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Baylor SOE Students and Programs Receive Statewide Recognition [4/8/2014]

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QuestQualityLogo-ThumbFive students and three programs in the Baylor School of Education (SOE) received statewide recognition from Quest for Quality. A collaboration between CREATE and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Quest for Quality identifies exemplary teacher candidates and exceptional practices in university-based teacher-preparation programs.

Recognitions announced this spring for Baylor SOE included five teacher candidates, a field-based instructional practice, an individual faculty practice and a K-12 partnership, covering every Quest for Quality recognition category. Nominations were sent to Quest for Quality in the fall and announced this semester.

“I’m really pleased to say that all eight of Baylor School of Education’s nominations were selected as exemplary,” SOE dean Dr. Jon Engelhardt said. “It’s a real sweep for recognizing Baylor students and efforts.”

Teacher candidates were chosen in a blind review based on the submission of personal narratives and supporting letters from Baylor faculty and K-12 mentor teachers. Candidates were recognized for their depth of subject area content and pedagogical knowledge, as well as excellence in planning and instructional delivery of lesson plans.

Molly Walker, who graduates in May 2014 in the all-level Special Education program, was among those recognized. Patricia Arredondo, a senior lecturer in the Special Education program in the Department of Educational Psychology, said she recommended Walker because of her skill and care in matching each task to the developmental needs of her student. “Molly is an exceptional teacher of students with special needs, who teaches with infectious energy, skill and optimism,” Arredondo said.

Baylor’s five recognized teacher candidates are: (click each name to see the Quest for Quality profile)

  • bartels_120Elizabeth Bartels
    Student Teacher
    Certification Area:
    EC-6 Generalist/ESL
    December 2013 graduate
  • kirkland_120Claire Kirkland
    Student Teacher
    Certification Area:
    EC-6 Generalist
    December 2013 graduate
  • rabideau_120Benjamin Rabideau
    Senior
    Certification Area:
    EC-12 Special Education
    May 2014 graduate
  • walker_120Molly Walker
    Senior
    Certification Area:
    EC-12 Special Education
    May 2014 graduate

Programs and practices highlighted for exceptional quality are: 

  • Baylor’s Secondary Teacher Education Program received recognition as an exemplary field-based practice. The program provides teacher candidates with rigorous training in an academic content field, prepares them to manage a classroom and build positive supportive relationships with students. The candidates have extended field experiences supervised by Baylor faculty and mentor teachers while assigned to a Professional Development School or partner school. Senior interns gain experience in both urban and suburban high schools to understand the differences between learning environments and teaching tactics. Upon graduation, all candidates are well qualified to help teens prepare for their futures academically, socially and emotionally.
  • Dr. Suzanne Nesmith’s Elementary Science Methods Video Project was recognized as an exemplary faculty practice. Nesmith designed the program after realizing that her students’ abilities to teach science would be enhanced if they deepened their conceptual understanding of the course material by actually designing curriculum. The project requires students to produce a five- to seven-minute video presentation and quiz on a specific science concept. “Students now research and develop a deep conceptual understanding of a science concept, so they can then create a movie that conveys correct scientific information,” Nesmith said. After students produce the curriculum, the videos and related quizzes are added to an online resource database to help prepare pre-service teachers for certification exams and provide pedagogical strategies for teaching elementary science.
  • The Greater Waco Area Superintendent’s (GWAS) Collaborative was recognized as an exemplary K-12 partnership that unites Baylor SOE and superintendents from eight local school districts. GWAS was selected due to its success as a professional development program with curriculum enhanced initiatives and university-school-community engagement programs. It actively engages in legislative outreach, and superintendents meet monthly to discuss issues within school districts and create future academic-vocational goals. To learn more about the GWAS partnership and watch a WISD-TV video with SOE dean Dr. Jon Engelhardt, click here: Baylor Media Communications. —Briana Rojas

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