College of Education AWARDS

award-ribbon-printable-award-ribbon-clipartfree-award-ribbon-clip-art-htun1iwsDo you know someone in the College of Education who is deserving of special recognition for their efforts over the past year? The College of Education Awards have been reinstated this year, and the information for the awards as well as the nomination packets are now available online.

There are eight award categories with specific criteria for each award. To make a nomination, the nominator should fill out the form as well as be prepared to download their own nominator’s letter as well as two to three supportive letters. The maximum number of support letters is three per nomination.

The award categories are:

  • Excellence in Teaching Award for Faculty/Clinical Faculty 2016
  • Excellence in Research & Artistry Award for Faculty 2016
  • Excellence in Service Award for Faculty 2016
  • Exceptional Contributions by Instructors 2016
  • Exceptional Contributions by Civil Service Staff 2016
  • Exceptional Contributions by Supportive Professional Staff 2016
  • Excellence in Outreach/Community Service Award 2016
  • Exceptional Contributions in Diversity/Social Justice Award 2016

Deadline for all nominations is March 18, 2016, at 4 p.m. Questions or comments, contact Pat Wielert at pwielert@niu.edu.



Holiday Book Drive!

HolidayBookListGive the gift of literacy to a child in need this holiday season.  Students, faculty and staff in the College of Education are teaming up for a holiday book drive to benefit Neighbor’s House reading and tutoring program, a non-profit organization that serves DeKalb County. Children’s books (preferably for grades K-8) that are new or like new condition are needed.  Please drop off your donations to Graham Hall 225 any time through Wednesday, Dec. 2.  This effort is being sponsored by NIU’s KDP International Honor Society in Education.  Please direct any questions to Beth Wilkins (ewilkins@niu.edu) or Christina Poe (z1765903@students.niu.edu).  Collectively, our college can make literacy come alive for children!  We hope you’ll be part of that effort!



College of Education offers two new Ph.D. programs

The NIU College of Education recently has been approved to begin offering two new Ph.D. programs. The first, the Ph.D. degree in Instructional Technology, is offered through the college’s Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment (ETRA); the second, the Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, is offered through the Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education (CAHE).

diploma-309947_1280Both Ph.D. degrees replace existing Ed.D. degrees in their respective disciplines.

“The reason we decided to offer the Ph.D. in Instructional Technology is to further strengthen ETRA’s position as a leader in instructional technology, research and scholarship,” said Wei-Chen Hung, ETRA’s chair.

“Our Ed.D. degree was already heavily focused on research, and as the national trend in instructional technology is toward research, we felt the Ph.D. would be more beneficial to our students,” he said, adding that the addition of the Ph.D. will help improve the research, theoretical, and practical preparation of the graduates, especially those seeking future careers in academia, public education, government, and in the business and not-for-profit sectors

The decision to convert to a Ph.D. degree in counselor education and supervision was driven by the desire for the degree that better reflects the curriculum. The doctoral program was redesigned several years ago to integrate a stronger research component, which is more reflective of the Ph.D. degree, according to CAHE Chair Suzanne Degges-White. “A CACREP-accredited Ph.D. is now the gold standard in the field,” she said. “In fact, we look for the Ph.D. here in CAHE when we are looking to hire new faculty.”

Like ETRA’s new degree, the Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision was years in the making, involving the department’s entire faculty. “It took a lot of people – and a lot of time – to get to where we are now,” Degges-White said, “but our Ph.D. is an extremely rigorous degree that reflects much more than a traditional Ed.D. Our students, when they leave here, will be well prepared to become leaders in the field, effective supervisors and educators, and excellent researchers.”

For more information about the Ph.D. degree in Instructional Technology, please contact ETRA’s academic advisor Karen Wentworth-Roman at kwoodworth@niu.edu or 815-753-9321.

For more information about the Ph.D. degree in Counselor Education and Supervision, please contact Jane Rheineck at jrheineck@niu.edu or 815-753-8722

 

 



ETRA doctoral student launches Saudi academic journal

Adel QAdel Qahmash, a NIU doctoral candidate in instructional technology, has launched The Saudi Journal of Educational Technology, the first Saudi research journal in the field. The quarterly online journal is accredited by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Culture and Information. It specializes in peer-reviewed studies and reviews articles that are related to technology integration and educational computing and research. Read more



KNPE’s DEXA Scanner, featuring Alexa Suida and Dr. Anthony Deldin

The College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology & Physical Education is home to a great piece of new technology called the DEXA.

Short for Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry, the DEXA measures bone density and body composition and is the main focus of Master’s student Alexa Suida’s thesis.

How does it work? Why is it important? Find out by watching this video!

 



ETRA collaborates to boost Saudi colleges’ online teaching skills

Wei Hung-DB-13_624x938

Wei-Chen Hung

The College of Education’s Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment (ETRA) this summer provided an intensive, two-week workshop to faculty and staff of the Royal Commission of Jubail, Colleges and Institutes Sector (JCIS), a group of three institutions of higher education located in Jubail Industrial City in the eastern part of Saudi Arabia on the Arabian Gulf.

The program, “Online Teaching and Development,” was designed to boost confidence and hone skills necessary for JCIS to successfully integrate online technology into its teaching practices. The workshop was held at Jubail Industrial College and attracted some 30 participants. The participants were all faculty from different departments from the JCIS institutions who were chosen to be trained to become trainers.

The eLearning Project Committee, led by Fahad Al-Shahrani, a 2014 graduate of ETRA’s doctoral program in instructional technology, and now a JCIS faculty member and chairman of the organization’s E-learning Project, were leading the effort. After identifying skills gaps that prevented the JCIS faculty from teaching online most effectively, Al-Shahrani approached Wei-Chen Hung, chair of ETRA department, about creating a partnership to eliminate those gaps. The two organizations collaborated to identify the best training approach and best time to deliver the training.

Isti Sanga

Isti Sanga

The two-week training program was organized into three main theme topics, instructional strategies, technology integration, and blended course delivery, to provide faculty participants with needed skills and knowledge on eLearning pedagogies, technology, and teaching strategies. These skills and knowledge aimed to make online teaching and course development more efficient and effective and to make learning more productive. The goal was to help these 30 faculty participants assume critical roles such as eLearning coordinators and trainers in the JCIS’s online education initiative.

Dr. Isti Sanga, an ETRA instructor, worked with ETRA faculty to design the curriculum and course materials for the training and co-taught the face-to-face lessons with Hung in Saudi Arabia. Participants credit Sanga and Hung’s preparation and knowledge as the foundation for the workshop’s success.

“The training was delivered to an excellent, relatable standard,” said Mubeen Ahmed, one of the workshop participants and a faculty member at Jubail University College. “The elements that impressed me the most were their dynamic attitudes, zeal and ability to motivate us. I think I can speak on behalf of all my colleagues who attended the workshop that we were truly in great company for the entire two weeks.”

DSC_4294

The JCIS faculty trainees

Hung said the objective of the training was to provide JCIS faculty with a series of hands-on instructional activities on eLearning and a better understanding of online teaching methodology, instructional development, assessment, and media development.

In measuring the training’s effectiveness, professor David Walker, the project’s principal investigator, and his colleagues Todd Reeves and Tom Smith, both of ETRA, sought first to “assess changes in the participants’ belief in their ability to design and implement online courses” over the two-week time frame.

To do so they developed a survey, for participants to take at the beginning of the two-week training course, and then after each of the course’s seven sections (for a total of eight times). According to Reeves, the participants not only reported that they gained confidence in their abilities, they did so at an accelerating rate.

Tom Smith, Todd Reeves, David Walker

Tom Smith, Todd Reeves, David Walker

Walker added that while the data show that the participants’ confidence in their ability to create and deliver online course grew, the real test is yet to come. The researchers plan to return to Saudi Arabia next spring to assess how well the faculty have been able to put their new knowledge of online instruction in practice. With that information, the team will be able to modify the training program to reduce gaps in performance.

ETRA will continue to provide online consulting and support to the program for the next year. Hung hopes the training and ongoing consulting will result in the transfer of knowledge to faculty throughout the JCIS.

“We are aligning ourselves with the spirit of NIU’s mission to collaborate internationally with other institutions in the areas of research, artistry, and development,” Hung said. “My goal [for the department] is to expand our partnerships internationally and work with one institution at a time to help students, faculty and staff succeed with implementing the best practices for eLearning.”

 



Study Abroad program in Japan in the works

JapanThe College of Education is teaming up with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Visual and Performing Arts for a two-week learning experience in Japan May 16 – 29, 2016. Participants will learn about western Japan, experiencing and learning about both modern and ancient culture through guided tours, lectures and independent research. Education students will spend time in schools, working with students and teachers, and also visit with students and faculty at Yamaguchi Prefectural University (where CAHE doctoral student Robert Schalkoff is a professor). Highlights of the program included Yamaguchi City, Hagi, Hiroshima, Akiyoshidai and Miyajima. For more information, contact Professor Steven Tonks at stonks@niu.edu or NIU’s Study Abroad office at 815-753-0700.



CAHE seminars scheduled

Emily photo for NIU

Emily F. Henderson to visit COE Nov. 10 – 11

The College of Education’s Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education (CAHE) is proud to present Emily F. Henderson, assistant professor of International Education and Development in the Centre for Education Studies at the University of Warwick, U.K., who will conduct seminars on Nov. 10 and Nov. 11. Everyone is welcome to attend. (Descriptions of seminar topics are given below.)

What: “Teaching and Learning in a Shifting Terrain: Towards a Critical Higher Education Pedagogy”*

Date: Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015

Time:  Noon – 1 p.m.

Where: Gabel 146

 

What: “Gender and Education Research: an International, Intersectional Approach”**

Date:  Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015

Time:  Noon – 1 p.m.

Where: Gabel 146

For more information, contact Z Nicolazzo at 815-753-9373 or znicolazzo@niu.edu

* The higher education sector internationally is shifting in a number of different ways. Student mobility is growing and the map of destinations is changing. The purpose of higher education changes as employers demand more professionally oriented graduates and students conduct cost-benefit analyses of the time and money spent studying. Within this shifting terrain, questions of pedagogy arise. While ‘loss narratives’ of higher education abound which bemoan the conditions of teaching and learning in higher education, and the changes in students’ profiles and motivations, this seminar argues that there is potential for a critical higher education pedagogy in today’s university classrooms. The seminar is based on some of the findings presented in Henderson’s book “Gender Pedagogy: Teaching, Learning and Tracing Gender in Higher Education” (Palgrave, 2015).

** When we say we are conducting research on gender in the field of education studies, what do we mean? Is it a given that we will divide our research participants into two supposedly dichotomous groups (i.e., men/women), or that we will select one group from the many diverse genders that exist? How do understandings of gender differ across international contexts? This seminar presents a critical analysis of the concept of gender as it is employed in educational research, with a particular focus on higher education. Based on doctoral fieldwork in the United Kingdom, the United States and India, as well as institutional visits to France and South Africa, this seminar aims to push at the boundaries of the basic concept of gender that is used in education research.



Literacy & Elementary Education offers new reading cohort in Grayslake

Northern Illinois University’s Department of Literacy and Elementary Education (LEED) will offer a new cohort leading to a Master of Science degree in literacy education with a focus on reading beginning in 2016 at University Center-Lake County (UC-LC) in Grayslake.

The program includes one or two classes per semester and is ideal for classroom teachers who are interested in earning either the Reading Teacher Endorsement (24 credits) or Reading Specialist Endorsement K-12 (33 credits).

Interested individuals can learn more about this program by attending an information session on Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the University Center-Lake County, 1200 University Center Drive, Grayslake, Ill. This event precedes an UC-LC open house and provides an opportunity for prospective students to learn about program requirements and ask questions. For information and reservations, contact Gail Schumacher, academic advisor, at gschumacher@niu.edu or 815-753-7948.

As a competency-based program, this master’s degree features a course sequence in which each course builds on the previous one, and all courses are aligned with the standards for reading professionals developed by the International Literacy Association. All courses are taught by skilled and knowledgeable faculty members, many with national recognition for their teaching, research and service to the field of reading. Full-time reading faculty members include Susan L’Allier, associate professor and reading program coordinator; Corrine Wickens, associate professor; and Michael Manderino, assistant professor. For information on the faculty, visit the Department of Literacy and Elementary Education website.

Northern Illinois University also plans to offers the Master of Science degree in literacy education with a focus on reading at the NIU-Naperville campus in 2016.

NIU also offers a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education, a Master of Science in literacy education with a focus on ESL/bilingual education, a Master of Arts degree in teaching (initial elementary education license), and a Doctor of Education degree in curriculum and instruction with specialization in literacy education. In addition, classes are available for those interested in coursework toward ESL and bilingual endorsements, the Reading Teacher Endorsement and the Certificate of Graduate Studies in Postsecondary Developmental Literacy and Language Instruction. For more information visit the LEED website.



Meet a COE Northern Lights Ambassador: Bernadette Chatman

Bernadette 2

Bernadette Chatman

“I have two ultimate goals in life: the first, to stay content and the second, to inspire someone to be a better them,” says Bernadette Chatman. “Both of these goals lead me to want to be an educator, more specifically an educator for those who are differently abled.”

Bernadette is a senior in special education as well as one of four COE Northern Lights Ambassadors.

As a Northern Light Ambassador, Bernadette says she wants to serve as a voice for the students. She believes students should be aware of all of the great opportunities that Northern, as well as the College of Education, has to offer.

“Our college has provided me with a few opportunities that I never saw myself doing. Teaching in Houston for a week is an example. The program, Educate U.S., gave me and 19 other NIU students the opportunity to teach in the Aldine School district. Unlike other institutions that send their students to the same program, NIU paid for our flight, ensured we were satisfied with our placements as well as the environment in which we lived in, and even took us out to explore Houston. I left Texas with a job offer and a greater appreciation for my college.”