Watson Chronicle


Watson College News

Faculty Earn ETEAL Awards to Strengthen Principal, Teacher Preparation Programs

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A new ETEAL Applied Learning Strategic Initiatives Award will bring faculty in WCE’s graduate-level educational leadership programs together with faculty in WCE’s undergraduate secondary education program on a three-year pilot titled “Impacting Teaching and Learning in Today’s STEM Classrooms.” The award provides an opportunity to enhance learning experiences for students enrolled in principal and teacher preparation programs through a unique collaboration between two Watson College departments: the Department of Educational Leadership and the Department of Instructional Technology, Foundations and Secondary Education.

Participating faculty members are:

Department of Educational Leadership: Bill Sterrett, associate professor and coordinator of WCE’s MSA program; Steven Hooker, assistant professor and coordinator of WCE’s Ed.D. program with a concentration in educational administration; Kerry Robinson, assistant professor of educational administration; and Andrew Ryder, assistant professor of higher education.

Department of ITFSE: Dennis Kubasko, associate professor, secondary science education; Angie Reid-Griffin, associate professor, secondary science education; and Ginger Rhodes, associate professor of mathematics and statistics in the College of Arts and Sciences and a faculty member in WCE’s secondary math education program.

“Principals and teachers work together in schools to improve instruction, build shared leadership, and enhance student engagement,” observes Sterrett. “We believe we must foster this work in principals and teachers before they assume the practitioner roles. That’s why it’s important that we bring together pre-service teachers and aspiring principals to start working together to better understand instructional practices as soon as possible.” 

This applied learning initiative will provide a mechanism for ed leadership students to use observation protocols in STEM teaching environments, to engage with pre-service teachers in reflective conversations about what teaching and learning looks like, and how principals and teachers can work together to improve actual practices in classrooms. The faculty in both programs will also benefit from reflective evaluation from students in the Higher Education M.Ed. program, led by faculty member Andy Ryder. 

“This collaborative initiative helps meet the call in the UNCW Strategic Plan to put student success at the center of everything we do - teaching, research, and service,” Sterrett said.

CHHS Award for Portable Nutrition Lab

A second ETEAL Applied Learning Strategic Initiatives Award will fund a project titled “A Portable Nutrition Lab: A Space for Innovative Healthful Living Pedagogy” in the College of Health and Human Services. The project is designed to expand field placement opportunities for students enrolled in Physical Education and Health programs at UNCW.

Participating faculty members in the CHHS School of Health and Human Services are: Amelia Huelskamp, assistant professor; Jordon Weber, faculty member and student in WCE’s Educational Leadership doctoral program with a specialization in curriculum and instruction; and Sue Combs, professor and coordinator of UNCW’s undergraduate, M.Ed. and MAT teacher education programs in physical education and health.

“It has been challenging to find sufficient high-quality field experience placements for PEH students,” Combs said. “The Portable Nutrition Lab can be transported to schools, parks, community centers and other locations. It will help us enhance our program by providing many new opportunities for students to plan and deliver nutrition and fitness lessons that align with North Carolina’s Healthful Living Essential Standards.”

ETEAL has funded courses, experiences and projects led by faculty and designed to bring Applied Learning Experiences to UNCW students for the past five years. The Applied Learning Strategic Initiatives Program was introduced in 2018 to support team-based projects that require additional resources and longer time horizons to implement. The two pilot awardees will receive up to $10,000 per year for up to three consecutive years, with a goal of transitioning to ongoing, operational programs.

UNCW announced the awards in SWOOP on April 24. For more information see ETEAL’s Pilot Round Applied Learning Strategic Initiatives