Kansas State University


K-State College of Education

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.

iCamp draws large crowd

It was a busy day for those attending iCamp.
It was a busy day for those attending iCamp.

Nearly 200 K-20 educators attended the second annual iCamp in Bluemont Hall, looking to expand the use of iPads in their classrooms.

Cyndi Danner-Kuhn, instructor of curriculum and instruction, developed the innovative and engaging workshop. The experience took educators through an immersive experience to deepen their understanding of how students create, connect, share and collaborate with iPads.

Wesley Fryer was this year’s featured guest. He is an author, STEM elementary teacher, digital learning consultant, digital storyteller, and change agent.

iCamp registration now open

The second annual iCamp for educators is back by popular demand! Mark your calendars for Jan. 15.

Cyndi Danner-Kuhn, instructor of curriculum and instruction, organized a high-energy, hands-on iCamp experience for educators wanting to innovate and to inspire students.

Registration is $45 and includes a box lunch. Space is limited to 200 so early registration is highly recommended.

Click for iCamp session details and registration.

Stories about first-generation college students available online

Eight first-generation college students share their stories.

The College of Education produced a documentary that struck a national chord with teachers and academic advisors who are encouraging students to attend college.

Five preservice teachers and three successful alumni share their journeys to college in “A Walk in My Shoes: First-Generation College Students.” The documentary premiered on campus on Nov. 4 to a capacity crowd as well as viewers who joined via live stream.

First Lady Michelle Obama watched the film’s trailer on Upworthy.com then blogged about her experiences as a first-generation student, which sparked more than 50,000 views.

Webpage containing each person’s story and an advice section is available so teachers, advisors and counselors can personalize the message for students.

Dean Debbie Mercer commissioned the project after learning more than one-third of the college’s undergraduate students were first-generation college students. Forty percent of K-State’s undergraduate students are first-generation college students, and 70 percent of K-State Salina undergraduate students are first generation.

Mentoring program celebrates 15 years of success

Linda P. Thurston

A highly successful program committed to faculty development is celebrating its 15th anniversary.

The COE Mentoring Program began in 2000 with Linda P. Thurston, associate dean for research and Lydia E. Skeen professor, serving as director. Jan Wissman, associate dean emeritus, led the task force that piloted the program for more than a year before it was launched.

Since its inception, more than 84 faculty members have been mentored or served as mentors.

Thurston said mentorship is a driving force behind the college’s mission to develop knowledgeable, ethical, caring, decision-makers in a diverse and changing world as well as faculty recruitment and retention.

“This program has improved the culture in our college by building a growth-oriented environment that creates a regenerative cycle because today’s mentees are tomorrow’s mentors,” she said. “It has made a difference in people’s lives.”

PDS celebrates 25th anniversary

For 25 years, teachers and preservice teachers have improved their craft locally and nationally thanks to the creation of the College of Education’s Professional Development Schools, or PDS, partnerships.

The program started with three elementary schools in 1989 and has grown to one with 14 elementary schools, five middle schools, two high schools and two distant partner districts.

Gail Shroyer, professor of curriculum and instruction, and Sally Yahnke, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, developed the PDS model as a response to the call for reform in teacher education that originated with the 1983 publication of “A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Report.”

In 1998, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, or NCATE, Professional Development Schools (PDS) Standards Pilot Project, selected the K-State College of Education as one of 20 national PDS sites to participate in the first effort to develop national standards for the PDS program. As a result, these standards were adopted across Kansas and the nation.

In 1999, the department of curriculum and instruction received a $6.7 million grant — the second largest in college history — from the Department of Education after an intensely competitive application process for the PDS partnership project.