Junior Gigi Mendoza, who is majoring in all-level special education (SPED), knew she had found her calling when she walked into the Functional Academics SPED classroom at Midway High School. “It just feels like this is where I belong,” she said. “It’s a God thing.”
During her first two and a half years in the Baylor School of Education, Mendoza had several special education field placements, including clinic settings and inclusion classrooms at different age levels.
“The School of Education (SOE) gives us a variety of field experiences, and I liked everything,” Mendoza said. But this semester, she realized that this kind of classroom, focusing on life skills for older students, is exactly where she wants to be.
Mendoza is one of 10 Baylor students who are at the junior “Teaching Associate” level majoring in all-level SPED. They spend several mornings every week on a local school campus. At Midway, they arrive at 7:30 a.m. and spend two class periods with the students in this self-contained SPED classroom every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Senior teaching interns in the Baylor School of Education (SOE) are learning to improve their teaching practice through research in the classrooms where they are student teaching. Called “Action Research,” the projects completed by the seniors will be showcased at the Action Research Symposium this week.
The symposium will be Thursday, April 12, from 4:30-6 p.m. at the Lee Lockwood Library, 2801 West Waco Drive. Baylor faculty members, plus teachers and administrators from Baylor’s partner schools, will get to see the project results and discuss them with students.
For the second year in a row, the Baylor University School of Education has won a prestigious national honor in recognition of its Professional Development School (PDS) partnership with local schools.
The partnership between Baylor School of Education and Waco Independent School District to prepare future teachers has earned the Exemplary Professional Development School Achievement Award from the National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS). The award will be presented March 17 to Baylor School of Education and Waco ISD, plus three other university-public school partnerships, at the NAPDS annual conference in Jacksonville, Florida.
Students from the Baylor School of Education will participate in two study-abroad experiences during Spring Break the week of March 4-10. Undergraduate teacher-education students will be visiting schools and experiencing culture in Mexico and Costa Rica.
Baylor’s Sport Management Program — housed in the Department of Educational Leadership in Baylor’s School of Education — will host the annual Applied Sport Management Association (ASMA) conference Feb. 15-17, 2018.
ASMA is a regional association within Texas and surrounding states that aims to connect students studying the sport management industry with practicing professionals in sports business or institutions. The three-day conference will take place in Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation. Attendees will tour Baylor’s athletic facilities, attend the Baylor Baseball Tailgate for Baylor vs. Purdue, listen to panel discussions, see industry research, and hear a keynote speech from Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby.
Corina Kaul, MA ’14, a PhD candidate in Educational Psychology, was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award from the Baylor Graduate School. Every semester, the Baylor Graduate School selects three graduate students for this award to celebrate their achievement in classroom instruction.
Kaul received the award for teaching The Developing Child in the Spring of 2017. It was her third semester teaching the course that discusses development and “emerging adulthood.”
Lakia M. Scott, Ph.D., assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in Baylor School of Education, published research in the Journal of Human Trafficking showing that in-the-classroom curriculum can help ninth and tenth-graders identify human trafficking risks to themselves and to others while empowering them to advocate against trafficking.
The prevalence of human trafficking is on the rise. In Texas alone, researchers estimate that there are 313,000 human trafficking victims. As awareness campaigns increase such as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, celebrated in January, Baylor professors are studying ways educate and empower youth to address human trafficking in their communities.
Scott and SOE alumna Christina Crenshaw, Ph.D. ’13, recruited three high school social studies teachers at a Central Texas school to integrate a five-session curriculum that explores the history and development of human trafficking, challenges common perceptions of modern slavery, and shows students how they can be modern abolitionists. Scott and Crenshaw collected data through surveys and assessments of knowledge, both before and after the lessons, to determine student learning and understanding.
Results from the first three years of the Baylor School of Education’s EnAbled for College program show that high-school students working with trained mentors are reaching the next level of education.
EnAbled for College serves about 50 high schoolers each year, and 100 percent of the program participants who graduated in May 2017 applied to a post-secondary educational institution. Of those seniors who applied, 97 percent were accepted to college.
2017 was a good year for Baylor School of Education alumni — judging by the number of them who received awards and recognition for their professional service. It happens every year, but now the School of Education is collecting and sharing news of alumni honors more often.
If you have won a professional award in recent years, please share the news with Baylor School of Education by emailing BaylorImpact@baylor.edu. We are recognizing alumni awards on the SOE website here: baylor.edu/SOE/alumawards.
Rachelle Meyer Rogers, E.D., clinical assistant professor in the Baylor University School of Education and university liaison to Midway Middle School Professional Development School (PDS), has been elected to serve on the national board of directors of the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE).
Voted by the membership nationwide, Rogers will take office in February 2018 and serve for three years. She was the only board member elected this year as a representative of university teacher-preparation programs.
The School of Education teamed up to offer a new kind of academic class at Baylor. This fall, Baylor launched a series of new classes to encourage collaboration among departments, faculty and students. Called “social innovation labs,” the classes are part of the wider Baylor Social Innovation Collaborative (BAY-SIC) initiative to develop deeper levels of problem solving through working with others and thinking differently.
The fall SOE offering was an interdisciplinary course called “Healthy River, Healthy Community.” The class encouraged students to investigate water issues around the world and in the Waco community. As faculty for the class, the SOE’s Dr. Sandi Cooper and Dr. Suzanne Nesmith were joined by instructors from Hankamer School of Business, the Department of Religion, College of Arts & Sciences, the Mayborn Museum, Informed Engagement, and the Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research. Cooper is professor of math education, and Nesmith is associate professor of science education and associate dean for undergraduate education.
All teachers remember the first classroom they set up on their own — the carefully crafted bulletin boards, the books so lovingly chosen, the shared treasures from their own childhood. That’s exactly the kind of love and care that new Baylor graduate Lucy Boe, BSEd ’17, poured into her first classroom at Creech Elementary in Katy ISD.
“I had been a teacher for seven days when the hurricane hit,” Boe said. “We had no idea — I didn’t take anything home that night; I left everything plugged in.”
Baylor University announced a gift of $2.5 million from Lynda and Robert Copple of Frisco that will create the Lynda and Robert Copple Endowed Chair in Christian School Leadership within Baylor University’s School of Education.
The gift will enable Baylor to attract a visionary Christian leader to lay the academic and intellectual foundations of the Center for Christian Education (CCE) and establish the Center as the preeminent provider of professional development for leaders of Christian schools and for Christian leaders in non-sectarian school settings.
The yellow house on Waco’s Colcord Avenue may seem like any other house on the street, but it isn’t a typical house. This house is actually Good Neighbor Settlement House, a project founded by School of Education professor Dr. Laine Scales, who teaches in the Department of Educational Leadership and also serves Baylor’s Graduate School as associate dean.
A faith-based organization, Good Neighbor is modeled after the settlement houses of the nineteenth century. Good Neighbor believes Christians are called to love our neighbors. But Scales said that, in today’s world, there can be distance and fear even toward those closest to us, like our neighbors. Good Neighbor seeks to address that in its community through several avenues.
Scales said education is an important aspect of the mission. “I envisioned Go0d Neighbor House as a way to weave together my commitments to higher education, social work and faith,” she said.
The Fall 2017 issue of Baylor Impact is now available online. Check it out for stories about Baylor School of Education students, faculty, alumni and programs. In this issue, you'll find statistics about the School’s outstanding faculty in the “Annual Update” section, leadership news, and important faculty accomplishments.
Don’t miss the cover story on the work of educational psychologists to improve student behavior in a local elementary school. A special web “Extra” provides a video profile of Rachel Vaughn, honored as the Texas Student Teacher of the Year. And if you enjoyed the alumni Q&A in the printed magazine, there are more exciting baseball insights on the website.
School of Education graduates should receive a printed copy of Impact in the mail. If you are a graduate and did not receive a printed copy, please email BaylorImpact@baylor.edu.
For the second year in a row, a Baylor University School of Education student teacher has been named Clinical Teacher of the Year for the State of Texas by the Texas Directors of Field Experience (TDFE), the organization of faculty members within university teacher-education programs who supervise field experiences of students.
Rachel Vaughn, B.S.Ed. ’17, will receive the Clinical Teacher of the Year Award, which honors senior-level teacher-education students, during the statewide meeting this fall of the Consortium of State Organizations for Texas Teacher Education (CSOTTE), of which TDFE is a part. Vaughn is among three honorees from university-based programs.
Baylor education majors, during their senior year, teach in local classrooms for more than 100 days during the school year. The state requirement for teacher certification is 65 days.
On her first day of work at Baylor University’s School of Education (SOE), Darlene Kyser sat in a small, musty room on the third floor of Pat Neff Hall, surrounded by old books, typing up permanent record cards on an electric typewriter.
“I went home and told my husband, Don, I just did not think it was going to work out,” Kyser reminisces with a soft laugh. “But Don said, ‘Why don’t you give it a couple of days?’ So I did, and here I am 50 years later.”
Now Kyser sits tall in a black chair at a wooden desk in her spacious office in Marrs McLean Science — a shift from the closet room where she worked decades ago. Kyser, assistant to the dean of Baylor’s School of Education, manages the day-to-day meetings, conferences and schedule of the dean. She also assists with faculty search committees, communicates university-wide policies and procedures to SOE faculty and staff, and hosts annual dean events. In September 2017, Kyser celebrated 50 years in the SOE, and at the end of October, she will retire.
Baylor School of Education (SOE) will host the regional conference of the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) on Sept. 29-30 at the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC). The seven-state Southwest region is composed of Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.
Baylor SOE science educators Dr. Madelon McCall, Clinical Assistant Professor and University Liaison at Midway High School, and Dr. Suzanne Nesmith, Associate Dean and Associate Professor, are co-chairs of the conference bringing science educators to Waco.
Baylor School of Education is seeking faculty members to fill eight positions for the fall of 2018, including positions in all three academic departments — Curriculum & Instruction, Educational Leadership and Educational Psychology — and a librarian position.
Baylor University, a faith-based research university, provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students. For the seventh year in a row in 2017, Baylor was named as a “Great College to Work For,” according to the survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Baylor received recognition in six categories: compensation and benefits; facilities, workspace and security; job satisfaction and support; professional/career development programs; supervisor/department chair relationship; and work/life balance.
A love of flying starts early. That’s why Baylor’s Institute for Air Science wants to reach out to young students to spark an interest in flying and the science behind aviation.
While the department hosts numerous recruiting events to draw collegians to its bachelor’s degree programs in Aviation Sciences and Aviation Administration, faculty and staff wanted to also host community events and offer educational materials for students as young as elementary age.
Kelley Oliver, the Project Coordinator and Office Manager for the Institute, said that to do that effectively, they needed expertise. So they reached across campus to the School of Education — specifically Associate Dean and Associate Professor Dr. Suzanne Nesmith, a science educator for elementary grades, and Dr. Sandi Cooper, Professor and Coordinator of the Mathematics Education program and mathematics educator for elementary grades.
The School of Education welcomed five new full-time faculty members for the 2017-18 academic year, including additions in each academic department. A couple are familiar faces, while others are new to Baylor.
Read more about new faculty Jessica Akers, PhD, BCBA-D; Kevin Magill, PhD; Kristen Padilla-Mainor, EdS, LSSP, BCBA; Karen Rue, EdD; and Sandra Talbert, EdD.
Autism might not be what you think it is. “Some behaviors associated with autism are much more manageable than people think, especially in academic settings,” said Dr. Tracey Sulak, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology. “You can integrate some children with autism into a regular academic setting, but you have to know how to do it.”
Baylor sophomores learned just that — and more — through a hands-on teaching experience offered at the Baylor Center for Developmental Disabilities (BCDD) for the first time in the spring. Previously, the field experience associated with Sulak’s class, Literacy for Learners with Special Needs, was taught in a school setting. Sulak moved the class to an afternoon time slot so that she could create a community after-school academic program at the BCDD for children from multiple schools and also for children who were already clients of the BCDD’s behavior-based programs.
If Baylor School of Education professor in Curriculum & Instruction Randy Wood, Ph.D., can’t be found in his colorful office, he’s probably at an airport, on an airplane, or driving across Texas. Recently appointed chairman of the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC) and chair of the Commission on Christian Education/Nurture for the Baptist World Alliance, Wood frequently traverses the state, country and planet.
“One good thing about being the chairman of the TEPSAC board is I have a lot of opportunities to learn more about what’s going on in private education,” Wood said. “The main thing the TEPSAC board does that I’m proudest of is we make sure all private Texas schools are meeting a state standard.”
A commitment to learning, along with a passion for teaching and concern for her students, are just a few of the reasons Dr. Tamara Hodges received the Baylor 2016-2017 Outstanding Faculty Award for outstanding teaching.
“There’s always got to be a new way to teach a class,” said Hodges, MS.Ed. ’94, Ed.D. ’96. “You have to keep finding new ways so you’re excited, because that’s contagious. If you’re excited about what you’re teaching, the kids are going to be excited too.”
Graduate students in Baylor School of Education’s (SOE) Sport Management program joined the roar of a Dell Diamond stadium crowd with cheers and claps as they enjoyed a game of the Round Rock Express minor league.
But they weren’t there for the baseball action; they were there to see sports marketing in action. As the sweltering Texas sun finally sank over the horizon, Dr. Jeff Petersen’s marketing class settled in for the Triple-A game, ending a full afternoon visit to the stadium, where the students met with sports marketing professionals and toured Dell Diamond — all facilitated by Round Rock Express General Manager Tim Jackson, BA ’08, MSEd ’09, graduate of the Sport Management Program.