Colorado College News: Education, Two MAT Students Recognized as Top Teacher Candidates Tue, 08 May 2018 13:00:00 MDT ]]> <p>Two Colorado College <a href="">Masters of Arts in Teaching</a> (MAT) students <span>have been recognized by the Colorado Department of Higher Education as among Colorado&rsquo;s top teacher candidates.</span></p> <p><strong>Lydia Freliech &rsquo;17 </strong>and Savannah Teeple were celebrated at the Colorado Future Educators Honor Roll event in Denver last week.</p> <p>Freliech <span>graduated from Colorado College last May as an education major and has completed her student teaching in a fourth- and fifth-grade classroom at Mountain Vista Community School. She earned a perfect score on her Teacher Candidate Performance Assessment and is passionate about the critical need for culturally responsive pedagogy and valuing the lived experiences of all her students.<br /><br /></span>Freliech will be completing her program capstone teaching and researching in Auckland, New Zealand, with a focus on how the educational system in New Zealand has successfully addressed the systemic oppression of the indigenous Maori population.&nbsp; Beginning in August, she will be teaching fourth grade at Colfax Elementary in Denver.</p> <p>Teeple entered CC&rsquo;s MAT program with an impressive resume filled with environmental and outdoor education experience. She knew two things: that she loved science and she loved helping instill that love and passion in youth. A natural teacher, she blossomed in the classroom, sharing her passion and demonstrating incredible warmth and high expectations for all her students.</p> <p>Teeple will be completing her program capstone teaching science in a secondary school in Hobsonville, a village of Auckland, New Zealand. Beginning in August, she will be teaching middle school science at Galileo School of Math and Science in Colorado Springs School District 11.</p> <p>Freliech and Teeple join <a href="">Mike Pritts and Tricia Renee Cornelius</a> as CC Master of Arts in Teaching students recognized by the Colorado Department of Higher Education. Pritts and Cornelius were named to the Educator Honor Roll in 2017.</p> <p>&ldquo;This ceremony recognizes the tremendous impact our future educators will have on their students and the state of Colorado broadly,&rdquo; said Kim Hunter Reed, Colorado Department of Higher Education executive director. &ldquo;Educators are training the next generation of artists, engineers, scientists, and health professionals that will power our economy and enliven our communities. They truly make all other professions possible. We want all teachers and administrators &mdash; and especially our young educators &mdash; to know Coloradans support and appreciate their invaluable work.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> TREE Semester Receives Innovation Award Tue, 27 Mar 2018 16:00:00 MDT ]]> <p>Colorado College's <a href="">Teaching and Research in Environmental Education</a> (TREE) Semester has received a statewide award&nbsp;for Innovation in Environmental Education for its outstanding work in preparing future leaders in environmental education who learn how to inspire K-12 students to become ecological stewards. The program is one of only nine accredited environmental education programs in North America, and one of only two such undergraduate programs in the country.</p> <p>The award was presented earlier this month by the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education. The Denver-based organization seeks to recognize "the exemplary and effective environmental education programs across Colorado who are setting a new standard for learning in their communities."</p> <p>CC's TREE Semester is a <a href="">16-week, residential semester program</a> where undergraduate students live in a sustainable community and learn&nbsp;experientially by teaching environmental education in the montane forest at the Catamount Mountain Campus outside Woodland Park, Colorado, 20 miles west of Colorado College.&nbsp;</p> <p>The TREE Semester is for students of all academic interests. The TREE scholars cultivate their own and their K-12 students' conceptions of environmental stewardship and respect for the natural world through almost 100 hours of experiential teaching.</p> <p>&nbsp;"The TREE Semester, created as part of the CC strategic planning process, is an excellent example of our innovative approach to education," says Howard Drossman, professor of environmental science and education.</p> <p>This year, four of the seven master certified environmental educators and five of the 16 certified environmental educators in Colorado recognized at the award ceremony were graduates of the TREE Semester.</p> <p>"The environment is where we live and the decisions we make about the environment impact our economy, our communities and our homes," says CAEE Executive Director&nbsp;Katie Navin.&nbsp;"All across the state these innovative environmental educators and programs are helping create informed and responsible decision makers."</p> <p><a href="">Enrollment in the fall 2018 TREE Semester</a> is open through April 1.</p> Kathy Randolph Nets $42,000 Grant for College-Rural School Partnership Wed, 24 Jan 2018 10:45:00 MST <p>Kathy Randolph, a visiting assistant professor in the Education Department at Colorado College, has received a $42,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Higher Education to help develop a college-rural school district partnership. This partnership will facilitate early experiences in rural settings for future teachers, provide districts with new teachers who are familiar with how rural schools function, and create future opportunities for teachers in rural districts to receive training and support from Colorado College.</p> <p>Randolph, who notes that nearly half the nation&rsquo;s school districts are in rural areas, will work with four rural school districts near Colorado Springs &mdash; Calhan, Ellicott, Miami-Yoder, and Peyton &mdash; to pilot the field experiences. An existing course, Introduction to the K-12 Classroom Culture, which is available to all CC students and draws more than 50 students a year, will provide the opportunity for students to engage in 30 hours of early field experience during Block 5.<br /><br />The grant also enables CC to hold two teacher workshops in February, hosting up to 65 representative teachers and administrators from the nine rural Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES) member districts. All nine rural districts are less than 75 minutes from Colorado College.<br /><br />Randolph and others will focus on creating a needs assessment to disseminate to teachers in all nine districts. This will help to inform the development of a CC course for education major and minors called Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners in a Rural Setting, part of which will take place in one of the rural districts. This will provide field experiences for CC&rsquo;s teacher candidates to work with culturally and linguistically diverse students in a rural setting.</p> <p>Colorado College&rsquo;s Education Department currently is in its second year of a National Science Foundation Noyce Scholarship Program. The program recruits and prepares future science, computer science, and mathematics majors to become teachers. CC&rsquo;s partnership with rural districts will allow for the recruitment and placement of these STEM teachers in rural districts, thus addressing a priority in area schools.</p> <p>Often rural schools struggle to recruit and retain qualified teachers, with Pikes Peak BOCES member districts having a 17.4 percent teacher turnout rate. Randolph believes the partnership can serve as a model for early recruitment of teachers and competent preparation to teach in rural settings in order to reduce the annual teacher turnover rate.<br /><br />The partnership also provides <a href="">Master of Arts in Teaching</a> students with the opportunity to complete a fellowship while conducting master&rsquo;s thesis research with teachers and students in a rural setting.</p> TREE Semester Earns Environmental Education Accreditation Tue, 14 Nov 2017 15:30:00 MST ]]> <p>Colorado College&rsquo;s Teaching and Research in Environmental Education (TREE) Semester is now one of only eight accredited environmental education programs in North America and one of only two undergraduate programs in the country to receive this distinction.<br /><br />The designation comes following a recent accreditation by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE). The only other undergraduate program accredited by NAAEE is the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.</p> <p>CC&rsquo;s TREE Semester is a 16-week, residential semester program that mirrors the traditional study abroad experience. Undergraduate students live and learn inat the scenic Catamount Center in the montane forest outside Woodland Park, Colorado.</p> <p>The TREE Semester is for students of all academic interests, but is specifically designed for those interested in exploring both environmental and educational fields. These scholars cultivate their own and their K-12 students&rsquo; conceptions of environmental stewardship and respect for the natural world. Where traditional programs provide only limited teaching opportunities, the TREE Semester allows undergraduates to learn about their students&rsquo; development through almost 100 hours of experiential teaching.</p> <p>"The TREE Semester, created as part of the CC strategic planning process, is an excellent example of our innovative approach to education," says Howard Drossman, professor of environmental science and education.</p> <p>NAAEE&rsquo;s accreditation process provides third-party, standards-based recognition of high&nbsp;quality higher education programs that engage in the preparation and professional development of environmental educators.&nbsp;Regardless of the setting &mdash; whether rural, suburban, or urban areas, environmental educators need practices and materials that effectively foster a high standard of&nbsp;environmental literacy.</p> Meg O’Neill MAT ’13: Innovating a different type of classroom Fri, 16 Jun 2017 14:45:00 MDT <p></p> Two MAT Students Named to Educator Honor Roll Fri, 12 May 2017 15:45:00 MDT <p>Two Colorado College <a href="">Master of Arts in Teaching</a> (MAT) students have been recognized by the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE).</p> <p>Mike Pritts and Tricia Renee Cornelius were both named to the CDHE&rsquo;s inaugural Aspiring Educator Honor Roll and were honored earlier this week at the State Capitol in Denver.<br /><br />Pritts, an Army veteran who was named a <a href="">Tillman Scholar last year</a>, has a deep understanding of the challenges military families endure. He entered Colorado College's program with the expressed goal of working at Fountain Fort Carson High School, hoping to create a safe and welcoming family-like community for his students whose lives are filled with uncertainty. Pritts already has secured a job as a history teacher and football coach at the high school beginning next year.<br /><br />Cornelius was born to be a teacher, says Deb Mortenson, the education services manager at CC&rsquo;s Education Department who officially nominated the two MAT students. &ldquo;When she talks about her students, there is a light in her eye, a joy that cannot be suppressed. She is truly passionate about helping her students see their potential and giving everything of herself to help them achieve that,&rdquo; Mortenson says. &ldquo;Renee is dedicated to education as social justice and committed to ensuring all her students have access to high quality experiences.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;This ceremony recognizes the tremendous impact our future educators will have on their students and the state of Colorado broadly,&rdquo; says Kim Reed, executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. &ldquo;Educators are training the next generation of artists, engineers, scientists, and health professionals who will power our economy and enliven our communities. They truly make all other professions possible. We want all teachers and administrators&mdash;and especially our young educators&mdash;to know Coloradans support and appreciate their invaluable work.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Jacob Kirksey ’15 Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Thu, 06 Apr 2017 10:15:00 MDT <p><strong>Jacob Kirksey &rsquo;15</strong>, who received a B.A. from Colorado College in economics and education, has been awarded a 2017 <a href="">NSF graduate research fellowship</a>. He currently is in the education policy doctorate program at the University of California&mdash;Santa Barbara&rsquo;s Gevirtz School, the university&rsquo;s graduate school of education. He is one of six recent Colorado College graduates to receive an NSF graduate research fellowship.</p> <p>Kirksey&rsquo;s research interests are in the economics of education. His research project examines which of the three information-processing skill sets &ndash; literacy, numeracy, and problem solving &ndash; are most important for attaining a STEM degree and achieving a STEM career for people with disabilities. Preparation for STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is especially relevant given the unique circumstances people with disabilities have when pursuing majors and careers, he says. The research could draw attention to a new paradigm for preparing people with disabilities to succeed in STEM: skill development.</p> <p>Professionally, Kirksey has worked for two nonprofit organizations, taught K-12 theatre in schools, and designed his own after-school programs. Through these positions, he has designed several workshops for teachers, parents, and students, focusing on issues related to school engagement. He also teaches a drama class at a nonprofit organization in Santa Barbara, California.<br /><br />Currently, Kirksey is working on research related to absenteeism, suspension rates, and special education policy. His interests also include teacher education and preparation in STEM fields and teacher agency in the policy landscape.</p> <p>While a student at Colorado College, Kirksey participated at the national level in speech and debate all four years and was named an <a href="">All-American in forensics</a> his senior year by the Pi Kappa Delta National Honor Society.</p> Planting the Seeds of Art and Writing Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:00:00 MDT ]]> <p><strong>Maggie Mehlman &rsquo;19,</strong> <strong>Sophia Pray &rsquo;19, and Jilly Gibbs&nbsp;&rsquo;20</strong> sit in front of a large painting of a man and woman holding boxes of strawberries and fields in the distance, part of artist Don Coen&rsquo;s visiting migrant series on display at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Pray tells a group of fourth- and fifth-graders from nearby Taylor Elementary School that she likes the painting because it reminds her of California, where she is from.</p> <p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s good,&rdquo; Mehlman says of Pray&rsquo;s explanation as to why she likes the painting. &ldquo;She didn&rsquo;t just say &lsquo;I like it&rsquo; or &lsquo;it makes me happy,&rsquo; but told us why. She provided evidence for her personal connection to the art.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>David Figel &rsquo;20, Ana Ortiz-Mejias &rsquo;19</strong>, and <strong>Emily Gardner &rsquo;19</strong> tell the students to look at various paintings in the museum, asking them to find one they make a connection with. Prompts for connections include: Which piece of art reminds you of yourself? Someone you know? A place you have been? A time when you felt a strong emotion?</p> <p>Students put their hand on their head when they find a piece of art they connect to, then share their connections with their classmates. As they sit in a circle on the museum floor, Figel asks them what they learned.</p> <p>&ldquo;We learn more about each other when we share connections,&rdquo; one student replies.</p> <p>&ldquo;You can always learn something new about somebody,&rdquo; says another.</p> <p>The 13 Colorado College students working with the elementary-school children are in Associate Chair and Lecturer in Education Kris Stanec&rsquo;s Power of the Arts course, one of CC&rsquo;s community-based-learning classes. Intertwined with the class was a project called &ldquo;Multiple Narratives,&rdquo; which fosters engagement with art through a writing curriculum that begins with students making connections between themselves and a piece of art.</p> <p>The project also seeks to validate and support individual&rsquo;s various narratives and relationships to art. &ldquo;My approach challenges the common dominant narrative of museum education, in which the museum has the knowledge and visitors come to listen.&rdquo; Stanec says.</p> <p>Stanec is the Spring 2017 Mellon Faculty Fellow for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Museum. The fellowship supports Stanec&rsquo;s work developing a curriculum to bring together CC students, Colorado Springs School District 11 teachers and students, and FAC docents with the museum&rsquo;s collections. The Mellon grant supports the development of the Colorado College and Fine Arts Center alliance, and provides funding for supplies such as art cards, schools&rsquo; transportation and museum admissions, and pays for the near para-professional assistance of <strong>Paige Harari &rsquo;17</strong>, who has worked closely with Stanec on the project.</p> <p>Every day during the first two weeks of Block 6, Stanec&rsquo;s class visited Taylor Elementary (full name: Alice Bemis Taylor Elementary, a serendipitous tie-in with the Fine Arts Center), working with the students in a series of writer workshops. There they used art cards, or photographs, of pieces in the FAC&rsquo;s permanent collection as writing prompts, engaging students with the art before they even entered the museum. The connections the students made with the artwork generated ideas, or &ldquo;seeds&rdquo; for their narrative pieces.</p> <p>In his combined class fourth- and fifth-grade class at Taylor Elementary, Kyle Gilliam stresses the importance of taking a seed and growing it into a small moment, or snapshot. Working with the children, CC students taking Stanec&rsquo;s class remind them to use emotion, the five senses, similes, and metaphors in their writing. The result: One girl selects a photo of a Western scene and writes, &ldquo;Bang, bang! I hear the sounds of gunshots in my ears. Popcorn bursts with flavor inside my mouth.&rdquo; She explains that the painting reminds her of watching Western movies with her grandmother.</p> <p>After the two weeks with the CC class, Gilliam says improvement in his students&rsquo; writing was clearly evident. &ldquo;Students went from a few sentences, mostly &lsquo;telling&rsquo; about the art card, then transformed into &lsquo;showing&rsquo; a wonderfully written narrative,&rdquo; he says. Asked who benefits most from the CC-Taylor Elementary partnership, Gilliam says he sees it as a win-win for everyone. &ldquo;I know that our young students benefit from the opportunity to interact with positive role models.&nbsp;Furthermore, this collaboration forms a connection between two learning communities that produces long-lasting benefits for all involved.&rdquo;</p> <p>The CC course culminated with a visit to the Fine Arts Center by the children, many of whom had never been there. Prior to the big day, FAC docents joined the CC education course, discussing research on how people learn in informal contexts. The CC students and museum docents used education theory to co-create museum experiences that would meet the goals of both elementary school teachers and museum educators. &nbsp;Understanding how people learn enacted transformation that motivated viewers to look longer at the art.</p> <p>&ldquo;I was left speechless as I watched the students interact with art in a way that I&rsquo;ve never seen before,&rdquo; says Gilliam.&nbsp;&ldquo;They were fully engaged and thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and appreciated art in a new way.&rdquo;</p> <p>A highlight of the aptly named &ldquo;Multiple Narratives&rdquo; project was the elementary author-sharing portion of the venture, which took place at the FAC.</p> <p>The Taylor Elementary students had been revising and rehearsing their art-inspired narratives based on the FAC art cards for two weeks. During their visit to the Fine Arts Center, Weston Taylor and Chris Bittner of CC&rsquo;s ITS: Innovative Technology staff videoed each child as they read their narrative about their connection to a piece of art. The videos will preserve the students&rsquo; narratives and be available for other museum visitors to experience through a free augmented-reality app, Aurasma.</p> <p>Aurasma will allow the students to view themselves reading their narratives in front of the actual piece of art that inspired it. And, even more importantly, they can share their experience with their family, as each student received a free family pass to the Fine Arts Center. Through the app, other visitors can use the students&rsquo; stories as models for finding their own connections to the artwork, Stanec says.</p> <p>&ldquo;My hope is that the elementary students&rsquo; videos as well as the CC students&rsquo; augmented reality 'auras' created as assignments in the class are accessible to museum visitors in the future, as well as expanded upon by community members, artists, and museum educators for additional exhibits,&rdquo; she says.&nbsp;&ldquo;If this technology and the writers&rsquo; workshop curriculum with art cards used in this Mellon-funded pilot program become a sustainable part of the FAC, we can continue to work toward the co-creation of multiple narratives beyond this project.&rdquo;</p> MAT Student Mike Pritts Named Tillman Scholar Mon, 13 Jun 2016 13:15:00 MDT <p>Mike Pritts, a student in Colorado College&rsquo;s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program, has been named a Tillman Scholar by the Pat Tillman Foundation. The retired command sergeant major, who began the program June 1, is the first Colorado College student to receive this highly prestigious award. Tillman Scholars are selected based on&nbsp;their&nbsp;academic and leadership potential, sense of vocation, and deep commitment to creating positive change through their work in the fields of medicine, law, business, education, and the arts.<br /><br />Pritts, who retired from the Army in July 2015 with 30 years of service, spent almost 24 years as a Green Beret with the Army Special Forces. He&rsquo;s been stationed with the 10th Special Forces Group at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, worked as an instructor at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, and served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, where he helped expand access to education programs to enlisted service members.<br /><br />His last assignment was helping to manage the special operations training programs in Lebanon with the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.<br /><br />Pritts says he was drawn to CC&rsquo;s MAT program because the high number of student contact hours involved would help him develop his own teaching style. &ldquo;Education was a very large part of my service and I've been fortunate to teach soldiers from many of our partner nations around the world,&rdquo; Pritts says. &ldquo;Of all the accomplishments I have earned, I take the most pride in witnessing the achievements of those soldiers who I&rsquo;ve coached along the way.&rdquo;<br /><br />Since retiring from the Army, Pritts has been working as a guest teacher in Fountain &mdash; Fort Carson School District 8 to gain experience in high school and middle school classrooms. He intends to become a high school social studies teacher and continue to work with children from military families.<br /><br />&ldquo;After serving for 30 years, I have a great sense of attachment to the military community,&rdquo; Pritts says. &ldquo;We sometimes forget how much our military families endure while supporting a service member. These families are uprooted every three to four years and many never have the opportunity to live in one location for a long time. Kids are constantly leaving friends and entering a new and unfamiliar environment. I really want to help these kids with this transition in my classroom and build a family-like community that welcomes its new members and stays in touch with those who have moved on.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Having led organizations from 12 to over 1,000 in both peacetime and combat, as a high school teacher, Mike&rsquo;s leadership experience will be put to work in the classroom and with his fellow faculty members while keeping him engaged with his military family community,&rdquo; notes the Tillman Scholars program.</p> <p>The Pat Tillman Foundation was established following Tillman&rsquo;s death in April 2004 while serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. The Tillman Scholars program, founded in 2008, supports active-duty service members, veterans, and military spouses by investing in their higher education. The scholarship program covers direct study-related expenses, including tuition and fees, books, and living expenses for scholars w pursuing undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate degrees as a full-time student at a public or private, U.S.-based accredited institution.</p> Education Department Receives Grant for Summer Program Scholarships Mon, 08 Feb 2016 13:00:00 MST <p>The Education Department at Colorado College has received a $20,000 grant from the Salazar Family Foundation in Denver to support CC&rsquo;s children&rsquo;s summer programs. Of the funding, $15,000 will be used to provide scholarships for&nbsp;area children&nbsp;who receive free or reduced lunch at school, enabling them to attend CC&rsquo;s Gifted and Talented+ and Whiz Bang Science programs. The remaining $5,000 will be used for instructional supplies and transportation for children to and from Harrison School District 2.</p> <p>Associate Professor and Chair of the Education Department Mike Taber says the grant enables Colorado College to provide as many as 78 new scholarships. &ldquo;We are very pleased that the college has received these funds,&rdquo; Taber says. &ldquo;Colorado College and the Education Department are committed to providing enriched learning opportunities for our youth while we also prepare the next generation of teacher scholars.&rdquo;</p> <p>CC&rsquo;s <a href="">Gifted and Talented+</a> program, now in its 35th year, is a three-week program offered in June for students entering grade 1 through 10 in the fall. The Gifted and Talented+ program includes Conversations of Humankind, which previously was run as a separate program. This year the program will be offered June 6-24.</p> <p><a href="">Whiz Bang Science</a> is a two-week science program held in July for young &ldquo;scientists&rdquo; entering grade 1 through 10 in the fall. The theme for 2016 is &ldquo;The Science and Engineering of Toys,&rdquo; and the program will be offered July 11-22.</p>