Instant Impact

News from Baylor School of Education

August 21, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Impact LLC Welcomes New Program Director [08/21/2019]

Ryan W. Erck, new Program Director for Impact Living-Learning Center (LLC), wants to make sure that students in the LLC have the kind of community experience that he missed out on when he was a college freshman. Impact LLC, which is a partner of the School of Education, is located in South Russell Hall and is home to 240 Baylor students, both male and female.

Erck said, “Impact LLC creates cohesive spaces for students to have very meaningful interactions with faculty, staff and peers. Residential learning communities embody an experience that provides many campus amenities in one place. Impact LLC reflects the larger campus culture, but on a micro-scale — encompassing things like study areas, fitness spaces, technology areas and classrooms.”

As a college freshman, Erck chose to hold down a job while attending school and didn’t take advantage of a residential community, he said. He earned his BS in Leadership and Development and his MS in Educational Human Resource Development, both from Texas A&M University. Erck is now a doctoral candidate pursuing a PhD in Higher Education Studies and Leadership in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership. Despite these obvious accomplishments, Erck said that his chances for success would have been better if he had lived in an intentional community during his early college experience, and he suggests that students look for this kind of experience when exploring housing options during the college application process. Continue Reading →

August 2, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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iEngage Civics Camp Builds Students’ Civic Knowledge [08/02/2019]

Students work on their civics project, guided by an iEngage counselor.

With civics education largely disappearing from school curricula, in 2009, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor decided to address the issue by founding iCivics, a free online website that teaches civics concepts using educational games. The retired Justice’s vision for civics education has expanded over the years at Baylor University through the iEngage Summer Civics Institute.

From Aug. 5-9, 100 fifth- through ninth-grade students will learn about civics at the annual summer camp hosted by the Baylor School of Education through a grant from the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation.

iEngage is directed by education faculty members and camp co-founders Brooke Blevins, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the department of curriculum and instruction, and Karon LeCompte, Ph.D., associate professor of curriculum and instruction.

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July 23, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor Beginning Teacher Institute Provides Professional Development, Creates Community [07/22/2019]

Dr. Barbara Purdum-Cassidy, clinical assistant professor and director of the Beginning Teacher Institute, greets the graduates.

Second-grade teacher Katelyn Hamilton described her first year of teaching as a “complete whirlwind.”

“When you work with kids there are no dull moments, and being a new teacher is like dodging 100 baseballs at once while being blindfolded,” Hamilton said. “Whether it’s avoiding someone’s puke or bathroom accident, comforting a crying student during your class yearbook photo or chasing a rogue child around the school in your favorite pair of shoes, each day is an adventure. But for every challenging moment I encountered, it was all worth it for the spontaneous hugs, the strange knock-knock jokes, the handmade cards and the ‘aha’ moments that all teachers love. For every hard moment, there was a moment of clarity.”

Baylor School of Education’s inaugural Beginning Teacher Institute brought early-career teachers like Hamilton together for two days in June to provide development and training while connecting them with other educators and friends who are in the beginning stages of their careers.

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July 8, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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An American Intern in Paris [07/08/2019]

Rachel Renbarger, an educational psychology doctoral student at Baylor, is in the midst of a six-month data-analysis internship in Paris with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The OECD offers many internships — 40 in education alone. However, Renbarger was the only intern selected as a data analyst for the study on social and emotional skills. “Day to day, I’ll be doing a lot of teamwork and a lot of collaboration,” Renbarger said.

During her time working on the study, the main focus is on field data – working to make sure that everything is set to run smoothly later in the study. “I think it’s going to be really great to collaborate with people who are from outside the U.S., because I haven’t done that before,” Renbarger said. Continue Reading →

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 26, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor’s Center for Christian Education Announces Inaugural Holder of Chair in Christian School Leadership [06/26/2019]

Eckert

Dr. Jon Eckert speaking at the inaugural Academy for Transformational Leadership, hosted by the Baylor Center for Christian Education

Baylor University today announced the installation of Jon Eckert, Ed.D., as the inaugural holder of The Lynda and Robert Copple Endowed Chair in Christian School Leadership within the School of Education. The installation was part of The Academy for Transformational Leadership, a continuing education and leadership training conference hosted by Baylor’s Center for Christian Education.

The newly established chair was made possible through a gift from Lynda and Robert Copple of Frisco. The Copples are long-time supporters of Baylor University and members of the National Campaign Steering Committee for Give Light, Baylor’s recently announced $1.1 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign.

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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 18, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor SOE Hosts Institute for Graduates who are Early-Career Elementary Teachers [06/18/2019]

Boe Classroom

Early-career teachers who are Baylor SOE graduates will be back on campus June 21-22 for professional development. When they share stories from their first-year teaching adventures, the alumna who set up this classroom will have a tale to tell. She had only been a teacher for seven days when her first classroom was lost to Hurricane Harvey.*

More than 20 elementary classroom teachers who are recent graduates of Baylor School of Education (SOE) will be on campus June 21 – 22 for the inaugural Baylor Beginning Teacher Institute (BBTI).

The free professional development opportunity is offered as a benefit for Baylor graduates who are current elementary teachers and who earned degrees in general education, elementary education, special education, or gifted-and-talented programs in 2016, 2017, or 2018. Only limited spots were available for the institute’s first year, and the program will expand to secondary graduates for 2020.

By supporting early-career teachers, Baylor SOE hopes to improve retention in the teaching profession, said Dr. Barbara Purdum-Cassidy, clinical professor and coordinator of the School of Education’s elementary education program, the School’s largest major. Continue Reading →

May 29, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Spring Issue of “Baylor Impact” is now Online [05/29/2019]

The Spring 2019 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 learn the secrets to teaching with creativity from the new book by associate professor Dr. Todd Kettler. You’ll also read about the new MAT program, outstanding students and graduates, faculty who are leaders at the national level, upcoming events, Centennial updates  — 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 2, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor Professors Take Over Authorship of Popular McGraw-Hill Series [05/02/2019]

Talbert and Magill

Dr. Tony Talbert (left) and Dr. Kevin Magill are the new editors of “Taking Sides.”

For 35 years, the popular McGraw-Hill historical text series Taking Sides: Clashing Views in U.S. History has been edited and authored by former history professors. Now the baton has been passed to Baylor School of Education faculty Dr. Tony L. Talbert and Dr. Kevin R. Magill. The duo’s background in social studies and pedagogy brands their writing of the 18th edition with a unique edge of cultural and social consideration while consciously reaching for the reader’s attention. Since 1985, the most successful companion classroom resource has analyzed historical nuances between facts to provide a well-rounded perspective for students and educators.

Flip through a traditional American history textbook and you will find the expected ­­­­– a linear progression of facts, drawn from primary resources, about what happened before and after the Civil War. Every event from the American Revolution to the Civil Rights movement is covered and drilled down to the basics. But Magill and Talbert do not find the past so simply compartmentalized. Continue Reading →