Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Jan. 9 Literacy Workshop at RU

Save the Date: Saturday, January 9th, 2016 from 9:00-12:00 at Roosevelt University, Wabash Building room 1111

TopicThe 4 in 1 Balanced Literacy Block in Action 

Each of the schools currently participating in an IBHE grant project will provide an update on where they are with the grant goals. The topics for discussion are:
  • How are you implementing the 4 in 1 literacy block in your classrooms? 
  • What has worked or are the strengths of the block and what struggles or challenges have you discovered in using the format?

This workshop is free to all Roosevelt students, faculty, and alumni.  An RSVP is not required.  If you have questions, please contact Dr. Margaret Policastro at mpolicas@roosevelt.edu.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

2014-15 COE Annual Report Published

I am pleased to announce that our annual report for the 2014-2015 academic year is now available on the College of Education website.  To review our achievements during the past year, click on the link below.

College of Education Annual Report 2014-15

Monday, November 23, 2015

New Teacher Leader Endorsement Program Approved

I am pleased to announce that Roosevelt's proposal for a new Teacher Leader Endorsement Program was approved by the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board on Nov. 4, 2015.  The new program is contained within the new MA Degree in Instructional Leadership, and prepares licensed teachers to take on leadership responsibilities in support of improving student learning and instructional knowledge and skills within and across schools and districts.

In Fall 2015, 27 graduate students enrolled in the new Instructional Leadership Program, and about half of these are planning to earn the teacher leader endorsement.  The program is partnering with five school districts near the Schaumburg Campus to design and deliver the program.  Interest in the new program has been fueled by recent changes in high school district policies that now make the teacher leader endorsement a requirement for appointment to the position of department chair.

For more information about the teacher leader endorsement and the Instructional Leadership MA degree, contact Dr. Roger Chamberlain at rchamberlain@roosevelt.edu.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Dec. 11 Winter Commencement & Holiday Party

On December 11, the College of Education will host a Winter Commencement and Holiday Party. All COE graduates and their families, and COE students, faculty, alumni, and community partners are invited.

The event begins immediately after graduation, and will take place at Buddy Guy's Legends.  Visit the event website for more details and to register to attend.

I look forward to seeing you on December 11!

All the best,

Tom Philion, Dean

Faculty Needed For The COE

The College of Education is currently conducting searches related to faculty positions in our counseling and secondary education programs.

The first position is for a full-time, tenure track assistant professor in counseling, with a specialty in school counseling.  To view the position description and to apply, click here.  The position begins in August 2016.

The other positions are for part-time supervisors of middle school and high school teachers in the subject areas of English and Math.  To view the description of the positions and to apply, click here.  The need is especially great for a supervisor with a background in teaching high school English.  This position will begin in January 2016.

We are seeking energetic and self-aware candidates who share our commitment to prepare diverse, highly qualified, and socially conscious teaching professionals.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Message From State Superintendent Tony Smith, Ph. D.

On Friday the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released the 2015 Report Card, available at www.illinoisreportcard.com. As I shared last week, this year’s rollout is unique as we await the district-, school-, and student-level results from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test. The initial Report Card data still tells an important story and gives us valuable insight into the performance and demographics of our student body and schools.

Graduation rates are on the rise since 2012 as the four-year rate increased by 3 percent to 85.3 percent for 2015. The five-year rate is 87.6 percent, a 3.6 increase from 2012. This data shows the strides our high schools are making to successfully connect with students. I’ve seen this firsthand as principals have taken me through high schools and I’ve talked to students who “love” their schools. Great work!

Our 12-month college enrollment rate also increased slightly from 68.7 percent in 2014 to 69.6 percent this year. For the Class of 2013, data revealed 97,209 (69.6 percent) students enrolled in college in the subsequent 12 months after graduation. This figure is an increase from the 93,575 (68.7 percent) that enrolled in college for the Class of 2012. We’ve also seen a slight increase in the percentage of students who met the ACT benchmark for college readiness (a combined score of at least a 21) in all four subjects (English, mathematics, reading, and science) to 24.9 percent in 2015, compared to 24.2 percent in 2014.

This progress is commendable as our student body continues to become more diverse and less economically secure. For the second consecutive year, white students are no longer the majority in Illinois, making up only 49.3 percent of the state’s student body, a slight decrease from last year. Meanwhile, the state’s rising number of Hispanic students now makes up more than a quarter (25.1 percent) of the student population. And more than half of our state’s students continue to come from low-income households.

Illinois most closely mirrors the country’s demographics as a whole, so understanding our data and how best to use it can have national implications. It’s clear we still have much work ahead of us to improve equity and outcomes for all students, and this won’t happen overnight. The Report Card is an important tool to help us better identify our students’ and schools’ unique needs and how we can better organize resources to help our children be better prepared for the future. 

There is also good news to report from Illinois’ performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), often called “The Nation’s Report Card.”  This test is the only national assessment of what America’s students should know and can do in various subject areas. The 2015 results for mathematics and reading were released last week and showed that Chicago Public Schools’ improvement was among the strongest in the nation among large school districts. Illinois also exceeded the national average score in grade 4 reading and grade 8 reading and math. For more information, visitwww.nationsreportcard.gov/.   

I’ve been in the job for six months now. I am already working on my message for next week, which will include a collection of appreciations and recognitions. I look forward to sharing my thoughts and reflections with you.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Nov. 7 Balanced Literacy Workshop

On November 7th, the Language and Literacy Program will again host a free professional development workshop at Roosevelt University from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. in the Library on the 10th floor of the Auditorium Building. The workshop is free to all Roosevelt students, faculty, and alumni.

Each of the schools currently participating in an IBHE grant project will provide an update on where they are with the grant goals. The topics for discussion are:
  • School-wide thematic unit(s): Including tenets of balanced literacy
  • Implementation of formative feedback to students and parents
  • Implementation of formative self-monitoring by students
How each school approaches their work is unique and that is what makes hearing about their work so interesting. So do plan to attend and participate in these terrific opportunity to obtain hands-on knowledge of how several Chicago area schools are creating balanced literacy learning environments.

An RSVP is not required.  If you have questions, contact Dr. Margaret Policastro at mpolicas@roosevelt.edu.

Oct. 28 Counseling Poster Presentation

The College of Education cordially invites you to attend a Research Poster Presentation given by the counseling students of CHS 422: Topics in Substance Abuse and Addiction.  The presentation will be held in the Gage Building located at 18 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Room 700 on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Light refreshments will be served for your enjoyment. Please come and support the academic pursuits of our counseling students!

For more information, please contact Dr. Peterson at kpeterson@roosevelt.edu or 312-853-4779

Friday, October 16, 2015

Jinah Kim Featured on RU Social Justice Blog

Jinah Kim, assistant professor of early childhood education, has a feature article on RU's social justice blog.  To read her article, click here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Dia Rizmani Earns ISBE Award Of Excellence

I am pleased to announce that Dia Rizmani, a 2010 graduate of our Elementary Education Program (MA), has been awarded a 2015 Illinois State Board of Education "Those Who Excel" Award.  Rizmani, a third-grade teacher at the Hoover Math and Science Academy in Schaumburg, won an Award of Excellence in the early career educator category.

Dia originally majored in biological sciences and worked in laboratories. However, she returned to Roosevelt to get her teaching degree when she realized that she was always teaching – through staff training, college tutoring and other avenues.

Despite teaching for only four years, Dia is already a leader at the school and district level, serving on the Hoover School Leadership Team and the District 54 Literacy Task Force. Additionally, Dia represented District 54 on the Roosevelt University Elementary Education Redesign Committee, which met throughout the 2013-2014 academic year to redesign and improve the elementary teacher preparation program at Roosevelt.  Hoover Math and Science Academy is now a partner for our elementary education program, and approximately 20 pre-service and student teachers are currently engaged in observation and student teaching at this site.

According to a District 54 blog post, Dia is making a difference with her students. As the daughter of immigrants, Dia says she often felt isolated at school. Therefore, in her classroom, she teaches her students to celebrate their differences. By building upon each student’s strengths and cultural backgrounds, the learning environment is highly inclusive and regarded as a safe place for all to learn. This environment led to 100 percent of her students meeting their growth targets on the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment last year.

Please join me in congratulating Dia Rizmani--a truly outstanding representative of what RU teacher preparation is all about.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

New Partnership With IL Gifted Children Association

I am pleased to announce that the College of Education has signed a partnership agreement with the Illinois Association for Gifted Children (IAGC).  The agreement commits each organization to work together to empower gifted children, parents, and teachers through education and leadership development.

The Illinois Association for Gifted Children is a not-for-profit corporation that was established in 1989 by a small group of Illinois educators who wanted to create opportunities for teachers, parents, and administrators to better understand the educational and social/emotional needs of gifted individuals.  IAGC is an Affiliate of the National Association for Gifted Children, and is located close to the Schaumburg campus, in Palatine.

As a result of the agreement, the Schaumburg campus will be available to IAGC for professional development events and other mutually agreed upon activities.  In return, ten RU pre-service students will have free access to the Sunday Pre-service /New Service Session (9:00-12: 00 and 1:00-4:00) at the annual IAGC conference on February 7-9, 2016.  More information about how to participate in this free event will be distributed shortly.

In addition, IAGC will provide unlimited RU students and alumni with access to the Sunday Educator Seminar (9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., lunch included) at the same conference at a reduced cost of $60.  The registration form must be completed and noted RU student or alumni.  The full cost of this event is $90.

Finally, over the coming year, IAGC will provide RU graduate students enrolled in our Instructional Leadership Program with a 2 hour professional development workshop focused on the needs of gifted children.

This new partnership is yet another example of how the College of Education is integrating high quality professional development opportunities into its curricula and programs for teachers and school leaders.  For more information about all of our community partnerships, please contact Dr. Teryl ann Rosch at trosch@roosevelt.edu or 312-853-3928.

International Poetry Workshop & Reading @ RU on Nov. 4

In collaboration with Breaking Ground, the College of Education at Roosevelt University will host a day-long writing workshop and reading by internationally acclaimed Black-British poets Roger Robinson and Nick Makoha.  The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 18 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Room 700.

The reading will begin at 5:00 p.m., and is open to the public.  After the reading, there will be a
Roger Robinson
reception and a question and answer session with the poets and presenters, including a discussion of approaches to spoken word education in area schools.  Click here to learn more and RSVP for this event.

The workshop will be held during the day and is limited to graduate students enrolled in Roosevelt’s Spoken Word Pedagogy Program, other Roosevelt students and faculty, and high school students taught by the teachers enrolled in the Spoken Word Program.  More details about how to participate in the workshop will be distributed shortly.

For more information about this event, contact Sabrina Elms at selms@roosevelt.edu, or 312-853-4754.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Chicago HOPES for Kids Volunteer Opportunity

Chicago HOPES for Kids, a nonprofit organization that provides educational support for children living in homeless shelters throughout Chicago, offers shelter-based after school homework help and literacy programming at five shelters and are planning to expand to two additional shelters in the near future. 

A major component of our programming is our leveled literacy program. At the beginning of each semester, our students are assessed to determine their reading levels (A-Z) and areas in which they need additional support. Then, using this information, our volunteers work with the students each day, reading books at their level and completing fun academic activities to boost their literacy skills. 

We are currently seeking specialized volunteers to assess our K-5 students using the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System (BAS). We're looking for volunteers who are already familiar with the BAS or who are willing to attend a 3-day training before performing the assessments. 

The training will take place mid-to-late September at our office in the West Loop. Once we have a group of interested volunteers, we will try to find one or two times that work well for everyone. Meals will be provided. 

Our volunteers will perform the assessments from September 24-October 2. Each volunteer will need to commit to one shelter location and a minimum of two late afternoons/early evenings within that time frame to complete the assessments. 

Although we think this is a great opportunity for current or retired teachers and university faculty, we also think this would be a good learning experience for pre-service teachers and anyone interested in education. 

If you're interested in volunteering, please contact our Program Manager, Amanda Miley, at amanda@chicagohopesforkids.org.  Also, please feel free to reach out to her with any questions that you might have. 

Introduction to Restorative Justice Workshop

The Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation is facilitating an “Introduction to “Restorative Justice and circle training” for Roosevelt students who will be working as peace keepers this year at our school partner sites. We are opening up this training to other Roosevelt students who are interested in community building, conflict resolution or, simply to gain a better understanding of restorative justice and circles.
Restorative Justice Practices are used in workplaces, neighborhoods, universities, social services, schools and the justice system. The circle is used to create a safe environment for every participant to express their point of view and foster a level of communication that leads to problem solving and relationship building. This is also a great way to build relationships among students or anyone at Roosevelt University.

The workshop is on Friday Sept. 18 from 9:30 a.m.  to 3:30 p.m. Room (TBD). For questions or further information, contact the Mansfield Institute at ext. 2150. To RSVP:nmichaels@roosevelt.edu

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Student Tutors Needed On Monday Afternoons

In 2015-2016, the College of Education is continuing its partnership with WITS (Working in the Schools) to tutor children from Bouchet International Academy. WITS transports 20 to 25 children to the Gage Building on Monday afternoons from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., and the College's responsibility is to recruit the 20 to 25 tutors needed to work with the children. Each tutor works with one child for the hour, participating in a warm-up activity and then reading with the child and helping the child with her or his homework.
This semester, Fall 2015, the tutoring will begin either in late September or early October and continue through the academic year. Prospective tutors must have background checks (paid for by WITS) and must participate in an orientation session, to be scheduled in September. If you are interested in being a tutor or have questions about tutoring, contact Judy Gouwens at jgouwens@roosevelt.edu or 312-853-4774.

Dr. Leslie Bloom Earns Fulbright Specialist Award

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Leslie Bloom,                                                    
Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, has
earned a Fulbright Award in the Specialist Program
for the Spring of 2016, to work with the Israeli
Center for Qualitative Research at Ben Gurion
University of the Negev.

The project at Ben-Gurion University of The Negev will be organized with both the Social Work Program and the Israeli Center for Qualitative Research (ICQR) of People and Societies in order
to provide an opportunity for the Ben-Gurion community and other researchers in Israel to come together to collaboratively share and develop knowledge focused on social justice approaches to qualitative research.  Dr. Bloom will engage in four activities:
  1. Facilitation of an advanced study workshop called "Qualitative Research for Social Justice." This workshop for faculty and graduate students will deepen the knowledge of how to design, conduct, and report qualitative research for social justice. The workshop will support the development of both theoretical and practical knowledge. Workshop topics will include: social justice theory, feminist and social justice qualitative research design and fieldwork methods, and using research for publishing and advocacy.  The workshop will be open to researchers from across all Israeli universities.
  2. Assistance with curriculum development for the new Masters in Social Work for Social Justice Program, based on a social justice curriculum model and including social justice studies and feminist methods for research.
  3. Lecturing in Social Work courses.
  4. Presenting research at The Seventh Israeli Conference of Qualitative Research (February 2016).
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Bloom on this outstanding achievement!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

COE Sponsors Run To Read 5K Race in Schaumburg

The College of Education is proud to again sponsor
Schaumburg School District 54's Run To Read Road
Race, scheduled for Sept. 27, 2015.  This is the second year that the College of Education has been a sponsor.

Currently, the college has two formal partnerships with District 54 schools: Hoover Math and Science Academy and Nerge Elementary School.  The faculty and principals of these schools work closely with our elementary education program to provide field experiences and student teaching for elementary teacher candidates with strong backgrounds in math and science.

Roosevelt's Language and Literacy Program hosts a Summer Reading Clinic that enrolls a substantial number of District 54 students each year.  A new graduate program in Instructional Leadership is preparing approximately 20 teacher and principal leaders for several high schools that District 54 students attend upon their graduation from middle school.

For more information about the road race and information about how to register, click here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Free Literacy Webinar and Workshop in September!

The Language and Literacy Program at Roosevelt University is participating in a free webinar entitled Formative Assessment: Classroom strategies for making it work. This webinar will be on September 16th from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.  Click the link below to register.

In addition, the Language and Literacy Program is hosting the following event: 

Year Six Kick-Off Professional Development Workshop
Saturday, September 19th, 9 a.m. -12 p.m., Wabash Building 911

This workshop will address many topics in literacy instruction and also kick-off the year with new information on balanced literacy school-wide thematic units, Common Core State Standards and formative assessment.

Both of the above events are free and open to all Roosevelt University students, faculty, and alumni.

For more information, contact Margaret Policastro at mpolicas@roosevelt.edu

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Distinguished Lecture by Chief Judge Diane Wood, September 24

Presents a Distinguished Lecture:
 The Magna Carta and the Idea of Due Process

Chief Judge Diane Wood
United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

Thursday, September 24, 2015, 4:30pm
430 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago
Sullivan Room (Auditorium Building, 2nd floor)
The event is free and open to the public

Feel free to distribute to colleagues, students, and friends

 Contact Benjamin Lynerd (blynerd@roosevelt.edu)
or Stuart Warner (swarner@roosevelt.edu) with any questions.

Friday, July 31, 2015

2015-2016 TaskStream Site License

I am pleased to announce that the College of Education has purchased a site license for TaskStream, the assessment management software used in the college.  The license will begin in mid-August, and will last for a period of one year.  During this time period, all students will be able to use TaskStream without paying a subscription fee.

Details about the transition to the site license will be announced in mid-August.  If you currently own a subscription to TaskStream, you will not have to renew your subscription for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Questions?  Contact John McDougall at jmacdoug@roosevelt.edu.

Teachers Needed for CPS STEM Schools

Are you interested in learning more about what it means to be a teacher at a CPS STEM school? Would you like to learn more about potential opportunities at CPS STEM schools? If so, please register to attend one of the upcoming CPS STEM Open Houses hosted at Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy. 

Participants will attend a brief informational session focused on CPS’s elementary and early college STEM schools followed by an opportunity to engage directly with school administrators to discuss open positions.

Event Details are as follows:


Friday, July 31, 2015
Monday, August 17, 2015

Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy
7651 S Homan Ave
Chicago, IL 60652

Participants will be assigned an attendance time between the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 1:00p.m. 

All Subjects/Grades are welcome to register!

 You will receive further information in your confirmation e-mail once you register.  Confirmation emails are sent within 48 hours after registration is received. Registration for the July 31 Open House will close at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 30. Registration for the August 17 Open House will close at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 14.

STEM School Open House FAQ

What are elementary STEM schools?

STEM elementary schools are full-service K-8 schools that have a school model that focuses on creating a culture of innovation. For CPS, STEM isn’t just learning about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in isolation but is about teaching the subjects in an interdisciplinary way with problem-based learning units so students learn how to apply classroom knowledge to solve real-world problems. There are 12 STEM elementary schools currently supported with resources from the STEM office.

What are Early College STEM High Schools?

Early College STEM Schools are high schools that provide students with technology training, the opportunity to earn a free Associates Degree, and a well-rounded high school education to prepare them for the technology jobs of the future.

What does the STEM Supports Office do?

The Office of STEM & Strategic Initiatives is leading the development of the district's K-12 STEM strategy, the incubation of STEM-inclusive elementary schools and ongoing support for the Early College STEM high schools. Our work includes working with STEM school leaders to drive whole school change, planning STEM curriculum and programming, building community engagement and awareness, fostering external partnerships, and supporting model implementation.

What schools are considered elementary STEM schools? (Note: Only select schools from this list will be present at the Open House)

Dunne Technology Academy, Charles Earle Elementary, Jesse Owens Elementary, Helen Hefferan Elementary, Langston Hughes Elementary, George Leland Elementary, Genevieve Melody Elementary, Nicholson Technology Academy, George Tilton Elementary, James Wadsworth Elementary, Laura S. Ward Elementary, and Daniel Wentworth Elementary.

What schools are considered Early College STEM Schools? (Note: Only select schools from this list will be present at the Open House)

Chicago Vocational Career Academy, George Corliss High School, Lake View High School, Michele Clark Magnet High School, Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy, and Von Steuben High School.

Is this Open House only for STEM Teachers?

No!  All content areas and grade levels are welcome to attend.  Our STEM schools need more than STEM teachers.  High need areas such as bilingual education, special education, physical education, and arts education are highly encouraged to attend.

Should I bring my resume?

Yes!  While this is not a job fair, you will have a chance to meet and talk with school leaders from participating schools.

 What will the overview session include?

You are required to attend a brief overview session prior to visiting individual school tables.  This overview will provide an important overview covering the unique model STEM schools follow, additional teacher professional development requirements, and other important information.

What does the day look like?

You will be assigned a session time in your confirmation email after you complete registration.  On the day of your Open House, please arrive 10 minutes early and report to the Yoga room for your overview session.  After a thirty to forty-five minute presentation, you will move to the gym where you can interact with STEM school leaders directly.  During this time, you can talk to school leaders about teaching at their school, open positions, and learn more about individual opportunities.

Do I have to register in advance?

Yes.  Advance registration is required for security purposes. 

Can I register for both events?

Yes!  There may be different schools at each event.  As such, you are welcome to register for both events.

Where should I park?

Please be prepared to park on surrounding streets.

What public transit options are nearby?

CTA bus routes #52 and #79 have nearby stops.  The Metra Southwest Service (SWS) Wrightwood stop is 0.6 miles away from the Open House Location.

Will I know what schools will be attending this event in advance?

We will make every effort to communicate school attendance in your confirmation emails however it may not be possible to provide an accurate list due to tight turnarounds for the July 31st event.  We thank you in advance for your understanding, flexibility, and patience.

How is this Open House different from a Talent Department Career Fair?

The STEM school Open House is only for the six Early College STEM High Schools and twelve STEM Elementary Schools supported by the Office of STEM Supports.  This is an opportunity to learn about STEM schools generally and meet with school leaders individually to discuss opportunities.  Given the small amount of schools, you can expect this experience to be more intimate than a career fair.  Additionally, this event serves as a conversation starter between you and a school.  Unlike Talent Career Fairs, you will not be hired on the spot or go through a full interview.  

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Important Policy Changes for Educator Licenses and Administrative Endorsements

A new licensure bill has just been signed by Governor Rauner and is now Public Act 99-0058.  Below is a summary of new licensure requirements relevant to Roosevelt University students and alumni.  The below changes are effective immediately.  

1      EDUCATOR TESTING – (21B-30) (b) No score on a test required under this Section, other than a test of basic skills, shall be more than 10 years old at the time that an individual makes application for an educator license or endorsement (or is entitled by an Illinois institution). The test of basic skills is valid indefinitely. Content Tests, APT, edTPA:  Valid for 10 years.

       GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE- (21B-25) (A) The general administrative endorsement is available for application in ELIS. The endorsement can only be issued to individuals who completed all coursework for issuance of the general administrative endorsement before September 1, 2014 and who have completed all testing requirements by June 30, 2016, and have made application for the endorsement by June 30, 2016. Requirements can be found here.  The Principal (186) test is available at http://www.il.nesinc.com/ and should be completed for issuance of the general administrative endorsement. Candidates currently enrolled in principal preparation programs must complete the Principal 195 and 196 tests.

I   Questions about these new policies should be directed to Laura Lag, Assistant Dean for Student Services, at lag@roosevelt.edu or 312-853-4753.