A podcast created by KOIN news 6

Justin Roach, program lead of the MAT in Clinically Based Elementary and Chelsey Williams, continuing education manager were featured in a KOIN Podcast: “Coronavirus Podcast: What can we learn from distance learning?
 
Listen to learn more about how far distance learning has come since last spring, what needs improvement and a glimpse into how education is changing.  Both Roach and Williams delve into remote learning during COVID times. This is a hard time to be a teacher, which is why the college is working to provide K-12 teachers with a variety of synchronous and asynchronous resources.

Julie Epton with her dog Raja

It’s never too late to continue education. Julie Epton went back to school to follow her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to be in the healthcare field or teach”, she says.

After running her own neuromuscular therapy business for seven years, Julie Epton is now following another dream of hers – teaching science. Currently, Julie Epton is pursuing a Master of Science in Education at Oregon State University’s College of Education.

About a year and a half ago, Epton moved to Oregon from Michigan and decided to pursue teaching. While living in Washington, D.C., Epton taught an array of sciences for two years in a public charter high school. It was this experience that made Epton want to earn her degree in the field where she always felt she belonged. She also felt that the STEM field “not only needs more women, but needs to support a diverse array of children to get more involved” in science and she believes that she “can fulfill this role by establishing equitable, inclusive classrooms that encourage all children in the practice of science.”

As a STEM educator, Epton believes that “a good STEM education teaches us how to think critically and question the world around us, and how to be smarter consumers of information and more responsible citizens.”

The progressive style of teaching in the Master of Science in Education program, centered on inquiring-based learning and discourse-oriented pedagogy, incorporates Epton’s belief of providing an engaging learning environment and developing critical thinking in students.

Epton loves the program’s focus on Ambitious Science Teaching and social justice, as she is “learning to create culturally relevant, equitable curricula that facilitates students actively engaging in scientific practices and collaborating with peers to develop deeper conceptual understandings.” She laments that her own K-12 education lacked this style of teaching, noting how well it melds active learning with critical thinking and cooperation to create a stimulating educational environment.

The ten month MSEd program is “fast and intense”, but Epton finds it very rewarding thanks to caring, supportive instructors, the student teaching experience at multiple schools, and the connections she has made with her cohort. Epton values the relationships made with her classmates and hopes to maintain a strong bond when everyone begins their first year of teaching. Epton has noticed that with this cohort structure, “[her] learning is greatly enhanced, and the work is exponentially more fun, when you have such a wonderful group [of people] around you.”

Emergent bilingual students now make up 10 percent of the state’s K-12 student population. These students are learning English on top of their regular school subjects, yet many Oregon teachers don’t have the specialized training or certification to meet their needs. But that’s changing.

Thanks to a new, 5-year, $2.5-million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to Oregon State’s College of Education, more Oregon teachers will soon be able to earn their English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) endorsement without having to pay the $10,000 tuition. The grant will also help these teachers work with community resources to build bridges with families of emergent bilingual students.

The TEAMS approach to multilingual education

Known as TEAMS (Teachers Educating All Multilingual Students), the new program will train 80 teachers in the Beaverton, Bend-La Pine, Springfield, Greater Albany and Corvallis school districts to better understand the languages, families and community cultures of their students.

“We know that if teachers don’t have the proper training to support emergent bilingual students, they are not as academically successful,” says María Leija, an Oregon State instructor and TEAMS grant coordinator. “Teachers don’t need to know their students’ languages, but they do need to understand the components of human language — syntax, semantics, pragmatics, phonology and morphology — and the resources that are available to support them.”

For example, a Spanish-speaking student might spell the word coyote with two Ls instead of a Y because a double L in Spanish is pronounced the same as a Y in English. Knowing these linguistic nuances, a teacher can better help students understand errors.

Teachers feel the need

“Teachers have been asking for resources to teach English learners more effectively,” says Karen Thompson, an assistant professor who is leading TEAMS. “This program will ensure that teachers have the best possible preparation for working with this group of students.”

Two cohorts of 40 teachers each will complete six online courses through the College of Education over 18 months, culminating in the ESOL endorsement. The grant also includes funding for a facilitator in each district who will foster connections to local community organizations engaged in cultural understanding. The facilitators and district participants will collaborate with these organizations to co-design education-focused events that deepen a teacher’s ability to engage the parents and wider community of emergent bilingual students.

“Research shows that involvement of parents has a huge impact on student success,” says Leija. “Therefore, we want parents to be an asset, and we want teachers to better understand how they can engage parents.”

If a class is studying a unit on plants, for example, and a teacher knows a student’s parents use plants in traditional healing, the teacher might invite the parents into the classroom to share how plants are used in that culture.

The excitement is palpable among teachers. “We had 27 of our teachers apply for eight slots, so we decided to fund two more teachers through our state transformation grants,” says Heather Huzefka, director of federal programs and student services at the Albany district. “When learning like this occurs, it doesn’t stay just with that teacher in that classroom — knowledge and experiences are shared with other teachers, which has the ripple effect of supporting even more students.”

After earning their ESOL endorsements through Oregon State, these teachers will be poised to make a huge difference for emergent bilingual students. Oregon’s student population may be changing, but Oregon State’s commitment to education for all never will.

By: Gregg Kleiner

What if part of your teacher education included an intensive, 2-year residency inside a public school where you co-taught with – and were mentored by – a seasoned teacher from day one? (Think medical school residencies, but in schools instead of hospitals.)

What if, during the first year of your residency, you were encouraged to substitute teach, helping fund your education and reducing the school district’s substitute shortage? And during the second year, what if the district paid you a stipend for teaching full time in a classroom, where you could immediately apply what you’re learning in courses?

Finally, what if your residency potentially puts you at the front of the line for teaching jobs in the district?

A newly-launched, graduate program is doing all of this, and more. Now entering its second year, Oregon State’s immersive Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Clinically Based Elementary Education is a partnership between the College of Education and one of Oregon’s largest and most diverse public school districts: Beaverton. Just outside of Portland, the district has 2,300 teachers, 53 schools and 41,000 students — half of whom are minorities from homes where 101 different primary languages are spoken.

Graduate students in the new program are mentored by experienced Beaverton educators, called clinical teachers. The first-year students are known as practicum teachers and hone their skills in the classroom two days a week. When not teaching, they take online and hybrid courses and can work as paid substitute teachers within the district under a restricted license.

Second-year students, called resident teachers, dive in deeper. They teach five days a week while taking classes and earning a 0.4 FTE stipend paid by the district. During the second year, the clinical teachers split their time between two different classrooms, each run by a resident teacher.

“This is super immersive learning — from the first day of the year, the grad students are introduced as teachers, not as student teachers,” says Nell O’Malley, a senior instructor who helped launch the program and serves as director of education licensure at the College of Education.

Everyone benefits

The graduate students are not the only beneficiaries of the new program.

“Our partnership with Oregon State not only allows grad students to learn from our master teachers and apply what they’re learning in their OSU courses the very next day, but our teachers and staff also get exposure to the latest educational research,” says Sue Robertson, the chief human resource officer at the Beaverton School District.

Clinical teachers get quality help with teaching loads, and the district gains access to good substitute teachers, who are in short supply nationwide. And because the grad students are in the same school for two full years, the school’s entire staff and students benefit.

A big boost for teacher retention

Studies show that more than 40 percent of new teachers leave the profession within three years, often because they are not prepared for real-world challenges ranging from socioeconomics, to special needs, to language barriers.

Matt Nyman, the Oregon State instructor who coordinates the MAT program, believes it will have a significant impact on teacher retention rates.

“This is learning by immersion — our students experience exactly what they will be getting into as teachers, and they are prepared for that,” Nyman says. “We’re accessing the wisdom of practice from Beaverton clinical teachers.”

Competitive and collaborative

Although there are other immersion-type teacher education programs in the U.S., the sustainable funding model of the Oregon State program sets it apart.

“Having students in classrooms as substitute teachers during the first year, and then as part-time employees the second year — now that is very different,” O’Malley says.

Robertson has worked closely with the teachers’ union, and so far, the MAT program is proving to be a good fit.

“We have a very good relationship with the teachers’ association,” says Robertson. “They understand that the better prepared teachers are, and the more the district invests at the front end, the more successful teachers will be in the long run.”

Another distinguishing feature is that everyone gets a say in which graduate students are accepted into the program and which clinical teachers get to work with them.

“It’s very competitive because both OSU and Beaverton have to agree,” says Melissa Potter, university partner liaison for the Beaverton School District. “We’re at the table when deciding which grad students will go into the classroom. And they’re at the table when selecting the clinical teachers. It’s very unique.”

Although it has been just a year, all parties are committed, flexible and looking forward to the second year.

“We’re really lucky to have such a special group of people — both at OSU and here in Beaverton,” Potter says. “It’s very exciting.”

 

 

By: Maia Farris

Fabiola: advisor
Fabiola Sandoval-Morado

Fabiola Sandoval-Morado has triumphed over unbelievable challenges growing up as an undocumented citizen in extreme poverty and a culture where she was the only non-English speaker in her community. “[Growing up], I thought I had to give up my language and my culture to be successful”, Sandoval-Morado shares; but today, she sees that “being bilingual bicultural has given [her] many career opportunities”.

Originally from Uruapan, Michoacán in Central Mexico, Sandoval-Morado came to the United States with her mother, to join her father, who was already residing in Gary, Indiana.  Arriving with no English-speaking background, she started kindergarten in the U.S. and remembers learning a lot of English from watching Sesame Street every morning. It was difficult for her to learn English as the only non-English speaker in her kindergarten class, in a school where bilingual education did not exist. Her parents did not want to raise any alarms about being undocumented by speaking spanish. As a result, they highly encouraged speaking English outside of the home, saying, “You are in America, you speak American!”

Sandoval-Morado felt torn between her two cultures, asking herself, “Am I Mexican? Am I American?”, and feeling like she was never enough of either. This torn mindset made her decision to become a citizen difficult. Ronald Reagan’s IRCA amnesty of 1986 gave her the opportunity to legitimize her status.  She became a Legal Permanent Resident the Spring of her Junior year in High School, and she realized that college could be a reality for her.   But it wasn’t until in 2008, that Sandoval-Morado decided to go through the process of becoming a citizen of the United States. She found it easy to pass the US History & Civics and English Language exams, stating that “even though I walked two cultures, my education has been in the United States.” Today, she has dual citizenship in the U.S and Mexico, embracing her two cultural identities.  

After high school, Sandoval-Morado made the brave decision to leave her family and go to college in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she received her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Fine Arts. Raised in a single parent household by her mom, it was tough to leave because she was a second provider for her family and she felt very under-prepared as a first generation college student.

Growing up in the midwest, she agreed with the popular opinion that “multiculturalism is a detriment” and believed that she “needed to be more American to be accepted.” It wasn’t until after she graduated from Kalamazoo and started her graduate studies at Oregon State University, that her point of view changed entirely.

When Sandoval-Morado started her family, she had to stop her graduate studies and go to work to support her family. Finding a job as a Department of Human Services as a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (DHS TANF) worker made her realize that she could “embrace her multiple identities” in Oregon as a bilingual speaker and bicultural parent, helping families access Safety Net services.

Today, Sandoval-Morado has returned to Oregon State University as the Academic Advisor and Outreach Specialist. She is open about her story as a previously undocumented citizen in hopes that she can be an ally to students who may come from similar multicultural and multilingual backgrounds. Growing up feeling that she “needed to be more American to be accepted” is a statement Sandoval-Morado shares, that she still hears from students today, and she wants to help change that mindset. As an advisor and outreach specialist, she wants to share her student’s language, concerns of being away from home, and the understanding of having to balance family and the importance of getting an education.

Her experience working as a DHS TANF worker lends her the expertise in her current job as an outreach specialist for the College of Education while working with under-represented students in the community and state who are considering becoming a teacher. Growing up, there were no bilingual or bicultural teachers as role models, which made Sandoval-Morado feel that “she didn’t have a future in education”. Today, being bilingual bicultural has added value to her career in making connections with individuals on a more personal level. There is a great need for bilingual teachers in the country, and Sandoval-Morado is an advocate to those who are interested in being bilingual teachers. Bilingual and dual-immersion education increases the level of parent participation, understanding, and minimizes the gap in miscommunication when educators can speak the same language, while also increasing student success in and out of the classroom.

Sandoval-Morado believes that “Education is one of  the biggest catalysts for social justice” and that it “brings out the best in a generation and creates what America is supposed to be.” Her goal for the College of Education surrounding this belief, is to increase the enrollment and retention support for underrepresented students in the College to match that of the University.

Sandoval-Morado has already submerged herself in our unique and diverse campus culture. She enjoys taking fitness and cardio classes, being a part of the DACA taskforce, and the Community Diversity Relationships group; all of which support “the mission of having a safe community regardless of where people come from.” Visit Fabiola Sandoval-Morado in Furman Hall and share your story, learn more about hers, and gain insight on how to become an educator.

 

“Don’t be a teacher! It’s a lot of work and takes a lot out of you”, warned Keri Imada’s mother. “But as they say, teaching is a calling… and I heard that call”, says Imada.

Keri Imada was inspired by her mother, a hard-working educator who would dedicate her time to a job “she loved and carried an influential passion for”. This year, Imada is graduating from the College of Education’s Double Degree program with a Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) degree and an Education degree.

Imada has an experienced background in education. Starting at a young age she would help her mother in the classroom on the weekends with her sister, saying, “the empty hallways was our playground!” In high school, Imada enjoyed tutoring “several middle students and…creating activities to help them with their studies.”

She was surprised that she ended up in Oregon for college, since she “grew up in Hawaii and I didn’t plan on coming to the mainland for college.” But one day she applied to OSU and got accepted. Imada is very happy she came to OSU since it has “given [her] insight to the world beyond the shores of Hawaii” where she was able to meet so many new people and learn so many new things. “I wouldn’t trade my experience here at OSU for anything”, says Imada.

Imada shares that her last few years in the Education program were busy due to student teaching and classes saying, that the “days were long…after teaching all day, I come home and work on papers.” In the program, she enjoyed her HDFS classes “full of amazing information” and making “new friends that have the same passion and love for education that I do.” Although it has been a busy last few years, Imada says, “It has been a long journey, but one that I am proud to have walked down.”

After graduation Imada is hoping to find a teaching position in the Beaverton or Hillsboro school district. Imada says, “I love Corvallis, but I am ready for another adventure.” She is excited (and nervous) to have her own classroom and implement her own style of teaching. Imada “hopes to help shape the future by touching the lives of the students that come through [her] classroom and helping [them] advance towards a brighter future.”

Suzette Savoie found a spark in her teaching talents while working as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Wyoming teaching Physical Geography. As an undergraduate, she was also mentoring kids and found that she is able to make great relationships with them. At Oregon State, she was able to “combine [her] passion for science and mentoring” through completion of the Master of Science in Education program this year.

Originally from Alabama, Savoie “moved out west for the mountains”; and her love for camping and trout fishing definitely fit into the Oregonian culture. Savoie has enjoyed her time at OSU going to a few baseball games, taking a stained-glass class at the craft center and attending some science talks as well. Her last few years of school, she admits, were “quite accelerated and tough; however, I had a great support group in my peers, professors, cooperating teachers, friends, and family which helped me tremendously in sticking it through to the end.”

Through her prior experience and her time at OSU, Savoie discovered a key to building authentic relationships with students. “I think that having a great sense of humor and being able to laugh at yourself is key to becoming a successful teacher. Having strong skills in empathy and compassion are also essential in teaching,” she shared.

After graduation, Savoie plans on being a middle school science teacher. Although Savoie is nervous about the state of the U.S. education system, she still says, “I’m excited about beginning this new chapter in my life where I help to inspire kids to be curious about science.”

 

Darlene Russ-Eft-“leading the profession through research”

Since 1984, Darlene Russ-Eft has been an on-going contributor to the Human Resource Development (HRD) field by “leading the profession through research” and the “development of new knowledge”.  She is considered one of the founders of the field of HRD, with a passion for teaching and research that has awarded her with an Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) Hall of Fame honor.  

This Hall of Fame award is unique in that it is only given to those who have received the AHRD Outstanding Scholar Award prior. Russ-Eft received this award in 1999 with evidence of scholarly publications that contribute to the fundamental theory and practice of HRD. This practice is more specifically seen in her books and articles that emphasize and highlight the role of program evaluation. At this time Russ-Eft was the Director of Research for Achieve Global, an international training provider. She also contributed to the development and adoption of the AHRD Standards on Ethics and Integrity (AHRD, 1999) and is currently co-chair of a task force working on revisions of those standards. She has served on the AHRD Board, as the vice president for research, and recently as president.

The focus of Russ-Eft’s research involves the connection of human resource development and program evaluation. At OSU, she engages in evaluation of educational programs and activities related to the Bioenergy minor program, the Science and Math Investigative Learning Experience (SMILE) teacher workshops, and the SMILE Summer Bridge program that introduces Bioenergy concepts.

Russ-Eft’s education and research efforts have allowed her to travel as well. As a graduate student, she served as a teaching assistant in undergraduate psychology courses.  While a researcher at the American Institutes for Research in Palo Alto, she taught undergraduate courses in psychology. One of her recent travels for teaching has been to Bangkok, Thailand where she taught a course titled Ethics and Good Governance in Complex Organizations in the doctoral program in Human and Organizational Development at the National Institute for Development Administration (NIDA). Russ-Eft shares that she has also guest-lectured at other universities in the United States and internationally.

Russ-Eft has worked at Oregon State University’s College of Education since 2002. Today she continues her work as a Discipline Liaison in Adult and Higher Education (AHE) and a Professor in the doctoral program for Community College Leadership, Higher Education, and in the AHE Masters program. Russ-Eft shares how she “love[s] both research and teaching” and how she has “enjoyed the various research and evaluation projects that have been a part of [her] OSU position.” She emphasizes that she has especially “enjoyed teaching the various courses here; including Learning Theory at the masters level, Instructional Leadership at the doctoral level, Research Analysis and Interpretation at the doctoral level”, as well as her current courses.  In addition, “advising both masters thesis students and doctoral advisees have been a highlight” for her.

Along with her love for teaching and research, Russ-Eft says, “for fun [she and her] husband, who is a retired Division Counsel (lawyer) for the Army Corps of Engineers, love to travel, hike, bicycle, and cross cross-country ski, and sing in a choir.”

 

It might be summer but last week Furman Hall was buzzing with teachers and over 30 middle school students from Lane County who participated in the first Quality Teaching and Learning Institute.

The five-day QTL Summer Institute, supported by the OEIB and hosted by OSU, focused on the development of pedagogical skills that will prepare a new generation of teachers to work with students meeting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

QTLCollage

The institute engaged teams in rethinking educator preparation pedagogy approaches to better support models of teacher preparation. Participants include arts and science faculty, educator preparation faculty, and K-12 school partners.

Participants built:

  • a common vision of high quality instruction,
  • a shared language to describe and analyze teaching, and
  • a means for articulating core practices that can be examined and improved.

Learn more about the QTL Summer Institute here.

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