Helen Gordon Child Development Center director selected

img_schumacherAfter a nationwide search, Dean Marvin Lynn has announced a new head for PSU’s Helen Gordon Child Development Center (HGCDC). Mary Schumacher-Hoerner will succeed retiring director Ellie Justice at the early childhood center and laboratory school beginning this fall.

Schumacher-Hoerner was most recently an associate professor of early childhood education and director of the Child and Family Development Center at San Juan College (SJC) in New Mexico. She has supervised the operation of the Child and Family Development Center at SJC for the past six years. One of her accomplishments there was leading the effort to achieve a five-star childcare rating for the program through the New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department. She achieved and maintained national accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). HGCDC also holds a five-star rating and accreditation from NAEYC, and operates as a lab school.

PSU has acquired four Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools (CCAMPIS) grants that provide federal funding to help reduce childcare costs for student parents. Schumacher- Hoerner has also led a CCAMPIS grant program on her campus, making an easy transition for collaborating on the grant-funded research project. Schumacher-Hoerner reminds us, “We know that when you are a student parent you are more likely to feel success when your children are in a high-quality center.”

Schumacher-Hoerner has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming, an MA from the University of New Mexico, and has done doctoral work in curriculum and instruction at SJC.

“We are quite fortunate that Mary will be able to continue the longstanding tradition of excellence in early childhood education at PSU,” said Dean Lynn.

Portland State University’s Helen Gordon Child Development Center serves 200 children ages four months to five years. The center provides high-quality on-campus early childhood education and serves as an academic resource for university faculty and students in the field.

US News & World Report ranks GSE online early childhood master’s in top 21

img_eceThe Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education program has earned a high spot among early childhood programs in the country. US News & World Report announced that PSU’s three-year-old program merits 21st place among universities offering early childhood programs.

The Online ECE is grounded in an inquiry approach to education in which learners dialogue with colleagues from diverse early childhood settings across the country and the globe. The program engages students creatively in the uses of new technologies offering opportunities for early childhood professionals to access professional development where they live. This fully online, non-licensure program focuses on inclusive education for young children. It was designed in collaboration with two departments: Curriculum and Instruction, and Special Education. It features an action research project, an option for a campus summer intensive, and opportunities for study abroad.


GSE early childhood graduate honored in California

img_maranoMark Marano, ’18, was named Early Educator of the Year by Child360, a Los Angeles–based nonprofit that advocates for young children in Southern California. Marano earned an MS in Early Childhood: Inclusive Ed and Curriculum & Instruction from Portland State University as an online student. He works for Long Beach City College Child Development Center and Learning Lab, in Long Beach, California.

Marano believes it’s important for men to go into early childhood. “There’s not a lot of men in this field,” he said. “I want to serve as a role model to future educators. Specifically, I want them to see that early childhood is a viable option that they can make a living doing, and it’s a serious career. I think it’s important to have men in early childhood education so that children early on can see men in caregiving roles.”

From his nomination:
“Inspired by the unmet needs of his younger sister as a child, Mr. Marano is committed to making every child feel seen, and equal to their peers, no matter their culture or economic background. He takes this philosophy beyond his classroom and spearheads a school-wide teacher training initiative focused on anti-bias education and creating inclusive classroom environments.”


About Child360
Formerly known as LAUP, Child360 was a part of a California statewide early childhood movement that was established as a nonprofit in Los Angeles County to support the care and development of the county’s youngest learners. Over the years, Child360 has supported the operation and development of more than 900 early learning providers in Los Angeles County, touching the lives of over 200,000 children through enriching curricula and nurturing environments aimed to best prepare children to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. Since then, the nonprofit has grown in scale and scope throughout Southern California and is now taking on critical action for children nationwide.

Dean’s Fund will move Preschool for All initiative forward

City/county models of culturally responsive preschools: Community-informed equity investments

Assistant Professor of Practice Ingrid Anderson has two goals: make affordable preschool available for all of Multnomah County and ensure that families experience preschools that are free from racism, bias, and discrimination.

In October 2017, Anderson, who supports the work of PSU’s interdisciplinary Early Childhood Council, co-convened stakeholders in an event to discuss interest in supporting affordable preschool for all Multnomah County children, ages 3 to 5 years old. Over 200 attendees participated in the day-long symposium that drew officials from state and county agencies. They were overwhelmingly in favor of moving forward.

The Dean’s Fund for Excellence provided Anderson and GSE partners with key start-up funding to begin exploring the project. She will engage resources in a survey of large cities like Denver, San Francisco, and Seattle that already have universal preschool programs in place. Once data is collected, her team will analyze it to discover common successful patterns, conduct a literature review, and write a white paper focused on city and county models of culturally responsive preschools working to support community-informed equity investments. Continue reading

New early childhood book published by Will Parnell

Professor Will Parnell, chair of the Curriculum and Instruction Department (CI), has published a new early childhood education book, Meaning Making in Early Childhood Research, a collection of 11 essays by 17 international early childhood teacher education researchers, professors, and teacher-researchers. He is co-author and editor of the book with Jeanne Marie Iorio, a senior lecturer in early childhood education at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia.

Meaning Making in Early Childhood Research (Routledge) asks readers to rethink research in early childhood education through qualitative research practices reflective of arts-based pedagogies. This collection explores how educators and researchers can move toward practices of meaning making in early childhood education. The text’s narrative style provides an intimate portrait of engaging in research that challenges assumptions and thinking in a variety of international contexts, and each chapter offers a way to engage in meaning making based on the experiences of young children, their families, and educators. 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