STATESBORO – February 4, 2014 –Georgia Southern University’s National Youth-At-Risk Center will welcome more than a thousand educators, social workers, community leaders and researchers from across the United States and internationally during the 25th annual National Youth-At-Risk Conference at the Hyatt Regency in Savannah, Ga., March 2-5.
It is one of the country’s premier conferences focusing on the needs of youth at risk—especially raising the achievement of underperforming students. “This is such an important conference because it not only looks at what risks today’s youth face but also presents proactive solutions and best practices for meeting these serious challenges,” said Thomas Koballa, dean of the College of Education which houses the National Youth-At-Risk Center and sponsors the conference along with the Division of Continuing Education. Speakers and workshops will look at such issues as school violence, poverty, learning difficulties, underachievement, bullying and dysfunctional families .
The National Youth-At-Risk Conference will also honor “High Flying Schools” which have made significant achievement in academic and community arenas. These schools have at least 50 percent of their students living at or below the poverty level and have a diverse student body.
The High Flying Schools for 2014 are:
High Flying School Award Winners
Northington Elementary – Tuscaloosa, AL
North Vista Elementary – Florence, SC
Loris Elementary – Loris, SC
High Flying School Honorable Mentions
Cambridge Elementary, Cocoa, FL
Oak Hill Middle, Milledgeville, GA
Fowler Drive Elementary, Athens, GA
C.G. Woodson Elementary, Jacksonville, FL
Information and registration is available at www.nationalyouthatrisk.org
Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 120 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. In 2011, the University was named one of the Top 10 most popular universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report and is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit: www.georgiasouthern.edu.
Georgia Southern University College of Education earned a top 50 ranking in the 2014 U.S. News & World Report “Best Online Graduate Education Programs” released January 8. “We’re pleased to be in the top tier, said COE Dean Thomas R. Koballa, Jr., Ph.D. “The College of Education continues its commitment to offer high-quality online graduate programs and expand the options available to best serve our students,” he said.
“Our online classes meet high standards for excellence,” Koballa continued. “We have a committed faculty trained to teach distance learners, and students from across the region and state know they will be engaged in a rigorous graduate program that furthers their career as an educator in many professional settings,” he said. The U.S. News rankings are compiled annually and take into account such factors as student engagement, which includes retention and graduation rates; admissions selectivity; peer reputation; faculty credentials and training; and student services and technology. The rankings included 238 public and private institutions offering online education programs.
“The rankings are a good place to start your search for an online graduate education program,” Koballa said, “but we also encourage students to contact our Graduate Academic Services Center where they can speak with trained advisors, faculty and peers about our online programs.”
The methodology used for this year’s rankings changed significantly from the previous two years’ rankings U.S. News said in releasing the new data. Program ratings by peer institutions were added this year and improved data collection allowed additional emphasis on student engagement.
For more information on the rankings, go to http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/education/rankings
Assistant Professor Amelia Davis, Curriculum, Foundations and Reading, is the featured faculty on the Zach Henderson Library’s “Selected Works” website. Check out Dr. Davis’ work here: Selected Works of C. Amelia Davishttp://works.bepress.com/ameliadavis/
Georgia Southern University College of Education has earned national continuing accreditation for all its initial teacher preparation and advanced preparation programs from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The College of Education’s programs were singled-out for special recognition by the council, noting that the rigorous review process found “no areas for improvement relative to any of the standards,” according to a letter from James G. Cibulka, president of NCATE. In an additional acknowledgement of the high level of the College of Education’s programs, the NCATE visiting team commended the College for its strengths associated with four standards: Standard 2-Assessment System and Unit Evaluation; Standard 3- Field Experiences and Clinical Practice, the College’s target standard; Standard 5-Faculty Qualifications, Performance and Development; and Standard 6- Unit Governance and Resources.
“NCATE’s continuing accreditation is a testament to the consistent focus on quality and assessment advanced by all our faculty and staff at the College of Education, and it demonstrates once again that our highest priority is teacher effectiveness and student success,” said Thomas R. Koballa, Jr., Ph.D., College of Education dean.
He continued, “I am extremely proud of our entire College for the hard work that went into the year-long review process. As always, our students and their parents are assured that our programs meet the highest state and national standards for academic excellence as a result of NCATE’s national continuing accreditation.” Georgia Southern’s educator preparation programs have been NCATE accredited since 1954 when NCATE was incorporated as an accrediting body. While on-site accreditation takes place every seven years, the College must meet rigorous reporting requirements annually to stay in compliance with NCATE’s accreditation.
Georgia Southern University President Brooks Keel congratulated the College of Education. “The College of Education exemplifies the standards of excellence that are the hallmark of our University,” he said. “NCATE has once again affirmed the College of Education’s longstanding reputation as a regional leader in educator preparation.”
Georgia Southern has a rich history of preparing education professionals. The bachelor’s degree in education is the oldest professional degree at Georgia Southern, and from 1924 to 1955, the entire institution focused exclusively on preparing future teachers. Today, the College of Education offers bachelor’s degrees in early childhood, middle grades, special education, and health and physical education. The bachelor of music education degree is offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. The College of Education leads the University in awarding the highest number of master’s and doctoral degrees, providing the region, state and nation with education professionals prepared to meet the needs of the 21st century’s dynamic, diverse and technology-rich society.
The College of Education has also been a leader in offering online and hybrid-format degree programs to meet the changing needs of students and professionals. Today, the College offers online M.Ed. and Ed.S. programs in early childhood, middle grades, special education, secondary education, instructional technology and reading; the M.Ed. in educational leadership; and endorsement programs in reading and online teaching and learning. The M.A.T. in special education is the only initial teacher preparation program offered totally online. For the past two years, the College of Education has ranked among the nation’s best in U.S. News & World Report’s “Top Online Graduate Education Programs.”
Koballa said the focus of all educator preparation programs continues to be providing many and varied opportunities for hands-on professional experience in the classroom. “Our partner schools are the cornerstone of our College,” Koballa said. “Our student educators get the experience they need to make them effective teachers and education professionals, and are highly desirable in the job market.”
The College of Education has more than 100 full-time and part-time faculty and three departments: Leadership, Technology and Human Development; Teaching and Learning; and Curriculum, Foundations and Reading.
NCATE is in the process of merging and changing its name to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The College of Education will use the NCATE accreditation logo until its next accreditation visit, using CAEP standards, in spring 2020.
Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 125 degree programs serving more than 20,000 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s, specialist’s, and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit: www.georgiasouthern.edu.
COE’s Goizueta Distinguished Chair, Alejandro Gallard, is co-principal investigator of a $2.5 million, 5-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, for a project that helps middle school students with learning disabilities learn science content with online sources. Gallard said part of the project will focus on Latina/o populations.
Project ESCOLAR (Etext Supports for Collaborative Online Learning and Academic Reading) is a collaborative effort between the Center for Advanced Technology in Education at the University of Oregon, Georgia Southern University’s College of Education and the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study group. Gallard’s sub-award totals more than $300,000 over the period of the grant.
The project intends to increase opportunities for students with learning disabilities to become 21st century innovators, to excel with the general curriculum and be prepared to succeed in college and careers through the use of Collaborative Online Projects in science. These projects are built in an electronic environment that fosters reading comprehension of scientific text and ultimately improves science learning and literacy. Photo: Dr. Alejandro Gallard