On Tuesday, March 1st, Teacher Education faculty met at Grand Street Café for dinner and dialogue with superintendents and curriculum leaders from several of our partner school districts (Center School District; Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools; Kansas City Public Schools (MO); North Kansas City School District; Raytown C-2 School District; and Turner Unified School District). Following a welcome by Dr. Connor Warner, dinner, and an introduction to national, state and local contexts for transition work in teacher preparation programs presented by Dr. Etta Hollins, school district personnel, SOE faculty (Drs. Clare Bell, Etta Hollins, Louis Odom, Ekaterina Strekalova-Hughes, Omiunota Ukpokodu, Jennifer Waddell, Connor Warner and Ms. Christine Webster) and Director of Continuing and Professional Education, Dr. Micheal Strohschein, met in table groups to discuss the teacher preparation needs of the districts for supporting high K-12 student learning outcomes. SOE faculty gathered extensive notes that included such topics as understanding diversity, meeting the needs of diverse student populations, designing learning experiences, supporting literacy in all content areas, setting up more student-centered learning environments, using technology as a tool for critical thinking, using data for assessment, and employing a variety of models of formative assessment. Teacher Education faculty plan to continue these dialogues with partner school districts and I am grateful to all that organized and participated in this first successful event!
The School of Education also hosted a successful PREP-KC recruitment event last Friday, with 51 students from Kansas City, KS, high schools attending our annual “Education for a Day.” These students enjoyed a formal program, breakout sessions and campus tour with lunch. Thanks to Ms. Christine Timmerman, Ms. Shay Dodson, Ms. Leah Panther, and Drs. Uzziel Pecina and Micheal Strohschein who coordinated logistics and presented to and engaged with the students.
My thanks also to Ms. Christine Timmerman and Drs. Clare Bell, Michelle Maher and Nancy Murdock who spent part of their Saturday hosting potential students interested in our MAT, mental health counseling and higher education and PK-12 administration programs at our Graduate Info Session on March 5th. Our next graduate student information session will be on Thursday, April 7th.
As some of you may know, Dr. Dianne Smith will be retiring at the end of the 2016 summer semester. Dianne has been with the School of Education for 25-1/2 years, serving twice as ULAPSIE/ELPF division chair (2003-10, 2015-16), working tirelessly to increase enrollment in our PK-12 Administration (33.3%), in particular, and Higher Education Administration programs, and consistently providing exceptional student service, as well as collaboration and leadership to her colleagues throughout the School. I value her friendship and thank her for her dedication to not only our students but her profession; she will be missed! At the same time, I would like to thank Dr. Loyce Caruthers who has accepted the role of division chair, effective September 1. Her history with the School and spirit of collaboration will allow us to continue the good work we do in preparing leaders in PK-12 and higher education. Please join me in wishing Dianne the best and congratulating Loyce on her new role.
• Faculty/Staff professional development opportunity – March 18th. Ms. Melissa Messina, instructional designer for UMKC Online will discuss (online) course accessibility—appropriate for those who teach entirely online, face-to-face or if you do not teach at all! Lunch begins at noon (room 307) with the presentation at 12:30 p.m. (room 34). Please RSVP.
• Seventh annual Urban Education and Community Forum – April 5th. Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings will present “What it takes for effective urban education: The Role of Youth Culture in Transforming Teaching.” Doors open at 4:30 p.m. for the 5-6:30 p.m. event in room 401 of the UMKC Student Union. RSVP.
Enjoy the warmer weather and have a good week!