Dean’s grant supports a study in academic coaching of TCIO students

The art of the possible: Developing new teachers’ pedagogies of possibility for inclusion through think college academic coaching

Can K–12 students in special education programs aspire to go to college? Will their teachers have the skills to support them to do so?

The Dean’s Fund for Excellence has awarded Assistant Professor Molly Siuty a grant to explore academic coaching in the Think College Inclusion Oregon (TCIO), PSU’s groundbreaking program that offers a four-year University experience to 18–21-year-olds with intellectual disabilities (ID).

Siuty is the cohort leader of the Secondary Dual Educator Program (SDEP), a program unique to PSU that offers a dual teaching license in special education and another subject area, with a focus on inclusion. PSU students in SDEP are also coaches in the TCIO program.

TCIO offers students with modified high school diplomas the opportunity to attend college on PSU campus with their peers. It is the only program for students with intellectual disabilities in Oregon and will enroll 35 students over the five-year term of the TCIO grant. Continue reading

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

Dean’s reception honors GSE supporters and scholarship recipients

The annual Dean’s Reception was held last month to honor GSE supporters and the students who received scholarships for GSE programs. Three GSE students were asked to speak, along with special guest Matt Morton, Equitable Education Portfolio Director, Meyer Memorial Trust.

This year’s student speakers included:

  • Marcos Rodriguez Romerez—Friends of the Graduate School of Education Scholarship. Romerez Rodriguez is working on a master’s in education in the Bilingual Teacher Pathway program.
  • Lucy BertoloPivotal Scholars Fund for Math/Science Teacher Education and Renaissance Foundation Graduate School of Education Scholarship. Bertolo is studying for a master’s in secondary education in the Graduate Teacher Education Program.
  • Yennifer Chavez—Jorgensen Family Endowed Scholarship. Chavez is a master’s student in elementary education in the Graduate Teacher Education Program.

GSE scholarship recipients spoke about how much the scholarships have helped them with their goals and how important it is to continue to support GSE scholarships today. GSE students received more than 60 scholarships for the 2017–18 school year. As tuition and other costs continue to escalate, the GSE scholarship program becomes even more critical. Thanks to our supporters, though, the number and amount of scholarships awarded to students has steadily increased each year.

PSU workshop helps GSE faculty apply equity lens to curriculum

As part of the GSE’s mission to promote equity and social justice, our faculty consistently seek new ideas for adapting culturally responsive practices to their courses. In October, five GSE faculty members completed a new training sponsored by the PSU Global Diversity and Inclusion office in partnership with University Studies and the School of Gender, Race and Nations.

Anita Bright, Susan Carlile, Karen Haley, Holly Lawson, and Deborah Peterson attended the training entitled Exploring Inclusive and Culturally Responsive Curriculum. These faculty represent three departments, CI, ELP, and SPED.

Included in the training were two workshops entitled Embracing Equity as Our Lens and Uncovering the Hidden Curriculum.

The assigned work consisted of prereading, in-class activities, and a reflection paper on how the instructors would adapt their specific curriculum to fit an equity lens. The workshops culminated with a personal commitment from each participant to bring culturally inclusive practices into the courses they are teaching.

“These faculty members have taken the next steps to revise one of their current courses to better align with PSU EDI goals,” said Dean Marvin Lynn. “This is a good beginning in our work to model an equity lens for our candidates. Congratulations.”

Continue reading

GSE announces new leaders of research and diversity, equity, and inclusion

Moti Hara to serve as GSE director of research

Associate Professor Moti Hara has been appointed as the GSE’s new director of research. Hara will report directly to Dean Marvin Lynn and will work closely with GSE faculty, PSU’s Office of Research and Strategic Partnership (RSP), and community partners to enhance the school’s internal research capacity. The overarching objective of his role is to provide leadership, direction, coordination, and management of ethical and culturally responsive faculty research activities within the GSE.

Hara earned his PhD in advanced quantitative methods from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Since first arriving at PSU in 2010, he has been teaching quantitative research methods courses to the doctoral and master’s students. He also advises several doctoral students and has spent a substantial amount of time working on research projects focusing on closing the gap in student outcomes. Hara has published and presented many papers on topics related to student success, including projects co-led by Esperanza De La Vega and Maria T. Tenorio.

“Research is absolutely critical to the GSE,” he said. “As educators whose primary objective is to train the next generation of change agents in the field, we should always be curious about what more we can learn, what data we can collect, and who we can collaborate with as community partners.” Hara looks forward to further strengthening the GSE’s research capacity, which will lead to additional external research funding, produce more faculty scholarly work and could establish the GSE as a notable research institution.

Tara Cooper to lead GSE efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion

Teacher Pathways Program Coordinator Tara Cooper has a new role as the GSE coordinator for equity, diversity, and inclusion. She came to PSU in 2013 to lead the Teacher Pathways Program, which assists culturally and linguistically diverse students seeking education and counseling careers. Since then, she has taken on significant leadership to advance the GSE’s equity work as the co-chair of the GSE Equity Committee.

This past year, Cooper led faculty and staff professional development initiatives, bringing in outside consultants John Lennsen and Hector Roche to help frame difficult conversations about race and privilege. She organized an evening of conversation with guest speaker Tara Yosso prior to the GSE State of the School celebration as an opportunity to collaborate in a more intimate setting at the PSU Native American Center.

A new member to the GSE leadership team, she is working to build a strategic vision in line with the GSE priorities for accomplishing equity and inclusion in all facets of GSE operations. She will also be looking to advance conversations and practices around equity and diversity in hiring.

Cooper is looking forward to having an overall equity plan in place for GSE by next year. “We need a clear plan, and we need to be accountable to our students and each other as we dig deeper. I look forward to the work ahead and having multiple perspectives and diverse voices informing everything we do,” she said.

Cooper has a master’s degree in intercultural relations with an emphasis in higher education. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and ethnic studies and was recently admitted to the Doctorate in Educational Leadership program at PSU.