College of Education, Western Oregon University
Fall 2013

WOU receives grants supporting English language learners

WOU’s College of Education is currently working on two exciting grant projects in partnership with Salem-Keizer, Woodburn and Central School Districts to provide long-term, sustained and coherent professional development of PK-12 teachers addressing the needs of English Language Learners (ELLs).

Oregon schools have seen tremendous growth in ELL student enrollment (over 110% growth in the last ten years). As a result, there is great demand for high quality professional development of teachers rooted in up-to-date research-based practices known to raise student achievement. Project SPELL (Sustainable Practices for English Language Learners) is a five-year grant of nearly $2 million sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA). Now starting its third year, the project is based on a series of activities that build upon each other, allowing teachers to gain theoretical and practical knowledge through coursework, and subsequently receive mentoring and coaching through professional learning communities and action research.

Project LUISA (Language Understanding to Increase Student Achievement) is a one-year Title II-A grant of $172,000 focused on revamping practices in English Language Development (ELD), moving away from an isolated pull-out model to contextualized, content-based instruction in the mainstream classroom. In both projects, teachers’ needs around data-based decision making, implementation of research-based strategies, addressing content-based standards, and professional reflection, provide the foundation upon which ESOL principles and practices are layered. Both projects emphasize academic language development in the STEM areas (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), and will serve almost 20 percent of the 65,410 ELL students in Oregon.

For information about these projects, contact Dr. Maria Dantas-Whitney at dantasm@wou.edu.

 

Welcome new MAT program coordinator Ken Carano

Dr. Ken Carano began service as coordinator for the Master of Arts in Teaching program in 2013. Prior to coming to Western Oregon University, Dr. Carano spent time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Suriname, South America and as a high school social studies teacher in Florida. “As MAT program coordinator, I hope to offers students scholarship opportunities and collaboration with university faculty to gain important skills that enable them to become outstanding educators.” Contact Dr. Carano at caranok@wou.edu or learn more about the MAT program at wou.edu/mat.

 

Project PIECE to fund early childhood, early intervention specialists

The College of Education at Western Oregon University (WOU), in partnership with the Teaching Research Institute (TRI), was awarded $1,000,000 by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs to train early childhood (EC) teachers with early intervention/early childhood special education (EI/ECSE) endorsements. Project PIECE (Promoting Inclusion in Early Childhood Educators) will assist 45 early childhood educators in becoming highly qualified teachers who will teach in inclusive early childhood and elementary classrooms in school districts around Oregon.

“Having well prepared early childhood teachers is critical in preparing young children to succeed in school. Early childhood teachers, who have a deep understanding of evidence-based practices in inclusion, cultural and linguistically diverse learners, and current teaching practices, will make a difference in the lives of young children and families,” says grant co-principal investigator, Dr. Cindy Ryan. Teachers with this caliber of skill and knowledge will help prepare children who are ready for school, have strong social-emotional skills, and most importantly, ready to learn.

In addition, Project PIECE graduates will be poised to become leaders in the field of early childhood education within the state of Oregon. Project PIECE teachers will have a grounding in reflective practice, collaborative learning, strong communication, and leadership skills. For more information or application questions, contact: Dr. Cindy Ryan (ryanc@wou.edu, or 503-838-8605).

 

Physical activity and mathematics achievement study

The College of Education at Western Oregon University (WOU), in partnership with the Teaching Research Institute (TRI), was awarded $1,000,000 by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs to train early childhood (EC) teachers with early intervention/early childhood special education (EI/ECSE) endorsements. Project PIECE (Promoting Inclusion in Early Childhood Educators) will assist 45 early childhood educators in becoming highly qualified teachers who will teach in inclusive early childhood and elementary classrooms in school districts around Oregon.

“Having well prepared early childhood teachers is critical in preparing young children to succeed in school. Early childhood teachers, who have a deep understanding of evidence-based practices in inclusion, cultural and linguistically diverse learners, and current teaching practices, will make a difference in the lives of young children and families,” says grant co-principal investigator, Dr. Cindy Ryan. Teachers with this caliber of skill and knowledge will help prepare children who are ready for school, have strong social-emotional skills, and most importantly, ready to learn.

In addition, Project PIECE graduates will be poised to become leaders in the field of early childhood education within the state of Oregon. Project PIECE teachers will have a grounding in reflective practice, collaborative learning, strong communication, and leadership skills. For more information or application questions, contact: Dr. Cindy Ryan (ryanc@wou.edu, or 503-838-8605).

College of Education | Western Oregon University | wou.edu/education

More than 80 2013 WOU grads were hired in Oregon schools. Meet four from the MAT program!

Rachel Dixon
Rachel Dixon
New Spanish teacher at Judson Middle School

Rachel Dixon
Emmet Whittaker
New science teacher at Lebanon High School

Rachel Dixon
Mitch Staehle
New math teacher at Neah-Kah-Nie High School

Rachel Dixon
Aaron Seifer
New social studies teacher at Eagle Point

 

High Salem-Keizer Collaborative: Enhancing Clinical Practice for Teacher Candidates School

Western Oregon University and partners from Corban and Willamette University have been working with Salem-Keizer School District to develop a system of Professional Development School sites where teacher candidates and clinical teachers work together to implement new models of teaching, learning, and teacher preparation.


The Salem-Keizer collaborative has been awarded a TeachOregon grant from the education advocacy group, Chalkboard Project. “The grant will be used to continue innovations, improve teacher preparation, and increase student learning,” says Sue Thompson, Director of Licensure and Clinical Practices at Western.