Next generation of school leaders receive $150,000 for scholarships

Portland State University, Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA), and Chalkboard Project are proud to announce a generous contribution of $150,000 from the Oregon Community Foundation to financially support 22 new candidates in PSU and COSA Leads Preliminary Administrative Licensure program under the innovative Leading for Learning initiative. The teachers, representing a diverse array of communities across the state, are participating in the first cohort of the pilot program, funded by the Oregon Department of Education.

The pilot program supports 32 aspiring school leaders who serve Oregon’s diverse population of students in K-12 schools. The candidates—chosen for their unique perspective and depth of understanding of equity—will receive on-the-job leadership experience by participating in half-time internships supervised by experienced mentors. The scholarships—ranging from $3,000 to $10,000—will apply toward tuition, books, fees, and travel.

“This is a unique collaborative effort among the Oregon Department of Education, Chalkboard, Portland State University, and COSA that helps us prepare future administrators to close the opportunity gaps in our schools,” said Susan Carlile, associate professor in the PSU program.

“It brings increased resources to instructional leadership for equity,” said Deborah Peterson, assistant professor in the PSU program. “In addition to release time, a key feature is that new leaders can work alongside experienced principal mentors, much like medical interns work alongside licensed physicians.”

Leading for Learning promises to deliver high caliber, equity-focused, instructional leaders to districts across the state. “It allows us to partner with districts in a new way and engage candidates in authentic administrative responsibilities,” said Colin Cameron, COSA’s deputy director.

“This is an important step toward achieving equity and true representation of our school leaders matching our growing diverse student population,” said Erin Prince, Chalkboard’s new vice president of education policy. “The program pulls from successful models and best practices nationally to prepare and support future leaders to enhance student success.”

The recipients are: Catherine Barber, Jackson County; Bijoli Biswas, Beaverton; Kelsey Bowers, Lake Oswego; Scott Burns, Portland; Christian Chavez, Hillsboro; Kathy Childress, Gresham-Barlow; Ardis Clark, Madras; Darryl Coppedge, North Clackamas; Alyssa Dodds, Springfield; Maria De Valdenebro, Portland; Shelby DiFonzo, Ontario; Michelle Eagleson, Vernonia; Tamika Hampton, Salem-Keizer; Miranda Johnson, Sherwood; Claudia Kis, Woodburn; Salvador Munoz, Salem-Keizer; April Murphy, Silverton; Carlos Ruiz, Salem-Keizer; Dulce Nash, Beaverton; Myrna Salinas, West Linn; Sean Saxton, Albany; Edgar Solares, Beaverton; Britta Sorensen, Gladstone; Cassandra Thonstad, Newberg; Robin VanBuren, Sheridan Estella Weigand, Forest Grove; and Ashley Wildfang, Salem-Keizer.

The first cohort of aspiring leaders began meeting in spring 2016 and continues through the next year. The program aims to prepare 120 new school principals by 2018-19.

GSE fundraiser on KGW news

Catherine Marshall

BY: Cathy Marshall, KGW

PSU Students raise money for children in Brazil affected by the Zika virus

PORTLAND, Ore. — News of the Zika threat at the Olympics inspired students at Portland State University to do something for kids in Brazil impacted by the virus.

They’re fundraising to bring a program called Go Baby Go to the country.

“The nonprofit in this country provides specially adapted vehicles to kids with mobility issues,” explained graduate student Hannah Wilson.

The vehicles are basically toy cars that sell for about $200.

In a short amount of time, they can be modified so that a child with physical limitations can operate one.

“My daughter loves her car,” said Katherine Villagomez of Portland, as she watched her 17-month-old daughter Kate. “She can now keep up with her cousins and feel a part of things.”

The PSU students hope to raise $5,000 through a crowdfunding site.

“We want to get Go Baby Go started in Brazil by teaching them how to modify the vehciles,” said Wilson. “Then kids born with microcephaly because of the Zika virus can be helped.”

“If we can get a thousand people to give up the money they would spend on a cup of coffee we’ll reach our goal,” said PSU assistant professor Samuel Sennott.

Anita Bright publishes common core math text for ELLs

Common Core Math for ELLsFaculty member Anita Bright has published a new book that will help English language learners (ELLs) with math. She co-published it with Holly Hansen-Thomas and Luciana de Oliveira for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).

Bright is an assistant professor in the Curriculum and Instruction Department in the Graduate School of Education and a National Board Certified Teacher. She is the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program supervisor, teaches courses in ESOL, social justice, and mathematics education, and leads a cohort in the doctoral program.

About the book
With a focus on best ways to tailor instruction to capitalize upon the strengths each ELL brings to the classroom, The Common Core State Standards in Mathematics for English Language Learners, High School explores some of the ways high school mathematics content can be made accessible to ELLs by building from their strengths and scaffolding their opportunities to learn more. The chapters included in this text describe specific lessons and instructional moves teachers may make that will support their students in learning not only the mathematical content but also the associated English structures that accompany the content.

Each chapter also provides reflection questions and action plans that are useful for practicing teachers, preservice teachers, graduate students, academics, researchers, and professional development providers.

Coloring book helps African children with grief

Susan Halverson bookImages of grieving orphans in Third World countries are common on the television, and while they may tug at our hearts, it’s difficult to find an appropriate response or know how to help. But the GSE’s Susan Halverson-Westerberg did just that.

In 2013, Halverson-Westerberg visited Kenya, where she met with Reverend David Chuchu, director of the Diakonia Compassionate Ministry in Kisumu, which provides support for children who have lost their parents due to conflict, famine, or illness. Halverson-Westerberg’s local church, Zion Lutheran of Portland, Oregon, supports this mission, and she and her husband Jim traveled there to see the newly built Rescue Center.

Susan Halvorson-WesterbergHalverson-Westerberg had another reason for her trip. As a faculty member in the Counselor Education Department, she researches the impact of grief and dying on children and families. She wanted to use this trip as an opportunity to better understand how another culture deals with grief and to gain insight to develop supports and curriculum for students and children in her work locally.

“When I visited Kenya in 2013, I was very taken with the many beautiful orphans who had lost one or both parents due to illness and accidents. If there are no other family members left to help, even losing one parent can land a child in an orphanage or rescue center since that one parent cannot work and care for the child,” Halverson-Westerberg said. “I felt there was a need to give something to these children to help them feel they are still part of a larger family, since family is so important in Africa.”

Halverson-Westerberg decided to write a book that could be used as a tool to develop dialog with children who have lost one or both parents. Her book, Margaret’s Family Tree: A Story of Hope and Belonging (2016), is a coloring book designed to help children work through their grief in a constructive way and to help them acknowledge feelings about their lost loved ones. The book is written in both English and Swahili. It is illustrated in black and white by Oregon artist Edna M. Kennel. Halvorson-Westerberg is offering it free for duplication to anyone working with children, especially in African countries. A second version in color is planned for release soon.

Halverson-Westerberg is an associate professor and coordinator of the Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling specialization. She has a PhD in counselor education from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and has taught at PSU since 1999.


PSU Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling program dual accredited

CACREPThe PSU Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling program has received dual accreditation by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). Students in the Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Program complete 90 credits of rehabilitation counseling and mental health counseling coursework. The program is accredited through October 31, 2023. This master of science program is one of the first of its kind across the United States to achieve successful completion of the joint accreditation process.

“This is really good news,” Graduate School of Education Dean Randy Hitz said. “Our graduates will be eligible for hiring in key federal programs, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and TRICARE, the health care program for service members and their families, which have recently stipulated CACREP accreditation as an employment criterion.”

CORE has worked to match their curriculum standards equally to those of CACREP and has entered into a new relationship as a corporate affiliate. This gives PSU’s Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling graduates the opportunity to apply for federal jobs and includes graduates who have completed the program up to 18 months prior to this decision.

“The PSU Clinical Rehabilitation program trains counselors who specialize in chronic illness and disability,” said Tina Anctil, Counselor Education Department chair and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling program coordinator. “Clinical rehabilitation counselors address the psychosocial, mental health, and career needs to help clients with disabilities achieve the highest quality of life possible. We are excited to receive this accreditation that reflects the high-quality training our program provides to meet the needs of our community.”

The PSU Clinical Rehabilitation program is ranked 18th in the country by US News and World Report.

GSE’s other entry-level counseling programs—Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Marital, Couple and Family Counseling—are accredited by CACREP through March 31, 2018, and School Counseling is accredited through March 31, 2024.

To learn more about the GSE Counselor Education programs, contact the GSE or visit the Counselor Education website.


State approves GSE Diversity Plan

Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) announced that the GSE’s 2016 Diversity Plan is approved. HECC Executive Director Ben Cannon highlighted GSE’s focus on diverse candidate recruitment and retention, work with identifying and preparing culturally competent school administrators, and ongoing review of curriculum and assessment materials for bias.