for their efforts in preparing the next generation of “super teachers!”

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

View the full Photo Album of the event at http://www.coe3.ecu.edu/coeweb/Albums/2015_CTC/

#CTC15 #ECUCOE

Epsilon Sigma Alpha

ESA Scholarships Available for Special Education Majors

The North Carolina Council of Epsilon Sigma Alpha Scholarship Board will continue to offer their Scholarship for students and teachers who are pursuing a degree or certification in Special Education in 2015.

The scholarship has been available since 1956 and is targeted to individuals training for work with exceptional children and has ranged from $500 to $2,500 per year. Current North Carolina teachers seeking additional training are also eligible. Applications must be post marked by April 1, 2015 and awards will be made by May 2, 2015.

Applicants should note the agreement to teacher in the North Carolina Public School System for a minimum of 1 year. Copies of both applications are available for downloading on the North Carolina Council of Epsilon Sigma Alpha website.

Dr. Christy Rhodes

Dr. Christy Rhodes Receives Promoting Diversity and Inclusion Mini-Grant

Drs. Christy Rhodes and Sheresa Blanchard are recipients of the “Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the Curriculum” Mini-Grants. The selected proposals are going to tackle different aspects of diversity in the classrooms of ECU and in eastern North Carolina.

Dr. Christy Rhodes, assistant professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Professions, submitted a proposal with Drs. Kathy Lohr and Phyllis Broughton to facilitate a workshop for eastern North Carolina’s community college faculty and staff members.

Rhodes said they came to the decision to focus on community colleges because the department’s graduate students are preparing to become instructors at the community college level and because “they (community colleges) are the entry point for so many non-traditional learners.” She added, “they are experiencing diversity much more than universities are and other higher education (institutions).”

This proposal aims to work on institution-wide diversity by hosting a workshop for faculty and staff members currently at community colleges as well as the future educators enrolled in the departments graduate programs. The workshop will cover difficult conversations in the classroom and present participants with a toolkit of information to continue the important conversation. “Three hours isn’t enough,” said Rhodes.

“We’re excited that the grant allows us to put things in the toolkit that are helpful. During our workshop, we’re going to focus on the tips in the book that focuses on the difficult conversations,” said Rhodes. The toolkit is provided at the workshop to supply participants with resources to keep close.

Both program proposals are currently in progress and working to increase the diversity in our classrooms. The next Diversity Seminar will be on April 8, 2015 and attendees will be eligible for the two mini-grants to be awarded.

This article is an excerpt from the March 2015 Discovering Equity and Diversity newsletter.

Captain Arrrgh Headshot

From the TRC: Ronnie Barnes African-American Resource Collection

It’s Thursday, and another edition of From the TRC is published to highlight another service or resource the Teaching Resources Center in Joyner Library has to support the College of Education’s faculty and students. This week, it’s the Ronnie Barnes African-American Resource Collection.

Granted, it is Black History Month and that may be one reason why the Ronnie Barnes African-American Resource Collection is the subject of this week’s post. But, honestly, the main reason is to call attention to this valuable, yet underused resource in the Teaching Resources Center.

Allow me to back that statement up with numbers. So far this school year the Ronnie Barnes Collection has accounted for less than one (1) percent of the books circulated in the TRC. If that doesn’t sound small enough I’ll dig a little deeper into the statistics. Since July 2014, the TRC has accounted for 47%, on average, of Joyner Library’s monthly total circulation of books. What does that mean? Well, out of the 20,460 books that have been checked out from the TRC since July only 161 (0.7%) have come from the Ronnie Barnes Collection. Here’s why the collection is worth checking out any time of year:

Ronnie Barnes

Ronnie Barnes, ECU Class of ’75

Ronnie Barnes, an eastern North Carolina native, was the first graduate of ECU’s Sports Medicine program in 1975 and is the Senior Vice President of Medical Services and Head Athletic Trainer for the New York Giants of the National Football League. In 2002, he endowed a fund to develop and maintain a collection of materials written or illustrated by African-Americans, or about the African-American experience.

The children’s collection includes:

  • Coretta Scott King Award books
  • Caldecott Award books about African-Americans or by African-American authors or illustrators.
  • Newbery Award books about African-Americans or by African-American authors or illustrators.
  • Biographies of African-Americans for K12 students

Additionally, the adult collection contains all genres, from scholarly books  to general fiction. The adult collection is highlighted on an annual rotating basis. At the end of each year, these materials rotate out of the Ronnie Barnes Collection into Joyner Library’s general stacks.  The call numbers in the Ronnie Barnes Collection begin with “Barnes.”

For more resources to use in the classroom for Black History month click on these TRC and Joyner Library resources:

Not sure how to put these resources to use? Here are some lesson plan ideas for Black History Month from the National Education Association, Education World, Scholastic, Smithsonian Education, National Endowment for the Humanities, AfricanAmericanHistoryMonth.gov, African-American History Through the Arts, and PBS.

Until next time. – Dan Z. in the TRC