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The Educator: Ohio Proud & Patton Proud



Care Program wins award

The Patton College of Education’s CARE program received the National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER) Richard W. Clark Award for Exemplary Partner School Work for its outstanding partnership with Federal Hocking Local Schools. The College received the award at the NNER Annual Conference in Charlotte on Oct. 10.

“It is an honor to be recognized for our work with Federal Hocking Local Schools,” said Marcy Keifer Kennedy, director of the Ohio University Center for Clinical Practice in Education. “We are very proud of the work that we do together.”

The award recognizes a partner-school collaboration that develops, advances, and sustains the complex work of colleges and school districts working together as equal partners to further student achievement. It also recognizes the contributions of Richard W. Clark, whose leadership in partner-school research and practice continues to influence NNER partner schools.

NNER strives to improve schools, universities, and communities and believes that all students – regardless of race, poverty, geography, or any other circumstance – deserve equal access to high-quality learning and enriching life experiences. It provides ongoing professional development to member institutions, sharing best practices to inform local, state, and national policies.

CARE – Creating Active and Reflective Educators – is one of the College’s longest-running partnerships, with 30 years of collaboration with local schools. The program, which focuses on progressive education, significantly informed the Clinical Model of Education Preparation.

“We were looking for a way to develop a teacher education program that focused on the progressive principles as put forth by John Dewey,” said Federal Hocking Local Schools Superintendent George Wood, a former OHIO faculty member who helped create CARE. “It wasn’t just to create a partnership or a cohort; it was actually to create a program with a philosophy. We wanted to work with students for three years – perhaps even four – and develop in them a sense of what it means to be a progressive educator.”

That includes forming long-term relationships with local schools – one, in particular. CARE students do not teach at one school one semester and another the next. They remain at one site and work and grow within those halls and within that community.

As part of the program, CARE candidates learn how theory and practice intertwine. Beginning in the fall of their sophomore year, they travel as a cohort through the CARE course of study, working immediately and continuously in partnership schools. CARE candidates quickly become passionate about their work and are committed to the democratic principles of student-centered pedagogy.

The CARE program will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its partnership with Federal Hocking Local School District on June 14-15, 2019, at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Current and former CARE teacher candidates, mentor teachers, faculty, principals, and superintendents are invited to attend.

“The reunion will recognize and celebrate the strong history of reflective and democratic teaching principles that CARE participants acquired – and use – as teachers and administrators in school districts, as well as faculty in teacher preparation programs around the country,” said Keifer Kennedy. “The goal of the event is to strengthen the network of democratic educators through the sharing of experiences since leaving the program.”

Pre-registration for the event is available. More event details will be released via Facebook in the coming months. Please contact Administrative Specialist Grace Kroeger (kroeger@ohio.edu) with questions.



Aspire Students GED math class

The Patton College of Education’s Stevens Literacy Center has received an adult literacy grant from Aspire, making Ohio University the first four-year institution to receive such funding. As a result, Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) Chancellor John Carey has called OHIO the first “GED to Ph.D. program.”

“The Stevens Literacy Center has made exceptional strides in preschool through high school education and can now extend its reach to improve the lives of adults in the area,” said Chancellor Carey. “These Aspire students will be able to achieve more than they ever thought possible.”

The inaugural Aspire class took place Nov. 2, with Chancellor Carey, Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis, and Patton College Dean Renée A. Middleton attending. All three spoke at its conclusion.

“OHIO is constantly seeking ways to provide more opportunities for student engagement and learning, and that extends to the community in which we live,” said Nellis. “I look forward to watching these students reach their full potential and realize that their dreams are very much within reach.”  

Aspire – formerly the Adult Basic Literacy Education (ABLE) program – is an ODHE-sponsored program. It provides free services for individuals who need assistance acquiring skills to be successful in post-secondary education, training, and employment. Ohioans 18 and older with less than a 12th-grade education are eligible to participate.

“We have been given a tremendous opportunity to work with the Ohio Department of Higher Education and Aspire,” said Julie Barnhart Francis, Stevens Literacy Center director. “Together, we will show the power of adult instruction in literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving and have a positive impact on people’s lives in our community.”

During the class, Scott Hatfield and Sally Young – two Aspire teachers from the Athens County Department of Job and Family Services, OhioMeansJobs–Athens County – taught an algebra lesson to students pursuing their High School Equivalence Diploma. 

“One of President Nellis’ strategic goals is to enhance university engagement with the community, and this is a wonderful example of that,” said Middleton. “The Patton College and the Stevens Literacy Center want to work with community partners as much as possible to provide resources and human services to people who need it most.”

The Stevens Literacy Center, to its credit, has done that for more than 20 years. Established in 1997 by Dr. Edward W. Stevens Jr., a distinguished professor of history and philosophy of education, the Center improves lives by researching, developing, and promoting literacy across the lifespan. 

Lifespan being the keyword. 

“Much of our focus has been on enhancing P-12 learning, but we’re pushing the boundaries beyond that,” said Barnhart Francis. “We want to improve adult literacy and education, and this is a wonderful opportunity to do so. We’re so thankful that President Nellis, Chancellor Carey, and Dean Middleton value this type of outreach.”

Aspire Meeting

Aspire services are available in all 88 counties in Ohio and offer programming in math, reading, writing, life skills, employability skills, computer literacy, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), among other areas. 

“There is a ripple effect to this work,” said Barnhart Francis. “If individuals achieve higher levels of education, they can attain better, higher-paying jobs and support themselves – and their families – more easily. That will improve their lives, their children’s lives, and strengthen our economy.”

It is not uncommon for Aspire students to receive their High School Equivalence Diploma and pursue post-secondary education. Some, in fact, are current OHIO students. Other Aspire students, meanwhile, receive their High School Equivalence Diploma and immediately enter the workforce.

"As jobs change and the skills required for them continue to evolve, we want to make sure that people are on the right path and ahead of schedule," said Barnhart Francis. "Whether they're applying for college or pursuing a trade, we're here and we want to help."

Center Director, Julie Francis, was recently interviewed on WOUB's Spectrum Podcast (a national program), along with Aspire teacher Amy Guda and Amanda Ailiff, the local adult literacy program graduate who is a true success story!



College Bound Students

When The Patton College of Education learned it would lose federal funding for Upward Bound, which had served Southeast Ohio since 1967, it didn’t panic. It improvised.

The result was College Bound, which mirrors the goals of Upward Bound by providing skills and support services to high school students who are low-income and/or potential first-generation college students.

While College Bound intends to be a year-round program, it began with a weeklong summer program July 23-27. The purpose of the program was to cultivate resilience, confidence, and preparation for a healthy and successful transition from high school to a postsecondary institution.

Nine students from Athens, Vinton, and Hocking Counties participated in the program. All were entering their junior or senior year of high school.

“I couldn't have been more pleased with the inaugural summer College Bound and the itinerary we developed for the participants,” said Coleen Dietsch-Krubl, College Bound project manager. “We were able to provide these rising high school juniors and seniors with a wide-ranging yet cohesive week of activities that deepened their understanding of how to succeed as a student both in and out of the classroom.”

College Bound Students

The week was full of activities. Participants spent a day at Ohio University’s Outdoor Pursuits Challenge Course, an adventure recreation department within Student Affairs. In addition to zip-lining, the group experienced personal-development activities and learned to overcome challenges through teamwork and creativity. Attendees also spent an afternoon at Passion Works Studio, where they helped create giant papier mâché pawpaws for the Pawpaw Festival in September.  

Participants also met with a panel of OHIO resource experts who were also all first-generation college students, including senior education major Asiah Berry and senior specialized studies major Donte Brown. Advisors Milan Thomas and Ben Forche also served on the panel, as did Amber Brookins, who works in financial aid, and Angela Ash, an OHIO First Scholars member.

Participants asked the panel questions about admissions, financial aid, academic advising, communicating with professors, scheduling classes, and working while going to school, among other topics. The panel discussion was slated to last 75 minutes; students were so engaged, however, that it ran an hour past its allotted time.   

“All of our presenters and instructors did a fabulous job of teaching and facilitating activities in ways that really engaged our learners,” said Dietsch-Krubl.

Funding for College Bound was provided by the President’s Office and The Patton College Dean's Office. Each contributed $50,000 for the 2018-2019 program year.

Participants work together on challenge courses

First-generation students comprise a large portion of the incoming freshman class – approximately 33 percent on the Athens campus and upwards of 51-58 percent on OHIO’s regional campuses.

The Patton College hired Dietsch-Krubl in May to serve as College Bound project manager. She previously worked for the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service, where she was a senior project manager and most recently worked on the Partnership for Smoke-Free Families Community Saturation project, which was funded by the Ohio Department of Health.

“I am excited for this role and couldn’t be happier with how our inaugural program went,” said Dietsch-Krubl. “I’m already looking forward to next year.”