Monday, December 14, 2015

PEK Welcomes New Kinesiology Leaders

 On Thursday, Dec 10th 6:00 pm a new member initiation ceremony was held for Phi Epsilon Kappa Honor Fraternity in Kinesiology in the College of Education. There were 17 inductees that joined. The La Tech Chapter is Eta Eta, established in 2012.  The ceremony was conducted by President Erin Nevala, Secretary Stephanie Smart, and Vice President Lainie LeGrande.   Many faculty, friends, and family of new members joined the new PEK students, as well as members of the ESPE organization. For more information about  PEK, check out the link . Mrs. Smiley Reeves, one of the PEK advisors, submitted this exciting story and provided a personal message of congratulations. She stated, "We are proud of students who qualify for the honor fraternity. They have achieved a GPA of 3.0 or better and have demonstrated excellence. Congratulations! "

Monday, December 7, 2015

Launch of Exciting STEM Education Program

The UTeachTech STEP 1 courses began this quarter at Louisiana Tech in the Think Tank, the new technology-rich classroom located on the College of Education's Woodard Hall.  The project team is happy to report that 88 students have enrolled in the STEM education certification program! The figure is much higher than the 25 anticipated in the initial composition of the grant project proposal. Of the 88 students registered, there are 13 categories of STEM disciplines represented, including Biology, Mathematics, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Civil Engineering, Chemistry, Cyber Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Physics, Environmental Science, and other. There are also a substantial number individuals typically underrepresented in STEM disciplines enrolled as part of the program with 57 of the 88 students in the UTeachTech STEP course being female. Students met with the UTeachTech Team and enjoyed snacks on their first day in the course.  Initial planned professional outreach activities with the UTeachTech students include collaborating with the SciTEC Center in the College of Education through its Adopt A School Partner, Cypress Springs Elementary School, to host a free STEM day in January as well as a job shadowing colleagues through another partnership with CenturyLink and redelivering STEM lessons to Ouachita Parish and Monroe City Schools.  Given the large number of female UTeach enrollees, relationships are also being forged and planning is taking place to integrate partnerships with the WiSTEM (Women Influencing STEM) group on campus, OWISE,  and other campus colleagues including Drs. Heath Tims, Allie DeLeo, Mary Colderera Moore, Jamie Newman, Marissa Orr, Bill Campbell, and Katie Evans.

As noted on the UTeachTech website, the program "pairs the University’s esteemed engineering and science programs with its outstanding teaching preparation programs, resulting in a single, interdisciplinary degree program that provides you with the knowledge needed to work in industry and the skill set to lead in the classroom."  The project is funded by a $1.45 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Math and Science Initiative.  The replication of the UTeach program at Louisiana Tech University of  the University of Texas at Austin is one of 44 funded in the nation and one of 5 funded in the last funding cycle. The collaborative endeavor spans each of the colleges at Louisiana Tech University and is led by as strong leadership team including, Co-Directors Dr. Bill Deese, Dean Don Schillinger, Associate Director, Diane Madden,  Master Teachers Mr. Chris Campbell and Mr. Glenn Larson,  Technical and Outreach Coordinator for the Project, Mr. Chris Coleman, and Co-PI and Program Lead Mrs. Lindsey Keith-Vincent.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Mr. Randy Moore, Featured Faculty for Fall Enrollment Efforts

As noted in the blog during Thanksgiving, there were many to whom we should be appreciative for the work well done to accomplish a strong and successful fall quarter in the COE and at Louisiana Tech University! One of those such individuals was part of the TLLI Initiative led by the Department of CIL, Mr. Randy Moore. The initiative included scholarship opportunities for Bossier and Caddo educators to pursue master and doctoral level course work in Educational Leadership and expand the reach of Louisiana Tech University support westward even further.  Mr. Moore is the Professional in Residence in the College of Education's Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership. He is a former district leader, principal, and educator.

 In response to the overwhelming success of the fall initiative, he noted that "Over the years, the Caddo/Bossier school districts have supplied some of our finest Educational Leadership candidates.  When President Guice indicated that he desired to extend the footprint of Louisiana Tech in northwest Louisiana, it seemed only natural to cultivate the already productive partnership with those two school districts.  When we shared the prospect of Educational Leadership cohorts with the officials in the Caddo/Bossier districts, they fully embraced the concept and invited us to come to their turf to promote participation.  While I am gratified by the large numbers of participants in both cohorts, I am not surprised by those numbers at all.  The desire on the part of the department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership at Louisiana Tech to  partner these with two progressive school districts to produce high quality school leaders will pay dividends to these districts now and in the future." We are appreciative for Mr. Moore's work in concert with Dr. McCoy, Dr. Parker, Dr. Morgan, Dean Schillinger and the Office of Professional Education Outreach which resulted with enrollment of over 60 master and doctoral candidates!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Polishing the COE Strategic Plan

December 1, 2015, was not only the first day of the new month, it was also the first day of the development of the new College of Education Strategic Plan.   Beginning in early 2015, a leadership team including Dr. Carrice Cummins, Dr. Lanie Dornier, and Dr. Mitzi Desselles consulted with Dr. Gil Reeve, Vice Provost at Louisiana State University and nationally recognized expert in strategic planning, to design  a strategic plan that reflects the vision and mission of each unit within the COE and aligns the subsequent goals and objectives to the Louisiana Tech University Tech2020 Plan. Dr. Reeve and the core planning team met with the entire COE faculty in the spring of 2015. Over the 2015 year, departments and units designed, reviewed, revised, and polished independent strategic plans. Tuesday of this week, division leaders, guided by faculty feedback,  reviewed each  unit plan; identified commonalities (themes) across the college; and began work on a comprehensive strategic plan that describes where we are, where we want to be (benchmarks),  and how we are going to get there (action steps) as a college. The beneficial day of reflection and planning on Dec. 1 and the initial meeting in the spring of 2015 provided a reminder of the unique, collaborative culture we enjoy at Louisiana Tech University and in our College of Education; yet another reason to be grateful during the season of thanks. Thanks to Drs. Cummins, Dornier, and Desselles! The time and effort they put in to this process has exceeded expectations and has set the stage for intentional action that matches the mission, vision, and goals of the College of Education, the units within it, and the University. Thanks to the Dean, Associate Dean and Unit Heads, Faculty, Staff, and Students for collaborating on this endeavor. Once complete, we look forward to sharing the work with our COE family and our Louisiana Tech University family.