The Open Books Open Doors project provides free literacy screenings for Connecticut children with Down Syndrome in pre-school through grade 3, as well as resources for parents and teachers regarding best practices in literacy instruction. Funded by the Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress (CDSC) and USJ, the project was initiated several years ago by Associate Professor of Education Kathleen M. Whitbread, Ph.D. Dr. Whitbread coordinated an event in April that offered free literacy screenings along with informational sessions for parents regarding effective early literacy strategies. For more information on Open Books Open Doors visit: openbooksopendoors.com.
The first annual Dialogue 21 conference, an event designed to promote effective technology integration in classrooms, was held on May 5. Following the “unconference” model utilized at EdCamp, the agenda for the day was collaboratively agreed upon during the morning of the event, capitalizing on participants’ shared desires to learn in an open environment. Dialogue 21 attracted over 100 educators and garnered outstanding evaluations thanks to the dedicated efforts of Marialice Curran, Ph.D., assistant professor of Education; Lisa Sandstrom, executive assistant; Michael Carbone ’12, graduate student; and the Student Advisory Group in Education (SAGE).
The School of Education re-organized from one to two departments. This change, which took effect July 1, creates an organizational structure that is consistent with other USJ Schools and that supports the School’s administrative activities. The School now has two academic departments, each with a department chair: Education and Special Education. An additional associate dean has been added to focus on the assessment activities required for teacher licensure and NCATE accreditation. The School has expanded dramatically over the past several years with the addition of the off-campus master’s programs and is in the process of developing sixth-year programs.
The new* and existing appointments are noted here:
The department of Education oversees the undergraduate teacher licensure programs in elementary education and the secondary subjects, along with graduate teacher licensure programs in early childhood/special education, elementary, and secondary subjects. This department is also responsible for the master of arts in Early Childhood/Special Education and the master of arts in Education with concentrations in 1) Curriculum and Instruction, 2) Reading and Language: Elementary, 3) Reading and Language: Secondary, 4) Multiple Intelligences, 5) Researchbased Learning Interventions, and 6) Technology.
The department of Special Education is responsible for the Special Education major and undergraduate teacher licensure in Special Education, as well as the master of arts degree in Special Education: 1) with teacher licensure, 2) without teacher licensure, 3) for cross-endorsement, 4) with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
“We are one School of Education that shares a deeply held belief in the values of the Conceptual Framework, one of which is collaboration,” said Dean Butler. “I am confident that distributed leadership will serve to foster this collegial spirit even further, providing faculty with the freedom to continue their outstanding work, and will ultimately make us even stronger.”