Kansas State University


K-State College of Education

College of Education earns national diversity award

Dean Debbie Mercer and Amanda Morales are presented with a prestigious diversity award from AACTE.
Dean Debbie Mercer and Amanda Morales are presented with a prestigious diversity award from AACTE.

The College of Education received a national award for global teacher education based on its nearly four decades of inclusion and commitment to diversity.

The college was presented with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education – Best Practice Award in Support of Global and International Teacher Education at the association’s 67th Annual Meeting in Atlanta Feb. 27. Debbie Mercer, dean; Amanda Morales, assistant professor and diversity coordinator; and Tonnie Martinez, assistant professor; accepted the award.

“Diversity isn’t a class that is taught within our college,” Mercer said. “Diversity is how we live, it is how we relate to others, and it is how we prepare future teachers to educate all of the students in their classrooms. This award is particularly meaningful as it affirms that we are taking the right steps at the right time, and are truly impacting the education students receive in Kansas as well as students far beyond our state’s and nation’s borders.”

Morales drafted the five-page application with support from Kevin Murry, associate professor, detailing the college’s many initiatives, which center on the concept that diversity is a collective responsibility that is woven into every aspect of the college’s teacher education program.

Open House to have many new activities this year


Open House is always a special event at K-State; however, it will be special for two reasons this year as the College of Education is also celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The university’s theme is “Unfold Your Future” and the college’s Education Council added an international spin, “Unfold Your Future Around the Globe.” Open House is scheduled for Saturday, April 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Trina Harlow, Open House coordinator, said the front of Bluemont Hall will be jam packed with fun and activities. There will be live music, a train and bounce house, a wishing tree, dry erase comment boards, balloon animals, and popcorn and drinks. At 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Debbie Mercer, dean of the college, will make brief comments about the college’s 50th anniversary.

Rooms throughout Bluemont Hall will each represent a continent and offer corresponding activities. For example, visitors to “Asia” (room 118), will appreciate the Pagoda, origami tables, a photo area and more. “Africa” (room 121) will be all about experimenting with colors – dying and mixing.

“This is my first year on faculty at K-State, and I was very excited about the opportunity to help plan Open House,” Harlow said. “As an art education instructor, this event presents a fabulous opportunity to infuse color and culture into all of our activities.”

Happy birthday to the College of Education

The College of Education celebrates its 50th anniversary of training future teachers, counselors, advisors and military leaders in 2015.

The university has a long and proud history of training future teachers, as two members of Bluemont College’s first graduating class went on to be educators. The department of education was housed in the College of Arts and Sciences until 1965 and moved into its new home in Bluemont Hall in 1981.

Debbie Mercer, dean of the college, explained there will be a yearlong celebration that kicks off at Open House and concludes with the 2016 Open House.


Documentary available on NACADA online store

First-generation studentAn acclaimed documentary produced by the College of Education is now for sale on the website of NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising.

“A Walk in My Shoes: First-Generation College Students” is available on the NACADA store for $40. This powerful resource, which tells the stories of five current students and three successful alumni, is rich with examples concerning finances, family issues, perceptions, learning disabilities, language barriers and more. Proceeds will support a scholarship for academic advising in the College of Education.

The gripping stories are ideal to share with middle and high school students, parents and anyone else interested in attending college.

Global academic advising association celebrates 25 years at K-State


The world’s leading association for academic advising in higher education is celebrating an important milestone this year.

NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising is celebrating its 25th anniversary of being headquartered at K-State. The association formalized its relationship with the university in 1990 when it established its executive office here. The College of Education is the association’s host institution.

NACADA made history in 2014 when it was the first organization to hold a conference on academic advising in the Middle East. It is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit and boasts 12,295 members around the world who are professional advisors, counselors, faculty, and administrators working to enhance the professional development of students.


Students, faculty participate in annual Cats in the Capitol

Rep. Tom Phillips visits with Shawn Finch, Jessica Leichter and Amanda Morales at Cats in the Capitol.
Rep. Tom Phillips (center) visits with Shawn Finch, Jessica Leichter and Amanda Morales at Cats in the Capitol.

Representatives from the College of Education visited with future students, parents, legislators and their staffers at the university’s annual Cats in the Capitol event Feb. 18.

This annual event celebrates K-State’s birthday and showcases the university’s strengths. Representing the college were: David Griffin, assistant dean and director of the Center for Student and Professional Services; Amanda Morales, diversity coordinator; ambassadors Shawn Finch and Jessica Leichter, Lindsey Morford, academic advisor, and Patrice Scott, communications coordinator. Royal purple displays from each college lined the Rotunda, and the area swelled when Call Hall ice cream was served.

“This was an incredible opportunity to showcase the many ways the college contributes to Kansas,” Griffin said. “We have a strong story to tell.”

College offers social justice education certificate

College offers graduate certificate in social justice education.
The College of Education now offers a graduate certificate in social justice education.

The College of Education is launching a groundbreaking graduate certificate program in social justice education, and enrollment opens in March with classes beginning in May.

Courses for the 15-credit hour program can be taken exclusively online or as a hybrid with electives being taken on campus. This program is truly unique in that it was a coordinated, collegewide effort that included faculty and graduate students from every department, and its applications extend far beyond similarly named programs, which are typically limited to K-12 education.

For more information about the social justice education certificate, contact Susan Yelich Biniecki at susanyb@ksu.edu or Linda P. Thurston lpt@ksu.edu.


Elite group of future educators heading to Kansas classrooms

The Pride of Wildcat Land is the best band in the land! Many band members will be leading Kansas classrooms very soon.
The Pride of Wildcat Land is the best band in the land! Many band members will be leading Kansas classrooms very soon.

When The Pride of Wildcat Land, the Kansas State University Marching Band, was named the top band in the nation and presented with the coveted Sudler Trophy in December, one dean realized this was also great news for Kansas classrooms.

Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, noted 25 percent of The Pride’s 400 members are majoring in education. Since 89% of the college’s graduates remain in the state, this is good news for Kansas.

Mercer added that while many band students will be teaching instrumental or vocal music, many will bring their musical talents to classrooms, exemplifying their strengths in teaching to multiple learning styles.

College announces adult certificate in leadership dynamics

College now offering certificate in adult leadership dynamics.
College now offering certificate in adult leadership dynamics.

The Department of Educational Leadership is offering a new 15-credit hour graduate certificate in Leadership Dynamics for Adult Learners at K-State Olathe.

Royce Ann Collins, associate professor of educational leadership, said the certificate program is designed for professionals wishing to enhance their skill sets to lead and motivate people effectively, understand how adults learn, and help employees gain new skills.

For more information, contact leaderdynamics@k-state.edu or call 913-307-7362.

International documentary premieres on April 7

"Vale la Pena: Revolutionizing Hearts, Minds and Communities" premieres  April 7.
“Vale la Pena: Revolutionizing Hearts, Minds and Communities” premieres April 7.

The College of Education and its partners are announcing the premiere of an international documentary based on a teacher education program that will change innumerable lives.

“Vale la Pena: Revolutionizing Hearts, Minds, and Communities” will premiere April 7 at 2:30 p.m. in Forum Hall. The documentary, which translates to “Worth the Pain,” was made possible through a joint effort among the College of Education, the Center for Intercultural and Multilingual Advocacy, K-State Global Campus, the Office of International Programs and the Ecuadorian government.

Join us or watch via live stream to discover how nearly 40 voices unite to tell one unique and heartfelt story about this inspiring international partnership. Hear first-hand accounts of why these ESL teachers who are part of Ecuador’s Go Teacher program would leave behind their country, friends and families for a year in the quest to become better teachers.

For more information about Vale la Pena, watch for updates on Instagram and Twitter at #ValelaPenaKState.