Meyer Memorial Trust grant aims to increase diversity of educational leaders

The Meyer Memorial Trust has awarded the GSE $113,000 to fund Project LEAD (Leadership for Equity and Diversity), a two-year effort to increase diversity among Oregon’s school leaders. The project’s goal is to recruit and train school administrators of color, which will increase the pool of diverse school leaders in Oregon. Professors Deborah Peterson and Susan Carlile were instrumental in securing the grant and will lead this initiative in collaboration with colleagues in the Initial Administrator Licensure program. The project has the opportunity to change how the Graduate School of Education recruits and trains future educational leaders. The goals for the project are to recruit and mentor educators of color, to modify the existing program, to prepare leadership for equity, and to influence policy and systems to benefit all students. The grant is part of the Trust’s Equitable Education Portfolio.

Over 36% of Oregon’s preK–12 student population are students of color. The Oregon Department of Education reports that only 10% of Oregon’s teachers and 11% of Oregon’s administrators are educators of color. To Carlile and Peterson, this disparity perpetuates a system of racism and inequity that benefits white students and harms bilingual and/or students of color who may never have a school leader reflecting their diversity.

In Oregon’s seven administrator preparation programs, only 9% of participants are educators of color. PSU intentionally recruits more bilingual future leaders and future leaders of color, which makes it a leader in the state. If successful, these efforts could more than double the overall number of Oregon administrators who are bilingual and/or leaders of color.

Project LEAD builds on previous work by faculty in the Educational Leadership and Policy department, which was originally funded by PSU’s Office of Global Diversity and Inclusion, the Oregon Department of Education, and the Chalkboard Project, and leverages the expertise of colleagues throughout the GSE. Continue reading

PSU Infant/Toddler Mental Health program nets $110,000 for scholarships

The Ford Family Foundation has awarded PSU funding for 10 students in the Infant/Toddler Mental Health (ITMH) Graduate Certificate program. This grant will support recipients in rural Oregon who are working with families who have children ages 0–36 months and will increase capacity in infant mental health throughout Oregon.

Ford Family Foundation Program Officer Robin Hill-Dunbar said, “Providing access to coursework related to infant mental health in rural Oregon is critical. It is a pleasure to support students in the pursuit of the PSU graduate certificate and the Infant/Toddler Mental Health Endorsement. Our youngest ones and their caregivers are counting on those who serve them to understand and be able to best support their complex and unique needs.”

The project is led by Professor Ingrid Anderson, who has over 25 years of experience administering early childhood programs locally and regionally. Faculty who teach in the program are practitioners in social work, migrant head start, early learning hubs, parent education, and research. Continue reading

Todd Cherner appointed to TSPC board

Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) has a new member. Governor Kate Brown has appointed GSE Assistant Professor Todd Cherner to the commission.

TSPC is Oregon’s teacher licensing authority that sets policy and professional standards for Oregon educator programs. The commission consists of a 17-member board, each member serving for three years.

Cherner is a member of the Curriculum and Instruction department and teaches in the Graduate Teacher Education Program. He specializes in using technology to develop students’ literacy skills. He is a former high school English and journalism teacher who holds a master’s in secondary education from Clemson University and a PhD in teacher education from the University of Tennessee.

“With Todd’s intellect, his commitment to the profession, and his high degree of enthusiasm for offering a substantive contribution to the field, he is an excellent choice,” said Dean Marvin Lynn. “We are very proud of him.”

Special Education undergraduate program approved by TSPC

A new undergraduate degree in special education has cleared the first step in the approval process for a future release in the GSE. The Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) gave consent at their quarterly meeting in Salem on November 2, 2017.

“Adding the undergraduate licensure option directly addresses Oregon and Southwest Washington’s need for more special educators by creating a more affordable and accessible program,” said Special Education Department Chair Randall De Pry, who, with his team, has been working on this program since October 2016. “This will significantly reduce the cost of licensure for students and more directly address the critical shortage of these teachers across our state and region.”

There are multiple steps for approval before the program is a reality, but the Special Education team who have been working on this hope to have a new program in place by fall 2018.

$1.5 million grant approved for Pell-eligible student families in PSU campus child care

Larissa Manning retrieves her daughter, Sage, after a busy day at Helen Gordon Child Development Center. The new CCAMPIS grant helps student parents like Manning with childcare funds so she can continue her studies at PSU.

Early Childhood Professor Will Parnell and Helen Gordon Child Development Center Director Ellie Justice announced the awarding of a fourth $1.5 million federal grant to support the 2018–22 Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools (CCAMPIS) program. Stipulating strong connections with the master’s degree program in early childhood and an accredited full-day early childhood program, this grant offers low-income student families subsidies to the Helen Gordon Child Development Center (HGCDC). The new four-year award prioritizes support for student families eligible for Pell Grants; it covers up to 50 percent of child care tuition.

The grant also funds HGCDC teaching positions, classroom and program enhancements, and graduate assistantships to formally connect the early childhood master’s program and early childhood research activities with classroom practices. Continue reading

GSE joins Carnegie iLead initiative to innovate school improvement

A 100-year-old business concept from Japan promises effective school improvement practices in the US.

Susan Carlile leading an Improvement Science exercise

The GSE and 10 other educational entities have been selected for a new project launched by the Carnegie Foundation to advance education. The Improvement Leadership Education and Development (iLEAD) initiative uses Improvement Science (IS) to help schools solve problems using collaborative continuous improvement processes. GSE’s program leaders will learn how to apply IS concepts to their work in the educational leadership courses.

For the past three years, Professors Pat Burk, Deborah Peterson, and Susan Carlile were involved in IS training and, along with former Dean Randy Hitz, have been looking for ways to bring the practice into the GSE. The Carnegie iLEAD program will provide opportunity for five individuals to attend four face-to-face meetings to learn continuous improvement strategies toward the dual goals of equity and excellence.

Since 2015, ELP faculty have participated in a Networked Improvement Committee (NIC) at the Carnegie Foundation that looked at problems of practice in the school administration field. NICs are a central tenet of the IS program and provide access to other similarly focused groups across the country who will also contribute to the knowledge pool. Technology is a helpful component for these efforts, and webinars are common. By collaborating on the same common problem, NICs are able to accelerate solutions. Continue reading