School of Education
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This annual report is organized around the three themes identified in the School of Education Strategic Plan: Excellence, Inclusivity/Diversity, and Collaboration. In addition to this report, a summary for public view is also being made available both online and in brochures.
The overall mission of the School of Education (SOE) 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.” We prepare teachers and educational leaders who will Teach the next generation of PreK-12 teachers who will take the Lead in schools, communities, and with children, so that they can Transform themselves into better people and their communities into better communities. Teach, Lead, Transform – it’s what we do in the School of Education.
A great deal of time was spent in 2018-19 in gathering data, adjusting curriculum, and communicating with the CDE and CDHE in preparation for state reauthorization review and visit in 2019-20. The Educator Preparation Programs in the university (including some programs in LAS and CPS along with the whole SOE) have undergone significant changes since the last reauthorization in 2015, and many new state and federal regulations and requirements in educator preparation have been installed since then as well. So, preparing for the next review requires a major investment of time by all faculty and staff.
Although it is difficult to determine if our efforts and new procedures (along with our faculty’s instruction and curriculum changes) affected enrollment and retention, it is clear that enrollment in secondary education increased. Special education enrollment remained relatively unchanged. Enrollment in early childhood and elementary education slightly declined. Retention in the SOE still remains the highest in the university at 76%; this percentage increased from 74% in 2017-18.
Faculty productivity also remained healthy in 2018-19 with a total of 30 publications (with more under review) and presentations at 65 conferences and seminars. Faculty presentations increased significantly in 2018-19, due to the culmination of various projects in which they have been working. In addition, 18 faculty members have been involved in grant writing, which resulted in eight new grants. The grants range from the internal grants of $2500 to the NSF 5-year grant of $1.5 million dollars.
Raising money for students and programs is a major goal of the School of Education. To that end, since 2014, when the School of Education was founded, donations and private funding to the SOE has increased 684%. Grants and funded projects expenditures totaled over $2.6 million, allowing for faculty and leadership to advance the SOE and University mission even further. The increase in private funding demonstrates the community’s desire to invest in the SOE. In 2018-19, private giving for student scholarships and towards program enhancement totaled $357,603. Notably, in 2018, the SOE received a $200,000 award from Daniels’ Fund to advance quality Early Childhood Education in schools in Denver.
Showcasing the School of Education to the broader community, in fall of 2018 the School of Education hosted an Open House in conjunction with the events surrounding the inauguration of President Davidson. Members of the community, donors, students, and faculty and staff from around the university attended and got a glimpse of all the programs in the SOE, as well as an opportunity to chat with faculty. The dean was involved in the state legislative session in early 2019 in that she consulted a number of times with legislators in the crafting of a bill that became law regarding educator preparation in the state.
In 2018, an unexpected opportunity was presented to the SOE in the form of a partnership with Resilient Futures and the National Mental Health Innovation Center (NMHIC) at Anschutz Medical Center. This partnership will allow the SOE to become the first Educator Preparation Program in Colorado to prepare students in Trauma Informed Practices (TIP). Faculty and staff are fully committed to this partnership and to being trained themselves while encouraging students to attend workshops and other events. Although 2018-19 was a pilot year, approximately 100 SOE students attended trainings before they graduated. As money is raised to continue to support and advance this program, all students and even their mentor teachers in PreK-12 classrooms will be able to participate.
Demonstrating our scale and commitment to providing students with real-life experiences in schools, students in their semesters prior to student teaching were placed in close to 1050 classrooms and other educational settings in approximately 20 school districts, mostly Denver Public Schools and Jefferson County Public Schools. In addition to the field placements, we had over 300 student teaching placements. In short, we are big and our students are in schools across the Front Range.
The accomplishments and activities of the three SOE Departments and Alternative Licensure Programs are described below. Dean Hinde completed her term as Past-President of the Teacher Education Council of State College and Universities (TECSCU), a national organization of deans and other leaders of Education Colleges and Universities and continued her active participation in that organization as well as the Colorado Council of Deans of Education (CCODE).
The School of Education faculty, staff, and students are committed to excellence in teaching and educator preparation through data-driven decision making.
In 2018-19, the School of Education headcount remained relatively stable in the number of enrolled Education program major/concentration/minor students as compared to the previous year, with one exception: there was a marked increase in secondary education students
Retention of education students is a high priority in the School of Education. Our faculty and academic advisors worked diligently in 2018-19 to help students navigate their education coursework and programs. As of September 4, 2019, ITS Data Warehouse retention reports show the School of Education leads the pack in Fall 2018-to-Fall 2019 retention rates of all colleges and schools at 76%.
Last year, 336 traditional and Alternative Licensure Program (ALP) School of Education students comleted program requirements including student teaching. Of those reporting their new teaching jobs to us, the top four districts in which they were hired were Denver Public Schools, Jefferson County Schools, Brighton School District 27J, and Aurora Public Schools.
Understanding the need for more educators in targeted fields, particularly math and science, in 2017-18 faculty from the SOE and the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences (LAS) continued their collaboration in implementing a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant of approximately $1.2 million that will increase the number of students from traditionally underrepresented groups who are preparing to teach in STEM fields.
School of Education faculty were busy in 2018-19 with professional development, grants, and other scholarly activities. The dean also was involved in grant writing, publishing, and professional presentations. She had a peer reviewed book chapter published, presented at a national conference, and was the Principal Investigator of a $200,000 Daniels’ Fund grant.
TED 1 – Elementary Education & Literacy
As a department, we continued our data-informed conversations with the goal of program improvement and a continued focus on two main areas: Praxis content knowledge examination and teacher reflection-on-action key task.
Praxis Content Knowledge Examination: Analysis of Praxis data continued in the 2018-2019 academic year as did supplemental support structures for developing TC pedagogical content knowledge. Elementary Praxis review workshops were offered each fall and spring semester to any SOE students pursuing an Elementary license. This encompasses TCs who major in Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, and Special Education. During the 2018-2019 academic year, the free review workshops were expanded to include a session on Social Studies with Dr. Todd Laugen of the MSU Denver History Department and a session on science with Cody Harrington, a Lecturer in Elementary Education.
Dr. Sue Ahrendt piloted the integration of micro review points into math methods courses, which serve TCs in both Elementary Education and Special Education. Weekly, Dr. Ahrendt embedded a focused micro review through a practice question followed by links to free web-based resources, such as Kahn Academy, for TCs to engage in self-initiated study.
Based upon data-informed practices and collaborations over the last three years, TC’s Praxis scores continue an upward trend. Following is a brief summary of the highest pass score trend comparing 2016-2017 and 2018-2019: Science 61.4% to 81.1% (state average 79.1%); Social Studies. 68.5% to 80.9% (state average 79.2%); Mathematics 60% to 84.1% (state average 78.5%); Reading/Language Arts 70.3 to 84.1% (state average 84.4%)
Teacher Reflection-on-Action Key Task: As a department, we continued our second full year of a key task woven into three junctures in our undergraduate program. The “teacher reflection on action” task is framed as a “critical incident” in which Teacher Candidates (TCs) are asked to self-identify one complex learning moment in their clinical field experience, then reflect deeply with connections to theory. The task had been designed to address a need identified in the 2015 Colorado Department of Education (CDE) reauthorization visit: to heighten TCs’ connections between theory (methods courses) and practice (clinical fields). As a department, we began disentangling how reflection varies as students shift from “I do, we do, you do” instructional models into inquiry-based practices.
Recognition of Excellence
Included in excellence is recognition, awards, and advanced credentials garnered by teacher candidates and faculty.
Teacher Candidates and Graduates: Three of our Spring 2019 Elementary Major graduates in the extended residency program were recognized by the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) as top educators in Colorado: Saira Galindo Vazquez, Darlene Lopez, and Marina Ribes-Martin. In addition to earning their elementary teaching licenses, all three honorees completed the concentration for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) education. In addition to this CDHE honor, Ms. Vazquez was featured on Telemundo, as part of a story focusing on how MSU Denver serves LatinX students and Dreamers.
Another Elementary Major and extended residency graduate was McKenna Beam (Literacy concentration) who received the Spring 2019 SOE Outstanding Student Award. SOE graduate, Jacqueline Lujan, was the focus of a MSU Denver RED Story in December 2018. Ms. Lujan is a bilingual elementary teacher at Holm Elementary, one of our elementary residency partnership schools with Denver Public Schools (DPS).
Faculty: Faculty who were recognized for excellence in teaching include Dr. Ingrid Carter who was honored at “Roadrunners who Soar” for receiving a Faculty Senate Teaching Excellence Award. Dr. Ingrid Carter, Associate Professor, received this honor in her teaching of elementary science methods. Sara Morris, Literacy Lecturer who joined our department in Fall 2018, was recognized for excellence in teaching through her renewal of National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in Literacy Reading/Language Arts, Early and Middle Childhood.
The 2018-2019 academic year included a renewed focus on the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society under the leadership of Dr. Krista Griffin. In Spring 2019, 22 SOE students were initiated into Kappa Delta Pi. At the end of academic year, Dr. Griffin was recognized by the Director and Society President of Kappa Delta Pi for the positive and substantial impact of her leadership in reestablishing a chapter of Kappa Delta Pi in the School of Education.
TED 2 – Special Education, Early Childhood and Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Education
Faculty in TED 2 regularly attend and present at conferences, study best practices, and conduct research in their areas of expertise.
International and national refereed presentations:
Conference Attendance (two examples from many):
TED 3 – Secondary, K-12 & Educational Technology
TED 3 faculty actively participated in professional learning activities such as seminars/workshops/ conferences to gain skills and knowledge in their fields. In 2018-2019 academic year, faculty attended more than 42 learning events.
The School of Education is committed to being representative and reflective of the population that it serves.
The race/ethnicity breakdown for all teacher education students enrolled in 2018-19 showed 25% were of Hispanic origin, and all students of color accounted for 36% of the total.
In 2018-19, close to 1,050 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. The majority of the Preschool through 12th grade students at the placement schools were eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch. Over a third of the clinical placement schools had more than 60% of students who were eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch. For all placements, the average percentage of students eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch is 42.2% – adding very diverse perspectives and experiences to our students’ education careers.
In 2018-19, three faculty members were promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure, and four were promoted to Full Professor. Dr. Carmen Sanjurjo, an Associate Professor who served for many years also retired. Diversity of faculty members is a significant goal for us, and we successfully hired five new full time faculty members who will begin in 2019, four of whom are from diverse backgrounds.
TED 1 – Elementary Education & Literacy
Below are examples of expanding spaces for diversity and inclusivity.
International: Under the leadership of Dr. Griffin, our partnership with the Zurich University of Teacher Education (ZUTE) continued in its third year. Each fall, two education majors from ZUTE study at MSU Denver for a semester abroad. For three weeks in January, two MSU Denver Elementary majors attend Swiss Winter School during which time they teach English as a Foreign language to second through fifth grade children. In exchange, two students from ZUTE attend SOE classes for a semester. One of the students attended classes in the elementary program and the other in our secondary education program.
University: Dr. Horan was recognized in the “Roadrunners who Soar” Awards ceremony for contributions to one of the workgroups focused on MSU Denver achieving status as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). Dr. Horan collaborated with colleagues in the HSI workgroup that focused on Transfer and Enrollment Management.
Course and Community: In the Spring 2019, students in Dr. Kathleen Luttenegger’s EDU 1111 Education in Diverse Communities provided more than 435 hours of community service. The goals of this service learning were to: 1) learn what community services are available and used by families in the Denver metropolitan area, 2) meet community volunteers to learn about what they do and what motivates them to serve, and 3) work with community members from different backgrounds than their own. Examples of organizations included SAME Café, Café 180, Clothes to Kids, Healing Waters, and Jeffco Action Center.
Department: In Spring 2019, Dr. Horan received a grant through the Office of Funded Projects to facilitate a Spanish children’s book club, “Cuentos para Crecer,” for Elementary teacher candidates. Cuentos was designed to create a bilingual space to honor and expand the language repertoires of teacher candidates and increase access to books by diverse authors and illustrators (#weneeddiversebooks). In collaboration with Dr. Ofelia Schepers, the pilot meeting received positive feedback with the program to continue in the 2019-2020 academic year.
SOE: Dr. Ofelia Schepers co-chaired the SOE Diversifying the Teacher Workforce (DTW) Committee with Dr. Philip Bernhardt.
For the 2018-2019 academic year, faculty piloted a monthly community building space for SOE students. Known as Coffee, Cookies and Community (C3), the informal meetings occurred twice daily on First Tuesdays. Faculty from all SOE departments attended the sessions to converse with students and potential students. Dr. Horan proposed and coordinated C3 in response to the first annual (2017) SOE Student Climate Survey. SOE student survey responses suggested a need for our nontraditional, commuter students to develop an increased sense of belonging.
TED 2 – Special Education, Early Childhood and Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Education
TED 3 – Secondary, K-12 & Educational Technology
The School of Education is committed to fostering collaboration among internal and external stakeholders dedicated to excellence in teaching and educator preparation.
The dean continues to work with the external community at the state and national levels in advancing university-based teacher education for the overall improvement of PreK-12 schools. She participates in convenings of the Education Deans for Justice and Equity (EDJE), a national organization of deans of education from all types of IHEs focused on advancing policies and practices that ensure equity in schools and university teacher education programs. She also served past-president of the Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities (TECSCU), another national level university teacher education organization. In addition, the dean is active in the Colorado Council for Deans of Education (CCODE) and consulted with legislators and university government affairs personnel on legislative matters involving PreK-higher education.
In 2018-19, 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. Over 1,050 placements for field experiences prior to student teaching were coordinated over the last year, with higher percentages of students going to Jefferson County Schools, Denver Public Schools, Adams 12, followed by Cherry Creek Public Schools and Aurora Public Schools.
In addition, over 300 student teaching placements were coordinated in surrounding districts, with higher percentages of students going to Denver Public Schools, Jefferson County Schools, Cherry Creek Schools, and Douglas County School District.
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 2018-19 were extensive.
Students in education programs will have spent between 800 and 1260 hours in these same schools and facilities during their academic careers at MSU Denver. In 2018-19 the SOE continued collaborations with Denver Public Schools and Jefferson County Schools for a yearlong residency model for the 2018-19 school year. The new residency model was many years in the making and the first group of residents successfully completed the year with this new model. During the 2017-18 year, anticipating growth in the residency model, we also established partnerships with Aurora Public Schools and School District 27j in addition to DPS and Jeffco.
In 2017-18, 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 in Departmental Updates.
TED 1 – Elementary Education & Literacy
District Partnerships: Expanded impact came with our second full academic year of the undergraduate Residency programs. Partner districts doubled from Fall 2017 to Fall 2018, with residency sites in Denver Public Schools (DPS), Jefferson County Public Schools (Jeffco), Brighton 27J, and Aurora Public Schools (APS). This allowed the cohort-based placement close to 30 residents, compared to 14 in Fall 2017. By the end Spring 2019, residency placements had been facilitated for almost 60 Fall 2019 residents.
With the growth of district partnerships, the need for site coordinators grew. Along with Ali O’Brien, Dr. Luttenegger played a key role in transitional leadership across Brighton 27J and Denver Public Schools in Fall 2018. In Spring 2019, two part-time Elementary Residency Site Coordinators joined our faculty: Sarah Grant and Julie Eber.
Not-for-Profit, Community Partners: In Summer 2019, Dr. Griffin continued a collaborative venture begun in Summer 2018 in which TCs in the Literacy concentration tutored children at the Arthur Johnson Boys and Girls Club. This West Colfax location was chosen in part due to its proximity to the MSU Denver and in part as the community served by this Boys and Girls Club location reflected a book desert, a geographic area where proximity to books is less than ideal. To support these efforts, Dr. Griffin was awarded a Service Learning grant to purchase children’s books for tutoring, which was a focus of her RDG 4333 Individual Assessment and Instruction in Literacy course.
Dr. Corey Sell continued his partnership with History Colorado! TCs in Dr. Sell’s undergraduate and graduate Social Studies methods courses were afforded opportunities to serve as docents who developed and implemented curricular units at the museum.
Dr. Ofelia Schepers collaborated with colleagues on a new partnership with Resilient Futures regarding Trauma Informed Practices. This included providing workshops for students and faculty.
University Collaboration: Examples of university leadership and collaboration include: Dr. Luttenegger’s role as a Faculty Fellow for the Applied Learning Center; Dr. Sell’s serving on the Advisory Board for the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Design; and Dr. Roland Schendel’s service as SOE Caucus chair for the MSU Denver Faculty Senate.
SOE Collaborative Leadership: Dr. Sell began co-chairing an SOE Assessment taskforce with Dr. Dorothy Shapland from Early Childhood Education. Under their leadership, the task force focused on designing end-of-program competencies aligned with the recently revised Teacher Quality Standards.
Mentorship and Collaboration with TCs: Dr. Griffin began her eighth year of mentoring TCs in applying for the MSU Denver Student Activities grant. Each year, ten TCs collaboratively prepare a presentation to request funding in order to attend the annual conference of the Colorado Council of the International Reading Association (CCIRA). Dr. Griffin continues her mentorship at CCIRA where she guides TCs in developing their professional knowledge and networking with experienced educators.
Curricular Revision: In Spring 2019, Dr. Griffin coordinated a three-day faculty collaborative review and revision of literacy coursework. Faculty examined the cohesiveness of undergraduate literacy coursework across five literacy focused courses (RDG 3111 Emergent Literacy K-3, RDG 3222 Teaching Elementary School Writing, RDG 3333 Intermediate Literacy 4-6, and RDG 4444 Accountability in Literacy). Assessment.
Scholarly Collaborations: Dr. Ingrid Carter continued her local and national research collaborations related to elementary science methods, which yielded two publications in scholarly journals: “Teaching and learning Nature of Science in elementary classrooms: Research-based strategies for practical implementation” in Science & Education and "Re-imaging and re-constructing cross-cultural research through critical personal narratives: an examination into fault lines in the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.
Dr. Griffin’s scholarship included a co-authored book chapter that focused on research methods for interacting with young children: “Participatory Research Interviewing Practices with Children,” in the book Participatory Research with Young Children (2019), edited by Angela Eckhoff. In addition, Dr. Griffin collaborated with colleagues in Early Childhood Education in an international presentation in Valencia, Spain: “Free and Guided Socio-Dramatic Play as an Approach to Support the Early Literacy Development of Children Acquiring a Second Language and Those with Special Needs.”
TED2 – Special Education, Early Childhood and Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Education
TED3 – Secondary, K-12 & Educational Technology
The 2018-19 year brought increased funding to the School of Education. Grant and sponsored project expenditures totaled over $2 million. Private giving through the University Advancement office totaled over $357,603. Since 2014, dollar amount donations to the SOE have increased 684%. The number of unique donors (that is, donors who are new to donating to the SOE) have increased from 16 in 2014 to 164 in 2017. While most of the donations are for scholarships, some have funded the general SOE fund and specific programs. Here is a snapshot of how private giving to the SOE has increased over the past several years:
In addition, almost $89,000 was awarded this last year in scholarships to support 44 teacher education students.