News and Events

Project Operate : 2017

February 6th, 2017

Join us Feb. 25 for an information session for our accelerated fully online master’s degree in Special Education leading to a state of Florida endorsement in ASD.

The session will be held in room 100 of the Green Library at the MMC Campus from 10am to 2pm live and virtually.

Students will begin the fast-paced, intense, online program in August 2017 and will graduate 12 months later in August 2018.

Full tuition funding will be provided to a cohort of nine students through the Project OPERATE grant. However, students are required to pay for their own textbooks and will be expected to meet a service obligation requirement.

Admissions requirements include:

  • Current certification in Special Education
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • Three letters of recommendation

Please RSVP for the session to receive the virtual link, to receive an application, and to apply for Project OPERATE funding by sending an email to operate@fiu.edu.

For more information on the fully online Master of Science in Special Education program, click here.

Fall 2016 is a wrap!

December 16th, 2016

Dear friends and colleagues,

As the semester comes to a close, I have been honored to work with faculty, staff, students, and alumni on what was a productive year in the School of Education and Human Development. In the short time I have served as executive director, I have developed a stronger appreciation for the commitment our faculty and staff have for our students, and for the leadership they demonstrate within their respective professions. Congratulations to our 2016 graduates! Our students continue to show they are among the best and the brightest.

Here are some other bright spots of 2016:

Five Art Education alumni received top honors at this year’s Florida Art Education Conference in Naples and Abdiel Acosta, a student in our Art Education Master’s program won first place at the Coconut Grove Art Festival and the FIU Provost Graduate Student Award for Outstanding Creative Project.

Our Fall Career Fair helped more than 100 students connect and network with school districts throughout Florida and from the East Coast.

In November, we welcomed more than 400 Future Educators of America members and teachers from high schools in Miami-Dade, Broward, Lee and Collier counties for our annual FEA conference, which offers high school students an opportunity to interact, network, and learn from leaders in education, peers and college students while highlighting the many advantages of a career in education. 

Our fall graduates now join a strong network of more than 26,000 leaders and we encourage you to stay connected, through alumni events and ongoing community activities.

We hope you had a great 2016 and on behalf of the School of Education and Human Development I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a happy and healthy New Year!

Sincerely,

Laura Dinehart
Executive Director
School of Education and Human Development

Joseph Sanchez, Worlds Ahead Graduate

December 13th, 2016

Two debilitating illnesses made Joseph Sanchez’s pursuit of a bachelor’s degree a five-year ordeal.

Diagnosed with cerebral palsy and Crohn’s disease, Joseph has undergone 18 surgeries on his eyes, legs and abdomen. One surgery was so intense it forced him to stay home for a year and recover.

Joseph SanchezDuring that time, he kept in touch with friends and one of them suggested he take an introductory recreational therapy course. Taking that class was a “Eureka!” moment for Joseph because he had found a career where he had a hands-on role in helping people like himself overcome disabilities.

Joseph credits his mentors, professors Cari Autry and Alexis McKenney, for sparking the interest in a career that will allow him to meld his love for technology with his passion for helping people with disabilities. He also heaps praise on the patient driving instructor who helped him learn to drive over the course of 15 months. This allowed Joseph to commute to an internship and gave him his first taste of independence.

After commencement, Joseph looks forward to finding a job in the recreational therapy field where he can help his patients use technology to improve their skills or cognitive abilities. He also plans to earn a master’s degree in recreational therapy and to one day move out of his parents’ home and live independently.

Colleges of Education, Arts & Sciences merge

September 29th, 2016

Dear Students and Alumni,

I am so pleased to share with all of you the exciting year we have had!  Your College of Education has merged with the College of Arts & Sciences to provide us with an even greater opportunity to confront the challenges that we face in education and beyond.  As students and alumni of the School of Education and Human Development (SEHD) within the College of Arts, Sciences & Education, you can be proud of where your school is today! 

It is a great honor for me to have been appointed as interim executive director.  During my short tenure in this position, I can tell you among the most rewarding parts of my job is listening to students and alumni tell their success stories and learning how FIU’s School of Education and Human Development played a role in where they are today.

To keep you up to date on what’s happening in your school, we have created a SEHD newsletter which will show up in your inbox soon. I am so excited about all the wonderful accomplishments and activities going on here that I can’t wait for you to receive it!

I look forward to your feedback. To our alumni, I want to hear all about where you are today and what you are doing. To promote this effort, we have created a hashtag just for you. Tweet us with #FIUSEHDALUMNI and tell us how we influenced you! Keep us posted!

Sincerely,

Laura Dinehart
Interim Executive Director

SEHD offers new online graduate Teacher Leadership Certificate

July 5th, 2016

Teacher Leadership Certificate

If you’re looking to branch out from the classroom, FIU’s fully-online Teacher Leadership Graduate Certificate could help you grow into a leadership position in as little as four months.

Designed for teachers who work full time, the fully-online certificate program in the School of Education and Human Development can be completed in the Fall or Spring semester, when it’s most convenient for you.

Upon completion, graduates are highly qualified to work as resource providers, instructional or curriculum specialists, mentors, school team leaders or data coaches.

Coursework can also be applied toward a master’s or education specialist’s degree program in educational leadership.

For additional information click here, or for questions on admission to the spring semester, please contact tchrleaders@fiu.edu.

Program of Study
EDA 6192 – Leadership in Education
EDA 6195 – Communication in Educational Leadership
EDA 6503 – Instructional Leadership
EDA 6928 – Special Topics: School Improvement
EDA 7943 – Field Projects

Admissions Requirements
Applicant Letter/Statement of Intent
Two Letters of Recommendation
Florida Department of Education Educator Certificate
Click here for Graduate Admissions deadlines

Doctoral student keeps students interested in STEM

March 30th, 2016

Remy Photo 2

When Remy Dou began teaching high school biology, he reveled in seeing his best and brightest students understand challenging concepts.

Thanks to a mentor, he soon realized that approach was all wrong.

“For teachers, we see the most engaged students and we take their success as a sign of our great teaching skills because you see the results right away and it feels good,” Dou, 33, said. “When you target the least-engaged students, it forces you to bring out out whatever skills you have to get that student motivated and learning something.”

What worked for Dou, a Curriculum and Instruction doctoral student in the College of Arts, Sciences & Education, was developing closer relationships with students.

Talking to his students and attending their sporting events, for example, got them to take more interest in class and ultimately to get better grades, Dou said.

It’s that combination of the social and the scientific that Dou has made the focus of his doctoral research because as the global economy has shifted more toward the technical and scientific, he wants more students to find and keep those lucrative jobs.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the demand for jobs in the Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields is strong.

The number of jobs in STEM fields are projected to grow by 17 percent or roughly twice as fast as non-STEM occupations through 2018. STEM workers also command salaries that are 26 percent higher than non-STEM jobs, according to the Department of Commerce.

FIU, where more than 11,500 students major in STEM fields, has made significant commitments to improving STEM education. President Mark B. Rosenberg was recently named chairman of a National Academy of Sciences committee to develop benchmarks and tracking tools for STEM education.

The College of Arts, Sciences & Education is also home to FIUTeach, a secondary STEM teacher preparation initiative, and the STEM Transformation Institute, which has reshaped the way science courses are taught throughout the university.

Six science courses are taught in two state-of-the-art active learning classrooms, where professors eschew the traditional lecture model and students collaborate with one another to tackle scientific challenges hands-on.

It’s in these classrooms where Dou conducts his research.

“Seeing value in relationships led me to focus on looking at relationships in the classroom in my research and the impact of relationships between students and instructors,” Dou said. “It’s a social justice issue, for me. I want students of all backgrounds to have the ability to pursue STEM careers where employment is more secure and they can earn higher level salaries.”

According to the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), today’s STEM work force is not as diverse as it could be.

Women and minorities make up a fraction of today’s STEM work force. Women, for example, make up 48 percent of the work force, yet they account for only 23 percent of all STEM employees. The numbers are worse for blacks and Hispanics, who represent a mere 12 percent of STEM workers, according to NMSI.

The question Dou and other researchers are asking is how can educators help students maintain and develop an interest in science fields that will help them continue on in science careers.

“What we’ve seen in our modeling instruction courses is students interacting with one another,” Dou said. “Success depends on how students interact with one another – it doesn’t always mean that you’re the person who is speaking. You also have to listen, participate and be engaged. These classes are designed so that those things happen naturally.”

Dou, who won a recent student poster competition held by the American Association for the Advancement on Science, is continuing to work on identifying the intangibles that will ultimately help students succeed in STEM.

 

Teaching, not testing makes better students

March 3rd, 2016

Hand completing a multiple choice exam.

Teaching is more than just assembling a series of best practices that are expected to lead students to perfect standardized test scores.

According to an article published by Assistant Professor James Burns, who joined FIU’s College of Arts, Sciences & Education faculty in January, teachers should be lifelong learners who inspire their students to take a critical view of the world around them.

Teachers and teacher educators can do this by:

  • Developing an understanding of teaching and learning as a lifelong process
  • Focusing learning on critical thinking, curiosity, sharing ideas and igniting emotions
  • Relying less on routine, formulaic ways of teaching
  • Focusing less on teaching students to “bank” knowledge
  • Developing a culturally sustaining curriculum that encourages community building, dialogue and democracy

“When we look at education as if it were a consumer good that we purchase to get something else, we’re thinking of it as a private benefit rather than a public good.” said Burns, who earned the Distinguished Research in Teacher Education Award from the Association of Teacher Educators due to his work on “Countering the Essentialized Discourse of Teacher Education.” The work was published recently in the Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education.

“This view of education is very reductive – it resembles to me a regime of discipline,” he added. “What kind of adults will we produce if we’re churning out children like they’re cogs in a machine?”

According to the study, policy makers have instituted a wave of educational standards and increased standardized testing across the board since the 1970s, leaving little room for students and teachers to do anything other than follow prescribed lessons that have reframed education as work force training.

Teacher education has failed to consistently challenge that trend and the assumptions behind it, Burns said. Theorists from John Dewey to Paulo Freire have warned that instrumental education ultimately creates adults who lack the critical consciousness necessary to a vibrant democracy such as empathy, compassion, and commitment to participatory public values, according to the research.

Increasingly, states and the federal government have relied on standardized tests to determine school funding and, now, teacher pay.

Even higher education is not immune. According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, 32 states including Florida have instituted a performance-based funding model for colleges and universities and five more are in the process of developing a performance-funding system.

Burns and his colleagues argue that despite 40 years of tougher, punitive standards, increased data collection, and the marginalization of teachers, it’s not too late to move away from what they call the “Wal-Marting of teacher education.”

To bring the educational system back into focus, the researchers call on teachers and teacher educators to publicly criticize the minimalist and flawed assumptions they say have driven education policy.

In Miami-Dade County, there’s already a shift taking place. For example, the school district’s superintendent has already cut back on more than 300 exams. Nationally, President Obama has called for testing to be capped at 2 percent of classroom time.

Burns, for one, is helping his graduate and undergraduate students develop the mindset of being part of a holistic teaching and learning environment where students can have more opportunities for reflection, inquiry and self-directed learning that inspires creativity.

“What I do in my classroom is use a pedagogy of counter-narrative,” he said. “We devote time to discussing how my students view themselves as teachers, what their values are, what their larger social role will be – but this will be hard work for them to continue once they enter their own classrooms.

“They’ll be under pressure from their schools, and they’re being evaluated by the state, which will use ‘metrics of accountability’ that have nothing to do with truly educating a child,” he added.

Online Master of Special Education Info Session

January 22nd, 2016

Join us Feb. 6 for an information session for our accelerated fully online master’s degree in Special Education leading to a state of Florida endorsement in ASD.

The session will be held in room 100 of the Green Library at the MMC Campus from 10am to 2pm live and virtually.

Students will begin the fast-paced, intense, online program in August 2016 and will graduate 12 months later in August 2017.

Full tuition funding will be provided to a cohort of nine students through the Project Operate grant. However, students are required to pay for their own textbooks and will be expected to meet a service obligation requirement.

Admissions requirements include:

  • Current certification in Special Education
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • Three letters of recommendation

Please RSVP for the session to receive the virtual link, to receive an application, and to apply for Project Operate funding by sending an email to operate@fiu.edu.

For more information on the fully online Master of Science in Special Education program, click here.

Prepare students for GK Test

January 22nd, 2016

We are offering workshops and study sessions that can help our students learn the resources and skills necessary to perform well on the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations: General Knowledge Test. Passing the exam is a crucial step toward earning a Florida teacher certification and is a prerequisite to be fully admitted into any teacher preparation program.

PASS: Perfecting Assessment Success Skills – 2016 Workshop Series

April 8 | 3:30pm – 5pm | ZEB 212
Student Panel—Test Taking Tips

Learn the best strategies to study for, and be successful on, the General Knowledge Test from students who have recently passed.

PASS: Perfecting Assessment Success Skills – Study with a Buddy

Our ongoing study hall sessions provide a great way to prepare for the General Knowledge Test with other students. Tutors are available on the last Friday of the month to help with questions on each of the four GK sections: Math, English, Reading, and Essay. Make sure to attend one of the dates and times below.

Upcoming sessions:

April 29
3:30pm – 5pm in ZEB 212 (snacks will be provided).

For more information, contact the COE Advising Center in ZEB 220 or 305-348-2768.

 

 

Graduate studies staffer earns Presidential Salute

January 12th, 2016

Caprila Almeida 10_27_2015 picOur own Caprila Almeida of the Office of Graduate Studies received a presidential salute from FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg for her dedication and commitment to delivering excellent quality service to the FIU community.

Nominated by doctoral student Tammy Sanders, Caprila was known as a “lifesaving resource” when it comes to the Ph.D. process. Tammy said Caprila deserves to be recognized for the vital role she plays in the success of students like her.

Tammy heralds Caprila as “an encyclopedia of knowledge,” who is “gracious and generous with her time” as well as “solutions-oriented, consistently reliable and extraordinarily helpful.

Caprila’s supervisor, Associate Dean Thomas G. Reio, also shares that seeing her work with “students and faculty is like a breath of fresh air. Not only is she smart, competent, creative, and collegial, it is so clear she truly and deeply cares about the welfare of the students and faculty.”

Caprila began her career at FIU in 2007 as a secretary in the College of Education, and has been serving as office manager as well as office coordinator in Graduate Studies since 2009.