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??Graphic header for the School of Education Annual Report 2015-16.

Please expand the sections below to view the content of the report.  When encountering charts and graphs, hover your mouse over (or tap on mobile) the graph elements and legend items for details.

One of the major goals for the School of Education for 2015-16 was to create a five-year Strategic Plan. That goal has been accomplished, and can be accessed on our website. Although the term of the strategic plan is 2016-2021, this annual report is organized around the three themes that the faculty, staff, and administration identified as being the most important values we hold: Excellence, Inclusivity/Diversity, and Collaboration. The overall mission of the School of Education remains to “prepare excellent teachers and educational leaders who engage in reflective practice and scholarly activity, and who are ethical decision makers and agents of social change.”

In order to achieve our mission and the goals described in the Strategic Plan over the next five years, it was necessary to create a strong infrastructure to provide the support and processes needed. To that end, in 2015-16 the staff, faculty, and administration of the School of Education have been focused on streamlining application processes (as well as a number of other internal processes), changing advising procedures, and telling our story. In addition, we began putting structures and processes into place to establish cycles of assessment for continuous evaluation and improvement. Although this is a long-term process and requires a cultural shift, the changes we made to advising and admissions in 2015-16 are now in place and starting to show evidence of positive impact. The changes include using iPads to survey students when they come for advising appointments, and moving all admissions and field placement data to electronic formats. It took the entire year to make those changes, and the results will become evident as the 2016-17 year unfolds.

Along with changes to advising and streamlining our processes, the School of Education revamped the website to include videos and data about our School, as well as provide information for students and prospective students. Our website and social media sites will continue to be enhanced to spread our virtual presence, and, to increase our physical presence, we increased our marketing and participation at recruiting events and conferences that cater to targeted populations of people who are interested in becoming teachers. We now record the number of contacts we make at those events in order to help us determine which events are worth future investments so we can be strategic in choosing future venues that are likely to yield more students.

Although it is difficult to determine if these changes (along with our faculty’s excellent instruction and curriculum) singularly or in combination affected enrollment, retention, and other important measures, we can say that during the 2015-16 year enrollment leveled off and ended with a slight increase of about 4% from the previous year, and retention from last year to this year is high.

Faculty productivity remained healthy in 2015-16 with a total of 39 publications and attendance/presentations at 78 conferences and seminars. As faculty settle into the new programs and courses they created over the last 2-3 years, their presence at state and national venues is likely to increase. Also, we are in the final stages of creating new Retention, Tenure, and Promotion Guidelines (another goal for 2015-16), which will also have an effect on their productivity.

Although the School of Education has a high percentage of diversity among students (approximately 28%), our student population does yet not reflect the community we serve. In 2015-16 we established new scholarships and revitalized others that target diverse student populations, which resulted in awarding approximately $40,000 to education students. In addition, as part of their coursework, our students were placed in schools throughout the Denver area with high populations of students who qualify for federal free and reduced lunches and with children of color. While recruiting and retaining students of color remains an important goal, we are careful to ensure that all our students have experiences in schools with the diverse populations of PreK-12 students.

Diversity among our faculty also remains a significant goal, but in 2015-16 two faculty of color were promoted to professor. We had no new hires in 2015-16, although we are conducting searches that will, hopefully, increase faculty of color in 2017-18. We seek to create a culture where faculty and staff from multiple backgrounds feel welcome and valued, and through our next searches, we seek to further diversify our faculty.

A point of pride in the School of Education is the relationships we have with various stakeholders in schools and education. The inaugural School of Education Summit in September of 2015 brought together approximately 100 people from schools, non-profit organizations, state departments, and more to MSU Denver to be introduced to the School of Education, and to begin valuable conversations. The Summit is going to be an annual event in the School of Education since it provides a forum for stakeholders and others who are passionate about teaching and teacher education to meet and engage in valuable conversations.

Faculty in the School of Education spent a significant amount of time (as many as 450 hours) in schools and other educational facilities. Over 400 students were placed in schools in approximately 20 school districts in 2015-16. Our faculty and students being embedded in schools as much as they were reflects the commitment we have to schools and children, and requires collaboration between schools and the SOE.

In addition to our collaboration with PreK-12 schools and other facilities, we have maintained or established memberships with a number of professional organizations, and the dean assumed the position of President-Elect of a national teacher education organization, Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities (TECSCU), so we are poised for national impact and to engage in collaborative opportunities with other schools of education nationally.

Finally, the School of Education faculty has collaborated internally, especially with the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, in writing NOYCE grants (one funded and one pending), reviewing and delivering curriculum, and many other initiatives in 2015-16.

Annual Report: Excellence section header graphic

The School of Education faculty, staff, and students are committed to excellence in teaching and educator preparation through data-driven decision making.

In 2015-16, the School of Education saw a slight increase (about 4%) in the number of enrolled Education program major/concentration/minor students as compared to the previous year.

The race/ethnicity breakdown for these 1915 students enrolled in 2015-16 showed 19% were of Hispanic origin, and all students of color accounted for 28% of the total.

Retention of students of color is a high priority in the School of Education. Our faculty and academic advisors worked diligently in 2015-16 to help students navigate their education coursework and programs. As of August 25, 2016, Team DELTA retention reports show the School of Education has already exceeded MSU Denver’s goal of retaining 70% of enrolled students from Fall 2015 to Fall 2016, and leads the pack in retention rates for all colleges and schools at 74.47%.

In addition to advising, the School of Education is increasing supports to education students by providing scholarships. In our first year 2015-16, the School of Education awarded nearly $40,000 in scholarships to our students. We are on track to increase that amount by more than 50% in 2016-17, and (based on student feedback) are focusing new efforts to provide funding assistance to students during their student teaching semester(s) – when the majority of their class time is spent in PreK-12 classrooms or educational facilities, resulting in late night or weekend work opportunities that limit financial stability.

Last year, the School of Education recommended almost 300 students for their initial teacher education license. Of those reporting their new teaching jobs to us, the top three districts in which they are being hired was Douglas County School District, Denver Public Schools, and Jefferson County Schools, followed closely by Aurora Pubic Schools, Cherry Creek Schools, and Adams 12 Five Star School District.

Each year, the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) generates a Legislative Report on the previous year’s activity in Educator Preparation. In February 2016, CDHE reported that MSU Denver (in 2014-15) prepared the highest number of K-12 Art educators, Secondary English Language Arts educators, and Secondary Social Studies educators than other traditional preparation programs in the state. Understanding the need for more educators in targeted fields, particularly math and science, in 2015-16 faculty from the SOE and LAS collaborated in writing and were awarded a NOYCE grant that intends to increase the number of students preparing to teach STEM fields. They also collaborated on the writing of follow-up grant that would provide significant funding (approximately $1.2 million) for even more students in STEM fields (pending). In addition, faculty collaborated in creating a new physics education major and we targeted recruitment in special education since STEM and Special Education continue to be high-needs fields.

School of Education faculty were busy in 2015-16 with professional development, grants, and other scholarly activities.

Departmental Updates:

TED 1 – Elementary Education & Literacy

  • Krista Griffin’s recently published book has been on display at national literacy conferences: Griffin, K. M. (2016). Listening to the Voices of Boys: Exploring the Motivation of Primary Boys to Engage in Reading. In Dr. Wen Ma (Ed.), (pp. 142). Charlotte, North Carolina: Information Age Publishing.
  • Ingrid Carter (Weiland)has presented and published in top international and national venues on topics related to STEM. For example:
    • Akerson, V., Weiland Carter, I., Fouad, K. (August 2015). Young children’s ideas about life science concepts. Paper presented at the conference of the European Science Education Research Association, Helsinki, Finland.
    • Amador, J., & Carter, I. (2016). Conversational affordances and constraints of professional noticing during preservice teacher lesson study. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education. DOI 10.1007/s10857-016-9347-x
  • Various faculty have co-presented at national venues relative to teacher residencies and field experiences. For example:
    • Luttenegger, K. C., Young, K. S. (2016). Words Matter: Looking Closely at the Language Secondary Pre-Service Teachers Use in Describing Students in their Field Placements. The Field Experience Journal, 17(Spring 2016), 51-63.
    • Altemueller, L., Heuwinkel, M., Griffin, K., Schendel, R., & Vigil, P. American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) Annual Conference, "Redesigning Elementary Teacher Preparation: Embedding a Clinical, Residency Model in a Traditional Elementary Licensure Program," American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), Las Vegas, NV. (February 24, 2016).
  • Corey Sell, Deborah Horan, and a recent TED 1 graduate, Julia Pucket, participated in the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) “All Standards, All Students” (ASAS) Summer Institute. As follow-up to the institute, Drs. Sell and Horan and Ms. Pucket are creating instructional practices that serve as resources for CDE.
  • Ellen Spitler and Krista Griffin joined other SOE faculty at the CEEDAR-IRIS Cross State Convening," CEEDAR Center, Reston, VA. (June 22, 2016 - June 24, 2016) to improve reading instruction in children PK-grade 3.
  • TED 1 faculty self-selected into two professional book clubs based upon identified departmental learning goals: 1) data-driven decision making and 2) differentiating instruction based upon student needs.


TED 2 – Special Education, Early Childhood & Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education

  • Faculty in TED 2 regularly attend and present at conferences, study best practices, and conduct research in their areas of expertise. 
  • Diane Carroll and Kara Halley work with CDE on a state improvement project that uses data and coaching to develop model sites for students with SSN


TED 3 – Secondary, K-12 & Educational Technology

  • NOYCE Scholars Grant Application: During the 2015-2016 academic year time has been spent developing a 5-year, $1.2 million grant application to fund MSU Denver STEM scholars, the 2nd phase of the NSF grant. We will submit this application in September 2016. We hope this grant will help to increase the number of well-prepared math and science teachers graduating from MSU Denver. Additionally, we implemented the NSF capacity grant that was received for the 2015-2016 school year.

  • As part of the NSF capacity building grant, a Physics Undergraduate Teacher Licensure Program was developed. The program proposal will go through the curriculum process during the 16/17 school year.

  • Full-Year clinical experience: All NOYCE NSF scholars (math and science) will complete their last year in the program in one context, with the same mentor teacher. This grant has will serve as a lever to incorporate this structure into our programs.

  • Secondary/K-12 program faculty members have developed a new lesson plan template that will be used during student teaching. This document was backward designed to ensure it requires students to demonstrate the knowledge and understanding gained in the program during their student teaching experience.

  • Secondary/K-12 program faculty members are in the process of developing a specific training for supervisors work with student teachers in our programs to help create more alignment and fidelity to program expectations.

  • Two TED 3 faculty gained early tenure (Bernhardt & Young) and two TED 3 faculty become full professors (Anderson and Chung).

  • In fall 2016, we will submit a CLD Educational Technology course that will serve as an elective option in both the Special Education and Elementary master’s programs.

Annual Report: Inclusivity/Diversity section header graphic

The School of Education is committed to being representative and reflective of the population that it serves.

In 2015-16, over 1300 placements were coordinated for education student field experiences (prior to student teaching) and student teaching activities. These placement experiences are intended to introduce students to classrooms and facilities in the Denver metropolitan area, and the populations they serve. Just over 400 of these placements (or 30%) were in schools where more than 60% of the Preschool through 12th grade students were eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch. For all placements, the average percentage of students eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch is 41.5% – adding very diverse perspectives and experiences to our students’ education careers.

In Spring 2016, the School of Education proudly announced that three of our faculty members were granted tenure and promotion to Associate Professor, and also three of our faculty members (including two faculty of color) were promoted to Full Professor.

As mentioned previously, we received and awarded an increased number of scholarships in 2015-16. We established a Scholarship Committee, and working with University Advancement and Financial Aid, we were able to streamline the application and selection process so that students received notification much sooner than they had in previous years. In 2015-16 the dean, working with Advancement, met with donors, three of whom, increased the amount of donations. One of the revitalized scholarships targets students at a local high school that mostly serves underrepresented groups. Nine Hispanic students from that school received scholarships as a result and will be attending MSU Denver in fall 2016 as freshmen. We also received a significant scholarship from another generous donor who established a scholarship specifically for Hispanic students majoring in education. In addition, we established another scholarship intended to provide immediate support for students who have an unexpected financial issue that might prevent them from successfully completing their program. Those scholarships are now established and will be disbursed in future years.


Departmental Updates:

TED 1 – Elementary Education & Literacy

  • Deborah Horan co-led a campus-wide Faculty Learning Community with Wendolyn Weber of the English Department on serving linguistically diverse university students, with participants strategically including Evelynn Guzman, Coordinator for the Bilingual Student Orientations, and Gregor Mieder, Immigrant Services Program Coordinator as well as faculty in TED3 (Philip Bernhardt), the English department, and the Sciences.
  • Deborah Horan participated in the July 2016 SEED Equity and Excellence in Education conference, as a foundation for co-leading a diversity initiative on campus.


TED 2 – Special Education, Early Childhood & Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education

  • In the past year the FRIP program was utilized in moving Rosemarie Allen from a Category II position.  She completed her doctoral program in spring 2016 and will start fall 2016 as a first year tenure track faculty.
  • TED 2 has hired a high percentage of affiliate faculty of color (in fall 2015 three out of five affiliates were faculty of color and in spring 2016 four out of six affiliates were faculty of color).
  • Tina Herring has served as Faculty Liaison for the Access Center (Fall 2013 - present) and provides support for faculty members who have students with disabilities in their classes as well as provides support for students receiving services from the Access Center.
  • Ann Morrison has served on the Access Center Inclusion Advisory Committee, as a committee member since October 2014.


TED 3 – Secondary, K-12 & Educational Technology

  • The National Science Foundation NOYCE Scholars Grant application has focused impact in three areas of diversity:
    • Recruit science and math teachers from our MSUD pool of STEM majors not already considering becoming a secondary teacher.
    • The grant will specifically target students from demographic groups currently underrepresented in the teaching profession.
    • The grant has specifically targeted six area schools as grant partners that are diverse and have higher percentages (40%+) of students on free and reduced lunch.
  • Kathryn Young and Philip Bernhardt worked to establish an SOE inquiry group focused on examining ways to effectively diversifying the teacher workforce.

Annual Report: Collaboration section header graphic?

The School of Education is committed to fostering collaboration among internal and external stakeholders dedicated to excellence in teaching and educator preparation.

In 2015-16, faculty worked with local school districts and facilities to provide the opportunity for education students to receive hands on experiences related to their programs prior to, and including, student teaching. Almost 1000 placements for field experiences prior to student teaching were coordinated over the last year, with higher percentages of students going to Denver Public Schools and Jefferson County Schools.

In addition, over 370 student teaching placements were coordinated in surrounding districts and out of state, with higher percentages of students going to Denver Public Schools, Jefferson County Schools, Douglas County School District, and Cherry Creek Schools.

Each semester, School of Education affiliate and full-time faculty are spending as much as 450 hours in schools and other facilities that provide educational services to children throughout Colorado, particularly around metropolitan Denver. Faculty service activities, including and in addition to, their time in local schools and facilities during 2015-16 were extensive.

In addition, students in education programs will spend between 800 and 1260 hours in these same schools and facilities during their academic careers at MSU Denver. In 2015-16 the SOE collaborated with Denver Public Schools in a yearlong student teacher residency. Although that model proved to be fiscally unsustainable, it laid the foundation for another residency model that will be in place for the 2017-18 school year.   

In 2015-16, School of Education faculty collaborated with peers in their fields to conduct presentations at national and international education venues (see Professional Development chart in Excellence section). In addition to collaborating with colleagues in schools and nationally, faculty from the School of Education frequently collaborated with colleagues across the university on publications, grants, and other initiatives, as previously mentioned described in Departmental Updates.

Departmental Updates:

TED 1 – Elementary Education & Literacy

  • Mary Heuwinkel continued her long-term partnership with Englewood Public Schools in providing mentoring and field placements within three Englewood Elementary Schools.

  • Lupe Martinez continued his field placement partnership with the Denver Public School’s (DPS) Math Science Leadership Academy (MSLA, near Alameda and Tejon), which serves Denver’s Latino population.

  • Roland Schendel began a partnership with Park Hill Elementary of Denver Public Schools (DPS), as a site for field-based instruction and embedded literacy field experiences.

  • TED1 faculty collaboratively conducted curriculum mapping around courses in the new elementary major.  


TED2 – Special Education, Early Childhood & Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education

  • Early Childhood Education faculties, led by Mary Lee Danielson, continue to collaborate with faculty from the math department to implement two classes specific to early childhood educators.  A collaboration has been established with an exchange of ideas and materials between the two departments to offer two math courses that address the needs of children in pre-school to grade 3.

  • Diane Carroll and Kara Halley have served since 2006 as members of the Significant Support Needs Advisory, which serves to advise the Colorado Department of Education regarding students with significant support needs; they created “Quality Indicators for Assessing Individualized Services for Students with Significant Support Needs” to collect data for the state.

  • Peter Vigil and Lorretta Chavez are members of the Higher Education Linguistically Diverse Education (HELDE). MSU Denver hosted one of the metro Denver meetings in fall 2015.  Peter and Lorretta are co-chairs of HELDE for this upcoming year.  Lorretta has worked with Kara Viesca from CU Denver and Karla Esser from Regis for three years for HELDE.  They have done research on the origins of HELDE and it contributions and together have submitted a paper for publication. The three also presented at 2015 AERA on HELDE. The three collaborators and Peter Vigil presented at AERA (Presidential session) about HELDE in 2016.

  • TEDM 6400 is a co-taught class with faculty from special education and elementary education who planned, taught, and evaluated the class together.  The class models collaboration and co-teaching principles.

  • Collaborating on an ongoing study, Carmen Sanjurjo, Peter Vigil, Jan Perry Evanstad, Myron Anderson collaborated on,"How Do Pre-Service Teachers' Understandings of Cultural Diversity Evolve During their Participation in a Licensure Program: A Comparative Analysis of Teacher Preparation Programs in the United States and Puerto Rico".  This is collaboration between MSU Denver and the University of Puerto Rico faculty.  The literature review, development of the research instrument, and administration of the survey is complete.  Data analysis and writing phase of the project is still underway.


TED3 – Secondary, K-12 & Educational Technology

  • Working with Pomona HS, Todd Reimer has worked to establish this JEFFCO school as a field placement site for an entire class of students enrolled in EDS 3130, the program’s introductory field experience course.

  • Working with South HS, Kathryn Young and Philip Bernhardt are establishing a partnership that will start in Spring 2017. One of the courses, EDS 3210 (instructional methods) will hold a number of class sessions on the South HS campus and students will be placed there in order to complete their 2nd field experience.

  • NOYCE Grant Partnerships: As part of the NSF NOYCE Capacity grant, the grant team, which includes Janelle Johnson and Philip Bernhardt, relationships are being established with numerous schools and districts that have agreed to place our students in STEM environments for field experiences and student teaching. MOU’s are being developed. These partners include: Englewood Public Schools, Aurora Public School (Vista Peak P-16), and Northglenn HS.

  • We are working with faculty on an ongoing basis in World Languages, Science, Mathematics, and Physical Education to develop structures and partnerships to create a full-year student teaching pathway.

  • After many years in development, most of which was done in 2015-16, in fall 2016 we will be, for the first time, offering, EDS 1001, a general studies course with multiple other designations (service learning, general studies, First Year Success, and Multi-cultural). In addition to providing education in multicultural perspectives and issues, this courses is intended to recruit students into teaching and our SOE programs.

  • Philip Bernhardt collaborated with history faculty to develop a new licensure program option: History Major with secondary licensure + CLD endorsement course work. This program will be submitted for curriculum review in fall 2017.

  • Philip Bernhardt, Lorretta Chavez, and Peter Vigil collaborated with faculty in the Modern Languages and Chicano/a studies department to develop a bilingual certificate program. This certificate program will be submitted for curriculum review in fall 2016.

Annual Report: Scholarships section header graphic

Over the course of the 2015-16 academic year, we secured additional outside funding for School of Education students.  So far, we have disbursed $69,250 in scholarships for the 2016-17 academic year.  A Race to the Top grant will provide an additional $46,000 to School of Education students this year.  At a current total of $115,250 in scholarship money for School of Education students in the 2016-17 academic year, outside funding has nearly tripled.

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