COE Events Archive

Online Master of Special Education Info Session

Friday, 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

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

Prepare students for GK Test

Friday, 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.



Art education students’ paintings go on display in GC Gallery

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015


Students in the Art Education program at the College of Education will headline an art exhibition in the Graham Center Student Art Gallery that debuts Sept. 12.


The exhibit, called Painting in the Gardens, features landscape and architectural paintings created by graduate and undergraduate students in the spring and summer art education ateliers. The students’ work will be on display through Sept. 26.


“It’s always exciting to have your work shown,” said Solangel Rodriguez, 24, who earned her bachelor’s degree in the summer and started her master’s degree in art education this fall.


Professor David Chang, who taught the atelier courses, said his students first learn about landscape painting and then conduct their own research to learn more about how master painters used different techniques to create landscape art.


After completing their research, students then dive into a weeklong painting session that runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


“The course is intense,” Chang said. “but I paint along with them. We go from a blank canvas and I take them from abstraction to completion.”


Students also huddle together and share techniques that work for them.


“Everyone has a wide range of skill and experience and it’s really great because you learn so much from everyone around you,” said Melissa Guanch Carter.


Guanch Carter chose to paint scenes from trips to Italy and France that inspired her. She also chose to paint a scene from Miami’s Vizcaya Museum and Gardens that recently was recognized in the annual Paint Me Miami competition.


At first, however, she didn’t know how her assignment would turn out.


“I didn’t start landscape painting till about three years ago,” Guanch Carter said. “l didn’t think I was going to like it because it seemed like it was so detailed but it was almost therapeutic. You can’t draw every single leaf or detail you have to suggest certain things.”


Rodriguez agreed, adding she and her classmates had the freedom to choose whether they would present nature as it appears today or whether they should change the composition or the light to make things appear more flattering.


She chose to focus her painting on the architectural beauty of Vizcaya that may not be obvious to the casual visitor.


“I didn’t want to focus on the house or the gardens because that’s the first thing people see,” she said. “What grabbed my attention were statues over by the dock.”



Painting in the Gardens

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Invitation_Painting in the Gardens Exhibition

Examining Gender Differences in Physics through an Identity Lens

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Zahra Hazari Brown Bag Flyer

‘The Hunting Ground’ screens on campus

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Hunting-ground-710x300The College of Education is sponsoring a screening of “The Hunting Ground,” a film that examines sexual assault on college campuses at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28 in GC 140.

“This issue is of particular importance to campus communities across the country,” said Joy Blanchard, an assistant professor of higher education in the College of Education, who will moderate a panel discussion following the screening.

“I’ve spent my academic career studying campus safety issues and I am glad that FIU is a progressive partner in this discussion.”

Panelists include Tiffany Roman Biffa, SGA vice president; Sharon Aaron, director of the Victim Empowerment Program; Shirlyon McWhorter, Title IX coordinator; Cathy Akens, associate vice president and dean of students; Larry Lunsford, vice president of student affairs, and Kristen Kawczynski, director of student conduct and conflict resolution. The event is sponsored by the College of Education and is free for students.

Golf Scramble Supports Scholarships

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015


After years of bogies, birdies and chip shots, students at the College of Education will be awarded scholarships from a faculty endowment funded by the college’s annual golf fundraiser.
Interest generated by the endowment will be awarded annually to four College of Education students to help offset the cost of tuition. The first recipients will receive scholarships in the fall.

“We are thankful to the donors who made this scholarship possible,” said Delia C. Garcia, dean of the College of Education. “We are committed to our students’ success and this will allow four of our students to spend less time worrying about how to pay for their education and dedicate more time to their studies.”
The Sixth Annual College of Education Golf Scramble, presented for the second consecutive year by Continental National Bank, was held March 27 at the Miccosukee Golf & Country Club. It doubled the faculty endowment supporting student scholarships to more than $50,000.

“We are happy that FIU’s College of Education once again invited us to participate in their annual Golf Scramble,” said Guillermo Diaz-Rousselot, president and CEO of Continental National Bank. “The Bank is dedicated to the development of future leaders in the South Florida community, of whom no one is more deserving than our future teachers. It is exciting to know that thanks to the success of this year’s event, more students will benefit from the endowment. We hope that our participation in this event will help further the success of these students, and in turn, our community.”
This signified a dream come true for Associate Professor M.O. Thirunarayanan, who started the golf scramble as a way to help support deserving students.

“We started very small and every year we added more and more people, and with the help of a lot of people at the College of Education it’s grown to this level,” Thirunarayanan said. “It feels great to see everything come together because we can finally give away scholarships.”

More than 100 golfers – including reality star Zach Rance – hit the links for this year’s scramble. Other notable golfers included Pablo G. Ortiz, assistant superintendent of education transformation for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and Miami-Dade County’s 2015 principal of the Year, Guillermo Muñoz of Homestead Senior High, who played on the team of two-year corporate sponsor Ibiley Uniforms & More.

The first place foursome of Marcello Huarte, Mateo Jimenez, Jaime Rodriguez, and Terry Willie will have their names added to the College of Education Golf Scramble Trophy.

Dean’s Speaker Series: Dr. Patricia Gándara

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015


In a globalized, digitized world, new research shows the key to employability and higher earnings hinges on something South Florida residents learned was crucial long ago – being equally fluent in more than one language.

“The perception of some across the country is that immigrants are a drain on the economy,” said University of California Los Angeles Professor Patricia Gándara, who was invited to speak at FIU Feb. 10 as part of the College of Education’s Dean’s Speakers Series.

“Evidence suggests the exact opposite is true,” she added. “Those who learned English and maintain their native language earn more, have higher status jobs, and it also means they will pay more taxes and not resort to social service programs for support.”

Gándara, co-author of a new book showcasing research on the performance of bilinguals, “The Bilingual Advantage: Language, Literacy, and the U.S. Labor Market,” also is co-director of the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civilesat UCLA.

Her book combines research from multiple disciplines including anthropology, economics, education, linguistics and sociology to study how bilingualism affects the economics of a new generation of bilinguals entering a globalized workforce in the digital age.

For at least one FIU student, Gándara provided validation for her desire to remain proficient in her native language while she perfected English.

“I came from Cuba and I wanted to keep my language and continue working in my community,” said Mayeluz Navarro, 30, a professional translator and master of foreign language education student. “Lots of parents think that to be successful you have to learn English – so it’s English only. They need to learn that it’s also important to maintain your native language.”

At first, Gándara shocked the audience by sharing that prior researched showed there was no economic advantage for bilingual members of society, and in fact, they earned less.

However, Gándara said the original studies were flawed because they focused on census data that did not accurately distinguish the level of language proficiency among respondents. This is key because balanced bilinguals – those who are equally proficient in both languages – tend to do far better than others who were more literate in one language compared to the other.

“Among the greatest assets immigrants bring to this country are their languages – especially when they are world languages spoken in different countries,” she said.

“Bilingual students show ability to focus and see things from different perspectives. Socially, they are more interested in other cultures and are comfortable with diversity. Those are skills that employers are telling us are needed in this economy.”

We shouldn’t rest easy, Gándara warned: This advantage could disappear within three generations if society didn’t take steps to incorporate bilingual education in schools.

“As a second generation Cuban-American, I felt inspired,” said Yuliette Antunez, 29, who is working toward a master of early childhood education. “When I have children they’re going to be speaking Spanish all the time. It’s important for them to know the importance of their culture.”

TEDxFIU was a success!

Thursday, November 20th, 2014


Dr. Charles Bleiker – Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education

Whoever went to or saw TEDxFIU 2014 embarked on a very fearless journey. It was an incredibly moving sold-out TEDxFIU with topics ranging from teaching math to building homes in Haiti. The main theme, however, was about cultivating a fearlessness in everything you do. The College of Education was proud to be the Gold Sponsor for the 2014 TEDxFIU on November 13th 2014. The event featured the College of Education’s Dr Charles Bleiker and David Menasche.

Please take a look at Dr Charles Bleiker’s video from the event.

TEDxFIU Announces Speakers for 2014

Friday, October 10th, 2014


The College of Education is proud to be a Gold Sponsor for the 2014 TEDxFIU on November 13th 2014. The event will feature the College of Education’s Dr Charles Bleiker and David Menasche. The event is currently sold out, however the College of Education will be hosting a Simulcast of the live event from the Ziff Family Education Building. Seating is limited and you are required to RSVP in advance. Please click here to RSVP.

Educator Charles Bleiker

Charles-Bleiker-BWProfessor Charles Bleiker has spent more than 20 years working with at-risk children. His expertise is in developing educational interventions for ethnically diverse young children in poverty. A professor in the College of Education, he has pioneered a preschool math program with at-risk, Hispanic 4-year olds based on a series of games that teach children foundational math concepts. Dr. Bleiker’s research shows that the “MathWaysPreK” program offers children roughly a six-month boost in number knowledge. He is now adapting the program so that parents can teach their own children. His work has been widely published in academic journals and supported with grants from the Department of Education, the Children’s Trust and the Department of Health and Human Services.​

Author and English teacher David Menasche

David-Menasche-BWDavid Menasche ’97 is an award-winning teacher, author and cancer survivor. As a popular Coral Reef Senior High School English teacher, Menasche inspired his students, helping them through personal struggles and sharing valuable life lessons. In 2006, Menasche was diagnosed with brain cancer. The disease stole his vision, memory and mobility. After various surgeries, chemotherapy and a seizure, Menasche was unable to teach. Undaunted by the difficult road ahead, he decided to end his treatments and make life his classroom. He turned to Facebook with an audacious plan: a journey across America – by bus, train, and red-tipped cane – in hopes of seeing firsthand how his kids were faring in life. Had he made a difference? Within 48 hours of posting, former students in more than 50 cities replied with offers of support and shelter. To date, Menasche has travelled more than 8,000 miles to more than 30 cities visiting hundreds of students. His remarkable journey, which lasted 101 days, inspired his best-selling memoir, The Priority List: A Teacher’s Final Quest to Discover Life’s Greatest Lessons. Warner Bros. has bought the rights to the memoir; Steve Carell is slated to play Menasche in the film.