Instant Impact

News from the Baylor School of Education

July 31, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Project Promise to Continue Through Baylor Community Outreach Grant [07/31/2017]

During three weeks of summer day camp on Baylor’s campus, students in the University for Young People program for gifted students can take classes ranging from forensics to robotics and from art to cooking.

Project Promise – a component of the School of Education’s University for Young People (UYP) that has served gifted and talented low-income Waco ISD students for almost two decades – will continue with funding available through a Baylor community outreach grant, Baylor University Interim Provost Michael K. McLendon, Ph.D., announced today.

Project Promise had received partial funding from a federal community block grant given to the city of Waco. However, as these federal grants continue to shrink, cities like Waco that receive them also face government constraints as to how to spend the dwindling funds. With the new funding provided by Baylor, Project Promise will continue to provide tuition, transportation, meals and mentor support at no cost to around 60 students from Waco ISD to participate in UYP programs with their peers.

Additional gifts to assist Project Promise in the future may be made online to the Center for Community Learning and Enrichment Excellence Fund.

Read the full story at the Baylor Media site.

July 28, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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iEngage Civics Camp Launches July 31 [07/28/2017]

U.S. Rep. Bill Flores and representatives from more than a dozen area agencies will be part of the week-long iEngage Summer Civics Institute at Baylor School of Education, beginning July 31. More than 100 fifth- through ninth-graders will learn about civics, government, and advocacy through the curriculum developed by co-founders Dr. Brooke Blevins and Dr. Karon LeCompte, both associate professors in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction.

Research published by the pair has demonstrated that children attending iEngage Summer Civics Institute enhance their understanding of community issues and the importance of civic responsibility.

“Following camp attendance, students demonstrated higher scores in their ability to organize a meeting, express their views in front of a group of people, write an opinion letter for the local newspaper, or contact an elected official,” Blevins said.

For more information and scheduling, read the Baylor Media story.

July 26, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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How Do You Identify (and Develop) Leadership Characteristics in Children? [07/26/2017]

Dr. Karon LeCompte

Dr. Karon LeCompte

“That child is a natural leader.” That’s something you might have heard, or maybe you’ve even said it. But is it true?

In the following Q&A, Baylor University’s Karon LeCompte, Ph.D., associate professor of curriculum and instruction and an expert on civics education and leadership theory, discusses the importance of investing in student leaders and how parents and teachers can identify leadership characteristics in their children.

LeCompte co-directs Baylor’s iEngage Summer Civics Institute (July 31-Aug. 4), a five-day program that helps students learn how to make a difference in their neighborhoods, schools and communities.

“Authentic leaders with experiences that manifest characteristics of extensive skills and high moral values will be on the front stage of our democracy,” she said. “They are the future. It is our responsibility to give them the best gifts that we can – our attention and faith in their ability to lead.

Read the Q&A at BAYLOR MEDIA.

July 14, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Math for Early Learners Academy Expands for Year Two [07/14/2017]

MELA Class

Hands-on activities help pre-kindergarten students understand numbers.

Research done in kindergarten classrooms has shown that a pilot program of the Baylor School of Education helped young students gain an advantage in math understanding, as compared to their peers.

The Baylor School of Education has launched its second year of the Math for Early Learners Academy (MELA), a summer early-intervention program for early childhood students in Waco ISD.

Last summer the program enrolled one class of 17 students who were entering kindergarten. During the school year, the MELA research team evaluated the children’s progress in early fall and late spring of the school year.

MELA assessment

Dr. Sandi Cooper conducts an assessment during the first week of MELA on the Baylor campus.

“Midway through the fall semester, we conducted an assessment of all the kindergarten children at Brook Avenue Elementary, including our MELA students,” said Dr. Sandi Cooper, professor of mathematics education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction and founder and director of MELA. “From those results we saw that our MELA students were ahead of their peers, which we expected in the short term.”

Cooper said that researchers gave another assessment at the end of April. “Once again, we saw that the MELA students were ahead of their peers, without any other intervention during the school year,” Cooper said. “We were very pleased that MELA gave them a boost that kept them moving forward in mathematics learning throughout the entire academic year.” Continue Reading →

July 12, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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New Leadership Roles in School of Education [07/12/2017]

Baylor School of Education has announced new leadership roles for several faculty members, including the appointment of an interim dean.

Baylor University Interim Provost Michael K. McLendon, Ph.D., has appointed Terrill F. Saxon, Ph.D., professor of educational psychology and associate dean for research and graduate education, as interim dean of the School of Education, effective immediately. Saxon earned his B.A. in psychology and M.S. in educational psychology from Baylor and his Ph.D. in educational psychology at the University of Kansas.

Saxon has served in several administrative roles in the School, including stints as department chair in educational psychology from 2001 to 2008 and from 2015 to 2017 and service as interim associate dean for academic affairs and faculty development from 2005 to 2006. He also directs the master’s programs in educational psychology. In the role of associate dean, his focus is on Ph.D. programs and research.

Read more on Saxon in the Baylor Media story.


Additionally, several faculty members in the Baylor School of Education (SOE) have taken on added leadership roles. McLendon, who served as School of Education dean before taking on the interim provost role, said the changes will leverage the expertise of faculty members for the benefit of the school, thereby broadening Baylor’s impact.

Leadership appointments in the School of Education:
Tony Talbert, Ed.D. — associate dean for strategic initiatives
Susan K. Johnsen, Ph.D. — interim chair, Department of Educational Psychology
Brooke Blevins, Ph.D. — associate chair, Department of Curriculum & Instruction
Rishi Sriram, Ph.D. — associate chair, Department of Educational Leadership Continue Reading →

June 14, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor School of Education Launches Freedom School [06/14/2017]

Baylor law professor Connie Powell Nichols reads to the Freedom School Scholars during the Read-A-Loud guest reader session on the first day.

Fifty rising 6th- and 7th-grade students from the Waco Independent School District will attend the first Baylor University School of Education sponsored Children’s Defense Fund® Freedom School from June 14 through July 28 at Cesar Chavez Middle School.

The CDF Freedom School model has deep roots in civic engagement that go back to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Today the program serves to connect students and their families to their local communities, encourage family and community involvement, empower children through literacy and reduce summer learning loss.

FULL STORY

June 2, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor Camp for Gifted & Talented Begins June 5 [06/02/2017]

Baylor School of Education’s summer enrichment program for gifted and talented students, University for Young People (UYP), launches June 5, 2017.

Baylor UYP’s program for 4th-12th grade students runs daily through June 23 on the Baylor campus. Students may choose from dozens of courses, taking one class in the morning and one in the afternoon. Courses for 2017 include developing a business, cooking, art, travel, short-form writing, computer science, history, biology of the human body, citizenship, LEGO animation, and robotics.

For 1st -4th grade students, there are two week-long programs beginning June 5 — “Creative Problem Solving Camp” and “Discovering Ideas with Technology,” both offered 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. daily at Hillcrest Professional Development School.

Baylor’s UYP program began more than 30 years ago, and expanded in 1999 to launch “Project Promise.” Continue Reading →

May 25, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Impact Newsletter Spring Issue is Online [05/25/2017]

The Spring 2017 issue of Baylor Impact is now available online. Check it out for stories about Baylor School of Education students, faculty, alumni and programs.

Two stories highlight faculty research that has blossomed into university-wide initiatives. The cover story explains how research by School of Education associate professor Dr. Nathan Alleman and his doctoral student led to a realization that some Baylor students experience food insecurity and an organized effort to help those students.

In addition, research into the experiences of student veterans as non-traditional students, started in 2010 by senior lecturer Dr. Janet Bagby, was the spark that ignited Baylor’s significant support system for veterans pursuing degrees at Baylor.

All this — plus great news about inspirational alumni, national awards, student success, faculty activity and grant funding — awaits you with a simple click!

School of Education graduates should receive a printed copy of Impact in the mail. If you are a graduate and do not receive a printed copy, please email BaylorImpact@baylor.edu.

May 22, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Education Faculty and Students Present at AERA [05/22/2017]

Doctoral student Elena Venegas was among students and faculty presenting at AERA.

Almost a dozen School of Education faculty, plus numerous graduate students, gave presentations on their research at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in San Antonio April 27-May 1. The annual meeting had a theme of “Knowledge to Action: Achieving the Promise of Equal Educational Opportunity” and focused on the progress toward pathways to equal educational opportunities.

Baylor presentations included:

“Critical Mirrors: Diverse College Students’ Perspectives on Stereotypes Depicted in Popular Films About College Life”
Students: Elena M Venegas, Toby Zhu
Faculty: Dr. Lakia M. Scott, Dr. Karon LeCompte, Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez
This qualitative study explored the perspectives of diverse college students on the portrayal of college life in recent popular films. Millennials often describe the U.S. as post-racial, yet findings reveal incongruity along racial lines. Findings suggest that White millennials believe society is post-racial while dismissing stereotypes in popular media as comedic satire. Whereas non-Whites readily identify the influence of negative media representations upon their academic and ethnic identities. Continue Reading →

May 3, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Dean McLendon Takes on Added Role as Hale Endowed Professor [05/03/2017]

Michael K. McLendon, Ph.D., dean of Baylor University’s School of Education, has been named The Fred and Edith Hale Endowed Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy and interim director of the Hale Center for Educational Leadership. McLendon will continue his duties as dean, said L. Gregory Jones, Ph.D., executive vice president and provost of Baylor University.

“Our Pro Futuris vision calls us to an intentional focus on leadership development, and these existing center and professorship assets, along with Dean McLendon’s national prominence as a scholar and an advisor to states and foundations on leadership and policy in both K-12 and higher education settings, will provide a new pathway for the University to achieve its vision in leadership initiatives,” Jones said.

Read the full story on the Baylor University site:

School of Education leader will continue duties as dean, reestablish Hale Center for “national visibility and regional impact.”