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The Intersection of Science & Faith

Professor Butler’s Turning Point

Student Teachers Flourish

The Magazine for the CATO College of Education


Is There a Better Way to Prepare Teachers?

The Teacher Education Institute Says YES!

CONTENTS Departments Leadership Viewpoint . . . . . . 3

The Intersection of . . . . . . 4 Science & Faith

Standout Student . . . . . 6

Professor Butler’s . . . . 25 Turning Point


Molding the 14  Next Generation of Leaders

The Aspiring Principals program meets a growing need.

aking the Early 17 TRoad to Teaching

Accolades, . . . . 27 Achievements & Awards NEWS & NOTES Campus Happenings . . . . . . 8

Charlotte Teacher Early College welcomes the inaugural class.


 Reimagining Teacher Preparation

Research & Grants . . . . 10

The Teacher Education Institute unveils a new training model for teacher preparation.

Scholarships & Awards . . . . 13

New Faculty . . . . 29

tudent 23 STeachers Flourish Working in high-needs schools proves doubly rewarding.

The Magazine for the College of Education

Spring Edition Volume 1, Number 16 Editor Melba Newsome Contributing Writers Melba Newsome Wills Citty Contributing Photographer Wade Bruton

Layout/Design SPARK Publications Printing Graphic Impressions

2 Extracurricular The Magazine for the Cato College of Education

EXTRACURRICULAR is published annually by the Cato College of Education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte 9201 University City Boulevard Charlotte, North Carolina 28223-0001 Direct all inquiries to: Ellen McIntyre Dean, College of Education (704) 687-8722

Send address changes to: Barbara Parrish College of Education

Looking Back, Moving Ahead

Where did the time go?

This summer marks five years since I became dean of the Cato College of Education. Giddy at being selected to lead a college at an urban research university, I referred to this as my “dream job.” That has not changed, particularly when I take stock of the progress we’ve made in realizing our vision of being an educational leader in educational equity through excellence and engagement. My research focus has always been on children who have been disenfranchised, whether by their schools or their communities. We still have too many students who struggle in school and too many teachers underprepared to teach in the most challenging environments. Yet studies show it is quality teaching that makes significant differences in the lives of students. It has been my professional mission, and it is now the mission of the Cato College of Education to provide beginning teachers with specific skills for quality teaching from day one of their teaching careers. In this issue of Extracurricular, we highlight many of our efforts to achieve that. Last fall, we gave aspiring educators a head start by teaming up with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) to launch the Charlotte Teacher Early College. A few months earlier, we worked with CMS, Cabarrus County and Rowan-Salisbury Schools to pilot a new model for how we prepare teachers to meet the challenge of today’s classroom. In our first ever Teacher Education Institute, we brought

together school partners and faculty in professional development focused on key instructional practices necessary for successful teaching and coaching skills to support our candidates on those practices. In “Reimagining Teacher Prep,” we lay out our vision for the path we will travel to transform how we prepare teachers. “Student Teachers Flourish” details the initiative to place more teacher candidates in high needs schools to ensure they get the kind of hands-on training they need to be successful. When I joined the College, I made a commitment to build a stronger connection between the University and the larger community. “It’s only then I can start to see connections between people and missions, goals, organizations and skills,” I said. I have kept that commitment, and five years later, the Cato College of Education plays a vital role in shaping almost every aspect of education. Our roots in the community run deep, and we have produced tangible results. “The Next Generation of Leaders” shows how Jim Watson, Rebecca Shore and Debra Morris of our Educational Leadership department are responding to a pressing need by training promising educators to become principals in our Aspiring Principals program. Many program graduates have already moved into leadership positions as principals and assistant principals. Even much of the research performed by our accomplished faculty serves the dual purpose of unearthing the best educational strategies and providing a valuable community service. Our four-week summer reading camp is just one example. Dozens of elementary students who struggle with reading receive valuable support while our researchers have a window into which techniques are most effective. I am acutely aware that the support I have received from University and community leaders since coming to UNC Charlotte has made all the difference. They, along with our faculty and staff, have all done yeoman’s work to make so much happen and so much more seem possible. As you read this issue of Extracurricular, I hope you will share my pride in the College. I also hope you will be moved by the challenges we have embraced and the progress we’ve made and will be inspired to support our efforts.

Ellen McIntyre Dean The Magazine for the Cato College of Education Extracurricular 3

Q&A with Ian Binns, Ph.D.

The Intersection of Science and Faith When Ian Binns, associate professor, Department of Reading and Elementary Education, searched for a church after moving to Charlotte, one of his first questions was, “What is your position on science?” It was only after Father Kevin Brown assured him that the Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter believed that science and faith go hand-in-hand that he became a member. He went on to teach classes to the congregants on the intersection of science and faith, focusing on particularly hot topics like evolution and climate change. As a man of both faith and science, Binns sees the debate between the two as unnecessary and rejects the notion that he must choose. In fact, he believes his personal experience is instructive to bridging the gap between the two sides and that changing the way science is taught is key to resolving some the most contentious issues. Binns recently received the Sinai and Synapses fellowship from the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership to continue his work with other scholars and take his teaching nationwide.

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As a person of both faith and science, was there a particular “aha” moment when you decided to make bridging the divide between the two your life’s work? My first “aha” moment was during the Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District trial, in which 11 parents sued the school board for the promotion of intelligent design. The court found that intelligent design was a form of creationism and, therefore, unconstitutional to be taught in public schools. After I took a position at Louisiana State, I saw a newspaper story about the teaching of evolution in public schools. In both cases, I was shocked by the arguments opposing the teaching of evolution, such as “evolution is only a theory” or “I don’t believe in evolution.” This indicated that not only did these individuals misunderstand evolution, they misunderstood science in


I was shocked by the arguments opposing the teaching of evolution, such as “evolution is only a theory” or “I don’t believe in evolution”. general. That was when I realized that, as a science educator, I needed to focus on this area.


There has always been tension between religion and science, but the disagreement seems to have reached fever pitch recently. Can you point to societal and/or cultural influences that have exacerbated the divide? I’m not sure the tension is more than before. I think the growth of social media and the Internet in general makes more people aware of a possible “tension” because it’s much easier to share information. Thus, access to incorrect information has increased substantially, making it easier for people and organizations to advocate for the “either/or” discussion than ever before.



What are the inherent problems with the way science is taught that make people feel they must choose between science and religion, and what do you believe would be a better way to teach? The way science is taught adds to the confusion because it doesn’t adequately address what science is. It isn’t always taught in elementary schools, and when it is, it tends to be taught with worksheets. Students need to experience science in their classrooms. They need active, hands-on investigations to learn the concepts in a way that mimics what scientists do. They need to learn that science is based on evidence, works with testable ideas and focuses on the natural world. They also need to learn that scientists collaborate in order to advance our understanding of the natural world and finally that science doesn’t make moral or aesthetic judgments or draw conclusions about supernatural phenomena.



What common misconceptions about science do you encounter? A Many people believe that science is absolute, meaning that scientific explanations don’t and can’t change. There is always a possibility that scientific explanations will change. This is what makes science so exciting. Some take advantage of this aspect and argue that if there is a small chance the accepted scientific explanation is wrong, then it’s all wrong. The word “belief” is sometimes used when it comes to science. Science is not based on belief; it is based on evidence. I no longer say, “I believe in evolution or climate change.” I say, “I accept the scientific explanation for evolution and/or climate change.”

groups greatly influence the political dialogue in our country.


When you teach classes to Episcopal congregants, what surprises you most? So far, I haven’t really been surprised by anything. This population is typically progressive and welcomes science, but I hope to teach these classes in more conservative Episcopal churches in the future, as well as other denominations. I think having some disagreement could lead to a much richer conversation.





What accounts for the United States’ low rate of acceptance of scientific data compared to other industrialized nations? Politics, primarily. Scientific topics like evolution and climate change are presented as controversial in society because of the groups that control the conversations. For example, religious fundamentalists who hold a literal interpretation of scripture control the conversation when it comes to evolution. With respect to climate change, the conversation is controlled by a combination of religious people and industry. These powerful

The Sinai and Synapses fellowship is awarded by a Jewish organization to people of all faiths. What prompted you to apply, and what do you hope your experience will do for you and your work? The fellowship is a way to expand my efforts and have a greater impact on the conversation. At our first meeting in New York, I was surrounded by really sharp, passionate people. I’m excited to continue conducting my research, as well as working to improve people’s understandings and strengthening the dialogue between members of the science and religious communities. ■

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Standout Student Kiran Budhrani When Kiran Budhrani first visited the UNC Charlotte campus in the fall of 2015, she had no intention of becoming a student. She viewed the Instructional Systems Technology (IST) program as a job opportunity rather than an educational one. Born, raised and educated in the Philippines, she had also taught on the college level and hoped to do more of the same. But it would be years before teaching was in the cards for her again. In the meantime, she began her Ed.D. in the Educational Leadership doctoral program and discovered new ways to address her global concern of providing access to education and increasing the quality of online education. Currently, she serves as a conference proposal reviewer for the Association of Education Communications Technology and the North Carolina Association for Research in Education and as a manuscript peer reviewer for the Journal for Applied Educational Research and Practice. Perhaps, she has had the most direct impact as an instructional designer at UNC Charlotte’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), where she works with faculty to improve the quality of instruction.


The number of international students at UNC Charlotte has doubled over the last 10 years. The vast majority are graduate students who came to the United States specifically to pursue an advanced degree. However, your path was a bit different, correct?

Kiran Budhrani


Yes. In 2014, I came on a fiancé visa to get married. My husband has been in Charlotte since he was 3 years old, so Charlotte was a fixed factor for me. I was excited to learn there was an IST program at UNC Charlotte. Since my first love is

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teaching, my goal was to teach. Then I was informed that the IST only offered master’s level courses and I couldn’t teach because I didn’t have my Ph.D. Dr. Florence Martin, convinced me to enroll, and I made the big decision to pursue studying again.


In the spring of 2017, you received the Provost Doctoral Teaching Fellowship, which provided an opportunity to teach an undergraduate class, EIST 4100: Computer Applications in Education. What was the practical effect of receiving the provost teaching fellowship? The one-semester Provost Doctoral Teaching Fellowship provides funding to promote doctoral students who want to become faculty, giving them early exposure and experience in teaching. The goal is to provide future teachers with the tools, strategies and mental framework to integrate technology in the classroom. I constructed a syllabus, designed a course and chose my textbooks. I came away more confident and also with the impression that everybody learns differently and that students don’t always do what you say!


consultations to help them design, develop and improve their courses for online delivery. This includes getting into the nitty-gritty of their course objectives, structure, strategies, content, activities, materials, projects and assessment. The fellowship also strengthened my own teaching skills in planning,


Describe the difference you see in teaching here versus back in the Philippines. Teaching American students with different learning styles from different backgrounds and age groups was very exciting, but it was also scary! Asian teaching is more structured, serious and very authoritative. Whereas here, learning is more student-led, student-centered and constructive. I had to reconstruct the way I taught. In Asia, you are expected to be the primary source of information. I had to talk less and allow my students to talk more. How did your teaching fellowship help you in the work you now do at the CTL, helping other teachers enhance their teaching strategies and presentations? My role at the CTL requires me to work closely with faculty through one-on-one



What do you like most about your job at the CTL? My professional work has always been working with teachers and students, providing professional and faculty development programs. As a professional designer at the CTL, I’m trying to move their courses from a face-to-face mode to a fully online mode. My role is to partner and collaborate with faculty to bring them through a process of redesigning their courses. We rethink curriculum, approaches and strategies to determine what they can do to improve the learning experiences for students online.




to my eight year experience teaching in the Philippines but also gave me a story to which UNC Charlotte faculty could relate. I can now easily share the course-design decisions I had to make for my own course.

What are the most common mistakes you see when faculty try to move from face-to-face to teaching online? Commonly, they forget that it’s not about the technology. The most critical thing is to think of the pedagogy first, which often includes course outline, structure, content and materials. You have to explain clearly what these four things are and how they align together. But because technology scares people, it’s always first in mind. We can be so focused on technology that we forget why we’re teaching the course. I ask faculty to focus on the top three things they want students to take from the course.


Kiran Budhrani and Florence Martin

design, delivery and assessment and boosted my confidence in my ability to help other teachers. I believe you can instruct someone better if you have experienced it yourself. It is then that the instruction becomes more personal, meaningful and authentic because it is rooted in real experience. My experience teaching during the fellowship not only added


If you had to describe your teaching philosophy in one word, what would it be? Authentic! ■

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CAMPUS HAPPENINGS Misty Hathcock and Kappa Delta Pi members

■ The Omicron Pi chapter of Kappa Delta Pi received the 2017 Florence B. Stratemeyer Award for Chapter Excellence. The award is given each biennium to the highest-achieving chapter from more than 650 national and international chapters. Since it was established in 1981, the UNC Charlotte chapter of the international honor society in education has excelled at service projects, particularly over the past decade. Omicron Pi created the award-winning Literacy Alive Read-In as an annual service project in 2009 and has partnered with both Nathaniel Alexander and Newell Elementary Schools for the past five years. Literacy Alive takes place over a span of three days starting in the fall with UNC Charlotte educators in training visiting the school to read to students, followed by a day-long visit to campus and a follow-up trip to school to conduct a reflection writing activity in spring. Since 2012, the chapter has delivered more than 250 Topics for Teacher Toolbox Tuesdays (TTT) workshops to over 1,750 pre-service teachers aimed at preparing candidates for successful transitions into careers in education. Topics have ranged from classroom management to culturally relevant teaching, active engagement strategies, teacher wellness, and how to get apply and interview for a job. ■ Heather Coffey, associate professor MDSK, has been named the Director of the Teaching Fellows Program at UNC Charlotte. A former Teaching Fellow herself, Coffey is excited to develop a program that will support future teachers in their preparation for the classroom. Currently, she is developing a curriculum for the weekly Teaching Fellows seminars and enrichment activities to enhance the collegiate experience for these scholarship recipients. The newly restructured Teaching Fellows Program is

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a competitive, merit-based forgivable loan for service program that provides up to $8,250 a year for up to four years to highly-qualified students committed to teaching special education or a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) field in North Carolina public schools. The program at UNC Charlotte will focus on academic, social, cultural, and service experiences that will ensure our candidates are well-rounded teachers when they complete their degree and licensure.. ■ Internationally renowned artist Mara Smith sculpted the Cato Teaching Discovery Mural to honor the teaching profession, specific teachers who have had a great impact, and to inspire future generations of educators who walk by it every day. Last year, the Teaching Discovery Mural officially recognized these six accomplished UNC Charlotte educators. Melba Spooner served in various roles including assistant dean; chair of the Department of Middle, Secondary, and K-12 Education; and senior associate dean. Spooner left UNC Charlotte last summer to become dean of the Reich College of Education at Appalachian State University. Misty Hathcock, a five-time education graduate from UNC Charlotte, became the first full-time director of the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program and led that program for 17 years for the College, as well as serving in several other leadership roles. For 35 years, James E. Lyons, professor emeritus in the Department of Educational Leadership, placed an emphasis on quality teaching and preparing students for successful careers in educational administration. The Doctorate in Educational Leadership was established during his tenure. By his 2014 retirement, 149 students had successfully graduated from that program, each having been taught by Lyons. In 1977, Ron Madsen was one of several young economists who came to UNC Charlotte to help establish the school’s now highly respected economics department. He taught business and economics classes there until his retirement in 2014. Coach Bob Pharr had a long and successful career teaching and coaching at Troutman High School and Salisbury High School. Many of his players went on to earn college scholarships and contribute to some of UNC Charlotte’s best teams. Carrilee Long taught elementary school in local systems for more than 25 years. She spent her life encouraging and caring for her students, several of whom remained in contact with her during her entire  life.

Formally dedicated in 2013, the Cato Discovery Mural made possible by the generosity of UNC Charlotte alumni John Cato and the Cato Corporation. ■ The Department of Educational Leadership is now offering a graduate certificate at the master’s and doctoral level in quantitative analyses. The Certificate in Quantitative Analyses requires four courses for a total of 12 hours. Want to know more? Visit the Educational Leadership webpage. ■ Chance Lewis, Director of the Urban Education Collaborative, has been named the first Diversity Faculty Fellow by Provost Joan Lorden. As the new Provost’s Diversity Faculty Fellow, Lewis will chair the newly created Council on University Community Working Group (CCWG), which is designed to accelerate the work of the Campus Plan for Diversity, Access and Inclusion, with emphasis on those parts that pertain directly to the Division of Academic Affairs. Under Lewis’ direction, the CCWG will work to increase the visibility, coordination and impact of the Campus Plan and ongoing initiatives throughout the division. ■ Blending Writing & Social Studies Instruction In an effort to provide elementary education preservice teachers with rich experiences working alongside elementary-aged students, Amy Good and Brian Kissel organized a series of joint field trip experiences that blend writing instruction and social studies instruction. First the students became pen pals. Then students from the Community School of Davidson visited UNC Charlotte to study and write narrative stories about its history and geography. The exercise provided Cato College of Education students insight into how writing develops amongst third-grade students. The second field trip to uptown Charlotte allowed students and their third-grade partners to do the same for Charlotte and the Piedmont region. They visited the ImaginOn library, had lunch at the 7th Street Market and toured the Levine Museum of the New South. Additional field trips are planned.

■ Inaugural Summit Tackles Latino Mental Health Needs UNC Charlotte’s 2017 Latinx Mental Health Summit drew more than 200 clinical experts, scholars and helping professionals from around the United States. Nationally respected scholars and psychologists Patricia Arredondo and Luis Cruz-Ortega shared their expertise and research and led two separate panel discussions. What made the summit unique was its focus on mental health issues and their influence on general health. The need for mental health services among Latinos is a growing concern. As an immigrant gateway with one of the largest populations of Latinos, the City of Charlotte is primed to be a leader in addressing Latino mental health. The LatinX Mental Health Summit is part of larger efforts by the Academy for Research on Community Health, Engagement and Services (ARCHES).

■ 1 0th Annual Bob Barret Distinguished Lecture Series Leslie Kooyman, Ph.D., community leader, social justice advocate and founder of the Metrolina AIDS Project, was the featured speaker for the 10th Annual Bob Barret Distinguished Lecture Series on Multicultural Issues in Counseling. Kooyman developed care and prevention services for people living with HIV disease in the Charlotte region, counseled those living with HIV/AIDS, and worked with other organizations to develop AIDS services in rural North Carolina. Kooyman is known for transforming the Metrolina AIDS Project from a primarily gay, white, male organization to a thriving minority-based agency integrating and addressing the needs of people of color. His research is focused on understanding the multitude of factors influencing decisions around HIV transmission and sexual risk-taking behavior among marginalized populations. The conference also featured a variety of breakout sessions, all led by Cato College of Education faculty. The Bob Barret Distinguished Lecture Series on Multiculturalism was established in 2008 and endowed by alumni, students, colleagues and friends of the Cato College of Education to honor Professor Emeritus of Counseling Bob Barret for his 29 years of distinguished service at UNC Charlotte. ■ The Magazine for the Cato College of Education Extracurricular 9

Research & Grants A Model for the Future? By Wills Citty

A summer camp designed by the Cato College of Education is providing a free, literacy-rich experience for dozens of east Charlotte elementary students while helping researchers uncover best practices for programs of the future. The four-week, all-day summer camp is hosted on the campus of the Aldersgate retirement community and funded by donations from the Reemprise Fund and the Winer Family Foundation. The program provides daily, one-on-one literacy support for elementary school students who struggle with reading. UNC Charlotte associate professor of special education Kristen Beach points to 2016 data that indicates the camp prevented summer regression in reading skills, which is particularly common in low- income communities. “The students also experienced strong gains in oral reading fluency and accuracy across the summer months,” she said. “We have reason to suspect that rising third graders also improved in reading comprehension and that rising second graders improved on early literacy skills, based on data we received from the school district.” The 68 students chosen for the program were all below grade level in reading proficiency and approaching the pivotal third-grade year. Ninety-six percent of students who read proficiently by third-grade will graduate on time, while those who are not on grade level by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. The summer reading camp is intended to support the goals of Read Charlotte, a community initiative 10 Extracurricular The Magazine for the Cato College of Education

aimed at doubling the number of children reading at grade level by third grade from 40 to 80 percent by 2025. “Community service and research are essential components of what we do at the Cato College of Education. Our commitment is made clear through Dean McIntyre’s three years of work taking this camp from dream to reality,” said Bill Anderson, who leads community relations efforts for the College. The immersive month-long experience is the combined effort of the Cato College of Education, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Aldersgate and Ourbridge for Kids, a nonprofit that supports Charlotte’s refugee and immigrant communities through enrichment programs. The team approach reflects the recommendations of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force report, which stressed the importance of community collaboration in addressing the city’s long-standing issues with economic mobility. Prior to the camp, UNC Charlotte literacy faculty trained teachers from CMS schools, residents of Aldersgate and Cato College of Education students on “Sound Partners,” a research-based reading intervention. Each day, participants received two hours of intensive reading support from a rotating cast of coaches. “It’s been a very rewarding process. At the beginning, keeping my student on task was sometimes a challenge. But recently I’ve seen him really enjoying reading and taking initiative on his own,” said one Aldersgate resident and reading partner. Participants’ reading progress will be monitored throughout the study and their outcomes compared against students who did not attend the camp. Ultimately, the pilot program will lead to a new model for summer literacy programs.

Are Students Emotionally and Socially Prepared for Success? School counselors have the unique training to provide guidance to students, so they can make informed choices based on the opportunities and labor market options in their communities. However,

since many students do not receive counseling on their post-secondary options, there are questions about the extent to which schools are preparing students emotionally and socially for success in college and careers. Two Eastway Middle School teachers created Gen-One, a post-secondary readiness program to provide enrichment and college-prep counseling to high-scoring students at the Title I east Charlotte school. These include mentorship, college and career planning, college tours and community volunteerism. Clare Merlin and Sejal Foxx developed a two-phased research project to evaluate the impact of the project on students in self-advocacy. In phase one, the phenomenological investigation

will examine the experiences of students in the GenOne program. “Given the program provides gifted and talented low-income students a pathway to college, we find it important to examine which experiences have the most significant impact on their college and career readiness,” explained Foxx. Part of this study will also include interviewing family members regarding their perceptions of what the program is providing their children, and what gaps are being filled through Gen-One In phase two, researchers will work with doctoral students to collect quantitative data from the same cohorts once a year, each year. Collecting longitudinal data is salient for a variety of reasons. It allows researchers to examine the program’s impact over time, identifies significant factors that support readiness, and explores how the program impacts academic outcomes such as grades, test scores, enrollment and achievement in AP/honors/IB/dual enrollment courses. With Institutional Review Board approval from both UNC Charlotte and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Sejal and Foxx began data collection in spring 2018 and will follow the students throughout high school.

Implementation of HighLeverage Teaching Practices Kristin Davin and Ohio State University’s Francis Troyan published a study in Foreign

Language Annals examining the extent to which foreignlanguage teacher candidates were able to carry out high- leverage teaching practices following their participation in a practice- based cycle of learning. In this type of practice-based Kristin Davin approach, candidates engage in Assistant Professor, a cycle of demonstration and Department deconstruction, rehearsal and of Middle, coaching, implementation and Secondary & feedback, and guided reflection— K-12 Education all centered around a high-leverage teaching practice. High- leverage practices are those in which proficient enactment by a teacher improves the achievement of all students. They occur frequently in instruction, can be articulated and taught, and must be learnable by novice teachers. Unlike traditional approaches in which teacher candidates read about and discuss a wide array of best practices, candidates learn through a practice-based approach to engage in an iterative and sustained cycle of learning around a select few practices—those likely to result in large learning gains for the most students. Davin and Troyan found that candidates performed better on aspects of each practice for which they could plan and rehearse but struggled with aspects for which they had to make in-the-moment decisions. For example, in regard to the high-leverage practice of questioning to build and assess student understanding, candidates scored well on aspects such as “uses a sufficient quantity of questions,” but struggled with aspects such as “rephrases or downgrades questions upon student confusion.” To date, few studies have focused on effective aspects of teacher development within a practice-based approach. For example, two teacher candidates can engage in the same activities around the same high-leverage teaching practice, yet develop quite different beliefs and skills related to those practices. Davin and a colleague at the University of Pittsburgh, Richard Donato, are currently investigating these individual differences. In their previous work, including articles to appear in the journals System and Language Teaching Research, they found that teachers’ past experiences as learners had a strong influence on their present-day teaching practices. Joining these two research strands, they are currently analyzing data to understand how teachers’ past experiences as learners influence their proficiency at enacting high-leverage teaching practices. Importantly, the approach Davin is studying is the foundation for the reimagined teacher prep programs featured in the cover story. ■ The Magazine for the Cato College of Education Extracurricular 11

Selected Grants Associate Dean Teresa Petty, educational leadership Professor Chuang Wang and Associate Professor Florence Martin received a $300,000 National Science Foundation grant to help students demonstrate digital citizenship and cybersafety. Research shows students exposed to digital media at a young age are at risk of cyberbullying and leaving digital footprints and inappropriate social media posts. The project will implement cybersafety modules with 200 middle grade students from four schools from Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Cabarrus County and Kannapolis City school districts and the Lake Norman Charter School. The overall goal is to increase cybersafety knowledge and skills among middle school students, teachers and technology facilitators and to create cybersafety awareness among parents of middle school students. A team of faculty members–comprised of a cybersafety expert, instructional technologist, teacher educator, and program evaluator–plan to design a cybersafety curriculum that will be implemented with teachers, technology facilitators, middle school students and parents. The U.S. Department of Education is enhancing the Cato College of Education’s efforts to train counselors and teachers to meet the needs of students with disabilities with a $1.2 million grant. Project Intensive Needs Teacher and Counselor Training (INTACT) will prepare special education graduate-level teachers and school counselors with the

A $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education awarded by the Office of Special Education Programs builds on and intersects with the College’s current special education programming by preparing scholars to be higher education faculty with a specialty in multitiered academic and behavioral interventions. It is the second grant of its kind received by special education and child development Professor Charles Wood and departmental colleague Ya-yu. The grant will provide funding for tuition and conference travel and a stipend for five full-time special education doctoral students through their graduation from the program. Scholars funded by this project will follow the core curriculum of the full-time doctoral program and complete the specialty requirements through co-teaching, seminars, research and leadership experiences centering on multitiered academic and behavioral interventions. They also will establish their skills through hands- on experience in a variety of settings including high-needs, high-poverty and low-performing schools. “Due to the growing body of research related to improved school outcomes, higher education special education faculty need to prepare teachers to implement multitiered academic and behavioral interactions with students at risk or with exceptionalities,” Wood said. “Our graduates will have a thorough understanding of these models and will conduct research on academic or behavioral interventions at various levels of intensity.” interdisciplinary skills to address intensive behaviors in students with disabilities in North Carolina public schools. Special education Associate Professor Kelly Anderson and counseling Associate Professor Sejal Foxx submitted the grant application to the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). “Although special education teachers and school counselors are often critical members of teams charged with providing interventions with students with challenging behavior needs, their preparation seldom prepares

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them with the interdisciplinary skills required to implement intensive, evidence- based behavior interventions,” Anderson said. The five-year grant will meet these challenges by providing tuition and support to 24 scholars earning their master’s in special education and tuition support toward four shared courses for 20 scholars in the counseling master’s program, resulting in 44 graduates who will complete specializations in applied behavior analysis, interdisciplinary collaboration and mental health interventions.

Education Scholarships & Awards Entering the field of education can be a rewarding career path. Numerous education scholarships have been created to assist students who wish to pursue the vital field. Below is a partial list of awards available to Cato College of Education students. After a brief hiatus, the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program has been reinstated at five schools, including UNC Charlotte. The renewed initiative is aimed at supporting students preparing for a teaching career in the fields of science, technology, engineering, math or special education. Beginning in the 2018-19 academic year, about 160 future teachers with high school, associate’s or bachelor’s degrees, or those who want to switch majors in order to earn an education degree, will be selected as North Carolina Teaching Fellows and receive up to $8,250 per year in forgivable loans if they commit to teach in a North Carolina public school. The North Carolina Federation of Republican Women established the Dottie Martin Teachers Scholarship Fund in 1991 in honor of North Carolina First Lady Dottie Martin’s work and dedication to the state’s families and youth. The annual $500 scholarship is awarded to a presently enrolled undergraduate education student. A key objective is to assist aspiring teachers who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of children, particularly in the fields of child guidance and counseling. Financial need is also a consideration. Each year, TEACH Early Childhood Scholars Program provides scholarships to a total of 50 North Carolina full-time students (25 seniors and 25 juniors) pursuing a degree in child development. Each recipient receives an annual $2,000 award ($1,000 per semester) for a two-year maximum of $4,000. Upon graduation, scholars must agree to work in a licensed or registered child care program in North Carolina. The Bright Futures award from the National Early Childhood Education Scholarship Program hopes to encourage students of great promise to continue pursuing their dreams of teaching young children through three scholarships: $1,500 for rising sophomores in an associate’s degree program; $2,500 for rising juniors in a bachelor’s degree program; and $2,500 students enrolled in a master’s degree program. The Mary Morrow-Edna Richards Scholarship provides up to $1,000 for prospective teachers in their junior year. Recipients must plan to teach in North Carolina public schools for at least two years following graduation. Character, personality, scholastic achievement and financial need are also taken into account.

The CVAN - John and Mary O’Dwyer Flynn Scholarship was established in 1988 to provide financial assistance to female post-secondary students. Established by friends and family of Mary O’Dwyer Flynn, a social worker and professor at Catholic University, and Washington, D.C., attorney John J. Flynn, Jr., scholarships range from $200 to $500 and may be used for tuition, books, fees, supplies, transportation and/or child care. Preference is given to formerly battered women and children of battered women and Cabarrus County residents. North Carolina Council for the Social Studies Student Teacher Scholarship is awarded annually to an undergraduate student who seeks teacher licensure in social studies and has completed 18 semester social studies hours before beginning his/her student teaching. Sponsored by the Jeannette Rankin Foundation, the Bertha “B” Holt Award provides $1,500 annually to lowincome, full-time, female undergraduate students age 35 or older who wish to better their lives through education. William Tasse Alexander Scholarship Fund provides merit-based scholarships in the field of education. The awards range from $1,000 to $3,500 and may be used for tuition/fees and room/board only. Scholarships are awarded to rising juniors and seniors for one year, but renewal is possible if satisfactory performance is maintained. The North Carolina Council of Epsilon Sigma Alpha has been awarding special education scholarships for over 40 years. Financial need is a consideration of this annual scholarship, which ranges between $500 and $2,500. Funded by the North Carolina General Assembly and based upon academic merit, the North Carolina Principal Fellows Program Scholarship provides a $20,000 loan per year for two years of full-time study to those interested in earning master’s degrees in educational administration to pursue career in school administration. The loan is forgiven for recipients who practice as a full-time administrator for four years at an approved North Carolina site. The John Paul Lucas, Jr. Scholarship for Educational Leadership is awarded to full-time students pursuing graduate degrees in English who intend to teach in North or South Carolina. The typical scholarship award is $1,000. The Magazine for the Cato College of Education Extracurricular 13

Molding the

Next Generation of Leaders

Candidates participate in training for UNC Charlotte’s Aspiring Principals program.


uring her first week of the Cato College of Education’s five-week summer intensive Aspiring Principals Program, Amanda McPeters wondered if she was in over her head. “I was trying to find time for everything—the course work, my full-time job, family and a 3-year-old,” she recalled. “I never doubted my career decision, but I wondered what I had gotten myself into because the course was so intensive.” Much like being a principal, the summer intensive course might be considered trial by fire since it simulates what being on the job is really like. On day one, students must collaborate to develop workable solutions to the persistent problems administrators face on an almost-daily basis. On day two, they meet their staff and work with quantitative data to demonstrate their understanding of relevant statistics. At the end of the week, they must prioritize 30 different tasks, such as handling a domestic abuse situation and responding to media inquiries. Before these issues can be resolved, they may be interrupted to address the concerns of an angry parent or mediate a student fight in the hallway. While Debra Morris, Ph.D. and Master of School Administration program director, acknowledges the program is rigorous and demanding, she does so

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without apology. As a former principal and assistant superintendent, she knows this is real life. “Some say, ‘I don’t know if I can do this, if I’m cut out for this’ because most of them have only had one view of schooling,” she explained. “But the objective of the course is to leave with a broader view and a greater appreciation for the work of principals and assistant principals.” The Aspiring Principals program uses competency, skills and beliefs as a rubric to infuse standards into the coursework. It then encourages attendees to employ that rubric to make good hiring decisions and further prepare those hirees to succeed in their positions. This is part of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) principal pipeline initiative funded through a

Rebecca Shore, Debra Morris and Jim Watson.

Aspiring Principals graduate Amanda McPeters with students at Billingsville Academy.

I never doubted my career decision, but I wondered what I had gotten myself into because the course was so intensive. multiyear grant from the Wallace Foundation. The objective is to create a comprehensive approach to developing and supporting school leaders. “The partnership with UNC Charlotte started because we needed a stronger bench to launch the high school principal program and wanted to partner with an institution that could meet the need,” said Javelin BonnerReed, CMS Project Director. “Working closely with UNC Charlotte allows us to have a professional learning community, share best practices, and ensure the work is sustainable and aligns with our other priorities.” While the Cato College of Education (Cato COED) has taken the program to a new level, it was not the first institution of higher learning in the Charlotte area to partner with CMS to address the growing demand for principals who are capable of leading schools that improve student learning and academic growth. After seeing the training at Queens University and Winthrop University, UNC Charlotte and CMS joined forces in 2013 to help develop a robust principal pipeline program. Developed in consultation with and modeled after one created by the nonprofit NYC Leadership Academy program, the Cato COED program seeks to recruit, develop and support area school leaders. It delivers a 39hour Master of School Administration (MSA) program, a 21-hour School Administrator License program, and a mandatory five-week intensive summer experience for candidates who currently hold a School Administrator License in Mecklenburg County, a Master of School Administration and those seeking an administrator license. The Cato College of Education’s program is modeled on the principal preparation study that strongly recommends practical preparation over theory. The research-based components are based on established leadership competency skills and beliefs. “The simulated experience sets our program apart from those of others colleges and universities in the area,” said Rebecca Shore, associate professor and program coordinator in the Department of Educational Leadership. “We worked with principals and staff in CMS from the beginning to design the curriculum and to make this a top quality program.”

“I think [the simulated experience] is missing in a lot of principal prep programs,” said Morris. “Learning theory is good, but our students are actually doing things they’ll use on the job.” Candidates are nominated by a principal and/or district leader and must demonstrate commitment to closing the achievement gap, continuous learning improvement and professional integrity. Constructed primarily as one large role-play scenario, the five-week summer intensive institute covers three classes—Fundamentals of Educational Leadership, School Leadership and Management, and Instructional Leadership—and aims to prepare participants to successfully lead schools in a diverse, dynamic system. For example, Shore’s Instructional Leadership course focuses on strategic planning and the human resources aspects of the job. It also works to develop less tangible skills such as defining what constitutes outstanding classroom instruction, how to recognize good teachers, and ways to assess micropolitical trends. To date, 94 students have completed the summer intensive. While job seekers who are program graduates are not given preferential treatment, Bonner-Reed says there is an element of comfort in hiring someone who has completed UNC Charlotte’s Aspiring Principals program. “Because we work together to ensure that the content of the programs meets our needs and is aligned with our priorities, we feel that these graduates have a better understanding of CMS, which can translate into them doing better in the interview process.” Many Aspiring Principals graduates quickly found jobs as principals and assistant principals. McPeters became principal at Billingsville Leadership Academy in August 2017, just months after completing the program. Mark Maleck was accepted to the program in May 2015, completed it the following year and became assistant principal at JW Green Elementary five months later. Maleck had returned to teaching after a three-year hiatus working as a project manager for a software company. “I decided for my soul and conscience to return to teaching,” he said only somewhat jokingly. All jokes aside, program graduates like McPeters and The Magazine for the Cato College of Education Extracurricular 15

Aspiring Principals graduate Mark Maleck uses attention-grabbing teaching techniques.

I feel better prepared and more confident having gone through the program. Maleck couldn’t be happier with their experiences in the program and the resulting outcome. “The Aspiring Principals Program completely prepared me to take on that roll,” he said. “I feel better prepared and more confident having gone through the program.”

The Latino Initiative In its mission to be a community partner for training and building a pipeline to meet the needs of area schools, the Cato College of Education continues its push to provide the school leaders the system needs. Two years ago, the College added the Latino Initiative, a new dimension of the Aspiring Principals program that stands on its own. The Latino Initiative was the brainchild of Jim Watson, who saw an unflattering portrait of representational leadership in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). Latinos make up 24 percent of the overall student body population. However, only three of the district’s 170 principals were Latino. The numbers were similar for assistant principals. The data troubled Watson, who has served in every facet of education. He began as a classroom teacher and moved to assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent before joining the Cato College of Education faculty 10 years ago. “My background tells me that it’s important for the the students to see leadership that looks like them,” said Watson. Watson contacted Javelin Bonner-Reed and laid out a plan to address the shortage of Latino leaders. She didn’t need much convincing. While there was no formal means in place to address the lack of diversity, the district had already recognized that there was indeed a problem. “We did not see the growing Latino population reflected in our leaders, so we wanted to focus on trying to get more Latino candidates in order to meet the need,” explained Bonner-Reed. “UNC Charlotte recognized a trend that wasn’t being addressed and rolled 16 Extracurricular The Magazine for the Cato College of Education

“Growing up, there were three jobs I wanted—teacher, entrepreneur, politician. Being a principal kinda combines all three into one facet. There’s not a day when I’m not excited to come to work. I truly believe this is what I was made for.” up its sleeves and worked with us to meet that need.” The effort started with the numbers. Of the approximately 10,000 CMS teachers, around 275 were Latino. “We thought that would be a great pool of people to expose to our program,” said Watson. In addition to focusing on quantitative measures such as GPAs and standardized scores, program directors conduct extensive interviews to understand the applicants’ philosophies in an effort to determine if they have the passion for leadership and are comfortable being at the top of school hierarchy. Prospective enrollees must also submit a writing sample and explain how they would address various scenarios at school. “You put all this together to make the determination,” explained Watson. “We’re trying to make sure we get a quality individual who has the right disposition.” Watson describes the first orientation information meeting of 38 attendees as a mini-United Nations in terms of heritage. “There were people from Chile, Ecuador, Panama, Mexico, Puerto Rico,” he recalled. The Aspiring Principals faculty were able to recruit seven program participants in its first year. Because the Cato College of Education has a variety of pathways to school administration certification, some recruits chose more traditional routes in lieu of the five-week summer intensive. The second year of recruitment for the Latino Initiative is underway and looking very much like the first. More than 30 educators attended the orientation information session. Although the application process is still ongoing, Watson is confident the program will match or exceed the first year in terms of the number and quality of recruits. ■

Taking the Early Road to Teaching By Wills Citty

Brody Tingle gets up each morning at 5 a.m. to catch his 5:40 a.m. school bus in order to arrive on time for his first class at 7:15 a.m. At 2:15, he boards the bus for the long return ride, arrives home around 4 p.m. and spends several hours on homework. It makes for a very long day, but the ninthth grader has no regrets about the school he chose. In fact, he believes the time investment is already paying off. “Everyone is here for the same purpose, so that really helps with collaboration and helps you relate to your peers,” said Brody.

The shared purpose Tingle alludes to is being on the early road to becoming an educator. He is one of 49 students in the inaugural class of the Charlotte Teacher Early College (CTEC), a new five-year high school program that is a partnership between the Cato College of Education (Cato COED) and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). The only program of its kind in North Carolina and one of the first in the country, CTEC was initially proposed by former CMS superintendent Ann Clark as a way to address the teacher shortage by identifying and nurturing potential educators early on. The idea had broad appeal to Cato College of Education Dean Ellen McIntyre. “Ensuring our local school systems consistently have available a well-trained, passionate group of new teachers is an important part of what we do,” said McIntyre. “With CTEC, we are proud to be part of a creative new approach to doing just that.” Many attendees are first-generation college students and have never been exposed to a college atmosphere. The early college program is a game changer for them

and shows them what is possible. CTEC is housed on the first floor of the Cato COED building, providing students the opportunity to experience the vibrant atmosphere of a college campus. All CMS students are eligible to attend CTEC, and applicants are selected to attend through a random lottery. The curriculum was designed through a joint effort by Cato COED and CMS to meet graduation requirements while helping students develop the knowledge and skills required to succeed in today’s diverse urban classrooms. At CTEC, four full-time educators teach math, English, science and social studies with an exceptionally strong focus on writing. During their sophomore year, the students will participate in an Introduction to College course and work closely with the Office of Teacher Education Advising and Licensure to address their needs and help them get acclimated to college life. “The first two years are very similar to a typical high school where you take a lot of elective classes,” said The Magazine for the Cato College of Education Extracurricular 17

The idea is to make students more excited about the prospect of teaching through course work that is based around active, participatory instruction. Will Leach, principal of CTEC and Charlotte Early Engineering College (CEEC). “We’re trying to fast track kids during ninth and tenth grades so that they get as many credits as possible. During the 11th, 12th and 13th grade years, they take one high school and three college classes.” Leach said the the program stresses a rigorous instructional component that challenges kids to develop the soft skills that will serve them well as educators. The idea is to make students more excited about the prospect of teaching through course work that is based around active, participatory instruction. Students do more presenting than passive listening. “We do a lot of project-based learning instead of just regurgitating facts,” school counselor Teresa Oats explained. “The students work collaboratively, using a lot of critical thinking and problem-solving skills. I think learning in that way gets them more excited about teaching. They’re also influenced by the high quality of learning that’s going on.” “Most of the kids are really glad to be here and ready to take on the opportunities ahead of them, access those college classes and find a passion in what they’re doing,” said math teacher Kristen Fye. “They’re still freshmen and do their freshmen things, but they bring me joy each day.” The curriculum also requires participation in clinical placements and one significant urban cultural event each academic year focused on art, music, theater or history. This gives CTEC students many opportunities to develop relationships with their peers throughout CMS. A learning environment that affords more one-on-one instruction and the chance to earn college credits are also huge draws. At the end of their five years, students will graduate with a high 18 Extracurricular The Magazine for the Cato College of Education

school diploma, a Certificate of Advanced Standing in Education and a minimum of 60 hours in course credits transferable to any public North Carolina institution of higher learning. “This is an innovative program, which is also very necessary,” said Oates. “In recent years, we’ve seen a decrease in the number of students who want to become teachers. That’s why I think a program like this is very necessary. It also makes sense with so many students coming out of college so in debt.” In addition to producing teachers who are prepared to succeed during those critical first years in the classroom, program advocates also hope CTEC graduates will become ambassadors for the profession. “We hope these kids will be our best recruiters, and mentors and be powerful voices of what teaching can be,” said Mike Putman, chair of the Department of Reading & Elementary Education, who led the development of the curriculum for the school. The most pressing challenge facing CTEC at the moment is the lack of space. The school must make do with two classrooms and a multipurpose room that serves as a teachers’ workroom, supply closet and cafeteria. This coziness will become even more pronounced when the second class arrives in the fall. Future plans call for using a combination of private and state funding to build a new facility to house both CTEC and the Charlotte Early Engineering College. ■

In addition to producing teachers who are prepared to succeed during those critical first years in the classroom, program advocates also hope CTEC graduates will become ambassadors for the profession.

Teacher Prep Reimagined By Melba Newsome

Ellen McIntyre, Teresa Petty and Paul Fitchett


ast summer, the Cato College of Education took a big step forward when it rolled out a new training model to reshape teacher preparation at the undergraduate level in its first-ever Teacher Education Institute. The four-day institute, held June 27-30 for key professionals from Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Cabarrus and Rowan-Salisbury Schools who participate in teacher education, brought together roughly 100 faculty members who teach courses, university supervisors and school-based cooperating P-12 teachers, now called “clinical educators” in North Carolina. The mission

was clear—build a common understanding of accomplished teaching and develop coaching skills to better support teacher candidates. There was also the added task of setting benchmarks and developing advanced coaching skills to support teacher candidates. “This institute is critical for establishing a common understanding about what we mean we when say ‘accomplished teaching,’” said Ellen McIntyre, dean of the Cato College of Education. “Right now, many of these professionals work in silos. We believe that we can all raise our own skills in how to coach students toward becoming The Magazine for the Cato College of Education Extracurricular 19

the best teachers they can be.” the largest teacher preparation program in the “Our hope is that we can share the lessons area seemed like a good investment of time and being learned by these leaders and their programs resources. “Our involvement started with the with other teacher education programs that are compelling leadership of Dean McIntyre because embarking on this work,” said Valerie Sakimura, we believe in funding great people who know vice president of programs at Deans for Impact. what they’re doing,” said Johanna Anderson, The national nonprofit organization dedicated to executive director of the Belk Foundation. “We the improving teacher preparation also planned started getting to know Ellen early in her tenure and facilitated the event in conjunction with and were captivated by her energy and vision faculty and P-12 partners. for the College. But we also wanted a better The Teacher Education Institute featured understanding of the high-level opportunity for seminars and small group the improvement effort she breakout sessions that was leading.” allowed participants to frame Because reimagining best practices for training teacher preparation candidates on critical teaching focuses on the front end skills like facilitating whole of the teacher pipeline, class discussion, managing the foundation had an small group work and opportunity to make a encouraging students to positive impact across the think critically. College. In addition, the The energetic faculty dean’s improvement efforts and clinical educators were worked well with Belk grateful to have this time Foundation priorities, which to learn and challenge each had previously identified other. “I quickly became a persistent problem in invested and empowered teacher preparation. by both participants and The foundation ultimately presenters. Listening to diverse decided to fund the institute perspectives also allowed for as a two-year pilot program self-reflection and recognition with a grant of more than of self-improvement,” said $230,000, backed by the Katelyn Gilbert, a social in-kind support of the studies teacher at Ridge Cato College of Education. Road Middle School in “This is a way for the school Charlotte. “Participating in district and University a new model for preparing faculty to come together, teacher candidates united us get on the same page and around a common passion: build the relationships that the future of education within make the institution strong,” North Carolina.” said Anderson. The Belk Foundation has While the current funded P-12 human capital preparation model has the – Dean Ellen Mcintyre over many years and, in potential to provide the the process, practical, handsgleaned valuable on classroom insight into the experience role teachers and relevant play in student feedback, achievement. potential doesn’t The foundation always match recently narrowed reality. “There is its focus to a a disconnect in few topics, of what [aspiring which teacher teachers] learn in preparation is the preparation one. Partnering program and with the dean of the real life

“We must place student teachers with excellent teachers in schools that serve students of poverty. Moving forward, nearly all our student teachers will work in these more challenging environments.”

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experience once they enter the classroom,” explained Anderson. “That system barrier needed to be removed.” Dean McIntyre has long held that providing a good education for children living in poverty is the biggest challenge educators face. While poor children may be as bright and capable as children from any other socioeconomic group, research consistently has shown that they often face barriers to learning. These may include fewer resources at home, fewer after-school and summer learning opportunities, and in some cases more at-home trauma related to poverty. She notes that these factors not only can make learning more difficult but also make teaching students who are experiencing poverty more challenging. Shifting the focus from preparing excellent teachers to preparing excellent teachers for students living in poverty is key to addressing that critical issue. “If we prepare our candidates to teach in the most challenging circumstances, they will be equipped to teach anywhere,” said McIntyre. “We must place student teachers with excellent teachers in schools that serve

students of poverty. Moving forward, nearly all our student teachers will work in these more challenging environments.” There is also a recognition that the student teacher experience varies widely based on the quality of the placement. As a result, a significant part of the preparation redesign program is working directly with clinical educators, the teachers who mentor student teachers. The summer institute training will help them learn to better coach the student teachers on focus practices essential for successful teaching. The metrics of the initiative itself involve an elaborate theory of change, as well as specific research questions built in to the design. Specifically, each candidate will work in diverse schools, many of which serve students of poverty and have three professionals—a faculty member who teaches courses, a clinical educator and the university supervisor—to coach and support them in these key practice areas. Participants will form learning teams with student teachers for a year-long collaboration to prepare the candidates to be successful. Members of the teams will observe and coach the teacher The Magazine for the Cato College of Education Extracurricular 21

Together, with the support and oversight of candidates and then meet as teams to support their development. A subset of each group will create Dean McIntyre, Fitchett and Petty will lead five-minute videos of expert teacher preparation faculty, supervisors and key school partners and accomplished teaching. in creating a curriculum for future teachers An evaluation of the pilot will include a that explicitly “braids” or links the course comparison of scores from 40 pilot candidates’ curriculum a with the practice the candidates on their student teacher observation protocols, get in schools. The College will focus on key externally scored portfolios and senior exit surveys practices we know are essential for successful against 120 nonpilot candidates’ scores. beginning teaching and take a critical look Bringing faculty and clinical at the content of the educators to a common curriculum to ensure that understanding of accomplished the program is focused on teaching on these focus practices evidence-based practices is not an easy task. However, the and covers the essentials scope and transformative nature for successful teaching in of the work notwithstanding, all areas. there has been tremendous “We want to begin with buy-in because all stakeholders the end in mind: coming know what is required, make to an agreement on the valuable contributions and, skills and competencies most importantly, care deeply necessary for effective about children, their families teaching. Once we have and an equitable world. established this common The hope is that this work aim, we will proceed with is part of a growing trend in a blank slate from which education. Amazing teacher to initiate the redesign preparation programs like the process,” said Fitchett, Boston Teacher Residency “and then build back in program are leading the the powerful work we way. The Cato College of already do, along with new Education has also borrowed and innovative ideas, in a ideas from leading universitycoherent way so that the based teacher preparation skills we teach candidates programs such as the can build over time.” University of Michigan, “We recognize the University of Virginia and importance of working University of Nevada-Reno side by side with our while also developing their own school partners as we – Johanna Anderson, Executive evidence-based innovations. embark on the redesign of Director of the Belk Foundation our teacher preparation programs. Our partners understand what is needed for our candidates to be successful teachers on day one of their Over the next few years, the College will push careers,” Petty said. “We will work with the boundaries even further. These include school partners to design good experiences for implementing new ways to work as teams, candidates that include rehearsal and deliberate rethinking how clinical educators are paid and practice in both coursework and clinical redesigning the curriculum to align with the goals settings. This close collaboration will ensure for deliberate practice. To lead these efforts, Dean prepared candidates ready to improve learning McIntyre established a new leadership position: outcomes in the classroom.” assistant dean for teaching and innovation. Paul The work has already begun through the Fitchett, associate professor of social studies Teacher Education Institute and will continue education in the Cato College of Education in a deep way over the next two years. The Cato was recently hired after a search to lead the College of Education is establishing baseline initiatives. He will work directly under Associate data to measure success of the redesign. Dean Teresa Petty, who also has deep knowledge Nothing short of better pupil outcomes is and vast experience in teacher preparation and satisfactory. The students in our schools excellence in teaching. deserve it. ■

“This is a way for the school district and University faculty to come together, get on the same page and build the relationships that make the institution strong.”

Moving Forward on Redesign

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Joyce Frazier and Teresa Petty

Student Teachers Flourish in High-Needs Schools By Melba Newsome


t may not be one of the most high-profile departments at UNC Charlotte, but the Office of Field Experiences (OFE) has a unique role at the University. The staff in OFE is responsible for placing students in schools, so teacher candidates can practice teaching what they learned at the University. For many candidates, these clinical experiences begin their freshman year at UNC Charlotte and culminate in a year-long student teaching experience. Each academic year, OFE places between 450 and 500 student teachers in classrooms in 17 counties throughout the state, along with up to 1,000 prestudent teaching clinical placements each semester.

“A great deal of thought and planning go into student assignments,” explained Joyce Frazier, OFE director. Finding the right fit for roughly 2,500 students each year would be challenging under any circumstance. That challenge was made more difficult by the Cato College of Education’s recent commitment to prioritize the placement of more student teachers in high-poverty schools, regardless of where they plan to teach. “Dean McIntyre believes our candidates need practice in just such settings, and placing our students there serves the community by adding resources,” explained Frazier. The dean has been quite vocal about The Magazine for the Cato College of Education Extracurricular 23

her belief that students who learn to teach in the most challenging environments are well-prepared to teach anywhere. Her goal is to create a culture at UNC Charlotte in which our candidates choose to teach in these challenging environments. “We try to put efforts into schools where students and teachers really need our help and where we know our candidates will eventually be getting jobs. We need to make sure they’re prepared to teach there,” said Assistant Dean Teresa Petty. This effort was undertaken to address the pressing

Instruction to determine school performance and level of student poverty. “We start trying to place student teachers in schools that fall into the 60-80 percent and 80-100 percent categories of students receiving free or reduced lunches,” explained Frazier. Legislation has established the criteria for placing a student teacher with a particular educator: He or she must have three years of teaching experience and, score at a certain level on the principal evaluation, and the students must have met a certain growth requirement. These metrics can be particularly

Each academic year, OFE places between 450 and 500 student teachers in classrooms in 17 counties throughout the state, along with up to 1,000 pre-student teaching clinical placements each semester. need of ensuring that all K-12 students have effective teachers, no matter where they attend school. It is part and parcel of the College’s renewed focus on improving the way teachers are prepared to succeed as educators. Seventh-grade math teacher Zoe Zeno found that philosophy particularly attractive. Zeno earned her undergraduate teaching degree at the University of California at San Diego. When she moved to Charlotte after being hired by Teach for America, she joined Charlotte- Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) as a lateral entry while pursuing her North Carolina teaching certificate at UNC Charlotte. Zeno sought a position at Druid Hills Academy, a Title I school known as much for its trials as its many opportunities to create meaningful change. Zoe Zeno “There are challenging aspects to teaching here, but it really prepares you,” said Zeno. “I definitely feel that, if you can make it here, you can take that experience and succeed anywhere.” While some aspects of effective teaching are constant across all schools, facilities with more low-income students have special challenges. It can take different skills and approaches to reach children who may not have books at home or parents to oversee and assist with homework. Direct observation and supervised practice in classrooms with teachers who have demonstrated their effectiveness in high-needs settings is essential to prepare teacher candidates for jobs made tougher by the obstacles poverty creates. Petty tasks the Office of Field Experiences with preparing a list of schools to target for placement, using metrics from the Department of Public 24 Extracurricular The Magazine for the Cato College of Education

difficult in high-poverty schools that often have frequent teacher turnover and a large number of new teachers. In addition, students may not show the requisite growth right away. The result can be a limit on the pool of cooperating teachers. “Much of it comes down to building relationships with teachers and school leaders who provide recommendations and partner with the College for placements,” said Petty. “We want our students to be placed with good cooperating teachers and to have a good experience.” Receiving support and constructive feedback is key to having a good student teacher experience, two things the College works hard to ensure throughout the 15-week, full-time, student teaching experience. If all goes well, undergraduate students stay with one teacher during their year-long internship and spend a minimum of one day a week with their assigned teacher in the semester prior to student teaching. In addition to determining where students get placed, outlining how they get support is also challenging. As part of the teacher preparation redesign work occurring with all aspects of teacher preparation, supervisors will coach students rather than merely observe and provide feedback. Coaching is also provided by the teacher and faculty members. Students gradually assume the teacher’s instructional and noninstructional responsibilities and eventually get to teach full-time for 20 consecutive days. “When they take ownership of that classroom, it’s hard work, and it’s time-consuming, but they really get a feel for what it’s like to be a teacher,” said Frazier. “Some tell me, ‘I really know now that I’m supposed to be doing this.’” ■

Professor Butler’s Turning Point


hen Bettie Butler is asked to talk about her work preparing the next generation of educators to work with diverse student populations, you may have to ask her to stop talking. As thankless as the task may seem at times, pressing for equity, representation and achievement among vulnerable populations engages, excites and energizes her. “I think I was groomed to do precisely this,” said Butler. “Growing up in Greensboro, all my K-12 education was in under-resourced, urban schools where the majority of students were African American. But I also had phenomenal teachers who made me very interested in education.” Despite her passion for learning and admiration for the educators who helped shape her life, Butler opted for a different career path. “I was very involved in the Guilford County schools as a volunteer and concluded that the best way to become a change agent is to be a policy

maker or at least know enough about policy to affect it,” she explained. So she earned a bachelor’s in political science from North Carolina A&T and a master’s from Texas A&M. It was after being recruited to study education policy at Texas A&M that she realized the field of education was replete with opportunities to affect policy. Suddenly everything clicked. “It made so much sense. I wanted to do more and couldn’t do that in political science. I have been studying this work ever since.” Since Butler joined the Cato College of Education faculty six years ago, she has been nearly single-minded in assessing what higher education can and must do to provide for the needs of the community it purports to serve—produce more principals, Latino leaders and teachers who can adequately address the needs of the students. Butler first presented a service learning project to The Magazine for the Cato College of Education Extracurricular 25

We love the innovative ideas about how to go beyond scripted textbook.

former College of Education Dean Mary Calhoun. She wanted education students to become involved throughout the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community, including with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education. The project allowed students to get hands-on experience and act as liaisons between the community and the Board of Education. During the first years of the learning project, the students were a voice for those in the community by presenting their concerns to the board. Eventually, the project evolved, and students hosted a town hall gathering in Charlotte’s District 2 where community members were invited to a District 2 town hall. “This became a true grassroots effort on behalf of the community,” said Butler. Today, Butler has a partnership with Turning Point Academy, the only alternative education school in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools system. She encourages students from the Foundations of Education and Diverse Youth in Secondary Schools and the Diverse Learners courses to participate with Turning Point Academy to obtain valuable clinical experience. Together, these courses provide social, historical and philosophical foundations on major issues and strategies for adapting instruction to meet the learning needs of students at risk for school failure, individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, gifted learners and special needs populations. Initially, her students were somewhat apprehensive, but after 14-15 weeks of clinical experience and volunteer work, they came back with positive reviews. “We love the innovative ideas about how to go beyond scripted textbook. The STEM-based project teaches the students about biological cells through weaving and crocheting. Imagine kids really excited about crocheting,” said Butler. “There’s no limit to what you can teach a student you have engaged!” Butler can identify with students who may be reluctant to get involved in an alternative school because she 26 Extracurricular The Magazine for the Cato College of Education

was also hesitant to associate with Turning Point Academy. “I resisted for a while because I came in as a school discipline scholar and didn’t really see the connection between school discipline and alternative education.” Her turning point came once she evaluated the situation as a researcher. At that point, she sought to identify the research findings regarding putting student teachers in different environments where they might not be comfortable. Research has shown that this type of involvement provides great benefits to aspiring teachers. Exposure to urban environments has transformative effects on their pedagogical practices, how they reach, communicate and build relationships with students. Of the African American male participants in the class, four of five reported having a transformative experience. This is particularly important because male students make up a dismal percentage of teachers, particularly in urban education. Not having those relationships affects retention, resulting in high teacher turnover. “A colleague and I did a service learning research piece using critical interpretive case study analogies. Our findings supported the fact that the service learning experience fostered our students, desire to teach in urban settings.” Butler is hopeful about the strides being made in urban education to better prepare educators to succeed in multicultural environments. However, she feels the curricula of many colleges still fall short. While collaborating with a student on a study of roughly 15 of the North Carolina university system schools, she discovered that all avoided one of the most pressing issue of our time—immigration. Most avoided issues of diversity in terms of race, class and gender. “If we’re training teachers to go into urban environments but not giving them the proper education and exposure, how can we expect them to be the best they can be for their students?” In sum, she still has a lot of work to do. ■

Accolades, Achievements & Awards National and Regional Faculty Recognitions ■ Diane Browder received the Burton Blott Humanitarian Award presented to an individual who reflects the ideals of the division and who has made significant contribution to the field of intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, and/ or autism from the Council of Exceptional Children’s Division of Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities. Browder also received the Research Award from the Council for Exceptional Children. The Research Award is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities and/or autism through research. ■ Erik Byker was named a Global Teacher Education Fellow. The award supports the internationalization of teacher preparation programs by advancing and disseminating research and best practices. Byker’s research examines the integration of digital technology for the development of global competencies among teacher candidates and practicing teachers. As one of five fellows, he will be instrumental in designing global learning classrooms, with the long-term goal that the teacher candidates of these classrooms will design their own global learning classrooms with their future students.

■ Jae Hoon Lim and counseling doctoral student Claudia Interiano received the Distinguished Paper Award from the North Carolina Association for Research in Educatio for “Unpacking Veteran-Friendly Campuses: A Critical Analysis Of Cultural Assumptions In Higher Education.” They presented their paper at the American Educational Research Association in October 2017.

have distinguished themselves in their chosen profession. Philippakos’s research interests include reading and writing instruction for students in the elementary grades and at the college level, and approaches to professional development for classroom instructors. She has presented writing instruction seminars to elementary schools in several states and conducts rigorous research across states.

■ Chuang Wang is the recipient of the 2018 Harshini de Silva Graduate Mentor Award. This award recognizes a distinguished, active scholar who provides graduate students with the skills and resources they need to succeed as scholars and has a sincere and active interest in the well-being of their students.

■ Bob Algozzine, professor of educational research in the Cato College of Education, is the 2017 recipient of the First Citizens Bank Scholars Medal, UNC Charlotte’s most prestigious faculty award in recognition of excellence in research. The award recognizes and fosters the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and creative endeavors.

■ Erin Miller, assistant professor of Language and Diversity in the Reading and Elementary Education Department, was awarded the Early Childhood Assembly of National Council of Teachers of English’s 2017 Social Justice and Anti-Bias Teaching in Early Childhood Education Award.

■ Kristie Opiola was recognized for outstanding research projects that further the evidence base for counseling practice with the 2017 Best Practices Award by the American Counseling Association (ACA) for her dissertation, “The Efficacy of Child Parent Relationship Therapy or Adoptive Families.”

■ Zoi Philippakos is the inaugural recipient of the 2017 New Graduate Alumni Award from the University of Delaware, her alma mater. The award recognizes recent graduates who

■ Belva Collins received the American Council on Rural Special Education’s Eagle Award for distinguished lifetime leadership, mentoring and advocacy.

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Accolades, Achievements & Awards 2017 Cato College of Education Awards ■ Amy Good, associate professor in Reading and Elementary Education, received the Excellence in Teaching award. The honor, which comes with a $1,000 stipend, was established to encourage, identify, recognize, award and support outstanding teaching. ■ The Excellence in Service award is given to the faculty member who has displayed a sustained and positive impact on student achievement and a deep commitment on behalf

of children and their educators. The 2017 award goes to Lan Kolano (MDSK). ■ Lynn Ahlgrim-Delzell was recognized for an outstanding data- based publication in a peer reviewed journal with the Excellence in Research award. ■ The 2017 Faculty Diversity Award went to Spencer Salas (MDSK) for displaying a deep commitment to

diversity, demonstrating creativity and innovation in a variety of domains and sustaining a positive impact on the University and community constituents. ■ Newton-Conover Middle School Special Education teacher Olivia Kowalewski is the recipient of the Beginning Teacher of the Year award. The 2016 UNC Charlotte grad is in her second year at Newton-Conover Middle School.

Student and Alumni Honors ■ Oakhurst STEAM Academy Principal Tisha Green received the 2017 Outstanding Administrator Award from the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center. The award recognizes outstanding contributions by an administrator in advancing STEM education. Greene has worked to integrate STEAM concepts and initiatives into the students’ entire school day and extracurricular activities. ■ The 2014 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Principal of the Year, David Switzer, has another award to add to his collection. The Ardrey Kell High School principal received the 2017 Excellence in Educational Leadership award from the University Council for Educational Administration. The annual award is given to practicing school administrators who have made significant contributions to the improvement of administrator preparation. ■ The National Association for Gifted Children named Piedmont Middle School Principal Jackie

Barone 2017 Administrator of the Year. Barone has worked at Piedmont for 10 years, the last 4 1/2 as principal. Last year, Piedmont was one of only 15 schools in the CharlotteMecklenburg Schools district to earn an A+ rating from the state. ■ Evan Miller received the Minority Fellowship for Addictions Counselors, which provides a tuition stipend of up to $15,000—along with training, professional guidance and mentoring over Miller’s final year in the counselor’s master’s program. Miller, who has dealt with mental health, says he wants to help others where his counseling failed. ■ North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and Wells Fargo named Hickory Ridge Middle School Principal Liz Snyder the 2018 Cabarrus County Schools Principal of the Year. Snyder will now compete with other principals across North Carolina for the state’s Principal of the Year. ■ Rowan-Salisbury Schools Teacher and Principal of the

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Year are both alumnae of the Cato College of Education. Abby Covington, a fourth-grade teacher at Millbridge Elementary, was named 2017 Teacher of the Year. Angelo DelliSanti, principal of Carson High School, was named 2017 Principal of the Year. ■ Teryn Odom has been named the 2017 North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) Teacher of the Year. The nation’s second largest state-led virtual school selects one teacher from a group of three finalists to represent the school as its Teacher of the Year, all of whom “exemplified the highest degree in their commitment to student success, knowledge and skills as professional educators, and dedication to the program. ■ Denise Patterson was unanimously chosen as Asheville City Schools, superintendent from a pool of more than 50 applicants. Patterson previusly worked in Union and Lincoln county schools and was the associate superintendent in Hickory.

Hello & Goodbye New Faculty Assistant Professor of Foreign Language Education Kristin Davin received her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and comes to UNC Charlotte from Loyola University Chicago. Her research focuses on language proficiency assessment, foreign and second-language teacher preparation, and the Seal of Biliteracy. Davin grew up in Winston-Salem, where she received her undergraduate and master’s degrees at Wake Forest University. She was inspired to become a Spanish teacher during her junior year studying abroad in Seville, Spain. That experience ultimately led to her current passion for teaching others who want to become language teachers. When not exploring new places around the world, Davin loves to read, play tennis and spend time in the woods. After teaching in high-poverty, majority-minority, urban, public schools in Houston and Nashville for 11 years, Erin FitzPatrick completed her Ph.D. in education of students with exceptionalities as a language and literacy fellow at Georgia State University. Specific research interests include practice-based professional development and evidence- based writing interventions for students with learning disabilities and other struggling writers. Fitzpatrick is deeply invested in an ongoing humanitarian partnership offering professional development and coaching in the area of literacy to five elementary schools in Port- au- Prince. She is a teaching consultant with the Middle Tennessee Writing Project and a certified reading specialist. A native of rural southern Illinois, Fitzpatrick loves etymology, reading nonfiction, luxurious baths, mangoes and her pup, Harley. Luke Reinke is an assistant professor in the Reading and Elementary Education Department where he teaches mathematics teaching methods and instructional design. His research focuses on the use of contextualized problems in mathematics instruction and teachers’ use of mathematics curriculum materials. He is also interested in curriculum development and has significant experience designing digital instructional resources for students and teachers. Reinke received his doctorate in teaching, learning and curriculum from the University of Pennsylvania and earned both his undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering and master’s in mathematics and physical education from Duke University. In his spare time, Reinke enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and two young sons. Assistant Professor Colleen E. Whittingham earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from the University of Dayton and doctorate in literacy, language, and culture at the University of Illinois at Chicago, her hometown. Her research explores the factors that mediate teacher/child interactions in early literacy contexts, specifically those fostering equitable opportunities to learn. She also investigates PK-2 classroom practices by combining traditional ethnographic methods with multimodal discourse analysis. Whittingham relocated to Charlotte with her husband and three kids, ages 10, 8, and 6, and their family dog. The avid White Sox fan looks forward to rooting for their farm team, the Charlotte Knights. Department of Reading and Elementary Education Assistant Professor Madelyn Williams Colonnesse received her Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Connecticut. While she greatly enjoyed being a third grade-teacher, her love of research and interest in teacher education prompted her to pursue a doctorate in curriculum and instruction. She focused specifically on elementary mathematical writing after identifying a gap between calls for writing in mathematics and instructional materials to support this practice. Recently, Colonnesse developed instructional guidelines to support teachers with the implementation of elementary mathematical writing. In her free time, she and her husband enjoy running, hiking and traveling.

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Donna Sacco joins the Department of Special Education and Child Development after completing her Ph.D. at George Mason University, where she was a fellow through the Preparation of Leadership Personnel Program. Her research focuses on instruction for students who are dually identified English learners with learning disabilities. Sacco chairs the Elections Standing Committee of the board of directors for the Council for Exceptional Children and is a member of the Professional Practice and Standards Committee. She is also an active member of the Council for Learning Disabilities. Prior to attending graduate school, Sacco worked as a special educator and a professional actor and director. She is married to Peter Tomlinson, a professional photographer, and has two daughters from a previous marriage. Assistant Professor Carl Westine had a varied career before he became assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership. He spent several years in corporate planning at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. After earning his doctorate in interdisciplinary evaluation and master’s in statistics from Western Michigan University, he became an assistant professor at the University of West Georgia (UWG). He has served on various STEM education and health care evaluation, research and technical assistance projects and is presently program chair for the STEM Education and Training topical interest group of the American Evaluation Association. His current research is aimed at finding efficiencies in the planning of evaluations, particularly in the area of STEM education.

Educational Leadership Assistant Professor Beth Oyarzun earned her Ph.D. in instructional design and technology from Old Dominion University in 2016. Prior to UNC Charlotte where she teaches fully online instructional systems technology courses, Oyarzun worked as an instructional designer at UNC Wilmington for 11 years where she also taught high school mathematics in and around Wilmington for nine years. The Asheboro, North Carolina, native enjoys traveling and scuba diving with her husband, Christian, and 6-year-old daughter, Patricia. The Oyarzun family also includes two rescue animals—dog Mabel and cat Saffron.

Special Education and Child Development Assistant Professor Laura McCorkle worked as an educational consultant, communication coach, research assistant and service coordinator at Vanderbilt University, as well as an early intervention teacher and service coordinator at the University of Tennessee at Martin, prior to arriving at UNC Charlotte. McCorkle is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Teacher Education Division (TED), Division of Early Childhood (DEC), and serves as co-chair of the Division for Early Childhood’s Consortium for Innovations in Doctoral Excellence (DECIDE). She is currently investigating the use of immediate feedback, bug-in-the-ear technology, coaching in early childhood special education and how fathers are involved in students’ lives.

Retirements Bob Algozzine has blazed a bright trail since arriving at UNC Charlotte in 1988, including more than 400 professional publications to his credit. He has also been a featured speaker at local, state, national and international professional conferences. His more than 30 years teaching research and evaluation courses culminated in the 2017 First Citizens Scholars Award, the highest recognition for research and scholarship at UNC Charlotte. Dean McIntyre said his work “was not just remarkable in quantity and prestige but it is also . . . work that directly affects the lives of others.” Clearly, he has earned the right to kick back and spend time with his grandkids!

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David “Mickey” Dunaway had a long, diverse career long before he joined the Department of Educational Leadership at the Cato College of Education in 2005. The frequently published writer and presenter on school organization, leadership and improvement spent 35 years in public education serving as teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent. Dunaway’s future plans include a lot of fishing, cheering for the Auburn University tigers and writing that long-planned Civil War novel.

This summer’s theme: Finding Inner Peace The goal is to inspire aspiring authors to use writing and other forms of communication to become more present and mindful. Together, campers and teachers will explore ways to use our voices to bring peace to the local community and beyond. Attendees will have the opportunity to grow as writers. Licensed teachers will instruct campers in key elements of writing, including voice, evidence, characterization, and skill and lead campers in reading age-appropriate mentor texts. ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨

Monday-Friday, 9—3 Rising grades 2-4 & 5-8 Open Mic on Fridays

Students will be published in an anthology ¨

Field trips and experiential learning Register at $250/week per camper

Community Partner Summer Reading Camp for Struggling Readers In addition to literacy support, students receive two meals, a snack, and engage in camp activities, including swimming, science, math, sports, and arts.

Want to Help? Sponsor a child to attend five weeks of camp for $875. Contact Todd Marrs at

University of North Carolina at Charlotte College of Education 9201 University City Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28223-0001

CTEC Students and Teacher CTEC Students and Teacher


Extracurricular|Spring 2018  

The magazine for the UNC Charlotte Cato College of Education.

Extracurricular|Spring 2018  

The magazine for the UNC Charlotte Cato College of Education.