Instant Impact

News from Baylor School of Education

July 3, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Research-proven Early-intervention Math Program Launches for 2019 [07/03/2019]

Dr. Sandi Cooper, professor and MELA director, with students

Baylor’s Mathematics for Early Learners Academy (MELA) launched its fourth summer of math intervention for struggling young students on Monday, July 1. The program has proven effective in helping pre-K and kindergarten students who were identified as below level in mathematics to achieve and exceed grade level in their mathematics skills.

Founded in 2016 by the Baylor School of Education and Sandi Cooper, Ph.D., professor of mathematics education, the program is expanding this year, with 80 students from La Vega ISD and Waco ISD — 36 who just completed pre-K and 44 who just completed kindergarten. MELA 2019 is funded by a $74,000 grant from Waco’s Cooper Foundation. The partner school districts also provide significant support, including bus transportation and para-professional staff during MELA.

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June 24, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor Freedom Schools Helping to Prevent Summer Learning Loss in Waco Students [06/24/2019]

Baylor’s third annual Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools program has launched at Indian Spring Middle School and J.H. Hines Elementary School, both in-district charters through the Transformation Waco initiative of Waco ISD. The program will serve more than 170 students, providing quality literacy enrichment from June 12 – July 26. The program is free to students and includes field trips, special guests and meals.

Freedom Schools literacy program exposes students to culturally relevant books for maximum student engagement and the prevention of summer learning loss. Freedom Schools also offers curriculum in social action, character building and STEAM activities. Freedom Schools students, called “scholars,” will participate in community service and create a project for the National Day of Social Action focusing on gun violence and awareness.

Dr. Lakia Scott with Freedom School scholars

Lakia M. Scott, Ph.D., assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in the Baylor School of Education and executive director of Baylor’s Freedom School, said the program has successfully  prevented summer learning loss in participants. For 2018 participants, who were middle school students only, 100 percent either improved (80 percent) or maintained (20 percent) in independent in-text word recognition skills. And 94 percent of scholars increased or maintained comprehension, based on independent questioning, with 77 percent increasing and 17 percent maintaining. Continue Reading →

June 12, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Local Social Studies Teachers to Explore Cameron Park and Branch Davidian History [06/12/2019]

Social Studies

Baylor’s Texas Collection was the site of one session for the HOT Social Studies teachers’ conference in 2018.

Baylor School of Education (SOE), in collaboration with the Heart of Texas Council for the Social Studies (HOTCSS), will host the Social Studies Academy (SSA) Summer Summit on June 18-20. Launched in 2017, the three-day seminar is one of three annual events SSA hosts to bring together Central Texas social studies teachers and Baylor teacher-education faculty members. Together they share engaging curriculum from their own classrooms while developing professionalism and community involvement. Continue Reading →

May 30, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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SOE Hosted 12th Annual Higher Education Conference [05/30/2019]

Baylor School of Education and the Department of Educational Leadership hosted the 12th annual Christian Higher Education Leadership Seminar on the Baylor campus May 19-22. The seminar is sponsored by the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities (IABCU) and is geared toward leaders of faith-based colleges and universities.

The 30 participants included faculty, deans, program heads, and future administrators in Christian institutions of higher education from across the country. Speakers at this year’s Seminar comprised university professors, chaplains, provosts, directors, deans, and academic scholars.

Dr. Rishi Sriram, associate professor of higher education and associate chair for the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership spoke at this year’s seminar and completed his third year as the conference’s director. Continue Reading →

May 23, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor Students and Faculty Create Outdoor Learning Space at Local Elementary [05/23/2019]

Dr. Stephanie Boddie (right) celebrates the dedication of the greenhouse at Connally Elementary with principal Eric Cantu (center) and James Bates (left) of the Baylor School of Engineering and Computer Science.

Connally Elementary School is celebrating a new greenhouse and outdoor learning environment, thanks to the work of Baylor assistant professor Dr. Stephanie Boddie and graduate students from the Baylor School of Education, Truett Seminary and the School of Engineering and Computer Science. Boddie holds joint faculty appointments in the School of Education, Truett Seminary and the School of Social Work.

The greenhouse project has spanned the entire academic year and began in the fall when Boddie taught the course “Education from a Gardener’s Perspective” to graduate education and seminary students. The first day of class was a literal walk through a garden. Then the class planned the space; for their midterm grade, the class collaborated to write a grant proposal. One of 900 applications submitted to the Whole Kids Foundation, the project received $2,000 to build the self-sufficient geodesic dome and support it with life-science lesson plans. Boddie’s fall students wrote the curriculum. Continue Reading →

April 11, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor Education Students Teach English to Elementary and High School Students in Costa Rica [04/11/2019]

The Baylor University School of Education hosted a mission trip over spring break to San Jose, Costa Rica, taking a group of 19 students – including a Baylor pre-business major who grew up in the community he returned to serve – and faculty members to work in an elementary school and high school in the rural community of Santa Elena.

Members of the Costa Rica education trip had the opportunity to teach classes that helped Costa Ricans practice their English and participate in a community philanthropic event to help the schools and the Santa Elena community with their education and English skills.

“It was an amazing experience with the teachers, community members and students at the school,” said Trena L. Wilkerson, Ph.D., mission trip staff leader and graduate program director in the Baylor School of Education. “We learned so much and had a chance to engage in cultural activity so that we all shared our backgrounds. Dr. Randy Wood and I began this partnership 11 years ago. It has been a wonderful experience where we have developed lasting friendships. One of the best things has been watching the children grow up over the 11 years and see where they are now. When we go back each year and see them—again it is like family.”

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February 7, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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SOE’s Sport Management Grads Contributing to Elite Baylor Basketball Programs [02/07/2019]

Graduates of the Sport Management Program on the men’s basketball staff are Aditya Malhotra (fourth from left, black shirt), John Jakus (center, gray suit), and Ty Beard (second from right).

Sport Management graduate Kaylin Rice (center) counts cheering on the sidelines among her duties as Associate Director of Operations for the Lady Bears.

Four graduates of the Baylor Sport Management master’s program are making significant contributions to two of the nation’s elite basketball programs, and they’ve done so without leaving campus. Right here at Baylor, these graduates were a part of NCAA Tournament runs for both the women’s and men’s basketball teams, and helped the Lady Bears achieve a No. 1 national ranking and Big 12 regular season and tournament championships.*

Three graduates are working in the men’s basketball program and one in women’s basketball. They said that the Sport Management (SPM) program, which they completed through the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership, taught them to foster personal relationships as well as master financial management, facility and event management, marketing, psychology, and ethical issues in the sports world. Each Sport Management MSEd student also completes an internship. Opportunities are available in Baylor Athletics as well as in outside agencies including the American Football Coaches Association, Boys & Girls Clubs, Sodexo, SMG, Baylor IMG, and McLennan Community College. Continue Reading →

November 5, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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SOE to Host Chet Edwards Lecture [11/05/2018]

The Honorable Chet Edwards, former U.S. Representative and Baylor’s W.R. Poage Distinguished Chair of Public Service, will present “Education and Education Policy” on Thursday, Nov. 8, from 5 to 5:45 p.m. in room 101 (Packard Auditorium) of Marrs McLean Science Building. The event is sponsored by the School of Education’s Department of Curriculum & Instruction.

“This is an excellent opportunity for learning and interaction with an expert during a time of many changes and questions around education and education policy in our country,” said Dr. Trena Wilkerson, Baylor mathematics education professor and president-elect of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. “This should be an informative event for students, faculty and community members. We are fortunate to have former Congressman Edwards share his insights.”

The department will provide refreshments, and Dr. Tony Talbert, professor and associate dean of the School of Education, will introduce Edwards. Continue Reading →

October 30, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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SOE Mission Trip Helps Costa Rican Student Enroll at Baylor [10/30/2018]

Bryan Lizano

Costa Rica freshman Bryan Lizano (second from left) is greeted at the Waco airport by Baylor faculty (l-r) Dr. Randy Wood, Dr. Trena Wilkerson and Dr. Debra Burleson.

Ten years ago, Bryan Lizano was a fifth-grade boy in Costa Rica, carefully watching a group of Baylor School of Education students completing mission work at Santa Elena School. He noticed how different these Baylor students were. It wasn’t just their accents and the slang they used. It was all the knowledge they shared about a university they loved. Lizano, a Nicaraguan refugee, liked the image of Baylor they showed by their service projects — painting the school’s walls, teaching, and developing relationships with the students.

Bryan Lizano

Bryan (back row, third from right) with the Baylor volunteers at Santa Elena School in March 2017.

As the idea of Baylor became more vivid each year the students came back, Lizano realized he wanted to become a Baylor student himself. Through support from Baylor students and professors, a dream became reality for Lizano, a freshman interested in studying computer sciences and the first graduate of his technical high school to attend a university in the U.S., with a full tuition scholarship to Baylor.

“Because we’ve know Bryan so long from the trips, he was always an active part of our activities; when he got here, it felt like he had already been a part of the Baylor family for years,” said Dr. Trena Wilkerson, professor in the School of Education. “Our Costa Rica mission students helped him to understand what Baylor is and what we stand for. They saw what a tremendous young man he is.” Continue Reading →

October 29, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Civics Education Expert Comments on Sandra Day O’Connor’s Legacy, Inspiration [10/29/2018]

Brooke Blevins

Recently, the nation heard from former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the nation’s highest court, that she is officially stepping away from public life due to health reasons.

In her letter to the nation, O’Connor shared about her commitment to civics education and, specifically, the creation of iCivics – free online interactive games and curriculum designed to teach the core principles of civics to middle and high school students.

Brooke Blevins, Ph.D., serves as associate professor of social studies education and associate chair of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction in Baylor’s School of Education. She and Karon LeCompte, Ph.D., associate professor of curriculum and instruction, conducted the first independent research study of iCivics effectiveness. Blevins and LeCompte also launched iEngage Summer Civics Institutewhich is supported by a grant from the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation. The researchers were honored by O’Connor for their research and commitment to iCivics and civics education.

READ DR. BLEVINS’ COMMENTS