College of Education Newsletter

November 2018

Message from the Dean:

Happy Semester's End!!!!!

We have made it through another busy and exciting semester. I never get tired of hearing about everything you've accomplished. I thought this month it might be fun to involve everyone in an on-line activity. If you click the link below it will take you to a Google Form. Please share what you're most proud of this semester. Feel free to brag on yourself! We don't share our successes enough so here's your chance...... and go.

Candidate Services:

There's a lot of behind the scenes work happening behind the doors of Mashburn 118 and 119 in the Office of Candidate Services (OCS). Headed by Dr. Gary Bunn. the mission of the OCS is to serve as a resource for students throughout their teacher education preparation program and along their journey to becoming highly qualified educators. Pre-admission advising, admission to teacher education, subsequent academic counseling, and monitoring of the progress of all teacher education candidates are essential components of this office. Mrs. Linda Horton and Mrs. Patty Carbon, Administrative Assistants, work to ensure the office maintains records on every teacher education candidate from their initial application for admission to completion of foundation courses, meeting basic skills proficiency, and clearing background checks.

As teacher education candidates progress through the program, each is tracked for completion of licensure requirements such as state-mandated professional development and meeting minimum licensure exam scores. Upon completion of all licensure requirements, the office recommends candidates for licensure to the Arkansas Department of Education, including all programs in the College of Education from elementary through graduate degrees as well as Speech-Language Pathologists and School Psychology Specialists. In the 2017-2018 academic year, the Office of Candidate Services recommended for licensure 552 candidates, including 178 undergraduates, 135 MATs, and 239 graduate-level students.

The Office of Candidate Services also provides services directly to teacher education candidates and licensed educators in the region. The office supports undergraduates with a host of study materials to aid in preparation of licensure exams. We are a state-approved site for LiveScan fingerprinting, allowing both pre-service and area in-service teachers to complete their criminal history background checks in Mashburn Hall. We maintain resources and up-to-date information on licensing rules and requirements. Upon graduation, candidates are told that they have "lifetime access" to the services of the office where many will seek information for adding licensure areas or completing advanced degrees years after completing their UCA careers. Regularly, graduates from our many educator preparation programs seek the help of the OCS years after leaving UCA.

More than just helping candidates maneuver the application and licensure process, the office coordinates the recruitment efforts for the College of Education, participating in 23 different college planning programs serving 125 different high schools from Arkansas and Texas during the fall 2018 semester alone. For our two-year colleges, the OCS visits the campuses of our two-year partners and hosts the annual 2+2 Partners Symposium, bringing together representatives from our 18 partner institutions for a daylong program to share ideas and get feedback. The OCS coordinates the college-wide scholarships application and awarding process. Currently, the College awards 10 scholarships in addition to the program specific scholarships available.

We are happy to be our students' resource when they don't know where to go. Our goal is to provide the utmost in customer-friendly service where our students can get answers to their questions and have easy access to the resources they need to be successful. Our doors are open; stop by anytime.

**Pictured below is: Dr. Gary Bunn (OCS Director), Mrs. Linda Horton (Admin. Specialist III), and Mrs. Patty Carbon (Admin. Specialist II).

Airtable Implemented by Candidate Services:

Dr. Gary Bunn, Director of Candidate Services, recently completed the implementation of Airtable as the new data tracking system for the College of Education. Information regarding admission requirements, licensure requirements, and field experiences for all College of Education undergraduate candidates will now be housed in a common environment, providing the ability to review data across programs and within programs. According to their website, Airtable is part spreadsheet, part database, and entirely flexible. Dr. Bunn designed the Airtable platform to make the data used by the COE and Candidate Services easier to enter, access, and understand. This dynamic platform also allows Candidate Services to share up-to-date data with individual program coordinators.

For more information on Airtable please visit

2 + 2 Partners Symposium:

The College of Education held their 3rd Annual 2+2 Partners Symposium on Friday, November 9th in Mashburn Hall. Over 45 partners from a number of Arkansas colleges attended. Thank you to the representatives from North Arkansas College, ASU-Beebe, UACC-Morrilton, UA-Cossatot, Northwest Arkansas Community College, UA-Pulaski Tech, National Park College, East Arkansas Community College, Black River Technical College, UACC-Batesville, ASU-Newport, Ozarka College, and College of Ouachitas.

A special shoutout and thank you to Dr. Gary Bunn and Mr. Brian Corbin. This event would not have been successful without their hard work.

Homecoming 2018:

The College of Education hosted a Children's Homecoming Tailgate during UCA Homecoming on Saturday, November 3rd. Tailgate activities, held at the Crafton Alumni Pavilion, included: green screen activities, Spheros, Osmos, Little Bits, Plinko, a bounce house, face painting, and popsicle stick activities.

Members of the COE Homecoming Committee are: Dr. Erin Shaw and Mrs. Debbie Barnes. They would like to extend their thanks to those that helped make the event possible: Dr. Nancy Gallavan (aka The Plinko Princess), Mrs. Whitney Burns, Mrs. Ashton Hankins, Ms. Melissa Earls, Mrs. Connie Ballard, Mrs. Maree Herring, Ms. Barbara Robinson, Ms. Taylor Beevers, and all other volunteers that helped during the event.

Kapp Delta Pi Service Project:

UCA's Phi Beta chapter of Kappa Delta Pi is dedicated to teacher education and worldwide literacy initiatives. In support of this initiative, our local chapter of KDP chose to serve a population close to home, the BearsRead literacy program. This service project not only includes creating literacy bags but also hosting a literacy night for the children and families of the BearsRead program that is housed in the College of Education. Children from this program will receive literacy bags that have been individually created and packed by our local KDP members; additionally, participants will also enjoy an interactive literacy evening filled with engaging literacy stations. To learn more about Kappa Delta Pi and how you can become involved, please email Mrs. Crystal Voegele at

Faculty Accomplishments:

Dr. Amy Thompson:

Dr. Amy Thompson was recently awarded a grant in the amount of $1,000 by the UCA Women's Giving Circle Membership. Her proposal is entitled “Empowering Pre-Service Teachers to Become Literacy Leaders and Advocates."

Dr. Thompson plans on using the grant funds to build a special project on Literacy Leaders and Advocates in conjunction with the International Literacy Association’s (ILA) Children’s Right to Read Movement. Through this project the needs of struggling readers will be examined with a close eye on the unique needs of female students.

Dr. Thompson shared, "Research conducted by ILA has determined there are 750 million people in the world who cannot read or write, and two-thirds of those people are females. With early intervention, equipping these children with the ability to read, a basic human right, will provide an avenue to empower all students to have an improved quality of life - a better future. As a collective, we have a shared responsibility to nurture and grow children as readers—children who can do and love to read. As community members, pre-service teachers, and leaders, it is our job to mentor children on this journey."

In addition to focusing on struggling readers, through this project, Dr. Thompson hopes to encourage and mentor undergraduate and graduate students to expand upon their leadership potential through service and advocacy in literacy. Dr. Thompson aims to invite pre-service teachers to help establish a student organization with a goal of building leadership in female pre-service, literacy teachers and partnering with local districts in shared professional development sessions centered around professional texts written by women literacy leaders or written about working specifically with females in the classroom.