Save the date for this year’s 2021 Commencement which will take place on Saturday, June 12 for Corvallis and Ecampus students. The virtual events will begin with the university’s main commencement celebration from 10:30-11:30 a.m. PDT, followed by pre-recorded school and college ceremonies. The OSU Cascades commencement will take place on June 13 at 9:00 a.m. PDT.
Although virtual, we commit to enable engaging, student-driven Commencement events with personal touches that allow you to be featured if you choose to participate this way. Visit commencement.oregonstate.edu for more information.
> Celebrate with the College of Education with #OSUCoEdGrad and win!
Those who tag us and use the #OSUCoEdGrad will be entered into a SWAG giveaway. The 3 random winners will be contacted and mailed College of Ed SWAG items
> Submit a video by May 15th and win a prize!
Represent the college and be highlighted in the college’s virtual commencement video. The University is looking for students to submit a very short video clip (film horizontally) and answering one of the questions below in a complete sentence. Submit videos to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 15th and be entered to win a SWAG giveaway. If you have questions, please email email@example.com
Why are you excited to be a teacher, counselor, leader in education, and/or change agent?
What album, book, or movie has shaped who you are as a person?
How have you surprised yourself while in college?
What goal have you achieved that felt really far away your first year in college?
What was the best class you took in college, and why?
What’s something that you loved doing as a kid that you still love doing as an adult?
Best place to study on campus?
Make up your own question/answer
> #BeaverGrad checklist:
Confirm your degree
Update your address to receive a celebration package from the University that contains a cap, tassel and diploma case
After degrees are conferred, you will be contacted regarding ordering your diploma. More details can be found here.
Congratulations on this big achievement, class of 2021 Beavers. You’re the next generation of teachers, counselors, researchers and leaders in education.
Join the quarterly Alumni Newsletter and follow us on social media to stay in the loop about upcoming community events, professional development, and more. Please keep in touch and let us know where you are and what you’re doing. We’d love to feature you in an upcoming newsletter!
Forum Premise: Words and their multiple uses reflect the diversity that characterizes our society. Universally agreed upon language on issues related to racism is nonexistent. Even frequently-used words in any discussion on race can easily cause confusion, which leads to controversy and hostility. It is essential to achieve some degree of shared understanding and shared language, particularly when using the most common terms. By doing so, we enhance the quality of dialogue and discourse on race and identity. Source: Racial Equity Tools Institute
Develop a shared language to use when discussing race and identity
Examine how language terms evolve given changing demographics and the dynamic nature of language and understanding
Underscore how historical and contemporary discrimination has shaped the use of racial equity terms
ACTION ITEM: What do we want them to do with these terms or this enhanced understanding of terms?
In spring 2021, College of Education staff and faculty gathered to reflect on the work being done by Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT). TRHT is a national and community-based process occurring in 14 communities across the nation.
TRHT has several initiatives. The COE’s spring forum focused on TRHT’s initiative to create narrative change through language. To that end, the forum centered on the video #HowWeHeal (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b_AWdbksdY). #HowWeHeal shares insights on how language has been used to perpetuate racist and deficit-based narratives; the video also includes ways in which we can consciously shift our language and encourage others to do the same to move away from a deficit-based perspective. Participants explored ways in which racial justice terms impact us on personal, professional, and interpersonal levels. Finally, the forum ended with a focus on why the narrative change in language is important and what we can do in our own practice to work toward narrative change in language.
In Oregon State University’s College of Education, nearly 100 students in teacher preparation programs this year have faced an extraordinary challenge: learning how to be K-12 teachers in the midst of a global pandemic that closed schools, left many children learning from home and tested even the most seasoned educators.
Oregon State’s future teachers have embraced the moment with grace, flexibility, creativity and perseverance.
“What we have asked of them is just incredible,” said Sara Wright, senior instructor and program lead for the Undergraduate Double Degree and Master’s of Science programs. “I have been really impressed with how they’ve faced this challenge.”
The pandemic has offered important lessons for current and future teachers about educational equity, such as disparities in student access to the Internet; use of technology as a tool for student engagement; collaboration with other teachers; and adapting instruction to meet learners where they are.
Kiley Pugh is student-teaching science to middle- and high-schoolers in Corvallis this year. The shift to virtual instruction helped her learn how to present material and engage with pupils in many different ways, and Pugh is excited to put those skills to use as students return to in-person instruction, she said.
“It really forces you to think about how students learn,” said Pugh, who is pursuing a master’s in science education. “I think this experience will make me a more flexible teacher. Things just aren’t always going to go according to plan. And I’ll have a really good understanding of how to use technology in an in-person classroom after this.”
College instructors have mastered new methods for pupil engagement in an online world alongside the teacher candidates they are supervising. College faculty have also shared their skills and knowledge with the broader education community, developing a web page with resources and support for K-12 teachers and rapidly rolling out a new seminar on teaching with technology for OSU students and faculty as well as teachers in the community last spring and summer.
Sara Wiger, a doctoral student who supervises teaching candidates and also works as an intervention specialist at Husky Elementary School in Corvallis, said her teaching candidates have demonstrated a tremendous ability to engage with their students, even though they didn’t get much if any actual classroom time with them in the fall and winter.
“You could tell they missed being with their students, but they still found ways to connect with them and learn who they are,” Wiger said. “They gained a lot of important teaching skills they wouldn’t normally get, such as learning how to adapt the curriculum to make it work for learners in a variety of settings and situations.”
“One of my teaching candidates used Google Slides to adapt a reading lesson for use online, building all of the steps of the lesson, such as vocabulary prompts, into the slides,” Wiger said. “It made it very accessible to all learners and everyone could participate.”
College of Education administrators and faculty have worked tirelessly to ensure that teaching candidates had appropriate field placements and met the requirements needed to earn their degrees and teaching licenses.
The flexibility of the program allowed Marjorie Baker, an undergraduate pursuing a double degree, to complete her final year of college at home in Kotzebue, Alaska, rather than return to Corvallis. She is student teaching kindergarten in her hometown this year. She hoped staying home would give her a better chance for in-person teaching, which she has been doing since January.
“We have been in-person since mid-January,” Baker said. “I am so glad to have this in-person experience during my student teaching year. I feel like it has been a much better representation of what teaching in the future will be like.”
Kelsy Weber, who is pursuing a master’s in mathematics education, also ended up in Kotzebue at the last minute after her original student teaching placement fell through. Weber, a native of Vale, Oregon, is teaching high school math. In Kotzebue, COVID case counts determined whether classes could be in person or not. Weber quickly learned to plan her lessons in multiple formats, in case conditions changed.
“We really didn’t know from day to day how things were going to go, so we learned to adapt,” she said. “And I’m learning a lot about what my students need from me as a teacher.”
In a virtual world, teachers cannot rely on traditional instructional approaches. They also can’t rely on body language and facial expressions for cues about pupil engagement, said Associate Dean Randy Bell.
As a result, student teachers this year have learned to innovate with technology, getting creative in their use of Zoom breakout rooms and relying extensively on chat messaging to engage with their students. In some cases, they were also able to assist their cooperating teachers with the technological aspects of virtual school.
“Our students have skills that really help in this online environment,” Bell said. “It has been amazing to see our students teaching lessons while simultaneously monitoring and responding to students in a chat. It’s a very complicated and challenging way to teach and our student teachers have risen to the occasion.”
The MAT Clinically Based Elementary program and some of our students are featured in the spring issue of the Oregon Stater, OSU’s alumni magazine. We’re so glad for the opportunity to share the work we’ve undertaken, especially with our district partners.
You’ll see several of our wonderful teacher candidates featured: Kimberly Skinner (Beaverton School District, Class of 2020), Daniel Dai (Portland Public Schools Dual Language Teacher Resident, Class of 2021), Laura Plomer (Hillsboro School District, Class of 2022), and Madeline Elmer (Beaverton School District, Class of 2021)
The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a $2,779,198, five-year grant to Portland State University and the Teachers Development Group (TDG) for a study that aims to improve math teaching and learning.
The project — titled Co-Learning Math Teaching Project: Collaborative Structures to Support Learning to Teach Across the Professional Teaching Continuum — will got underway in November. Experts from West Linn-based nonprofit TDG will lead a research team from five universities: PSU, Oregon State University-Cascades, Montana State University, University of Washington and University of Maryland-College Park. TDG seeks to improve students’ math achievement and understanding through math educators’ professional development.
This project focuses on the clinical preparation for teacher candidates and professional development for experienced math educators. The project will implement collaborative learning structures that seek to enhance teacher candidate’s learning and collaboration with cooperating teachers (mentors working in the field) to improve outcomes for middle and high school students. Through observation, interviews and other forms of data collection and analysis, the research project aims to create a model that supports mentors and teacher candidates to “co-learn” ambitious mathematics teaching through focusing on justification and generalization. Additionally, the Co-Learning Math Teaching Project will focus on how educators learn to teach more equitably, gaining greater knowledge of the structural oppression and systemic racism that many of their students face.
Senior Instructor, Melinda Knapp, is the OSU-Cascades partner listed in the description.
The College of Education at Oregon State University, along with many institutions of higher education across the United States, has taken additional measures to support racial justice, equity, and inclusion , following the deep and significant challenges the country has faced over the past year. As a College dedicated to education, our outreach often takes the shape of providing impactful experiences in learning, inquiry, and research. Although the College has always supported equity and inclusion, our increased focus on supporting racial and social justice this year was met with a timely response from the state in the offering of a grant in the amount of $160,000 from Oregon’s Department of Education, Educator Advancement Council.
This grant has dedicated funds to the creation of a course to support the teaching of antiracism for in-service educators with the following call and rationale: “In response to the current and on-going challenges we face as a state and as a nation with regard to racial justice, the Educator Advancement Council (EAC) wants to partner with Oregon public university education programs to host an online, antiracist course for current Oregon teachers.”
The grant is guided by several key aims as described the EAC language:
To support Oregon teachers as critical, antiracist educators.
To deepen the learning of teachers on antiracism through reflection and connection with other teachers on race and bias in education.
To support in-service teacher development of antiracist pedagogical knowledge.
To foster an awareness of how racism impacts success and belonging for students of color.
About the seminar
The “A Teacher’s Journey to Antiracism” seminar will run from April 19, 2021 to May 28, 2021 and will be taught by a highly experienced educator in diversity and inclusion.
The aim of this seminar is to support Oregon teachers to become critical, antiracist educators. It explores how antiracist perspectives and actions can be incorporated into curriculum design, teaching strategies, and interactions with students and parents.
The seminar will be online; however, participants will also be part of a facilitated, district-based group focused on making district, school, and community connections. District Facilitators will meet regularly with participants in district-based groups.
For this seminar, participants will complete 2-4 hours of work per week and earn approximately 24 PDUs (Professional Development Units).
Spots are exclusive to teachers in our partner districts. Specific districts have information about how to apply. This blog page’s purpose is to house the course’s details in the early stages of this initiative.
Application deadline: March 31, 2021
Follow this blog post and on social media for future updates about this course.
Cass Dykeman, Counseling Professor at the College of Education, is getting out there to help the community.
He says: “I was a volunteer at the Covid Vaccine Clinic this morning at Reser Stadium. I thought it might be great to show CoEd personnel at work to aid the vaccination effort. A lot of my family is involved with health care and I wanted to do something too. So when the call went out for volunteers to help with the vaccine clinic this morning at Reser Stadium I signed up to ferry people that needed assistance getting from the parking lot to Gate C via one of OSU’s golf carts since I am approved for driving with the motor pool. It was cold but it felt great to help out in any way I could. The clinic was extremely well run and I would encourage any of my CoEd colleagues to volunteer too!”
The college held the first Diversity and Inclusion Forum in January as part of our commitment to the Call to Action statement : “Holding anti-oppressive conversations and training for faculty and staff that focus on specific identities (e.g. Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Trans, Disability, national origin, etc.)”
A short recap of some key takeaways from our first forum along with a few resources shared in the meeting:
How to apologize and focus on impact (instead of intent)
Considering a shift away from “calling people out” to “calling people in” (NYT Article below)
Importance of learning how to pronounce people’s names (or trying to correctly pronounce people’s names)
Common coping strategies used by students when responding to incidents related to race (resource from University of Illinois Racial Microaggressions Project)
What can we do as a college to encourage/enable our students to use empowering, constructive coping strategies? (connection to work done in our college committees)
Approaches to take with our colleagues and students when we find ourselves in these uncomfortable situations
Normalizing the behavior of asking others to hold us accountable/modeling the behavior of acknowledging our own mistakes in these situations in our roles as instructors and advisors
In this blog post, Allison List writes about how her Brave Space idea came to life with the combined efforts of her Counseling program colleagues and professionals at other Oregon universities.
I sat to write this blog post on 1/6/21, the day our Capitol was attacked. There is so much irony in writing about the experience of our Brave Space initiative colliding on the day’s events. As I began to construct my thoughts while also watching the day continue to unfold, I pivoted from this blog to writing statements to my students and colleagues communicating concern for yet another trauma resulting from white supremacy. I want to be clear, there is no getting around this term anymore and there is no getting around the argument that white supremacy is the underlying reason why I am writing this blog post in the first place. White supremacy is the exact reason why we strive to create safe and brave spaces for students to discuss their experiences away from groups at large. Sure, there is safety in smaller numbers and it is no doubt easier to be vulnerable in a smaller group, but the groups and structures in which our students find themselves in at large do not provide safety to discuss experiences that fall outside of what our society has deemed normative. What’s important about the term “normative” is that it dangerously creates structures that build upon a narrative that racial injustices and inequalities are the status quo; where we accept such acts great and small as normal. Each new event of racialized crimes and actions that strive to keep the dominant narrative alive and well, while all unique, also play a repeated theme and reflect how we feel and have felt about race in America. In my opinon, it is crucial that we provide the space to discuss the differences in narratives, and the pain that is associated with the dismissal of experiences held by many of our students and collegues.
A little less than six months ago I joined a team of colleagues in a series of on-going meetings called, “Call to Action” within the College of Education that addressed the current state of racial affairs across the country. Throughout our meetings of discussing civil unrest and reckoning, a pandemic was swirling with no end in sight and wildfires were sweeping across California and Oregon. While I had carried my own burdens from COVID, I was still able to leave my home and not be ridiculed for being associated with the virus. Despite social distancing, I could feel safe in my own skin in my neighborhood and community because no matter where I go, I can move freely. My home was not under direct threats from wildfires. To my core, I could still feel a sense of safety amidst the various swirls of chaos, and to hold that level of privilege, as beneficial as it is, is just as equally undeserved. As I sat in my own reckoning with this particular experience, there was only one obvious answer in addressing my experience and the intense suffering of those around me: advocacy.
Later that day, a little idea sprouted about holding virtual safe spaces designed for students and faculty to process how they were experiencing the world and it was pitched to my department. We quickly went from a single person idea to a team of three. That team of three strengthened the original pitch and together formed a greater alliance that extended to our Counselor Educator colleagues beyond our Corvallis backyard and across the state of Oregon. Those efforts grew our team to nine, spanning across five organizations/institutions. Our team of nine held what we called, “Brave Spaces,” which were online groups designed to support those who were suffering in our communities and foster a sense of connection. Across the last eight weeks of the fall term, 13 Brave Spaces were held for 17 graduate students in Oregon institutions, some of which attended multiple sessions. This effort was not about contracts and work loads. We gave our time because we believed in the cause and we wanted to support where we could.
While it is always nice to have data to help us understand the experience in a different way, this project was never about the numbers. This project was about humanity and connection. This project has allowed us to flex our positions of power and privilege to step up and do something.
In my experience across the past two decades in education, advocacy work has been lonely. I often feel like I was and often am swimming upstream alone. Colleagues that I thought were like minded and on board, quickly dwindled when the work got hard, controversial or it meant giving something up of their own. To see the efforts in which we came together as clinicians and counselor educators across the state will forever make me feel less lonely. Our team of nine, will forever have my utmost respect and admiration for giving when their tanks were no doubt empty or close to. Our team made a difference in a student’s life when they reported feeling unsure whether they mattered or belonged. THAT moment of giving will be something that I will consider a success and a spark of inspiration on the days where I feel like we are going nowhere or can’t influence any type of change. Our Brave Space team will be connected through this work as colleagues and allies. I would like to thank each and every one of them for the help and support to get this project up off the ground. I would like to especially thank Arien Muzacz and Kok-Mun Ng for their ideas, support and willingness to keep trudging on with full plates. Without the two of them, we wouldn’t have been able to see the potential and lines of support that existed outside of our little backyard, and without all of you, none of this would have taken place. With that I say, we continue to push on and center our work on challenging the status quo and provide safety and connection in our community.
We would like to recognize the following people for their time, energy and contributions to the project: