The College of Education hosted an event celebrating education at the K-State Olathe campus last month that offered career changers and prospective students alike the chance to visit with alumni and faculty members.
The event was held Jan. 31 and faculty provided information about the college’s undergraduate programs as well as its graduate programs in school counseling, academic advising, curriculum and instruction and adult education. In addition, there was information about the college’s EdCats program for early-career teachers and the newly developed micro-credential courses for K-12 professional development,
“There has never been a better time – or more convenient opportunity – for professionals in the Kansas City metro area to pursue a graduate degree from K-State’s College of Education,” said Debbie Mercer, dean of the college. “The faculty is heavily invested in developing curricula that are challenging and most importantly relevant to our graduate students’ professional aspirations.”
Attendees watched a portion of the college’s documentary released this fall “A Walk in My Shoes: The First 9 Months.” Video participants, Becky Brady (Sunflower Elementary) and Skylar Ross (Pawnee Elementary) with the Shawnee Mission School District, took part in a panel discussion along with Tanner Crow (Blue Valley High School), Annie Goodson (Mill Valley High School), Taylor Miller (Olathe Public Schools) and Katherine Omo Jimenez (Prairie Ridge Elementary).
“It was heartwarming to have so many teachers visit with me after the event and say that the film reminded them of their first few years in the classroom and served as an important reminder to reach out to early-year colleagues and offer support.”
The College of Education has finalized its list of Ed Experience dates for prospective students and now we need you – our amazing alumni – to help identify students who would be great teachers.
“Teachers are the best ambassadors for the profession,” said David Griffin, assistant dean and director of the Center for Student Success. “Please share this information with students you believe would be great teachers and encourage them to make a trip to Manhattan because campus experiences can make all of the difference in the world.”
Prospective students will spend the day with a College of Education ambassador, attend classes, meet with an academic advisor and visit with DanaeDaellenbach, the college’s recruitment coordinator. “We are very excited to welcome prospective students to K-State,” she said.
Micro-credentials are a big trend in education, and the College of Education is making it easier than ever for teachers to earn professional development hours that not only transform teaching and learning but inspire student creativity.
The first courses designed for PreK-12 educators were co-developed with K-State alums. Genius Hour: Theory into Practice is ideal for teachers whose goal is to help their students discover their passions and creativity through inquiry-based learning. Flexible Seating: Theory into Practice and Application is a brain-based classroom redesign concept that fosters on-task behavior and boosts academic performance. Judy Hughey, associate professor of special education, counseling and student affairs, developed the college’s first micro-credential, Individual Plan of Study Advisor.
Tonnie Martinez, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction and coordinator of the office of innovation and collaboration, said micro-credentials have inspired students to address issues important to them.
“One Wichita area teacher watched in awe as Genius Hour students met with staff members from their local Human Society to propose their “Dog Tinder” App to eliminate the need to euthanize animals,” Martinez said. “Another Genius Hour group scheduled a 5K race to benefit abused animals and more than 200 people signed up. Student projects have also influenced school lunch menus and promoted community dialogue.”
Martinez added there is great power in allowing teachers to take ownership over their professional learning and K-State faculty are using this data to add to the college’s research on the power of individualized professional development for educators.
For more information about micro-credentials, please contact Tonnie Martinez at firstname.lastname@example.org. For a complete list of online courses and programs, please visit Global Campus.
In its quest to extend the important work related to the KSUnite effort, the College of Education has reinstated its popular diversity-related brown bag series but with the added benefit of opening it up to the broader campus community.
When first conceived, the diversity brown bag began as a professional development learning opportunity for college faculty. However, college administrators realized the series could have a much greater impact if more people had access to it, and KSUnite provided the impetus to re-create the series.
The first brown bag was held Jan. 30 the topic was facilitating safe discussions. David L. Griffin, assistant dean and associate professor of curriculum and instruction, addressed the K-State Principles of Community before Robert Hachiya, assistant professor of educational leadership, and Be Stoney, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, discussed how to lead such dialogues in class.
Finally, panel members shared examples of courageous conversations in their own classrooms: Brad Burenheide, associate professor of curriculum and instruction; Judy Hughey, associate professor of special education, counseling and student affairs; Mickey Losinski, associate professor of special education, counseling and student affairs; Tonnie Martinez, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction; and Jeff Zacharakis, professor of educational leadership.
A faculty member is making it easier for future generations of men of color to become teachers by supporting a scholarship designed to encourage them to enter the field of education.
Charles Rankin, professor, supported the scholarship fund for scholars in Call Me MISTER, an acronym for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models. The College of Education adopted the program in 2015 as a concerted effort to attract men of color – the most urgently needed demographic in the profession.
Rankin served as director of the Midwest Equity Assistance Center housed in the College of Education for nearly 40 years and his story was one of five profiled in the college’s documentary “A Long Road: 50 Years of Experience for Five African American K-State Alumni.” His passion for education and social justice can be traced to a poignant truism he heard countless times growing up.
“My mother used to say, ‘You can’t be one, unless you see one,’” Rankin said, referencing the need for diverse role models in classrooms and in all professions. “At a point in time when we have more minority children in school we need to provide positive role models during the formative years – especially at the elementary level – when it really counts.”
Rankin spent his professional career bending the arc of social justice. With this scholarship, his work will continue for generations to come.