ECU professor joins national press briefing on teacher performance assessment

ECU College of Education professor Dr. Diana Lys, second from right, spoke at the National Press Club about ECU's experience with a new teacher candidate assessment program. (Contributed photo)

ECU College of Education professor Dr. Diana Lys, second from right, spoke at the National Press Club about ECU’s experience with a new teacher candidate assessment program. (Contributed photo)

 

By Jessica Nottingham
College of Education

The College of Education at East Carolina University was the only institute of higher education represented at the American Association of College Teacher Education press briefing that marked the national launch of teacher performance assessment, referred to as edTPA, after two years of field testing.

edTPA was designed to set a national standard of assessing the capabilities of aspiring teachers, similar to the bar exam for law students. Teacher education candidates seeking their initial teaching license submit an edTPA portfolio of materials and a video that shows them at work in the classroom during their student teaching internship. The candidates are evaluated based on their ability to develop lesson plans, respond to student needs, set standards, differentiate instruction and analyze whether their students are learning, according to the AACTE launch announcement. Trained education professionals score the portfolios.

Dr. Diana Lys, director of assessment and accreditation for the College of Education, was invited to speak at the National Press Club about ECU’s extensive experience with the new teacher candidate assessment that is now ready for all teacher preparation institutes across the country to implement.

edTPA allows individuals across disciplines to speak a common language and to share innovative practices, said Lys at the AACTE briefing. She said edTPA was a “lever for change” at ECU and that it has helped build a bridge to practice between the university and its partner schools.

ECU has been engaged in edTPA since the nationwide pilot began three years ago. The university recorded 96 percent participation among spring student teaching interns in 2013 and is currently the only university in the state to have all education programs on campus participating. edTPA is not mandated by the state of North Carolina, which makes ECU’s breadth and depth of engagement with the  assessment most noteworthy.

“AACTE is proud of the innovative work being done by teacher education faculty and leaders at East Carolina University,” said Saroja Barnes, senior director for professional issues with the AACTE. “We applaud them for the reforms they have engaged in, particularly in relation to their use of performance-based assessments of teacher candidates and clinical practice models. Their reform efforts demonstrate the power of transformative action at the local level to engage in change for improvement. Ultimately it is this type of change that will move the needle on high quality educator preparation and PK-12 student achievement.”

Jaclyn Midgette, a 2013 ECU graduate and now 4th grade reading and social studies teacher at Bullock Elementary School in Lee County, was featured in “Education Week” recently for her experience as a beginning teacher who completed edTPA as an undergraduate student. Even though she described it as “stressful, drawn-out and exhausting,” she said that the assessment process taught her how to reflect on each lesson, which she now does every day.

The briefing was held on November 8 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. and Lys served as a panelist alongside a new teacher who completed edTPA as a student, AACTE leaders, state policy leaders from Illinois and Washington states and National Education Association partners.

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ECU alumni participate in discovery of lost Japanese submarine in Hawaii

The CNN video of the dive is available online at http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/03/us/japanese-submarine-found/.

The CNN video of the dive is available online at http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/03/us/japanese-submarine-found/.

By Lacey Gray
Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

Researchers in Hawaii, including two East Carolina University alumni, have found a large WWII-era Japanese submarine in 2,300 feet of water off the southwest coast of Oahu.

Terry Kerby, operations director and chief submarine pilot for the Hawaiʻi Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, is the primary investigator involved in the discovery. Kerby’s research efforts and dives were funded by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s maritime heritage research effort.

On his recent dive, two ECU alumni and co-investigators from the NOAA Office of National Maritime Sanctuaries joined Kerby.  Dr. James Delgado, who received his MA in history from ECU in 1985, is director of the NOAA Maritime Heritage Program, and Dr. Hans Van Tilburg, who received his MA in maritime history from ECU in 1995, is a NOAA historian and maritime archaeologist.

“The I-400 has been on our ‘to-find’ list for some time,” said Kerby in an article from the University of Hawaiʻi. “Finding it where we did was totally unexpected. Jim and Hans and I knew we were approaching what looked like a large wreck on our sonar. It was a thrill when the view of a giant submarine appeared out of the darkness.”

The discovery of the I-400, the largest submarine built prior to the introduction of nuclear-powered submarines in the 1960s, was lost in 1946 after it was scuttled by the U.S. Navy in an effort to keep its advanced technology secret.

“These submarines are indeed technical marvels, and they speak even more to past events which shaped the Pacific and the world,” said Van Tilburg. “Looking back on this advanced and deadly technology today, what also comes to mind is how two former enemies can remember the past, having achieved a reconciliation perhaps unimaginable at that time.”

A video of the dive that reveals the I-400 may be viewed in an article appearing on the CNN website at http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/03/us/japanese-submarine-found/.

For additional information, contact Delgado at james.delgado@noaa.gov or Van Tilburg at hans.vantilburg@noaa.gov.

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College of Nursing staff, faculty bring cheer to senior adults

Working to create holiday decorations are, left to right, ECU student worker Ana Juerges, and College of Nursing staff members Joy Morgan and Heidi Parker. (Contributed photos)

Working to create holiday decorations are, left to right, ECU student worker Ana Juerges, and College of Nursing staff members Joy Morgan and Heidi Parker. (Contributed photos)

 

Staff and faculty members from the College of Nursing are bringing cheer to senior adults this holiday season.

More than a dozen faculty and staff decorated 13 wreaths and 26 stockings for residents at Golden Living Center in Greenville during a fall community service day on Nov. 1. They also raised funds to provide a gift card for a family in need.

The holiday decorations will be delivered Friday, Dec. 6 in time for the staff at Golden Living Center to decorate for the annual holiday open house on Dec. 8. Nursing faculty and staff plan to do another service event in the spring.

Participants at the College of Nursing community service day included, back row from left to right, Mary Graves, Traci Baer, Rachel Cherrier and Jennifer Muir; front from left to right are Nik Fishel and Kuan Chen.

Participants at the College of Nursing community service day included, back row from left to right, Mary Graves, Traci Baer, Rachel Cherrier and Jennifer Muir; front from left to right are Nik Fishel and Kuan Chen.

 

Creating holiday decorations are, eft to right, student worker Ana Juerges, staff members Joy Morgan, Shonterra Person, Lisa Ormond, and student worker Megan Ingle.

Creating holiday decorations are, left to right, student worker Ana Juerges, staff members Joy Morgan, Shonterra Person, Lisa Ormond, and student worker Megan Ingle.

 

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ECU alumnus to direct Criminal Justice Standards division

Combs Steven G1

Steven Combs

Attorney General Roy Cooper has named 45-year-old Steven Combs the new director of the Criminal Justice Standards Division. The Jacksonville native will begin in the new job Monday, Cooper spokeswoman Noelle Talley said. The position administers the Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission’s certification program for sworn police officers.

Combs will succeed Windy Hunter, who has served as acting director since Wayne Woodard retired last year. Combs has most recently served as an assistant special agent in charge in the Jacksonville office of the State Bureau of Investigation. He has worked for the SBI for 15 years.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from East Carolina University and completed training in law enforcement management through the N.C. Justice Academy.

Combs worked previously with the Raleigh Police Department and in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves.

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