Category Archives: Research and Funded Projects

Glee and New Directions for Social Change

LEED Doctoral Student Published

The book Glee and New Directions for Social Change features a chapter from Davis B. Smith entitled “The Asteroid and the Active Shooter.” This work is about the importance of everyday interactions and using active listening so that we can better understand one another. Smith is a 3rd year doctoral student in the Doctor of Educational Leadership program with the Higher Education concentration.

Since his submission, Sense Publishers has contacted Smith for a future project on ethical decision-making using the TV show The Walking Dead as a backdrop as part of a sociology in television series.

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Dan Zuberbier

Meet Dan Zuberbier: A Great Resource for Students, Faculty, and Educators in Eastern NC

Recently, the Joyner Library made a new addition specifically to benefit the College of Education. Dan Zuberbier was hired as the Education and Instructional Technologies Librarian in the Teaching Resource Center.

Like many academic librarians, Dan Zuberbier didn’t follow a straight path to the profession. While finishing his B.A. in History at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, he was an assistant baseball coach at Edgewood College, a small private college down the street from the UW. “Baseball had been the center of my life for as long as I could remember,” he said. “Since I wasn’t playing ball any more it made sense to try and break into the coaching ranks.” Unfortunately being an assistant coach at an NCAA Division III school wasn’t enough to pay the bills, and he picked up odd jobs to make ends meet.

Eventually, Dan decided he needed a more stable career path. “Working the equivalent of two full-time jobs to pay the bills took the fun out of coaching baseball,” and reflected on what he wanted to get out of a career. “I needed a career that fulfilled my intellectual curiosities, and, at the same time, provided opportunities to develop meaningful relationships with young adults as I had been able to do with my baseball players. Teaching seemed like a natural fit.”

Setting his sights on becoming a high school history teacher, he enrolled in Pima Community College’s online Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Education Program, moved to Arizona to complete his student teaching, and earned his teaching license. Yet, four years later, his career took another unexpected turn. “I was having a hard time building up my students’ research skills, so I reached out to who I thought was our school librarian,” he said. “She kindly informed me she was the library clerk and had no experience teaching students research skills.”

Saying he was surprised his high school, the largest school in the district, didn’t have a certified library media specialist on staff is putting it mildly. To make matters worse, soon after their initial conversation, the library clerk broke her foot and was out of work for a week. Zuberbier stated, “Because she wasn’t a certified teacher-librarian, the school was under no obligation to hire a substitute to keep the library open in her absence. I was speechless.” After being shut out of their library for an entire week, Zuberbier wondered what else his students were missing out on because the school did not have a certified teacher-librarian.

He dove head-first into researching the role a library media specialist should play on a high school campus and petitioned the school board to fund the position. His request was denied. The Superintendent argued that because the school was only four years old, its collection was ‘still so new’ and students had access to so many online resources the school didn’t need a certified librarian. It took another year for Zuberbier’s efforts to succeed, and, in the meantime, he began earning his Master in Library and Information Science (MLIS) through UW-Milwaukee. He was also able to earn his library media specialist endorsement, and became his school’s first certified teacher-librarian.

“Soon after I started my MLIS program, I knew I couldn’t stop being a teacher. But, I also realized I wanted to give myself the opportunity to have an impact on the profession as an advocate for school libraries and through my work as an education librarian,” Zuberbier said. Which is why he considers himself fortunate to be working in East Carolina University’s Teaching Resources Center. “This is my dream job. To not only work with pre-service teachers by teaching them about instructional technologies and what they should expect out of their school library when they enter the workforce, but also serve educators throughout eastern North Carolina is an awesome responsibility.”

Zuberbier is currently working on developing workshops for students and faculty around the basic functions and lesson planning around the use of SMART Boards. He is also looking to collaborate with COE faculty to develop a series of workshops for students that will cover current and emerging K12 instructional technologies that will take place during the Fall semester. He currently resides in the TRC, room 2504, and can be reached through email, zuberbierd14@ecu.edu, or by phone, 328-0406.

ECU to Provide Early Childhood Mentoring to Eastern NC Educators

Incoming kindergartners throughout eastern North Carolina will soon be better prepared for classroom learning thanks to a $1.3 million grant awarded to East Carolina University.

Barbara Brehm, coordinator of ECU’s birth to kindergarten undergraduate program in the College of Human Ecology, will oversee the Early Educator Support, Leadership and Professional Development (EESLPD) project.

You can find out more about the grant here: ‘Ready to Learn’

COE Faculty Reflect Upon edTPA Experiences

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In December 2014, Drs. Diana Lys, Mark L’Esperance, Ellen Dobson, and Ann Bullock published Large-Scale Implementation of the edTPA: Reflections upon Institutional Change in Action in Current Issues in Education about their experiences implementing the edTPA performance assessment in a large teacher preparation program. Current Issues in Education is published by Arizona State University.

The article does not focus on the edTPA itself, rather it reflects upon the challenges and opportunities teacher preparation program face as they implement and embed edTPA. Key areas of reflection included organizational structures and processes; program and faculty readiness; and data use for program improvement.

The edTPA is the summative assessment associated with the Pirate CODE – ECU’s Transformation Initiative (TI) for the upcoming CAEP accreditation visit. In alignment with the goals of the ECU TI, the publication of this work serves as another example of how the Pirate CODE’s  R&D model leading to quality scholarly contributions to the teacher preparation knowledge base.

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Everyone Has News to Share

In the College of Education, we believe the best way to find out about what is going on in our departments, classrooms, and clubs as well as in the lives of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni is by encouraging them to share their news and events with us.

As one of the larger colleges at East Carolina University, we do our best to cover all that is going on, but we know there is more, and we want to know about it! If there is something newsworthy that you believe the college should share, please let us know about it.

Members of the community can share their news by sending an email to coewebteam@ecu.edu. We are happy to share relevant news stories on our news blog, website, Facebook page and Twitter. Please remember that in order for us to run a story on the website, it must be accompanied by a photo. If you have an upcoming event that would be of interest, we would be happy to share that as well.

ECU faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to use the COE helpdesk to submit their news and other promotion requests. College of Education faculty are invited to attend the upcoming professional development session “Keep Your Department in the Spotlight” on February 25th from 10-11 am to learn about all the tools COE faculty and staff have at their disposal to get the word out.

You know your story better than anyone. Won’t you share it with us?

Dr. Rob Lucas and Dr. Christina Tschida Awarded a Grant from the Library of Congress

Congratulations to Dr. Rob Lucas and Dr. Christina Tschida in the Department of Elementary and Middle Grades Education (ELMID) for their Grant Award from the Library of Congress. The Project, Teaching with Primary Sources will develop sets of primary sources on key regional topics that are also of national significance and make them available to teachers across the state. Additionally, the project will increase elementary teacher candidates’ capacities, particularly in the areas of historical investigation, academic language, disciplinary reading of non-fiction texts and instructional planning. Pre-service elementary teachers will learn to locate and use original documents and other primary sources as they design and implement instruction in history. The project will help teachers and their students to connect to North Carolina’s own rich history and its role in the nation’s history.

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First ECU EQUIPPED Scholars Chosen!

Congratulations to Paige Anderson, Alison Bickford, Kathryn Foley, Victoria Locklear, Callie Morton Parker, Morgan Sheehan, Chelsea Skurow, and Jenna Watral.These Special Education Teacher Candidates are pursuing their BS and initial Teaching License in Special Education-Adaptive Curriculum have been chosen as ECU EQUIPPED Scholars. These Scholars will receive tuition, resource and travel support, and induction support during their first three years of teaching in the high need area of Special Education. Each scholar has committed to teaching students with significant cognitive and additional disabilities for a minimum of two years for every year of tuition support.

In the Fall, the US Department of Education awarded the Department of Special Education, Foundations, and Research a 5-year, $1,248,855 grant to prepare 42 new Baccalaureate Special Educators with the initial license in Adaptive Curriculum and 18 MAEd Special Educators with the Advanced License in Low Incidence Disabilities and specialization in Assistive Technology. ECU EQUIPPED: Engendering High Quality Personnel Preparation for Educators Serving Students with Significant Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, supports research on effective teacher preparation and induction, an intensive summer institute aligned with the Graduate Certificate in Assistive Technology for teacher-leaders, mentoring of graduates, and support for tuition, books, materials, and travel to state and national conferences for EQUIPPED scholars.

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COE Awarded Grant to Bring New Pitt County Teachers Back to Graduate School

By Crystal Baity
ECU News Services

East Carolina University wants to entice new teachers in Pitt County to become students again.

ECU’s College of Education has received a $60,000 grant from the BelleJar Foundation that will help pay for 12 first-year teachers in high-need schools to get their master’s degrees in a collaborative effort with Pitt County Schools.

Seven teachers have enrolled in graduate school at ECU, and officials are recruiting to fill the remaining slots at Belvoir Elementary, C.M. Eppes Middle, HB Sugg/SD Bundy Elementary and North Pitt High.

High-need schools typically have more beginning teachers, double-digit teacher turnover rates, and a large number of students who receive free and reduced lunch.

“We want to touch as many teachers as we can,” said Dr. Judy Smith, ECU associate professor of elementary education and middle grades education. “We are preparing effective teachers and we want to retain those teachers in eastern North Carolina.” The program, Collaborative Teaching Communities, is aimed at giving new teachers “the time and support necessary to gain skills and confidence required to teach successfully, particularly in high need settings,” according to the grant summary.

Those in the program will be part of professional teaching teams. The teams will include one master teacher, two ECU undergraduate co-teaching student interns and two novice teachers (first to third year teachers). The program builds on a successful co-teaching model piloted in the ECU College of Education.

For the full article, please visit the ECU News Services Article Preparing Effective Teachers.

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ECU to Participate in Global Day of Giving

image‘Tis the season for giving! In honor of #GivingTuesday, East Carolina University is inviting alumni, friends, parents, students, faculty, and staff to join the movement by giving a charitable gift* on Tuesday, December 2, to the university that is near and dear to our hearts.

Founded in 2012 to inspire a new tradition of generosity, #GivingTuesday focuses on celebrating kindness and giving back. Support a culture of philanthropy at ECU by making a gift on December 2nd and becoming a partner in securing the university’s future for current students and future generations of Pirates.

Your gifts provide scholarships, enrich teaching resources and libraries, offer hands-on learning lessons, support research and the arts, deliver classroom enhancements, and afford study abroad living/learning opportunities – all of which help ECU attract and retain the best and brightest students and faculty.

Help spread the word! Mark you calendar to #GiveTueECU on December 2, tell your friends, and post on social media using the hashtags #GivingTuesdayECU and #GiveTueECU. “I Gave” badges will be available through ECU’s University Advancement and East Carolina Alumni Association’s social media accounts on December 2.

Learn more about the #GivingTuesdayECU movement. Thank you for your support!

Contact us at (252) ECU-GIVE (252-328-4483) or give2ecu@ecu.edu.

*Your gift is tax-deductible to the extent the law allows.

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Department of Special Education, Foundations & Research Receives $1.25 Million from Department of Education

The US Department of Education has awarded the Department of Special Education, Foundations, and Research a 5-year, $1,248,855 grant to prepare 42 new Baccalaureate Special Educators with the initial license in Adaptive Curriculum and and 18 MAEd Special Educators with the Advanced License in Low Incidence Disabilities and specialization in Assistive Technology. Drs. Alana Zambone and Christopher Rivera, Co-PIs, in partnership with Dr. Laura King, Director of the College of Education’s Assistive Technology Center, will lead the project, ECU EQUIPPED: Engendering High Quality Personnel Preparation for Educators Serving Students with Significant Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The project supports research on effective teacher preparation and induction, an intensive summer institute aligned with the Graduate Certificate in Assistive Technology for teacher-leaders, mentoring of graduates, and support for tuition, books,  materials, and travel to state and national conferences for EQUIPPED scholars.