Welcome From Dean Rick Ginsberg
Summer is here!
Road closures all over campus and construction workers with hard hats scurrying around rather than thousands of students carrying backpacks is a clear signal that summer is upon us on Mount Oread! Though we face some interesting budget challenges, the long-term prospects are really exciting. Our new Provost, Neeli Bendapudi, begins her work on July 1st, moving over from her prior position as Dean of the KU School of Business. Neeli is innovative, charismatic, and brings an astonishing level of excitement and energy to her work. As a KU grad, with family who came through the School of Education, she bleeds crimson and blue, and I am confident she will lead us to greater heights.
Our academic programs continue to flourish. Our exercise science undergraduate program at the Edwards Campus in Overland Park is growing and our online graduate certificates and programs in Special Education, Curriculum and Teaching, and Educational Leadership and Policy Studies now collectively have nearly 600 students. A new fully-online Master's degree in Autism Spectrum Disorders and an online certificate in Sport Management (that we anticipate tying to KU’s online MBA) are in the mix for the near future. Our teacher preparation faculty are working diligently to revise their program, meeting with multiple educators and experts to inform their planning. One innovation being considered is to create a virtual learning community for our students and alumni to interact and grow professionally together. Barnett Berry (lead author of “Teacherpreneurs”) and his Center for Teaching Quality in North Carolina, will help us and he will also be teaching a doctoral seminar this fall focusing on the future of professional learning systems.
Early in June we hosted our ninth annual spring conference: Strategies for Educational Improvement. This year’s theme was focused on Teaching and Learning for College and Career Readiness. This is a free day of professional development, with over two hundred teachers and other educators in attendance who heard two former KS Teachers of the Year focusing on technology practices for classrooms and ways of creating teaching practices that promote deep learning for students. The KS Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Education both spoke, followed by 30 afternoon sessions where attendees could choose those areas that best serve their personal professional development needs. It was a great day, and an example of how the School of Education works to give back to KS educators.
We hope to have more opportunities to keep you apprised of our work, and really wish to hear about the great things you are doing. Stay in touch!
Rick Ginsberg, Ph.D.
Dean, KU School of Education