Instant Impact

News from Baylor School of Education

October 18, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor TAIR Conference Hosted Almost 900 Teachers [10/18/2018]

Baylor TAIR Conference co-directors Margaret Thomson (left) and Dr. Barbara Purdum-Cassidy

Baylor School of Education hosted educators from dozens of school districts for the annual Baylor TAIR (Texas Association for the Improvement of Reading) Regional Conference on Oct. 1 and 2. Almost 900 educators gathered at the Region 12 Education Service Center for three different grade-level based conferences. Attendees shared knowledge and skills with each other while gaining unique insight from a variety of national speakers.

TAIR President Margaret Thomson, senior lecturer in the School of Education, says her favorite part of being involved with this conference has been getting to know educators from all over the region that have the same interests as she does. “Every year you can get new ideas and get re-energized,” Thomson said. “This conference is for educators all across the board, because I think the best teachers keep getting professional development — they keep updating their skills.” Continue Reading →

October 15, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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EnAbled Grant Renewed by AT&T Foundation [10/16/2018]

AT&T Foundation

Pictured at the presentation of the grant award are student mentors with AT&T Foundation and Baylor representatives. Front L-R: Dr. Tamara Hodges, Becca Waits, Deborah Keel of the AT&T Foundation, Stephanie Fritz, Chris Krause of Baylor Development. Back L-R: Kelsey McCarty, Brenda Davis, Ally Yturralde, Felicity Frost

Baylor School of Education’s EnAbled for College project recently received a $75,000 renewal grant from the AT&T Foundation. The mentoring program increases marginalized high school students’ likeliness of choosing higher education by covering topics ranging from completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to how to talk to a professor.

The program began with graduate students from the Department of Educational Psychology mentoring 52 disabled, at-risk or low socioeconomic status high school students through the process of reaching higher education. Since 2014, the program has served more than 150 students in McLennan County in Central Texas. Of those students, 71 percent were from low socioeconomic homes, 48 percent had a disability, and 74 percent were first generation students. With the help of the EnAbled program, 97 percent of the participants were accepted into college. Continue Reading →

July 17, 2018
by cameron_bocanegra
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Follow-up Assessments Show early-intervention Program Improves Students’ early Math Skills [07/17/2018]

The Math for Early Learners Academy (MELA), now in its third year sponsored by the Baylor University School of Education, is underway through July 27 at Baylor’s Mayborn Museum, and research is showing that the summer early-intervention program serving early childhood students in Waco ISD is showing positive results.

Baylor faculty and graduate students have conducted follow-up math assessments of the students both of the previous years and found that the program is making a difference.

“After participating in MELA, students who were previously identified as being consistently below their peers in mathematics were found to be indistinguishable from their peers on a test of broad math ability,” said Sandi Cooper, Ph.D., professor of mathematics education in the department of curriculum and instruction and founder and director of MELA. “This suggests that participating in MELA enabled these students to not only make progress in math ability but also to close the gap between them and their peers.”

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June 6, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Spring 2018 “Impact” is now Online [06/06/2018]

The Spring 2018 issue of Baylor Impact is now available online. Check it out for stories about Baylor School of Education students, faculty, alumni and programs.

In this issue, you’ll find news of a prestigious national award and of a $2.5 million gift to the School, plus an inside look the SOE’s “Introduction to Teaching” class for first-year students, a faculty feature on Dr. Susan Johnsen, and news of publications in higher education studies — plus much, much more!

School of Education graduates should have received a printed copy of Impact in the mail. If you are a graduate and did not receive a printed copy, please email BaylorImpact@baylor.edu. Also feel free to email us with any news that the School needs to know!

May 29, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor SOE Launches Online EdD Program [05/29/2018]

Dr. Brooke Blevins recorded the lectures for her online fall semester class in the 2U studios in Maryland. The lectures will complement live class interactions between professor and students.

Baylor School of Education (SOE) is launching its first online program — the EdD in Learning and Organizational Change through the Department of Curriculum & Instruction (C&I). The new program is accepting applications immediately with a deadline of July 9, 2018, for fall 2018 classes.

Baylor is offering the program in partnership with the company 2U, Inc., to deliver instruction.

Dr. Sandi Cooper, professor in C&I and director of the program, said 2U is providing the technology platform, student support services, marketing and analytics, while the University and SOE faculty in C&I will maintain responsibility and control for all academic functions —admissions decisions, teaching, guiding students’ research work, and any other academic-related matters.

“At the core of the instructional delivery model is a genuine respect for what has always made Baylor great — a caring Christian environment, a strong and independent faculty, a commitment to academic rigor and scholarship, and a community of learners engaging in the critical interplay that comes from the intimacy of a live classroom,” Cooper said. Continue Reading →

March 1, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Education Students Study Abroad for Spring Break [03/01/2018]

SOE elementary education major Julianne Voigts in Octavio Paz Elementary in Queretaro, Mexico, in 2017

Students from the Baylor School of Education will participate in two study-abroad experiences during Spring Break the week of March 4-10. Undergraduate teacher-education students will be visiting schools and experiencing culture in Mexico and Costa Rica.

Queretaro, Mexico:

For the second year, students are traveling to Queretaro, Mexico, as part of the Carpenter Embedded Global Classroom. The trip is part of a semester-long class, “Social Issues in Education.” The imbedded structure gives students the opportunity to integrate and orient the global experience within their overall Baylor academic experience. Continue Reading →

January 11, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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SOE College Prep Program Sees Promising Results [01/11/2018]

Enable for College mentor

School of Education graduate student Jacy Latta is a mentor for “EnAbled for College.”

Results from the first three years of the Baylor School of Education’s EnAbled for College program show that high-school students working with trained mentors are reaching the next level of education.

Research has proven that at-risk and disabled high school students are less likely to pursue a post-secondary education. And without that education, many continue to live below the poverty line.

The School of Education’s Department of Educational Psychology is working to change that with a grant from the AT&T Foundation. Through the EnAbled for College mentorship program, now in its fourth year, Baylor graduate students mentor high-school students in the greater Waco community.

EnAbled for College serves about 50 high schoolers each year, and 100 percent of the program participants who graduated in May 2017 applied to a post-secondary educational institution. Of those seniors who applied, 97 percent were accepted to college. Continue Reading →

December 5, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor SOE Collaborates on Baylor Social Innovation Lab (BAY-SIC) Courses [12/05/2017]

Students experienced the river firsthand on a paddle trip.

The School of Education teamed up to offer a new kind of academic class at Baylor. This fall, Baylor launched a series of new classes to encourage collaboration among departments, faculty and students. Called “social innovation labs,” the classes are part of the wider Baylor Social Innovation Collaborative (BAY-SIC) initiative to develop deeper levels of problem solving through working with others and thinking differently.

The fall SOE offering was an interdisciplinary course called “Healthy River, Healthy Community.” The class encouraged students to investigate water issues around the world and in the Waco community. As faculty for the class, the SOE’s Dr. Sandi Cooper and Dr. Suzanne Nesmith were joined by instructors from Hankamer School of Business, the Department of Religion, College of Arts & Sciences, the Mayborn Museum, Informed Engagement, and the Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research. Cooper is professor of math education, and Nesmith is associate professor of science education and associate dean for undergraduate education. Continue Reading →

November 6, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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SOE Faculty Member Educates through a Settlement House [11/06/2017]


The yellow house on Waco’s Colcord Avenue may seem like any other house on the street, but it isn’t a typical house. This house is actually Good Neighbor Settlement House, a project founded by School of Education professor Dr. Laine Scales, who teaches in the Department of Educational Leadership and also serves Baylor’s Graduate School as associate dean.

A faith-based organization, Good Neighbor is modeled after the settlement houses of the nineteenth century. Good Neighbor believes Christians are called to love our neighbors. But Scales said that, in today’s world, there can be distance and fear even toward those closest to us, like our neighbors. Good Neighbor seeks to address that in its community through several avenues.

Scales said education is an important aspect of the mission. “I envisioned Go0d Neighbor House as a way to weave together my commitments to higher education, social work and faith,” she said. Continue Reading →

September 27, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor SOE to Host Science Educators [09/27/2017]

Nesmith and McCall

Baylor SOE science educators Dr. Suzanne Nesmith (left) and Dr. Madelon McCall are co-chairs of the Southwest ASTE conference for science educators in Waco on the Baylor campus.

Baylor School of Education (SOE) will host the regional conference of the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) on Sept. 29-30 at the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC). The seven-state Southwest region is composed of Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.

Baylor SOE science educators Dr. Madelon McCall, Clinical Assistant Professor and University Liaison at Midway High School, and Dr. Suzanne Nesmith, Associate Dean and Associate Professor, are co-chairs of the conference bringing science educators to Waco. Continue Reading →