College of Education Newsletter

October 2017

Message from the Dean:

Happy Fall, Y'all, As the weather final starts to cool, it's a great time to reflect on the beginning of the academic term. As you might guess, we have quite a few more students in some of our programs. We have seen significant increases in the elementary education, reading, school counseling, library media, and the PhD programs. While some programs are growing, others are at capacity and holding-- which is exactly what we need. Our growth and stability are directly related to the quality of the programs, your reputation, and the work we do with recruiting. Thank you to everyone for your help and support in recruiting. We get the best students because of your efforts!

I'm also pleased by the continual focus on community engagement. I think this is the thing that sets us apart from other colleges of education. Many of you actively seek out opportunities to engage with community partners and to make a difference outside of your classroom. I'd like to give a "shout out" to Tammy Benson and BearsRead, DeeDee Cain and the Bigelow Reading Project, Jason Trumble and the Vilonia 3D printer project, Kathleen Arkins and Respite Care, Crystal Voegele and her ESL project, and Patty Kohler-Evans and Donna Wake with Field Trips. Part of our reputation comes from our involvement and impact on the community. All of these projects, and many more that will be featured in other editions of our newsletter, are prime examples of the "Yes And Thinking" that we talked about during the Opening Meeting. As you engage with the community, please send me pictures and information so we can share your great work.

Once again, I'd like to thank all of you for your continued commitment to excellence. My door is always open, stop in and see me.


Ribbon Cutting - College of Education Mashburn Learning Suite

The College of Education is thrilled to announce the final touches on the Technology Learning Center’s renovations. The transformation of the TLC highlights the college’s dedication to the idea that students should be empowered in their learning and have agency in the way they demonstrate what they know. The main computer lab has been converted from static computer workstations to a fully customizable work space, with modular tables and synchronized Apple TV-equipped monitors. This allows the teacher to facilitate large group activities as well as give students the opportunity to break off into smaller work teams. Part of the renovation includes a maker space area that features a green screen wall to accommodate creative video projects and several 3D printers that are at the cutting edge of where education is headed. The main TLC space is equipped with multiple couches and sitting areas designed to accommodate students in comfort while also serving as a collaborative work space.

The TLC opened to students on Tuesday, October 10th. The College of Education is hosting a Grand Opening ceremony to officially show off our redone space on Monday, November 6th at 10:00 A.M.

Vilonia High School Project Based Learning Experience:

The UCA college of education is dedicated to innovative teaching and developing partnerships with schools to support learning and development of students. This September we kicked off a partnership with Vilonia High School and Dr. Bruce Battles. This partnership is focused on supporting Vilonia students as they transition from school to daily life. We are building digital age skills as students learn about 3D printing, design, sales, and business management through a Project Based Learning experience. UCA teacher candidates supported Vilonia students as they sold 3D printed items at the football game. Parents from Vilonia and Alma, the visiting team, responded with glowing remarks.As the project progresses, we will be researching the impact this project has on the students, teachers, and teacher candidates. This ongoing partnership will strengthen our relationship with Vilonia and will help prepare our teacher candidates for innovative teaching,
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Hall High School/Jacksonville Middle School Field Trips:

The UCA College of Education staged a series of visits to Little Rock area schools for middle and secondary majors in the months of September and October. Middle and Secondary candidates were able to visit both Hall High School and Jacksonville Middle School. Both sites visited allowed candidates to tour schools and interact with students outside of the established field placements for their programs of study. Candidates were able to observe classes, interact with students, and meet with a panel of teachers at those school locations. The goal of this initiative was to ask candidates to explore teaching in a variety of contexts in order to analyze school trends, patterns, successes and challenges across multiple contexts.

Apple Distinguished Educators Mobile Learning Event:

On September 21, 2017, Larry Reiff, author of If Shakespeare Could Tweet: Transforming Literature with iOS and English Language Arts teacher at Roslyn High School in Roslyn, New York, and Kristin Ziemke, author of Amplify: Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-6 Classroom and Connecting Comprehension and Technology, spoke to our faculty and pre-service students about the importance of digital curiosity and allowing students to explore the world around them using mobile technology and a drive to question the world in deeper ways than we usually do. This was the inaugural event in the newly refurbished Mashburn 103 and resulted in a packed room with students and faculty from not only UCA but also local school districts.

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Dr. Stephanie Huffman was recently at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff doing some recruiting for the College. What a great group of students!

In collaboration with the UCA Admission Office, the College of Education participated in 18 college planning programs in all regions of the state since the beginning of the fall semester. These events offered high school students and their parents an opportunity to visit with COE representatives about our undergraduate teaching programs. In an effort to determine the impact of these program, college representatives gathered student contact information that will be compared with our fall 2018 university enrollment.

Why is the Work UCA's Doing to Recruit Teachers So Important?

"In the updated report – Teacher Turnover: Why It Matters and What We Can Do About It – Desiree Carver-Thomas and Linda Darling-Hammond share recent data revealing that in just 31 states, 82,000 positions are filled by underqualified teachers and at least 5,000 are unfilled altogether; extrapolated to all states, the total number is likely around 110,000. If current trends persist, they say, we could face an even higher shortfall next year. The shortages are most acute in the fields of special education and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and are disproportionately present in high-poverty and high-minority schools."

COE Administrative Assistants

The COE Administrative Assistants met and developed a statement that speaks to their dedication to support for the students, faculty, and staff.

"The College of Education Administrative Specialists are committed to providing the highest level of quality, professional service to the UCA community."

What do you like best about working in the College of Education?

  • Everyone is always there to help whenever you need it, friendly people and thoughtful people. - Donna Johnson, Leadership Studies

  • Working with great people and gaining the knowledge I need to accommodate others needs as well. - Patty Carbon, Dean's Office

  • The best thing about working in the COE is how friendly and nice the T&L faculty are. - Laura Kendrick, Teaching & Learning

  • What I like best about working in the COE is the supportive, caring and fun individuals who work throughout the COE. - Susan Suits, Teaching & Learning

  • Helping students to achieve their goals to becoming a teacher. The faculty and staff are always there to help and are great to work with. - Linda Horton, Candidate Services

  • I’ve worked in the College of Education for 21 years and have always really liked the fact that it’s had the feeling of being like a large, friendly community. As the Field Administrative Specialist, I have had the privilege of meeting, working with, getting to know, and becoming friends with a lot of faculty, adjunct faculty, and staff over the years, including faculty from other departments across campus. Most of the faculty and staff I have worked directly with in the departments I’ve been in (Candidate Services for 17 years, and Teaching & Learning for the past 4+years) have been like family to me. They are good people who genuinely care about their students and about each other. - Nancy Ringgold, Teaching & Learning
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Faculty Accomplishments:


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