College of Education Newsletter

Spring 2015
Volume One, Issue One

Headley_photo Letter from Scot Headley, Dean of the College of Education   

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

This past year for the College of Education has been one of great change, opportunities, and challenge. As is true with most situations in life and in business, some of the challenges have been difficult in nature. However, nearly all them have been excellent experiences in growth both for me as the Dean and for the College as a whole.

While the program offerings remain essentially the same, a good deal of internal restructuring has been implemented with various departments within the College. Both the Master of Education and the Doctor of Education programs have had major curriculum changes designed to improve and strengthen student experience. To all these changes made, the faculty and staff of the COE have consistently responded with enthusiasm, grace and patience as we realize new horizons and opportunities for the future. I look forward to what lies in store as we forge ahead with renewed vision and energy to carry out our mission of educating students to “Think Critically, Transform Practice and Promote Justice” in their classrooms and school buildings.

Please enjoy this first edition of the College of Education Newsletter. Our intent is to provide regular communication to our various constituents about faculty scholarship, community service, student achievement and other notable happenings within the College. There’s always a lot going on with our students and faculty, and we are eager to share our stories. This issue features stories of interest about significant work that our colleagues are carrying out.  If you have ideas for future stories, please pass them on to me.

Doctor of Education and Master of Education Curriculum

After many long, dedicated hours of work by College of Education doctoral and masters faculty, new curriculum proposals for the George Fox Doctor of Education (EdD) and Master of Education (MEd) programs were approved by the university Academic Affairs Council this past fall and early spring. These new curricula will be launched starting this coming summer with classes beginning in June.

Both programs were completely revised, with much consideration given to program mission, intent and desired outcome. Special attention was given to program relevance in relation to current and potential candidate pools, as well as the concentrations of study available to students. As part of the revisions, several new courses were added and many existing courses were renumbered in both programs. In addition, new catalog prefixes were created. EDDL will now denote doctoral courses; MEDU will denote masters courses. For those students admitted under previous catalogs, a small number of courses will continue to be offered under the EDFL prefix and will be gradually phased out as appropriate.

Collectively, well more than 200 students have graduated from the EdD and MEd programs since their inception at George Fox. These students serve as K-12 teachers, higher education professionals, school administrators and community leaders locally, nationally and worldwide.

Click here for admissions information.

Technology Instruction in Newberg Elementary Schools

Undergraduate Education professor Yune Tran was recently featured in the Newberg Graphic for a 10-week pilot program with the Newberg School District designed to introduce young students to the world of computer coding. The program, which wrapped up with its first participants in mid-November 2014, was conducted in two elementary classrooms – one at Ewing Young Elementary, and the other at Mabel Rush Elementary.

Tran enlisted the help of George Fox University computer science students to bring the program to third-grade students, which entailed instruction on the basic concepts of a discipline normally thought to be too complex for children of that age. This instruction involved moving students through a sequence of lessons, from computer science basics all the way to inventing their own games, stories and animations.

The idea of bringing these concepts to elementary-aged children is a radical one. Tran's project evolved from work she did with her own children as well as conversations with her husband about computer science potentially becoming part of the regular school-day curriculum. She also realized the program could provide an opportunity to reach under-represented populations in the classroom – such as female or economically disadvantaged students – with technology instruction, which is a vital educational component both for students as well as society as a whole.

In the future, Tran hopes to build on the initial success of the program by creating partnerships with additional schools and districts. For now in Newberg, it is anticipated that an additional four classrooms will come on board with this exciting project sometime this spring.

Oregon Writing Project Collaborative at George Fox University

The College of Education recently welcomed the Oregon Writing Project Collaborative (OWPC), which is a part of the National Writing Project. The National Writing Project was established in 1974 at the University of California, Berkeley as a university-based program designed to help public school educators improve the quality of their writing instruction as well as their own writing skills.  With this project, George Fox University will continue the good work done for more than two decades by Willamette University.

Through a series of workshops and institutes that are open to all Oregon in-service K-16 educators, the OWPC at George Fox University engages teachers, faculty and the community in the study of writing, the teaching of writing, and the use of writing to learn. In addition, the College of Education has recently approved  a Certificate in the Teaching of Writing as a way to establish educator credentials in teaching writing skills to students. The certificate program will be available for enrollment beginning Fall 2016.

The summer and winter institutes, workshops and writer’s groups will be held both in Salem and at the Newberg campus. The first winter institute began in Newberg in January and will run through May. The next summer institute will run June 20-July 3, held at Broadway Commons in Salem, Oregon.  You can find more information about OWPC events here.