Welcome back! I do hope each of you had an enjoyable and rejuvenating break, and I am excited to see our collective accomplishments in 2015. As a School, we will face some changes this year but, given our track record and the high caliber of our faculty and staff, I know that we will continue to effectively collaborate in order to fulfill our mission and vision to positively impact change in our communities.
I am excited to announce a $25,000 gift from Bert Berkley which will bring TeachLivE to the School of Education this semester, allowing our students the opportunity to practice teaching in a virtual environment before they enter a classroom. My sincere thanks to Dr. Patty Alvarez McHatton and Ms. Rachael Steele for their efforts toward this end. Dr. McHatton will pilot the TLE TeachLivE Lab, a classroom simulation program based at the University of Central Florida, in her class, “Education of the Exceptional Child and Youth”. TeachLivE lets students practice teaching in front of a video screen populated with virtual students, or avatars, whose movements and speech are controlled by “interactors.” Interactors are professional actors who have knowledge of each of the avatar’s characteristics and learning needs and can respond based on the specified lesson objectives and real-time interactions. We will keep you updated as to the success of the program! Visit our website for more information.
And, I am pleased to report that both of our Winter Session course offerings ‘made’. We had 14 students in Adolescent Development and 11 in Educational Psychology. Our plan is to offer courses in the May intersession as well and I encourage everyone to consider ways in which we can make intersession more successful in increasing both revenue and enrollment.
Our sixth annual Urban Education and Community Forum is already fast approaching on March 3rd and I urge anyone teaching this semester to build the presentation into your course syllabi. Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, III, president of The University of Maryland, Baltimore County since 1992, will discuss “The Role of Universities in Transforming Communities” from 5-6:30 p.m. at Pierson Auditorium. Doors will open at 4:30, with the event free and open to the public. Please RSVP.
I trust your semester will be both productive and rewarding! Happy New Year.