Task Force on Ancillary Projects:
Report to Dean David Hough
Task Force Members: Melanie Kleeschulte, Kristi Perryman, Diana Piccolo, W Roy Roworth, & Eric Sheffield, Chair.
The Task Force on Ancillary Projects was charged with generally investigating the current status and future outlook of those projects more or less loosely connected to the College of Education, but not directly connected to any academic department per se’. As such, our initial task was determining which projects fit that description. In this report you will first find a listing and very brief descriptions of those projects. Following those descriptions are task force recommendations for furthering the work of these ancillary projects.
Academy for Educational Studies (AES)
“The mission of the Academy for Educational Studies is to foster a community of inquirers and provide a public space for debate and dialogue about important questions in education.”
AES activities include hosting an annual conference (8th this year); an on-campus spring event; an online, double-blind, peer reviewed national journal (Critical Questions in Education); and, developing potential degree programs for the Reading, Foundations, and Technology Department. The academy is fiscally self-sustaining.
Assistive Technology Demonstration Project (ATDP)
“As an integral part of its pre-service teacher education program, the Assistive Technology Program of Missouri State University provides students with training in the use and maintenance of equipment that would be used with students having special needs.”
ATDP has been supported through a state Regional Demonstration Grant received at the state level from the federal government and distributed regionally and renewed 8 years running; 35-40 students involved.
“BEARS was recently re-designed to be a Beginning Teacher Assistance (BTA) program in collaboration with the following institutions: Drury, Evangel, Southwest Baptist, College of the Ozarks, & Baptist Bible College.”
BEARS is now sharing the state-mandated responsibility for a BTA program with the above institutions in presenting workshops and hosting BTA events.
City Center Counseling Clinic (CCCC)
“CCCC is the training clinic of the Counseling program within the Department of Counseling, Leadership and Special Education (CLSE). It also serves as a unique and integral part of the University’s…mission: counseling and consultation services [are provided] to members of the community and University, at low or no cost as part of our training and public affairs mission.”
The clinic is self-sustaining via nominal service fees, support from University/College/CEFS and fundraising.
Hispanic Initiative Program (HIP)
“The Hispanic Initiative Program is a community outreach project that provides communities and schools serving Hispanic youth and their families with identified services and support. The MSU College of Education has identified a need for students pursuing educational degrees in the areas of teaching, counseling and school administration with field experiences and clinical practice in more ethnically diverse settings.”
HIP provides the Springfield Latino community with weekly reading/book program for children; GED instruction for young and older adults; and, via EDC 345, the opportunity for our students to interact with the Latino community in presenting programs to children, teens, and adults; 40 + students a semester when Monett and Verona programs…15 since then.
Institute for School Improvement (ISI)
“Located at Missouri State University (MSU), the Institute for School Improvement (ISI) is a research arm of the College of Education. The director and ISI staff, including faculty associates and graduate assistants, work collaboratively with school and community partners to design, implement, and evaluate projects that link theory and research to practice.”
More particularly, ISI is currently involved with three sub-projects:
Community Schools Project (CSP)
The community schools project involves the hoped-for transformation of Robberson Elementary into a “balanced-calendar” community school. ISI’s role is to serve as the research arm to investigate the process, both quantitatively and qualitatively. CSP plans to apply for a 2012 Promise Neighborhoods Grant to support the initiative.
Teacher Education Alliance (TEA)
“The TEA is a collaboration between Springfield Public Schools, Baptist Bible College, Drury University, Evangel University and Missouri State University focused on increasing student success in selected Title I sites within the Springfield Public School District.”
The TEA is an integral part of the Transformational Initiative and NCATE accreditation.
Ozarks Educational Research Initiative (OERI)
“The Ozarks Educational Research Initiative (OERI) is a research, evaluation, and development organization whose primary purpose is to improve, promote, and disseminate educational research by conducting studies and program evaluations.”
OERI is supported via contributions from participating districts.
Task Force Observations/Recommendations:
The task force has the following observations: the ancillary projects listed above are accomplishing a great deal; should be supported; and must, organizationally, physically, and practically grow their communication between one another to meet the potential they have as a whole. We suggest the following:
Organizationally: Establish an Office for Ancillary Projects; hire a director and support staff whose charge is to serve as the central communication office between each of the projects; to serve as the community contact for ancillary projects; maintain a well structured web presence; to “advertise” these ancillary projects; and, to be the central office for obtaining grant support for these projects.
Physically: House the Office for Ancillary Projects and each of the individual entities in a central building location.
Practically: Ensure that this communication happens…we see a huge potential being lost in the lack of organization and communication now present. For example, the BEARS program might utilize resources from the CCCC in developing BTA programs on mandated reporting, special needs, and other legal issues; research findings from the work of ISI might be presented/published via the conference/journal of AES; the Hispanic initiative might work in tandem with the TEA program in targeting Latino children in Title I schools; the ATDP might provide TEA/BTA students information regarding assistive technologies or report their own research via AES presentation/publishing opportunities; OERI might find value in inviting any or all of these ancillary programs to make presentations in their districts…and these are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg in terms of connecting these projects together.
Additional specific recommendations: audit each project to have a clearer budget picture; give ATDP more space for storage/demonstrations; find funding to continue the Monett, Verona, and community learning centers projects; reconstruct ancillary project web presence via the conceptual structure suggested above; review, and if appropriate revise (or write) position descriptions for directors of each ancillary project.