college of education | fall 2006
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On the first floor, a sleek new student lounge has been created, complete with sea green carpet, modern chairs and well-placed study areas, along with a state-of-the-art multimedia lab. Nearby, down the stairs, is a Sparty’s coffee shop and dining area with booths where students, faculty and visitors can relax with a latte or eat some lunch. The spruce-up was the idea of Dean Carole Ames, said building manager Eric Mulvany, who has efficiently overseen the improvement of this site.
On the college’s
second floor, a new video-editing lab was completed this past summer
with new walls, workstations and equipment. The Student Affairs Advising
Office is also being redone to include new offices, new workstations and
new carpet. In the spring, the building’s second floor will get new
floor-work and in summer 2007, all of the mauve on the fifth floor will
be replaced with something more modern, Ames promises.
Several external projects are also underway, with a building expansion and new front fašade and patio that should both be completed by April/May 2007.
INSTITUTE NETS $800,000 IN FEDERAL GRANTS FOR CHINESE LANGUAGE
The Foreign Language Assistance Grant (flap) awards were announced formally by Deputy U.S. Secretary of Education Ray Simon at a news conference held at the University Club on Oct. 4.
The awards are a part of President George W. Bush’s National Security Language Initiative, a $57 million plan to create incentives to teach and study critical-need languages such as Chinese, Arabic, Japanese and Korean.
Under the Bush plan, 24 U.S. school districts, including Lansing and Dearborn, Mich., will partner with colleges and universities to create the new language programs, according to the Department of Education. The grants are in response to a critical foreign language skills shortage, and will help advance national security and global competitiveness, Simon said.
The College of Education project was led by MSU Distinguished Professor Yong Zhao. He and his colleagues began the partnership with Lansing’s Post Oak Elementary School this fall. Thirty-two students at Post Oak study in a Chinese/English immersion preschool. The program has been so popular that there is currently a waiting list.
In fall 2007, the Lansing district will be offering two full-day kindergarten classrooms of the EGC Schools’ bilingual-bicultural immersion model. This step represents a commitment to provide Lansing students with a Chinese immersion education that will eventually span from preschool to 12th grade, Zhao said.
William H. Schmidt, a university distinguished professor, has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Education.
Schmidt, an MSU professor of educational psychology and measurement and quantitative methods, is one of only three scholars in the world chosen for membership in recognition of their pioneering efforts in educational research and policy development.
“Bill’s appointment to this prestigious organization brings honor and credit both to him and to Michigan State,” said university President Lou Anna K. Simon. “His outstanding scholarship and ongoing efforts—particularly to improve the quality of math and science teaching, both nationally and internationally—are tremendous examples of what MSU’s land-grant tradition and ‘world-grant’ aspirations are all about.”
Schmidt is co-director of the Education Policy Center at MSU, the U.S.-China Center for Educational Excellence and co-principal investigator of the $35-million project known as Promoting Rigorous Outcomes in Mathematics and Science Education, or prom/se.
Through much of the 1990s, Schmidt also served as project coordinator and executive director of the U.S. National Research Center for the influential Third International Mathematics and Science Study, which involved dozens of countries and chronicled the lagging achievement of American k–12 students in mathematics and science.
In announcing his membership, the academy described his research as having “enormous impact on national and international policy and research primarily through his work on international comparison of educational achievement.”
Schmidt received his doctorate from the University of Chicago and came to MSU in 1969. He was appointed a university distinguished professor by the MSU Board of Trustees in 1998.
The National Academy of Education is an honorary society that currently has 129 members and eight international associates. Total membership is limited to 150 scholars. Through the years its members have included such luminaries as anthropologist Margaret Mead and psychologist Jean Piaget. The academy was founded in 1965 to advance the highest quality education research and its use in policy formation and practice.
This fall, the college began a media partnership with news-talk radio station WJR-FM in Detroit. With the help of communications manager Russ White, the college created one-minute news stories that were broadcast during the station’s live tailgate show two hours prior to kickoff before MSU football games.
The news segments, which also were aired during the station’s daily broadcast schedule, featured several college experts talking about how their research benefits consumers. Those professors who were featured included William Schmidt, Joan Ferrini-Mundy, Sharif Shakrani, Yong Zhao, Sonya Gunnings-Moton, Barbara Markle and Dan Gould.
The news spots can be heard at the college’s Web site at www.educ.msu.edu/ .
The Office of Rehabilitation and Disabilities Studies is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and will hold several celebrations to mark this significant milestone in the program’s history.
The program has been ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report since 2003, and has gained significant national visibility particularly over the past two decades, said Michael Leahy, the director of the Office of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, where the master’s and doctoral degree programs are located. The office also includes a professional development program (reach) and a research and program evaluation unit.
“We are really becoming well-known in the profession,” Leahy said. “We receive applications for our master’s and doctoral programs from all over the nation and world.”
The idea for the program came from a group of people at Michigan State University and the public rehabilitation program (Michigan Rehabilitation Services) in the state of Michigan who requested a grant from the federal government, under the Rehabilitation Act, to create a graduate-level rehabilitation counseling program in 1954, Leahy said. “In 1955 they were able to hire the faculty, and in 1956 they started the master’s program,” he said. “They started the doctoral program around 1960.”
The master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling prepares individuals to work directly with people with disabilities as a counselor in the various practice settings within the rehabilitation service delivery system. Graduates of the program are eligible for national certification as a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC) and state licensure as a licensed professional counselor (LPC), he said. The doctoral program in rehabilitation counselor education is designed to prepare individuals, the future stewards of the profession, for careers as university-based educators, researchers and scholars in the rehabilitation counseling profession.
Seven full-time members constitute the program’s faculty, professional development and research staff, Leahy said, with approximately 30 master’s and 22 doctoral students currently enrolled in the programs.
“All of our faculty have been leaders in the field, throughout the history of our program,” he said. “As a group we’ve contributed substantially to the evolution of rehabilitation counseling profession, and we are particularly proud of the many contributions our master’s and doctoral graduates have made to the field and the individuals they have served in practice.”
The first celebration was held at the Michigan Rehabilitation Conference in Traverse City on Nov. 15.
BOOMING JOB MARKET FOR EDUCATION STATISTICIANS
“The effect has been really dramatic because the No Child Left Behind Act has a lot of very specific requirements on test information that states have to provide to the federal government,” said Mark Reckase, an MSU professor of measurement and qualitative methods who worked for 17 years as an ACT employee.
State departments of education are now required to administer standardized tests to students as part of nclb. Reckase said that because most departments lack the resources, they contract commercial testing companies to create, score and analyze tests. Then, someone from the state department of education must interpret the results and report them to the federal government.
“There are two major kinds of jobs that have been created,” Reckase said. “One is working in the state departments of education, and the other is at the commercial testing companies.”
He said that departments of education are in need of experts to interpret test results and report them to the federal government and state legislators, and commercial testing companies need experts to develop and analyze tests and test results.
“New Ph.D.s that
are coming out with limited experience are probably starting somewhere
in the $80,000 and up range,” Reckase said, “and negotiating from