SOE News Briefs: Program News

June 11, 2020
New Programs Launch in the School of Education

DallasSchool Psychology Dallas:

Baylor School of Education has expanded degree offerings in School Psychology this summer, launching a new Dallas-based program offering the Education Specialist (EdS) degree. Baylor's school psychology program in Waco is nationally accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), and Baylor is now accepting applications for the School Psychology-Dallas EdS program for the fall semester of 2020, with a final deadline of June 30.

"There has been a national shortage of school psychologists for several years, and there is an expectation for over 20,000 new jobs over the next 10 years," said Dr. Julie Ivey, associate professor and program coordinator for Dallas. "Baylor's Dallas program is actively responding to this need by expanding opportunities and making this career accessible to more students interested in making a difference and helping children achieve success."

EckertMA in School Leadership:

The Department of Educational Leadership is launching a new MA in School Leadership, accepting its first class in January. The program will accept students yearly in one cohort of Christian leaders with two tracks: 1) Texas principal certification or 2) school leadership in other states or independent schools. This dual-track master's program in school leadership brings together emerging Christian leaders in public and independent schools in a hybrid model that combines the best of face-to-face and virtual learning. Most coursework will be online, with all students gathering on campus (as is safely possible during COVID-19) for one week in January and two weeks in the summer. Students who begin in January 2021 should be able to graduate in May 2022. The program can be finished in 30 hours and will offer significant tuition discounts through scholarships. No GRE is required.

Dr. Jon Eckert, Copple Professor in Christian School Leadership, will serve as program director, along with his academic role in the Baylor Center for Christian Education (CCE).

Undergraduate Minor in Informal Education:

Beginning this fall, the Department of Curriculum & Instruction is offering an undergraduate Minor in Informal Education, an 18-hour course of study in collaboration with Baylor's Department of Museum Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences. Students can prepare for a career in museum education through this minor. It includes nine semester hours in Museum Studies, six hours in Education, and one three-hour course that is a collaborative course offering a practicum experience.

At this time, Curriculum & Instruction offers Informal Education as a cognate area for graduate students in C&I, but faculty have identified the need for undergraduate students.

"Nationwide, university programs focused exclusively on museum education currently exist only at the graduate level," said Dr. Sandi Cooper, professor of mathematics education. "This is a roadblock for undergraduate students interested in developing an expertise in informal education for the museum field. And not all museums or informal sites such as zoos, aquariums, parks, etc., are able to recruit staff with graduate degrees. But they do need qualified employees with educational experience, so this minor offers undergraduate students with this opportunity."

Students interested in the program should contact their academic advisor.

Program News

SOE Celebrates First Graduates in EdD in K-12 Leadership

JerkinsThe first graduates of the School of Education's EdD in K-12 Educational Leadership earned the title of "doctor" in May. This cohort-based program is designed for dedicated working professionals, with classes scheduled on weekends. The first group of seven graduates completed the program in three years, with the last year dedicated to research for their dissertation-in-practice. A new cohort begins each June.

Most of the graduates saw a job promotion during their time in the program, with one graduate, Dr. Mike Rockwood, becoming Deputy Superintendent of Lamar CISD immediately following graduation — his second promotion since starting the program. His dissertation focused on leadership development in fast-growth school districts in Texas.

"As a result of my research and experiences through the EdD, I now oversee multiple departments, including leadership development, in one of the fastest-growing school districts in Texas," Rockwood said.

Like the other graduates, he hailed the relationships gained through the program's cohort model and the professional networking opportunities as extremely valuable.

Dr. Courtney Jerkins (pictured), a district-level administrator in Midway ISD, said she highly recommends the K-12 EdD program. "The knowledge I've gained, the professional network I've established, and the friendships I've formed will have an impact on me for the rest of my life," she said.

Dr. Chris Bailey, Principal of Tommie and Bobbie Clack Middle School in Abilene ISD, applauded the cohort model, saying, "My fellow doctoral colleagues are a group of the finest professionals in education whom I continue to learn from daily and will collaborate with throughout my leadership journey."

The other four graduates are Dr. John Bullion, Dr. David DeMarkis, Dr. Clint Glaesmann, and Dr. Shorr Heathcote.

Congratulations, EdD graduates.

Baylor SOE Announces New Elementary PDS Sites

Bells HillAfter a yearlong application and review process, Baylor University School of Education (SOE) has selected four local elementary school campuses to serve as Professional Development School (PDS) sites for Baylor teacher-education students, with two schools each in Baylor's two partner districts, Midway ISD and Waco ISD.

The elementary PDS campuses will be:

  • Bell's Hill Elementary in Waco ISD
  • Castleman Creek Elementary in Midway ISD
  • Hillcrest PDS in Waco ISD
  • Spring Valley Elementary in Midway ISD

Baylor SOE's partnerships with Midway ISD and Waco ISD have both won national awards for excellence from the National Association of Professional Development Schools, in 2017 (Midway) and 2018 (Waco).

Professional Development Schools are innovative institutions formed through partnerships between university-based professional educator-preparation programs and preK-12 schools. Their mission is professional preparation of teacher candidates, school and faculty development, inquiry directed at the improvement of practice, and enhanced student learning.

With these elementary schools, Baylor will have eight PDS campuses at all levels. Current middle and secondary PDS campuses are:

Middle Grades:

  • Cesar Chavez Middle School in Waco ISD
  • Midway Middle School in Midway ISD

Secondary Level:

  • Midway High School in Midway ISD
  • University High School in Waco ISD
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