To Address Shortage, University of Virginia Will Train School Psychologists

This article originally appeared on theUniversity of Virginia websiteand is reprinted with permission. 

The University of Virginia’s (UVA) School of Education and Human Development will offer a new Education Specialist in School Psychology degree beginning this fall, a move Virginia education experts say could help expand access to mental health services by easing a shortage of school psychologists. 

Graduates will receive an Education Specialist in School Psychology degree after completing the three-year program. Training includes two years of coursework at UVA and culminates with a full-time, yearlong internship in a school setting during the final year of training. Successful program completion will enable graduates to apply for state and national certification as school psychologists in PK-12 schools. 

The program is now accepting students for its first class, which will begin in August. The application deadline for the first cohort of students is Feb. 1. 

You Can’t Spell Education Without ‘AI’: The New UNM Research Underway

This article originally appeared on the University of New Mexico website and is reprinted with permission.

While the term “artificial intelligence” (AI) may be exhausted in its quantity of mentions, the University of New Mexico (UNM) community is just getting started with exploring this impactful phrase.  

Literacy professor Mary Rice in the College of Education & Human Sciences (COEHS) is exploring the role of AI and education. From future teachers to current educators to students of all ages, it is a connection worth understanding.  

“I still don’t know all the answers. I think the place where we should be centering is thinking about how to help teachers and students learn what those sorts of tools can and cannot,” Rice said. 

Ph.D. student Jegason Phosphorus Diviant and Ph.D. candidate Lou Ellis Brassington are part of this cautiously optimistic area of study alongside Rice.  

Teacher Stories: BGSU Graduate Student Receives Statewide Recognition for Excellence in Teaching 

AACTE Teacher Stories is a series highlighting the experiences of K-12 educators who are attending or alumni of AACTE member institutions. AACTE invites preservice and in-service school teachers to reflect on how they are applying the practices, frameworks, and strategies they acquired during their educator preparation program (EPP) studies to assure student success. Please email submissions to Tyler Pointer at tpointer@aacte.org.

A Bowling Green State University (BGSU) graduate student was recently recognized for her exceptional performance in the classroom by receiving the Emerging Leader Award from the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics — an honor given to a current mathematics pre-service teacher or a mathematics educator who has taught for five years or fewer.

Kaitlyn Solymosi ’22, who earned a bachelor’s degree in integrated mathematics education and has been involved in the University’s Math Camp, Math Emporium, and was a Thompson Family Scholar, said she found herself immersed at BGSU from the start.

“I was going to math conferences as a freshman, and I joined the math-ed community way before I was in my own classroom student teaching,” Solymosi said. “My experience at BG was definitely more than I expected to get out of a math-ed degree.”

Education Researchers to Study Effective Teaching, Academic Policy Through the Lens of Inclusive Excellence

The Clemson University College of Education is dedicated to improving teacher preparation and student outcomes in every classroom, focusing on underserved schools and communities. With this in mind, researchers in the college are interested in classroom practices and the effects of education policies on schools, districts, and entire regions.

Two recent grants awarded to college faculty showcase both ends of this spectrum.

Faiza Jamil, associate professor in the college, uses data from multiple sources to examine the effectiveness of district policies designed to increase the number of teachers from diverse backgrounds. Meanwhile, Kristen Duncan, an assistant professor in the college, uses more qualitative research to examine how Black educators tackle challenging discipline-specific content with students.

Simulations Help Prepare Kentucky’s Aspiring Special Education Teachers  

Before leading a classroom of their own, students preparing to become special education teachers are using mixed reality simulations to develop skills to be successful educators.  

The UK SimLab at the University of Kentucky College of Education provides simulations for aspiring special education teachers across Kentucky. The simulations enable the college students to rehearse teaching in a controlled setting by interacting with avatars — brought to life behind the scenes by trained actors.  

“The wonderful thing about using mixed reality simulations is that I can provide immediate feedback and coaching while the pre-service teacher is practicing the teacher behavior,” said Kera Ackerman, Ph.D., assistant professor of special education, UK College of Education. “We can pause the simulation to provide a correction, and then restart the simulation to practice the behavior again. We always say that it is the place to make a mistake because there is no impact on P-12 learners.”

Indigenous Students Put Language and Culture First in Early Childhood Education Program

Courtesy of the University of Washington

Jasmyne Diaz’s young daughters came home one day from the Tulalip Early Learning Academy (TELA), their birth-to-kindergarten child care center, singing a stanza from “huy syaʔyaʔ”— the Lushootseed goodbye song. Over and over they sang the lines they remembered, not knowing what followed. As a member of the Tulalip Tribes, Diaz recognized the Lushootseed words but didn’t know the language well enough to help with the rest of the song. She thought of her great-grandmother — a Lushootseed educator — and her grandmother, who’d earned a doctorate in education. She thought of her three girls and the future she wanted for them. She said, “I decided if they knew Lushootseed, I also had to learn and help them.”

Diaz is now a teaching assistant with the Tulalip Tribes’ Lushootseed Language Department, teaching not only her own children but many of the community’s young students. Diaz appreciates the important work TELA is doing to educate the tribe’s littlest learners, infusing their early education with the language, culture, and teachings of their elders.

Southeastern Louisiana University and Partners Awarded LDOE Funding

The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) has awarded a $1.67 million contract to Northshore Regional STEM Center, led by Southeastern Louisiana University in partnership with Northshore Technical Community College and LaSTEM. 

Appropriated by the Louisiana State Legislature, the funds will be used to develop and deliver 40 hours of computer science Praxis exam training through multiple cohorts to 1,000 6th-12th grade teachers statewide. The project will be led by the Northshore Regional LaSTEM Center Director Wendy Conarro, Southeastern Interim Computer Science Department Head Bonnie Achee, and Dean of the College of Education Paula Summers Calderon.

As part of the LDOE initiative to “Ignite, Inspire, and Energize” computer science education across Louisiana supporting education and industry, the training will be held virtually in March and April, with a hybrid cohort in June.

University of Kentucky NSF Grant Examines Making Mathematics More Equitable

(Right) Principal investigator Jonathan Thomas, Ph.D., professor and chair, UK College of Education Department of STEM Education, and co-principal investigator Cindy Jong, Ph.D., professor, UK College of Education Department of STEM Education.

A new University of Kentucky (UK) study funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) seeks to make mathematics more relatable to all students by focusing on how teachers respond to children’s experiences, knowledge, and mathematical reasoning. 

UK College of Education Department of STEM Education faculty are collaborating with faculty at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Georgia State University, and Rowan University on the $1.5 million NSF grant, with $821,000 of the funding coming to UK. 

Preparing teachers to create equitable mathematics classrooms is an ongoing challenge for teacher education, said Jonathan Thomas, Ph.D., lead principal investigator of the NSF grant and professor and chair in the UK College of Education Department of STEM Education. 

“There are students not being reached, sometimes because the structures we have in place send signals that this thing called ‘math’ really isn’t for you, and we want to push against those narratives. We lose so much talent, brain power and creativity by shutting certain doors,” Thomas said. 

Western Governors University School of Ed Launches Podcast on Teacher Well-Being

With more than 90,000 working educator alumni in classrooms nationwide, WGU has a deep commitment to K-12 education, and to the future teachers coming through initial licensure programs as well as master’s degree programs for educators. While much has been said in media and news outlets about the increasing needs of students, especially post-COVID-19 pandemic, some education leaders, including those at WGU, are concerned that more attention needs to be given to what teachers need after the last three challenging years. 

Sharing that concern is Utah’s First Lady Abby Cox, who recently shifted the lens of her annual Show Up for Teachers conference to focus on teacher and educator personal and professional wellness with tools and resources throughout the conference breakout sessions and keynotes including guest speaker Arthur Brooks, the Harvard University researcher on happiness. In 2023, the WGU School of Education was honored to become a major sponsor of the conference.

The University of Indianapolis Announces Gift to Establish Learning Resource Center

The University of Indianapolis (UIndy) is delighted to announce a significant gift in memory of Nanci Vargus. This generous gift was provided by Nanci’s daughter, Jilda Vargus-Adams who wanted to create a lasting legacy for her mother’s commitment and dedication to education and her remarkable impact on the University.

The University will establish the Nanci Vargus Learning Resource Center to remember Nanci’s legacy. Nanci was an educator at the university for over 20 years who used her expertise and kindness to guide elementary and college-age students alike in their journeys to literacy.

“As a child, Mom literally read every book in her local library’s children’s section. She loved books.  But more than that, she loved the joy that everyone can get from reading and she built her career with that goal in mind,” Vargus-Adams said. “Both as an elementary school teacher and as a professor of education, Mom endeavored to ensure that all children could have the gift of literacy.”

Clemson to Use $2.39 Million from Department of Education to Expand Teacher Residency Across the State

The Clemson University College of Education’s teacher residency program will expand to school districts in the Pee Dee region thanks to a $2.39 million award from the U.S. Department of Education. The project will place 16 teacher residents in participating districts in the region each year for four years, paying each a $25,000 living stipend during their residency year when the students are placed with mentor teachers.

College leaders expect that most of the educators taking advantage of this stipend will be those pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) online from Clemson. These students — often career changers coming into education with a bachelor’s degree in another field — will be afforded the same opportunity as undergraduate students in the residency program and enjoy additional support to spend a year with a mentor teacher while earning their MAT degree.

The students will spend a full academic year of residency with an experienced mentor teacher who continuously gathers data about a resident’s progress to provide targeted support and feedback. Teacher residents in the Pee Dee districts will receive the $25,000 stipend and move from a collaborative, co-teaching role in the classroom to an increasingly responsible, lead-teaching role.

Peabody Researchers Receive Funding to Launch Data Science Challenges to Improve Education

This article was originally published by Vanderbilt University

ChatGPT is here to stay and educators need to adapt to their students using it — at least, that is what news headlines have suggested for almost a year following ChatGPT’s unveiling. Much of the coverage has given voice to worries about the possibility that AI will hinder learning by doing students’ work for them. But the AI revolution has just begun, and some experts are seizing on AI’s positive potential to augment teaching and learning.

A growing number of those experts are faculty at Vanderbilt Peabody College of Education and Human Development, including Scott Crossley, professor of special education, Bethany Rittle-Johnson, professor of psychology and human development, and Kelley Durkin, research assistant professor of teaching and learning. They have teamed up to launch data science challenges that will leverage the power of AI to advance K-12 education in writing and math. Supported by several private foundations, they will lead two challenges focused on improving student writing and one challenge to model students’ math misconceptions. Teams will compete to integrate AI models into automatic writing evaluation systems to better provide feedback to students. The math challenge aims to provide teachers and students with early feedback on probable misconceptions.

Voorhees’ Center of Excellence for Educator Preparation and Innovation Receives $26.7 Million Grant

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Voorhees University a $26.7 million grant to serve more than 850 teachers and nearly 11,000 students.

Voorhees’ Center of Excellence for Educator Preparation and Innovation is receiving a new Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program grant to improve student achievement in Fairfield County School District and Georgetown County School District.

The REAP: Rewarding Educator Achievement and Performance grant aims to improve the quality of education, elevate educator effectiveness, raise student achievement, and increase equity in learning.

Virginia State University to Address Petersburg Teacher Shortage

The Virginia State University (VSU) College of Education has announced a new teacher residency program to help with the teacher shortage in Petersburg, VA, and provide future educators with an immersive educational experience.

Finding quality teachers has been a struggle for Petersburg in recent years, much like for schools nationwide. When Petersburg realized some of their K-12 classrooms would be overcrowded this upcoming school year, they came to VSU seeking stellar students interested in doing an early teacher residency. In August, the HERO program was born.

HERO, or Hybrid Education Residency Opportunity, is a comprehensive and innovative program that combines coursework and practical teaching in an actual classroom setting.

Texas A&M Wins Federal Grant to Tackle Teacher Shortage in Texas

The School of Education and Human Development will lead research to support future educators.

This article was originally published by Texas A&M Today.

Texas A&M University will address the demand for teachers in Texas with the help of a $3 million Hispanic Serving Institution capacity-building grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Through the five-year grant, the School of Education and Human Development (SEHD) will lead the development and assessment of a pilot program to recruit, mentor, and retain students who want to major in education or human resource development.

During the pilot, SEHD will provide its expertise in academic coaching, advising and essential services as well as partner with academic units and divisions across the campus, including the Division of Student Affairs and the Department of Admissions and Undergraduate Recruitment and Outreach.