Mymique Baxter, Student Relations Coordinator
The College of Education Advising Office is a very busy place. The office has students coming and going throughout the day. We have scheduled over 375 academic advising appointments this academic year and registration is just getting started for fall 2014. Jill Ryan and our student support staff Alex, Jaida & Taylor consistently field a wide variety of questions related to all things Education. Some of the major issues we deal with cover academic advising, orientation and registration, academic holds, Professional Education, admission to the major and the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Exam (MTLE). Jill Ryan keeps the office running at peak performance and always has a kind word and a smile to share with students.
Dr. Seuss Day
On February 28, 2014 the College of Education in collaboration with the Office of Community Engagement hosted our 5th annual Dr. Seuss Day Celebration. Over 500 Mankato Area kindergartners attended this year’s event, which was held in Myers Field House. Our Minnesota State, Mankato future teachers hosted the event, acting as program ambassadors and story readers. The day was a true celebration focused on honoring Dr. Seuss and promoting literacy. On Saturday March 8th the Teachers of Tomorrow (ToT) hosted our annual Dr. Seuss book fair at Barnes & Noble River Hills Mall. The ToT students set up arts and craft tables and held a free raffle for children. We gave away over $200 worth of free books and gift cards to children. The students earned over $680 in gift cards to be used to continue to support literacy in the community and student scholarships on campus.
Policy, Procedures and Review Board
The role of the Policy, Procedures and Review Board is to Guide the college in the development of a culture of professionalism that involves a high level of expectation from candidates and faculty. The Policy, Procedure and Review board has reviewed over 20 variance and/or MTLE voucher requests for the 2013-14 academic year and will continue reviewing them as we close out the academic year. The Board has also reviewed many of the College of Education policies & procedures and identified a variety of web page changes and updates.
MTLE Preparation Classes
The College of Education has created three unique classes and two seminars focused on supporting students as they prepare to take or retake portions of the MTLE basic skills tests. Many of our students taking these classes have failed to pass one or more of the basic skills exams. Students now have the opportunity to take classes specifically designed to improve their test taking skills and increase their knowledge of the MTLE. Adjunct faculty and consultants teaching the classes and hosting the seminars have taken the basic skills exam in their respective areas of Reading, Writing, and Mathematics and all have a wealth of knowledge to offer our students. Students are beginning to share their success stories and are attributing their success to the additional support they received in these classes.
The Minnesota Academic Standards in Science, which organize and outline the science content that should be taught in grades K-12, were created by state educators in an effort to ensure that Minnesota schools are producing scientifically-literate students. When these standards were revised in 2009, for the first time they placed a significant emphasis on engineering. In particular, grades four and six are rich with engineering content. While this new emphasis on engineering is a welcome addition from the standpoint of STEM education, it creates a problem: most K-12 teachers have little or no training in engineering concepts. In an effort to address this problem, two Minnesota State Mankato professors, Jeffrey Pribyl (Chemistry) and Winston Sealy (Engineering), have teamed up with the Minnesota Center for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (MNCEME) and created a “Teach the Teacher” program designed to provide teachers with the knowledge they need to effectively teach engineering concepts to their students.
In June 2013, Pribyl and Sealy held a three-day Teach the Teacher workshop at Hilltop Elementary School. Hilltop is a STEM-focused school for grades four and five that serves Le Sueur and Henderson. Participants in the workshop included classroom teachers from both grades, specialists, and the principal. Also participating were the Minnesota State Mankato teacher candidates that were assigned to Hilltop Elementary to student teach for the 2013-14 school year. The involvement of as many of the school staff as possible allowed for great conversations about how each area could support the engineering standards in the curriculum, rather than creating a situation in which teaching these standards is the sole responsibility of just a few teachers. For instance, the music teacher found a number of connections to the engineering standards that she could help support while teaching the music curriculum.
The workshop delivered engineering content through lectures, but also through hands-on activities: the teachers learned engineering concepts by deconstructing toasters, building motors, and designing and building small catapults that had to meet certain performance criteria. Time was also set aside in the workshops for Pribyl and Sealy to assist the teachers in their engineering curriculum development. Finally, the workshop included tours of the MTU Onsite and Cambria plants to give the participants a glimpse of these engineering concepts at work.
Feedback from the Hilltop participants was very positive. Delivery of this workshop at a different school in summer 2014 is currently in the planning stages.
Undergraduate News - http://ed.mnsu.edu/sped/undergrad_programs/
The undergraduate program prepares teacher candidates for Minnesota’s new license: Academic and Behavioral Strategist (ABS). Teachers with the ABS cross-categorical license can work with students with mild or moderate learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, emotional behavioral disorders and autism spectrum disorders. The program is offered on the Mankato campus as well as in Edina. We work closely with our partnership schools, mentor teachers and university supervisors to ensure teacher candidates have early experiences in schools that last throughout their program.
Minnesota State in Mankato recognizes the need to meet the demands for the Special Education profession and has risen to the occasion by going with the Academic Behavioral Strategist degree, but the degree alone does not make great teachers. MSU is also turning out Special Educators equipped to do the job both with the great demands of Due Process and student needs. As a University Supervisor and also Mentor to new Special Education teachers to the Mankato District, I continue to see the skills these new teachers have and bring to our profession. – Mary Mauel, TOSA Mankato Public Schools
Mankato: In collaboration with our school partners, we will be graduating our first undergraduate cohort in the ABS licensure program in May. This is very exciting for all involved. Many have already been offered teaching jobs.
I am honored to be in the first graduating class for our ABS program. The collaboration from the special education department, program itself and extended field experience have been phenomenal and paved the way for my future in the special education field. During my time in the ABS program I was the president of our CEC chapter, spearheaded volunteer projects for our chapter, and was appointed a two-year term on the national CEC student committee. I am honored to be in this program and look forward to continuing my education and making a difference in this field! – Kaleen Schultz - ABS Cohort #1
Edina: The ABS program has begun in Edina this semester! Students complete the first semester at Normandale Community College. The program is run as a cohort model; all students admitted at a given time go through the program together following the same sequence of courses. After their first semester at a community college, teacher candidates attend courses at 7700 France. We are working with Minneapolis Community and Technical College and Inver Hills Community College to create pathways for students to complete their B.S. at Minnesota State Mankato to become special education teachers.
Graduate Program News - http://ed.mnsu.edu/sped/graduate_programs/
We are finishing our first full year with all 5 graduate programs (ASD, DD, EBD, ECSE, and LD). Courses are offered in the evening, can be accessed by both campuses (Mankato and Edina) and many are online. Our first graduate student completed the certificate in Early Childhood Special Education and was offered two jobs before she even completed student teaching. Our graduate add-on disability specific certificate programs are offered online. – Dr. Karen Eastman, Graduate Program Coordinator
Student CEC Update - http://www.cec.sped.org/
Our student chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) includes undergraduate students form both the Mankato and Edina ABS programs. The group has conducted activities such as lighting the bell tower blue for Light It Up Blue for Autism Awareness and collected about 2000 books to send to a new school in Abu Dhabi for their library (this school has a partnership with the COE and OFIE). – Dr. Karen Eastman, Faculty Advisor
Faculty Presentations at National Conferences
Below are some presentations our faculty members have made at national conferences this year. If you find something of interest, please reach out and connect.
DiCarlo, C., Deris, A. R., Baumgartner, J., Ota, C., & Jenkins, C. (2014, April). Preschool Teaches’ Perceptions of Aggression in Preschool-Age Boys. Paper presented at the Association for Childhood Education International’s 2nd annual Global Summit on Childhood, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Deris, A., DiCarlo, C., & Koss, C. (2014, February). Effects of using a weighted or pressure vest for a child with autism. Poster session at the Association for Behavior Analysis International’s 8th Annual Autism Conference, Louisville, KY.
Eastman, K. (2014). Using SODA in a small group setting with elementary students with autism spectrum disorders. Presentation at the American Council on Rural Special Education (ACRES), Tucson, AZ.
Panahon, C., Hilt-Panahon, A. & Limberg, R. (2014). Writing Interventions: An update to evidence-based practices in applied settings. Presentation at the annual convention of the National Association of School Psychologists in Washington, DC.
Bergmann, S., Panahon, C., & Hilt-Panahon, A. (2014). Using Choice to Improve the Writing of Students Receiving ESYS. Presentation at the annual convention of the National Association of School Psychologists in Washington, DC.
Zaheer, I., Evans, S., Wachsmuth, S. (2014) Who meets the needs of adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems? Presentation at the Council for Exceptional Children 2014 Convention and Expo, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Wachsmuth, S., Lewis, T.J. (2013) Increasing social skills and school engagement for high school students with EBD. Presentation at the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders International Conference, Chicago, Illinois.
Wagner, D. & Snidarich, S. (November, 2013). Teacher candidates' interpretation of CBM progress monitoring data: Problems and potential solutions. Paper presented at the 2013 Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children Conference, Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Wagner, D. & Espin, C. (February, 2014). Making the most of graphed data: Teachers' interpretations of CBM progress monitoring graphs. Poster presented at the 2014 Pacific Coast Research Conference, San Diego, CA.
Kennedy, M. J., Lembke, E., Wagner, D., & Lloyd, J. (February, 2014). Using content acquisition podcasts to improve teacher candidates' knowledge of CBM. Poster presented at the 2014 Pacific Coast Research Conference, San Diego, CA.
Wagner, D., Espin, C., Seifert, K. & Snidarich, S. (2014). Teacher candidates' interpretation of CBM progress monitoring data. Paper presented at the 2014 Council for Exceptional Children Convention, Philadelphia, PA.
Wallace, T. (February, 2014). Co-teaching during student teaching: Common trends and levels of student engagement. Poster accepted at the 2014 Pacific Coast Research Conference, San Diego, CA.
Cadets of the “Maverick Battalion” Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) participate in a myriad of program activities while fulfilling their obligations as students of Minnesota State University - Mankato, Bethany Lutheran College, and Gustavus Adolphus College. I’d like to highlight just a few of the excellent Army challenges and opportunities our cadets take on each year.
The Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC), a physically and mentally rigorous evaluation of a cadet’s leadership abilities (and tentative determination of his or her future assignment in the Army) continues to be the one of the most challenging and significant aspects of ROTC. For an undergraduate, LDAC typically occurs between the junior and senior year. The biggest change for 2014 is the location. For over 20 years, LDAC had taken place at Fort Lewis, Washington. Now, cadets will spend four weeks at Fort Knox; the summer weather in Kentucky will present its fair share of challenges for our Minnesota cadets. Throughout the school year, the majority of our training focuses on and prepares cadets for success at LDAC.
Army ROTC also provides some unique opportunities. The Cultural Understand and Language Proficiency (CULP) program provides quality cultural experiences around the world for selected cadets. Participants experience up to three distinct ‘’skill builders’’ during immersion including humanitarian service, host nation military-to-military contact, and education on the social, cultural and historical aspects of the country. This coming summer, five of our cadets were competitively selected and will travel to Thailand, the Czech Republic, Vietnam, and Cape Verde.
A wide variety of internships are also offered annually. This past year cadets interned at Womack Army Medical Center, Rock Island Arsenal, the Pentagon, and the National Forensic Science Center covering professions from human resources, budget analysis, and dietetics to DNA forensic investigation.
Our spring regional competitive event is the 20th Annual University of Kansas Buddy Ranger Challenge. Here, cadet ‘’buddy’’ pairs will compete against 247 other teams representing 45 universities and 15 states in a series of grueling physical and mental challenges over a single day in Lawrence, Kansas. This spring, Maverick Battalion has fielded six teams. Unique to this year, our cadets have paired with two graduate students from the Exercise Physiology Force Science Institute here at MSU to participate in a Human Performance Study in order to improve the cadets’ conditioning and ability to compete. We wish them all the best of luck this year!
The culminating event and goal for cadets is their eventual commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. This May we will commission twelve new lieutenants who will serve in the Army National Guard, Army Reserve, or on active duty in the U.S. Army. We are projecting to commission almost twice that number over the next two academic years. While the Army and other university ROTC programs have faced challenges in terms of program closures and student population, MSU has enjoyed continued success and increasing numbers. Personally, I credit this to the team atmosphere in our program coupled with the support the cadets receive on each campus.
While I have only been the Professor of Military Science and Chair of the Military Science and Leadership department since July 2013, it has been one of the busiest and most rewarding experiences in my 26+ year military career and one I will never forget. Sadly, I will soon be leaving MSU for new challenges as battalion commander on the east coast. The Army’s timeline is not based around an academic calendar, so this move means I will be forced to miss commencement. But the program here depends on much more than simply one leader, and I am confident our battalion will meet even more success in the years to come. LTC Dennis Murphy will be my replacement. He is currently the Support Operations Officer for the 89th Sustainment Command in Kansas City, MO and a prior Assistant Professor of Military Science at Creighton University in Omaha, NE. Please give him and his family a warm Maverick welcome when he arrives this July. It has been a pleasure working with all of our campus partners. Thank you for your continued support of the Army ROTC program.
The mission of the Office of Assessment and Research (OAR) is to identify, design, build and acquire data and data-technology service in order to provide support processes, functions, protocols, and resources to faculty, students, administrators and P-12 stakeholders. The vision of this office focuses on the following key operations: Network-Facilitation-Translation. Work accomplished and ongoing during the 2013-14 academic year reflects the deep commitment of this office to its mission and vision. OAR’s connections and interactions with all COE departments along with a considerable number of MSU, Mankato and Minnesota State colleges and administrative offices demonstrates the expansion and relevance of its services and functions. OAR strives to build insight, not just data products and reports, by facilitating communication and collaboration and translating evidence into applied research that can be used by faculty and other stakeholders to develop, enhance and sustain programs. OAR seeks to provide tools, techniques, and information essential for effective short-term and long-range strategic planning.
- The activities and accomplishments highlighted below illustrate the scope and magnitude of our Office’s efforts. Our work covers a vast continuum of duties from painstakingly tedious data-mining tasks to energizing, fast-paced creative visioning with myriad partners and collaborators. As we prepare to bring the 2013-14 academic year to a close, it is with mixed emotions that we announce the departure of our Research Analyst, Greg Leslie, from our office. We benefited greatly from Greg’s expertise, skills, talents and consistently upbeat professional demeanor. While we will miss having him as a full-time analyst, we are thrilled to know he will continue to serve the College of Education for 50% of his time! Greg will work for Information Technology for the other portion of his position. During the remainder of the spring 2014 semester, Greg will continue to manage the common metrics surveys and facilitate Minnesota State NExT tasks. Congratulations, Greg!
Current COE Activities and Accomplishments:
- The OAR kicked off the year by facilitating the COE Assessment Work Day. Sample enrollment data were reviewed and, together, faculty explored case studies scenarios that served as preparation for more in-depth analyses of each department’s specific data that would be conducted on an individual basis in the following weeks. Educational Research Systems Liaison, Bob Hugg, continues to meet with Department Chairs and faculty on an on-going basis to provide and review detailed data on department/program specific enrollment, retention, and graduation data. Bob also mines, analyzes and shares a rich body of information regarding supply/demand data for region, state and nation as well as employment information on our recent graduates. Current conversations with Chairs and Department faculty include the use of data for strategic mapping and scheduling activities that focus on maximizing efficient use of faculty expertise, facilities, technology and other related resources.
- A second COE Assessment Work Day took place during spring semester with departments working independently with new enrollment data and trend analyses provided by OAR. The spring work session focused on evaluating past and present course enrollment patterns in order to critically examine the impact course scheduling practices on the fiscal sustainability of programs and course offerings. Faculty explored new ways to collaborate and innovate across and within departments and programs to address current and future challenges. OAR continues to map performance/proficiency by modality, location level in support of COE and departmental analytics, assessments, and other data initiatives.
- OAR continues to provide data required in reporting critical program qualities and trends to a number of professional, national and Federal organizations. These reports include, but are not limited to: MTQM, CAEP accreditation and annual reporting, PEDS, and Title II reports. Bob Hugg has also agreed to lead the Aviation Program accreditation effort facilitating and coordinating all aspects of the effort. Bob is serving as program auditor for this program’s interaction with the vendor and the vendor’s performance/compliance with the contractor.
- OAR continuously updates, analyzes and produces internal reports regarding our candidates’ performance on the MTLE. Reports are periodically disseminated to administrators, advisors, chairs and faculty and, where appropriate, posted for public review. Greg Leslie, our OAR Research Analyst, works closely with the Office of Advising to assess the impact of current courses and programs designed to help candidates pass the basic skills components of the licensure exam. In addition, OAR is in consultation with IR and Minnesota State to better understand and build a shared understanding of MTLE data collection, analytic processes, and interpretive applications of what the data indicates. The goal is to build a shared understanding of: 1) what data is being collected; 2) why it is being collected; and 3) how it is being analyzed and what it indicates.
- Oversight, management, and evaluation of the Pass-Port data system is provided by OAR. OAR continues support for “frontline” assessment in terms of training of students and faculty on Pass-Port use, managing Pass-Port, and facilitating system improvement and use. This effort includes design and deployment of training materials, training sessions (in person), customer support at the individual student/faculty level, interaction with the vendor and IT and analyzing results. Throughout the spring and fall 2014 semesters, OAR will work with the College and, specifically, the Assessment and Accreditation Advisory Board, to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the current system and make determinations regarding our data system needs moving forward. Competitive contractors will be invited to campus to make presentations to faculty and offer bids. Our goal, ultimately, is to engage a highly robust and effective system that is responsive to the increasing data demands faced by our College. The OAR will work to align the COE selection process with University decisions regarding a future University-wide data system.
- OAR secured a grant from the Bush Foundation for $200,000 to support continued work with the Value-Added Research Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the Bloomington Public School District . Plans are currently underway for our May site visits with VARC personnel, our Partner District Schools, and our Bloomington District Partner. We are working closely with our Bloomington colleagues to gain greater understanding of the impact of specific preparation program strategies and initiatives on the teaching competencies of our graduates employed in Bloomington.
- In support of MSU/COE goals and initiatives, OAR continues to provide service to offices, centers, and individual faculty seeking advice regarding the design, monitoring and management of a variety of types of contracts, data sharing agreements and MOU’s
- OAR continues to collaborate with the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to provide faculty and staff across the University with opportunities to expand and enhance intercultural competencies and explore methods and tools for incorporating intercultural awareness and skills into coursework and field experiences. The departments of Educational Leadership and Elementary Education have dedicated tremendous time and effort to both department-wide, intercultural initiatives and course-related research projects involving the use of the Intercultural Development Inventory and the Intercultural Development Planning tool. Durwin Hermanson, serving as the Intercultural Liaison to OAR, has been providing coordination for the administration of the IDI, personalized feedback regarding results, and assistance with the developmental planning process for both students and faculty.
- During the 2013-14 academic years, OAR made tremendous strides in its efforts to provide service and outreach across the University and Minnesota State system. Our office provides voice to senior planners/design-makers to support MSU, Mankato University strategic goals as well as our College of Education goals and objectives. OAR also collaborates regularly with Institutional Technology, The Office of Research, Planning, and Assessment and other colleges/offices across campus to provide critical support and consultation in the areas of assessment, analysis, data systems design and use, and future potential for intra/inter-institutional collaborations around these shared resource needs. As an example of service in this area, Bob Hugg was invited and has agreed to function as a charter member of the university software development advisory council. This council examines and prioritizes software development for MSU. Bob designed, coordinated and facilitated workplan processes, worksheets, forms and processes to manage the requests, resources and priorities. OAR was also invited to provide support to the Minnesota State College of Education Dean’s in the area of Comprehensive educational professions supply and demand.