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February 2023 Newsletter

College of Education Teacher Preparation Program Accredited by CAEP

The University of Memphis College of Education has been accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The Fall 2022 review by the CAEP Accreditation Council > resulted in 55 educator preparation providers receiving accreditation, bringing the total to 507 providers approved under the CAEP Accreditation Standards > – rigorous, nationally recognized standards that were developed to ensure excellence in educator preparation programs.   

“These institutions meet high standards so that their students receive an education that prepares them to succeed in a diverse range of classrooms after they graduate,” said CAEP President Dr. Christopher A. Koch. “Seeking CAEP Accreditation is a significant commitment on the part of an educator preparation provider.”  

CAEP is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Accreditation is a nongovernmental activity based on peer review that serves the dual functions of assuring quality and promoting improvement. CAEP is a unified accreditation system intent on raising the performance of all institutions focused on educator preparation. 

Dr. Kandi Hill-Clarke, Dean of the College of Education, says, "Earning national accreditation is a significant and major accomplishment. I am so proud of our faculty, staff, students and school partners. This was truly a team, collaborative effort."

Brea Hind, COE Undergraduate, Earns a Research Award

Brea Hinds, Teaching All Learners Senior (Department of Instruction and Curriculum Leadership) and River City Partnership teacher scholar, earned a research award for her work with Thrive Tennessee. Brea's work focuses on barriers to accessing higher education for Black and Latinx students, as well as students from historically marginalized communities in Tennessee. Brea served as writing lead and co-researcher on Thrive Tennessee's Youth Participatory Action Research Project report, "Thriving & Creating a Better Future: A Case to Shift the Culture Around College Access and Success." Read the report here >.

CEPR Graduate Student Wins Research Award at Tennessee Counseling Conference

Congratulations to Jihan Rashed, CEPR masters degree student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, who won first place in the Tennessee Counseling Association (TCA) Conference Masters student division with her poster about Predictors of Pediatric Gun Violence. She also represented the Brain Center > in a content session during the same conference, with the assistance of CEPR faculty Dr. Melanie Burgess and Dr. Eraina Schauss. Dr. Patrick Murphy, CEPR, also presented on the topic of “Grounding your Work in Trauma Sensitive Practice: Treating Race Based Trauma in a Turbulent Society” at the TCA Conference. Learn more about TCA, where all counselors in the state of Tennessee can come together to engage with one another, network and learn from some of the best in our field at TCA's website >.

Dr. Jacqueline Stephen, ICL alumni, named Fulbright Scholar

Congratulations to Dr. Jacqueline Stephen on receiving a Fulbright US Scholar Program award to Azerbaijan from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Dr. Stephen graduated in 2020 with her EdD in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership with a concentration in Instructional Design and Technology from the COE and currently serves as an assistant professor of instructional design and director of the Office of Distance Learning at Mercer University. She has more than 18 years of national and international experience in higher education. Her research has examined factors associated with persistence of undergraduate online students, with much of her research focusing on self-regulated learning, self-directed learning, online learning self-efficacy and high-impact practices for online teaching.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the US government and is designed to forge lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, counter misunderstandings and help people and nations work together toward common goals. Dr. Stephen will use the award to design, develop and teach courses centered on instructional design and training and development. In addition to teaching, she will facilitate faculty and student professional development programs in the form of workshops, webinars and seminars.

Dr. Stephen says of her time in the UofM College of Education,"My coursework through the IDT doctoral program helped me to establish a research agenda that is well-aligned with my career and professional interests. The program enabled me to enhance my research skills and provided me with the foundation that I needed to engage in scholarly work. I am looking forward to utilizing the knowledge and skills I gained through the program to prepare emerging educators and researchers in Baku, Azerbaijan." Congratulations, Dr. Stephen!

Dr. Dan Collier publishes work on PSLF

Dr. Dan Collier, assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, and his co-author, Dr. Dan Fitzpatrick, University of Michigan, secured a grant from the Shared Ascent Fund through the Student Borrower Protection Center, a nonprofit organization focused on eliminating the burden of student debt for millions of Americans. This grant allowed them to conduct a study and release their initial findings in a White Paper  called “Jubilee and Jubilation: An Examination of the Relationship between Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Measures of Well-Being.” This report is a groundbreaking analysis which reveals the massive personal benefits that student loan borrowers enjoy as they approach and ultimately achieve debt cancellation through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

Dr. Collier’s innovative and influential work has been cited in Forbes, Inside Higher Education, Augusta Free Press and by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. Current Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona recently retweeted this piece as well. 

Dr. Collier explains the findings of his report: "Without the recent efforts to fix the PSLF program - this work would have been next to impossible to engage as so few borrowers were granted forgiveness.  While the PSLF program has a long way to go before it is working as intended, this research is among the first of its kind to show both financial and well-being aspects of achieving student loan forgiveness. Of particular value, our work shows that being on the pathway to forgiveness is not related to financial or well-being outcomes until borrowers are within 12 qualifying payments.”  

The work for Dr. Collier and Dr. Fitzpatrick is ongoing as the number of student loan borrowers who receive PSLF increases. Dr. Collier states, “We are collecting data throughout the student loan repayment pause and intend to engage additional analyses - including sub-groups tests by race and ethnicity and in late 2023 matched sample tests when the pause is lifted.  We thank our funders at the Student Borrower Protection Center for supporting this work and ongoing efforts." To learn more and read Dr. Collier’s report, visit the Student Borrower Protection Center website>.

Faculty Research Forum

To promote collaboration between faculty, the COE hosted a Faculty Research Forum on Jan. 12. This forum gave faculty members an opportunity to present their in-progress or recently published research. The faculty members and their presentations included:

  • Dr. Wesam Salem, ICL, "Ziyyarah: Ethical and Inter-active Space for Conducting Interviews"
  • Dr. Dustin Hornbeck, LEAD, "Promoting LGBTQ Inclusion Through Authentic Care In Schools"
  • Dr. Olayinka Mohorn, ICL, "Secondary Science Classrooms: Hostile Spaces for Black Female Science Teachers"
  • Dr. Chi Li, CEPR, "Counselors’ Challenging Experience in Integrated Behavioral Healthcare (IBH)"
  • Dr. Genia Bettencourt, LEAD "Developing an Initial Framework of Social Class Strengths in Higher Education"
  • Dr. Eli Jones, CEPR, "Measuring Research Self-Efficacy in College Students: Development and Validation of the Sources of Research Self-Efficacy Scale"