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Spring 2014

New Dean Announced for College of Education

It is with great excitement that the College of Education announces
Dr. Joseph F. Johnson, Jr. will become the dean of the College of Education at SDSU effective immediately.

Dr. Johnson joined San Diego State University in 2005 as the executive director of the National Center for Urban School Transformation and as a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership. He has been serving since last July as the college's Interim Dean. Prior to his appointment at San Diego State University, Dr. Johnson held education administrative roles at the state and national level following his early work as a classroom teacher. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

Please join us in welcoming Dean Johnson to this important academic leadership role.

Dual Language Education Programs at SDSU

Marian Kim-Phelps

YouTube Video: Dual Language Education Programs at SDSU

The Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education (DLE, formerly Policy Studies Department) would like to introduce a new video that shows the great need in San Diego for dual language teachers and has interviews with current students and graduates who can attest to the success they’ve experienced because of their preparation in the bilingual credential program at SDSU.

DLE prepares bilingual and cross-cultural teachers, administrators, and other educators who are reflective and transformational practitioners in addressing the needs of ethnically and linguistically diverse learners through collaboration with schools, families and community. We work closely with schools and districts to support the needs of English learners in K--12 classrooms and the professional development of biliteracy teachers.

COE Students & Alumni Making a Difference

COE Alum Dr. Marian Kim-Phelps appointed Superintendent of Westminster School District

Marian Kim-Phelps

Congratulations are in order for College of Education Alumna Dr. Marian Kim-Phelps! The College of Education was excited to learn of Dr. Kim-Phleps appointment to the superintendency of the Westminster School District in November of last year.

Dr. Kim-Phelps is a graduate of the SDSU Independent Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership (PreK-12 Leadership).

COE is very proud to name Dr. Kim-Phelps among its graduates, knowing that she will continue to provide exceptional leadership for the students and families of Westminster.

Best wishes to Dr. Kim-Phelps in her new role.

See the Westminster School District’s announcement.


Gift Box Icon Help make a difference for future SDSU graduates. Consider giving a gift to the College of Education today!

COE Students & Alumni Making a Difference

Marissa Vasquez Honored by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education

Marissa Vasquez

Current College of Education doctoral candidate Marissa Vasquez was recently selected as a 2014 Graduate Student Fellow by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE).

As a student in the SDSU Independent Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership (Community College/Postsecondary Leadership), Vasquez studies under the guidance of Drs. J. Luke Wood, Frank Harris III, and Kenneth P. Gonzalez. Vasquez’s scholarly work focuses on factors impacting the success (e.g., persistence, achievement, attainment, transfer, labor market outcomes) of male students of color, particularly Latino and African American men, in the community college. Using hierarchical, multilevel regression modeling, her dissertation will examine the predictability of background/defining, academic, social, environmental, and institutional variables (if any) on Latino male sense of belonging.

Vasquez ’s long-term career goal is to obtain a tenure-track faculty position and continue to engage in critical and applied research that addresses disparities in education, particularly within community colleges.

AAHHE Graduate Student Fellows must demonstrate academic potential through past experiences and future career goals, aspire to enter the college/university professoriate and/or administration and exhibit a track record of service to the Hispanic and/or Latina/o community among other qualifications.

The College of Education offers its proud congratulations to Vasquez on her honor of being selected to participate in the AAHHE Graduate Student Fellows Program.


Gift Box Icon Help make a difference in the lives of SDSU students like Marissa. Consider giving a gift to the College of Education today!

COE Faculty & Staff Making a Difference

Charles Degeneffe Serves as Guest Editor for Australian Journal of Rehab Counseling

Leif and Eric Fearn

Dr. Charles Degeneffe, the Coordinator of the Rehabilitation Counseling Program (RCP) and a faculty member in the Department of Administration, Rehabilitation, and Postsecondary Education, served as Guest Editor for a special issue of the Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling (ARJC) entitled, "Family Support and Adjustment Following Acquired Brain Injury: An International Perspective." The AJRC is the official journal of the Australian Society of Rehabilitation Counsellors.

The special issue featured articles from Mexico, Denmark, Australia, Spain, and the United States. The issue also includes a book review from Lemma Buta, a current student in the RCP and a participant in the RCP's Cognitive Disabilities Certificate Program, and an article by Dr. Mark Tucker, who works at the Interwork Institute and is a RCP lecturer. Both Dr. Tucker and RCP faculty member Dr. Marjorie F. Olney served as guest reviewers for the special issue.

Great work Dr. Degeneffe and the Rehabilitation Counseling Program faculty and students!

Check out the ASORC Website.


Gift Box Icon Help make a difference by supporting outstanding faculty contributions in the field. Consider giving a gift to the College of Education today!

Tayler Nichols Wins 2013-14 Inamori Fellowship

Tayler Nichols

College of Education student, Tayler Nichols, is a winner of the 2013-2014 Inamori Fellowship. The Inamori Fellowship recognizes superior scholarship in individuals who have made outstanding contributions to society. The program makes ten awards annually in the amount of $5,000 to the most qualified, degree-seeking SDSU graduate students. Applicants must have at least two semesters remaining in their program. Criteria for selection include academic background (undergraduate and graduate record), scholarly accomplishments (e.g., awards, publications presentations), work completed and planned, training environment (including physical facilities and the productivity of the research group), and faculty mentor recommendation.

Nichols is a current student in the Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling and is concurrently enrolled in ARPE’s Advanced Certificate in Psychiatric Rehabilitation. Nichols also works on a grant project directed by Dr. Caren Sax, ARPE Chair: Take Charge: Leading the Transition to Adulthood, funded by the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities, Area Board 13.

Other faculty have also recognized Nichols’s talents. She has assisted Dr. Mark Tucker with several statewide needs assessment contracts that are conducted with vocational rehabilitation programs and has supported Dr. Nan Hampton in her research in testing effective rehabilitation services, social support and individual resilience as to how it mediates the influence of internalized stigma on employment outcomes, life satisfaction, and emotional subjective well being of people with neurological disabilities.

Additionally, Nichols has become active in the Rehabilitation Counseling Student Association and works as an Educational Coach for the College-2-Career program at the San Diego Community College District.

Linked Learning Making a Difference in San Diego

Linked Learning, student talking at podium

The College of Education is making a difference by preparing educators to utilize Linked Learning, a technique that helps students learn challenging academic skills through real-world applications in career pathways. San Diego State University is excited to be part of a growing network of institutions that incorporate the Linked Learning lens into their single subject teacher preparation programs.

COE’s School of Teacher Education incorporates Linked Learning to transform education by ensuring that all students are college, career and life ready. The techniques used in Link Learning combine strong academics, intense technical education and real-life experience through various project-based assignments for high school students.

Dr. Nancy Farnan, Associate Dean for Faculty Development, Research and Special Projects and former Director of The School of Teacher Education has been very involved in adding the Linked Learning component to SDSU’s credential program in recent years. She has even blogged about the topic.

More impressive, however, is seeing how real-life students are being positively impacted by the Linked Learning process. Last spring Ana Sical, a former Linked Learning high school student in the local San Diego area, graduated from SDSU with her bachelor’s degree in Construction Engineering and has since been hired as an engineer. View a YouTube video where Ana describes her amazing Linked Learning experience in her own words.

SDSU and the College of Education are proud to be incorporating a technique like Linked Learning that is truly making a difference for the students in our communities.

Learn even more about Linked Learning and how it is being incorporated into California teacher credential programs via the ConnectEd website and video.

Fall 2013

COE Programs Making a Difference

African American Mentoring Program (AAMP) Making a Difference Locally and Nationally

New Orleans Conference

Acknowledging, recording, retelling, and addressing African American graduate students’ experiences is important to their success in higher education. One of the key elements to student success is mentorship. From preschool to college, Black students demonstrate positive academic outcomes in environments where they are supported by healthy mentoring villages.

Since 2001, AAMP has supported the needs of graduate students of African descent in the College of Education. In recent years, our program has expanded to include graduate and undergraduate students throughout the University. Our AAMP students come from the Department of Counseling and School Psychology, Special Education, Teacher Education, Administration, Rehabilitation, Postsecondary Education, and Interwork Institute (ARPE), Oceanography, and Psychology (to name a few). Several of our AAMP Alum have pursued graduate and doctoral degrees (Special Education Doctorate Program ODU, University of Massachusetts Amherst Social Justice in Education Program, University of Michigan, Doctorate Program) or are currently working in culturally rich communities including, San Diego County Schools, San Diego Community Colleges, SDSU Student Services, Las Vegas Unified School District.

AAMP Mentors are faculty and staff members from the College of Education, Africana Studies, Student Services, University Computer Operations, Career Services, and Student Services. AAMP Mentors have expertise in mentoring, research, community advocacy, and service devoted to Black student achievement and well-being.

The goal of the African/American Mentoring Program (AAMP) is to recruit, retain, and sustain students of African descent in graduate level programs at San Diego State University.

AAMP is devoted to ensuring that the educational experiences of students from multiethnic and diverse African-descended backgrounds are supported, mentored, and fostered. AAMP seeks to enhance students’ professional growth, self-awareness, self-confidence, cultural responsiveness and historical presence. Moreover, AAMP is committed to being a source for connecting students with community resources, faculty mentors, and peers that identify and can relate to their experiences in higher education.

Three AAMP Mentors and Seven AAMP Students traveled to New Orleans to present at the Association of Black Psychologists Convention (ABPsi). This annual international convention is the only one of its kind, with a focus on African-Centered Psychology. AAMP students and mentors presented on the effectiveness of the AAMP program from a mental, emotional, spiritual, and psychological perspective. The presentation was a success!

Read more about AAMP.


Gift Box Icon Help make a difference by supporting important graduate student programs like AAMP. Consider giving a gift to the College of Education today!

COE Students & Alumni Making a Difference

CFD Student Sonia Holzman Crowned as 2013 Homecoming Queen

Holzman and Brou

Sonia Holzman, a fourth year Child and Family Development Major with a minor in Psychology, was crowned San Diego State University’s 2013 Homecoming Queen this fall.

In addition to being a full time student, Holzman is the Vice-President of the American Sign Language (ASL) Club at SDSU, advocating for awareness of ASL and Deaf culture on campus through teaching basic ASL classes and social events. Off campus, Holzman is the director of project development for IDEAL (International Deaf Education Advocacy and Leadership), an organization that is currently focused on empowering and educating Deaf youth in developing countries. She is also a supervisor at A.R.C.C. Center, where she provides respite care to children with Autism and other developmental disabilities.

Holzman plans to pursue a career within the field of special education, with an emphasis on educating Deaf youth. Her project for the Homecoming Court will focus on promoting awareness of ASL on campus and working together with Homecoming King, Jordan Harrison.

Read more about Holzman and the 2013 Homecoming Court

Story Contributed by: SDSU’s Department of Child & Family Development


Gift Box Icon Help make a difference in the lives of SDSU students like Sonia. Consider giving a gift to the College of Education today!

COE Faculty & Staff Making a Difference

Dr. Fearn's Book Asks Social Studies Teachers to Examine What They Teach, Not How Teach

Leif and Eric Fearn

Content Matters: Social Studies in the Elementary and
 Middle School

In a recent book coauthored by retired School of Teacher Education faculty member, Dr. Leif Fearn, social studies teachers are asked to examine not how they teach, but rather what they are teaching.

Content Matters: Social Studies in the Elementary and Middle School is a 2013 social studies book coauthored by Leif and Eric Fearn. The book includes nine content chapters, plus a chapter about writing in the social studies. The book features several chapters rarely treated well, if at all, in the social studies classroom. Among the chapter topics are, World Religions, Media Literacy, Native Peoples, and Personal Finance.

Fearn and Fearn use the topics in their book to help preparing teacher candidates and even current teachers understand that when teaching social studies, it should be more about content than procedure.

Check out Leif and Eric Fearn’s book on

Story Contributed and written by: Dr. Leif Fearn, SDSU Faculty, Retired, School of Teacher Education


Gift Box Icon Help make a difference by supporting outstanding faculty contributions in the field. Consider giving a gift to the College of Education today!

COE Faculty & Staff Making a Difference

Dr. Nan Zhang Hampton Keynote Speaker at Symposium of Fuhong Society of Macau

Dr. Nan Zhang Hampton

ARPE faculty member, Dr. Nan Zhang Hampton served as the keynote speaker at the November 2013 Symposium of Fuhong Society of Macau. The keynote speech, "Evidence-Based Community Care in an Era of Globalization, Economic Crisis, and Information Technology Revolution" was well-received by attendees.

Fuhong Society is a non-profit organization that provides a variety services to people with intellectual and psychiatric disabilities in Hong Kong and Macau. Fuhong Society’s mission is to provide opportunities for persons with disabilities to develop all their abilities and to ensure that they achieve the greatest independence possible within their circumstances and to advocate for equal rights of persons with disabilities through education, policy and legislative changes.

Dr. Hampton first traveled to Hong Kong to lead a workshop on community-based rehabilitation programs and then visited Macau for the symposium.

Story Contributed by: SDSU’s Department of Administration, Rehabilitation and Postsecondary Education

Read more about the Fuhong Society of Macau.


Gift Box Icon Help make a difference by supporting outstanding faculty contributions in the field. Consider giving a gift to the College of Education today!

SDSU Professor and Alumnus Wins
Renaming Contest!

InformED and InspirED: News from the SDSU College of Education

We are pleased to officially announce, InformED and InspirED: News from the SDSU College of Education as the new College of Education e-newsletter title!

With over 200 great title suggestions received, the Dean and his renaming committee had a tough decision to make. Ultimately, the committee was drawn to the play on the word “education” through the capitalization of “ED” in the creative title.

The clever entry was submitted by SDSU professor and alum, Dana Kuhn. Professor Kuhn has a background in commercial real estate appraisal and currently teaches Finance 437: Real Estate Development each fall semester.

Professor Kuhn was inspired by his wife (also an SDSU graduate!) to head back to school in early 2000 to pursue a Single Subject Teaching Credential and Master’s Degree in Education at SDSU. Professor Kuhn credits much of his teaching style here at SDSU to his experience in COE programs. He is a reluctant lecturer and emphasizes activities in class and projects in the field.

Bragging rights and a $100 gift card to the SDSU Bookstore (generously donated by Aztec Shops, Inc) have been bestowed upon Professor Kuhn. The College of Education thanks him kindly for his creative contribution!

ARPE Department Awarded Subcontract As Part of $50 Million Grant

ARPE and Interwork Logos

Promoting College, Career, and Community Readiness: The Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) Initiative

Recently, the US Department of Education awarded six grants to establish and operate model demonstration projects designed to improve the education and employment outcomes of child Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients and their families. A $50 million grant ($10 million per year for five years) was awarded to the California Department of Rehabilitation. SDSU's Interwork Institute was awarded a subcontract of $1.75 million per year for five years to conduct all of the data gathering and analysis, program evaluation, research, and technical assistance related to this grant.

The PROMISE initiative is intended to improve the provision and coordination of services for child SSI recipients and their families. The services help child recipients achieve better outcomes, including graduating from high school ready for college and a career, completing postsecondary education and job training, and obtaining competitive employment in an integrated setting.

The College of Education is pleased to congratulate ARPE Department Chair, Caren Sax, and the Interwork Institute team on this wonderful award.

COE Staff Honored at 40th Annual Staff Awards

Staff Awards 2013 Group Photo (Pictured here left to right: Elsa Tapia, Marilyn Bredvold, Lisa McCully, Martha Pedroza

On October 31, 2013 San Diego State University held it’s 40th Annual Staff Awards event. Each year this event recognizes the expertise and commitment of SDSU staff members with a delicious lunch and lively awards program.

This year the College of Education recognized six individual staff members with service awards. Please join us in congratulating and thanking the following staff members:

  • Elsa Tapia, 15 years
  • Julie White, 20 years
  • Kathleen Borsos-Wooley, 25 years
  • Lisa McCully, 25 years
  • Marilyn Bredvold, 25 years
  • Martha Pedroza, 35 years

Additionally, 25-year service award winner Marilyn Bredvold was recognized with a 2013 Presidential Staff Excellence Award for Staff-to-Staff Mentoring.

Read more about the 2013 Staff Awards.

Website Refresh for Amber’s Book Club

young girl sitting on the floor reading a book

Last spring InformED and InspirED (formally the Dean’s Update) highlighted the great work of an organization called Amber’s Book Club. Amber’s Book Club is the family-run component of the Amber Christine Soule Endowment, founded in 2002, with the Campanile Foundation. All funds raised by Amber’s Book Club go towards reading tutoring scholarships for children in need in the San Diego Area.

Amber Soule was an SDSU alumna who was taken from us too soon in 2001 at the age of 27. Amber was an SDSU credential graduate who was energetic and eager to change the world. While she didn’t have the opportunity in life, Amber’s family has made sure that Amber’s dream of helping and teaching underprivileged children lives on through her endowment and through Amber’s Book Club.

Recently, the website for Amber’s Book Club was updated to help better showcase the wonderful work of the organization and to create an easier portal for people to donate.

Please visit Amber’s Book Club and consider donating to help change the lives of underprivileged children in Amber’s honor.

COE Programs Making a Difference

Innovation in Education

Innovation in Education

San Diego State University's Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (CRMSE) recently held its fall 2013 STEM Education, Equity and Economics seminar.

The seminar, "K-12 Online STEM Education: Promise or Problem?" took place at the SDG&E Energy Innovation Center. More than 90 attendees shared their successes and challenges regarding online K-12 STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — teaching and learning.

Read more about the CRMSE seminar at SDSU NewsCenter.


Gift Box Icon Help make a difference by supporting K-12 STEM teaching and learning. Consider giving a gift to the College of Education today!

PI Highlight: Dr. Tonika Duren Green

Dr. Tonika Duren Green

Dr. Tonika Duren Green, associate professor of school psychology and director of SDSU’s School Psychology Program, is committed to preparing school psychologists who are multicultural thinkers and actors, who understand how racial, ethnic and sociocultural factors influence student performance.

Her research explores and responds to educational issues of children and communities from ethno-linguistically diverse backgrounds. Dr. Green has several peer-reviewed publications, grants, and a book chapter in the area of multicultural competency and increasing achievement of culturally and linguistically diverse children. Dr. Green’s research centers on efforts to close the achievement gap for African American foster youth. Her work in improving outcomes for foster youth began in 2005.

Last year, Dr. Green received a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to prepare culturally affirming and responsive education specialists for foster youth.

Read more about Dr. Tonika Duren Green and Project CARES at the SDSU Research Foundation website.

COE Faculty & Staff Making a Difference

Ed Leadership Faculty Win Book of the Year

Common Core Book

ForeWord Review's 2012 silver-award winning Book of the Year in education was written by SDSU faculty members Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey. Their book, Common Core English Language Arts in a PLC at Work™, Grades K–2, explores strategies for integrating the Common Core State Standards for English language arts in primary grades. Based on both research and practice, the popular book helps educators design instruction, curriculum, assessment, and intervention that will ensure that students learn challenging Common Core State Standards through professional learning communities. Drs. Fisher and Frey are professors in the Department of Educational Leadership.

Visit the Department of Educational Leadership website.

Gift Box Icon Help make a difference by supporting outstanding faculty contributions in the field. Consider giving a gift to the College of Education today!

COE Programs Making a Difference

Dr. Cristina Alfaro Spearheads Department Redesign

Dr. Cristina Alfaro

College of Education Professor and Interim Department Chair Cristina Alfaro is spearheading an effort to redesign our Department of Policy Studies in Language and Cross-Cultural Education. The goal is to build the College’s capacity to pursue two goals. Dr. Alfaro explained, “First, we want to make sure that SDSU has one of the nation’s premier preparation programs for educators who teach in dual-language programs.” Throughout San Diego, California, and the rest of the nation, school districts are eager to find individuals who have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are necessary for work in dual-language academies. SDSU’s dual-language program has a strong reputation, but the goal is to strengthen the program so that we prepare educators who are able to help students learn challenging academic skills, while helping them pursue proficiency in more than one language.

“A second goal,” Dr. Alfaro added, “is to support other faculty members, programs, and departments such that every graduate of our College of Education is well prepared to help English learners succeed.” Through Project Core, Dr. Alfaro is already supporting 25 faculty members in redesigning their courses so that our graduates will be better prepared to ensure that English learners learn Common Core State Standards. The redesign of the Policy Studies Department is intended to broaden and deepen these efforts so that every program offered in our College of Education will prepare individuals who know how to help English learners achieve high levels of success. Dr. Alfaro looks forward to working with faculty throughout the College to conceptualize and implement this new vision for the Department.

Visit the Department of Policy Studies in Language and Cross-Cultural Education website

Gift Box Icon Help make a difference by supporting important educational initiatives such as Dr. Alfaro’s department redesign. Consider giving a gift to the College of Education today!

UCEA Membership Granted to EDL and COE


The ED Leadership (EDL) Department and the College of Education have been granted membership within the University Council of Educational Administration (UCEA). UCEA is a consortium of higher education institutions committed to advancing the preparation and practice of educational leaders for the benefit of schools and children. The Council fulfills this purpose by:

  • Promoting, sponsoring, and disseminating research on the essential problems of schooling and leadership practice;
  • Improving the preparation and professional development of educational leaders and professors; and,
  • Positively influencing local, state, and national educational policy.

UCEA has a rich history, originally founded more than 50 years ago by 15 universities, the Kellogg Foundation, and the regional Centers for Educational Administration. Founding members recognized the need for inter-university collaboration to build a knowledge base of research and effective practice for the field of educational administration. Today, UCEA has become a collective of top research institutions with programs in educational leadership and policy and the leading professional organization for professors of educational leadership and policy. San Diego State is the 94th institution nationally to be granted membership in UCEA. Also, SDSU is the only university in California that is a current member of this distinguished organization.

Gift Box Icon Help make a difference by supporting outstanding departmental contributions in the field. Consider giving a gift to the College of Education today!

COE Students & Alumni Making a Difference

SDSU Bilingual Credential Students in Top CTA Positions

Miller and Contreras in Cap and Gowns

Current Bilingual Credential Program Students Deborah Miller and Alexandra Contreras are making a difference this year with their new teacher education liaison positions!

Deborah Miller has been named the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) Liaison. This position is appointed by the California Teachers Association (CTA) Board of Directors and is a very important role. Deborah will be the only student who attends meetings and reads documents about policy making in Sacramento.

In her role as CCTC Student Liaison, Deborah will communicate between students, CTA, Universities, and the Commission about issues or upcoming action items. Deborah will advocate from the student perspective and work to build strong partnerships.

Alexandra Contreras has been named the Southern Regional Vice President of the Student California Teachers Association (SCTA).

This role is equally important and will keep Alexandra busy connecting with all of the SCTA chapters in Southern California. Through campus visits, emails and phones calls, Alexandra will make sure that the Southern chapters are updated on what the Executive Board is up to, as well as to offer support, resources, and advice on how to recruit members and grow as local chapters.

Both Deborah and Alexandra are recent SDSU graduates from the Liberal Studies program (Deborah also double majored in Spanish) and were active members and officers in the SDSU SCTA chapter last year.

For more information on the CTA/SCTA visit the California Teachers Association website

Gift Box Icon Help make a difference in the lives of SDSU Credential Students like Deborah and Alexandra. Consider giving a gift to the College of Education today!

COE Creative Media Lounge Newly Renovated for the New School Year

Creative Media Lounge

Current College of Education students can study in style beginning this Fall 2013 in the newly renovated Creative Media Lounge located in the North Education building, room 275.

The Creative Media Lounge offers the latest software and hardware for all of your computing needs, as well as a variety of services including self-printing and scanning. Users have a wealth of resources at the CML including powerful new MAC and Windows PC workstations for digital video & image editing, web development, and various other forms of media production.

With wireless Internet access and group meeting space in the form of tables or comfy couches, the Creative Media Lounge is the perfect location for group projects.

COE Faculty and Staff are also invited to utilize the Creative Media Lounge!

Many thanks to COE staff member Gregg Koyamatsu, Information Technology Consultant for his hard work in the lab redesign and overall lab management.

Check out the CML website for current hours of operation and lab policies.

Gift Box Icon Student, Faculty and Staff resources like the Creative Media Lounge are made possible, in part, by generous donations by readers like you. Consider giving a gift to the College of Education today!

Child & Family Development Department Welcomes Dr. Diana Schaack

Diana Schaack

The College of Education and Department of Child & Family Development is pleased to welcome Diana Schaack, Ph.D. (Loyola University Chicago/Erikson Institute 2011).

Dr. Schaack’s research and work focuses on improving childcare settings, teacher practices and children’s social-emotional well-being. She is a principal investigator on an evaluation examining the outcomes of an infant/toddler professional development initiative.

Dr. Schaack is also completing a study examining the effects of daily caregiving discontinuity in childcare on children’s development. She is starting a follow-up study on the influence of childcare providers’ own attachment histories on caregiving practices and relationships with children.

The College is excited to have Dr. Schaack on board for the Fall 2013 semester.

Read more about Dr. Schaack and the other new faculty beginning at SDSU this Fall at the SDSU NewsCenter website.

Summer 2013

Farewell from Dean Ric Hovda

Dean Hovda

SDSU College of Education Faculty, Staff, Students, Partners, and Stakeholders,

It has been my honor to serve as Dean of the College of Education over the past six years. The College has a proud history and continues to be a leader locally and beyond. Recently the US News and World Report rankings placed the College within the top 100 nationally (65th), and among the top 50 public institutions nationally. SDSU’s College of Education was the only CSU ranked in those categories. In addition, the rehabilitation counseling program continues to be ranked in the top 10 nationally.

While rankings are important, more critical is the role the College plays in the “lives of the people it serves”. The College plays a critical role in numerous school districts in developing innovative practices, the use of mobile technology for teaching and learning, community-based counseling, highly effective school counselors and educational psychologists, preparing the next generation of k-12 school leadership and community college leadership, the study of autism spectrum disorders and the use of best practices with individuals and families, the preparation of early childhood educators and community leaders in early childhood mental health, bi-literacy and dual language teacher preparation, preparing math, science, and reading teachers, leadership development internationally in the Pacific Islands, addressing the “achievement gap” by studying schools that outperform expectations, and much more. These programs and initiatives directly impact thousands of people each year. In addition, the research done by our faculty and students is impressive in the number of publications in refereed publications as well as several national research awards for faculty members. Further, through the efforts of talented staff members, our capacity to collect, share, and use data for a variety of important functions increases our efficiency and effectiveness.

While the past several years have presented unprecedented fiscal challenges and changes in the demand for programs, the College has maintained a very high level of productivity and level of impact due to the diligence and commitment of faculty, staff, and students. For this, the College should be commended.

I appreciate the work we have done together to make a difference in our college, community, state, and beyond. The College will continue to prosper and increasingly extend the depth and span of its impact as economic conditions improve and new opportunities and new leadership emerge. I wish the College, and Dr. Joe Johnson, the new interim dean, the best in the coming year and beyond as the College of Education continues its mission “to make a difference in the lives of those it serves”.

Ric Hovda

Dr. Joeseph F. Johnson, Jr. to Assume Role as Interim Dean of the College of Education

Joe Johnson

Dr. Joeseph F. Johnson, Jr. has a distinguished record of leadership roles within school districts, state education agencies and the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Johnson joined the College of Education in 2005 as a professor of educational leadership and executive director of the National Center for Urban School Transformation and he leads efforts to identify, study and promote the best practice of high-performing urban schools and districts. As a member of the Education Leadership faculty, he helps develop and teach programs designed to prepare effective school and district leaders.

He will begin serving as interim Dean on July 1, immediately following Dean Hovda’s retirement, and will continue until the arrival of a permanent dean.

Read the story at SDSU NewsCenter.

Spring 2013

Ed.D. Graduate Wins 2013 Dissertation of the Year Award

Lynn Neault

Dr. Lynn Neault, San Diego Community College District Vice Chancellor of Student Services has won the prestigious Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC) 2013 Dissertation of the Year Award for her dissertation entitled “Implications of State and Local Policy on Community College Transfer in California: A Regional Case Study”. CSCC is an affiliate of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

Read more about Dr. Lynn Neault.


Mathematics Teacher Noticing: Seeing through Teachers' Eyes selected for Exemplary Research in Teaching Award

Mathematics Teacher Noticing - Book Cover

Mathematics Teacher Noticing: Seeing through Teachers' Eyes edited by Miriam Sherin, Victoria Jacobs, and Randolph Philipp selected for the Division K Exemplary Research in Teaching and Teacher Education Award.

The committee unanimously agrees that this collection of essays provides a timely, powerful and detailed examination of the work of teachers. Every day teachers confront complex challenges, which require them to respond in novel ways. How we prepare teachers to notice and make sense of these challenges, and the tools we have to do so is front and central to the fields of teaching and teacher education.

The Sherin et al volume addresses the artificial separation of teaching from learning that occurred in the 1970's. The conceptual framework of "noticing" marks the re-integration of the relationship of teaching and learning and frames how teacher's teach in the context of learning when they learn where to look, what to look at, how to make sense of what they see, and how this stance is critical to supporting student learning as well as how to develop a learning as well as student-responsive approach.

This fourteen chapter text explores the construct of teacher noticing, and its potential for understanding the nature of teaching. The book is organized around three core ideas:

  1. What, when, and how of teacher noticing,
  2. the development of mathematics teacher noticing over time, and
  3. effective methods for influencing teacher noticing.

Together these chapters advance the conversation on teacher practice and teacher development, and provide guidance to the field for ways to improve practice through the everyday work of teachers. As Dr. Sophie Haroutunian-Gordon (the book’s nominator) aptly states:

What is key, in my opinion, is that a focus on teacher noticing is associated with a particular stance towards teaching, a stance that draws our attention to phenomena that have received relatively little attention. At the heart of this stance is an image of the teacher-in-action as being confronted by a “blooming, buzzing, confusion” of events — that teaching requires being aware of and making sense of the complex interactions unfolding in the moment. Embracing this stance towards teaching opens the door to new research paradigms and methodologies, and to examining the nature of teaching in new and productive ways.

While the idea of teacher noticing is not new – in fact the very first chapter of the text by Fred Erickson points this out – a framework for making sense of how, why and when teachers notice is new, and transformative. Where do teachers look? What do they see? How do they make sense of what they see? These questions drive this work. These are the same questions that help to fill current gaps in the knowledge base of teaching and teacher education. These authors powerfully demonstrate how these questions help to make visible what is often taken for granted or assumed natural in teaching. The committee concurs that the conceptualization of noticing in this text has the potential to transform not only mathematics education but also more broadly impact how we prepare and support teachers (preservice and in-service).

With meaningful attention given both to the craft of teaching and the field of teacher education, the committee agreed that the text is highly relevant across subject domains. After reading and discussing this text, we found ourselves intrigued by ideas and wanted to try them out with our preservice teacher candidates.

Deborah Ball, in the foreword for the book, captures the committee’s view with her statement: “To identify noticing as a central practice of the essential work of teaching is a fundamental contribution to the challenge of decomposing practice for the purpose of making it learnable (Grossman et al., 2009). This book opens and unpacks this construct, tracing its foundations and scope and displaying insights garnered from studies of teacher noticing. It offers both language and frameworks for making more precise the study of teaching practice and the resources needed for its skillful enactment”. Well stated for a book that is well done!

San Diego State University's College of Education is again among the top-ranked schools in U.S. News & World Report's latest edition of "Best Graduate Schools."

SDSU Campus

The College shares No. 65 out of the 278 graduate schools surveyed – an increase of six places over last year. Among public universities we are proud to be within the top 50 ranking at a shared 49th ranking with Old Dominion, Cincinnati, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The College of Education is the only CSU in the top 100 and the eigth-ranked college of education in California. The rehabilitation counseling program in the College's Department of Administration, Rehabilitation and Post-Secondary Education is ranked 9th nationally.

Our continued rise in the U.S. News survey is a testament to the impact our students, faculty, staff and alumni have on San Diego, the state and the national education community. This recognition is the result of our excellent preparation programs, innovative research and collaborative partnerships.

Congratulations to the continued commitment to excellence by faculty, staff, students, and stakeholders. Once again, we are recognized for truly "making a difference in the lives of those we serve". Well done!!

Proud Dean,
Ric Hovda

Read the story at SDSU NewsCenter.


Celebrate @ The Union
Friday, March 7, 2014
Official Ribbon Cutting & Dedication of the new Aztec Student Union, 4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
STEM Education, Economics and Equity (SEEE) Seminar
Monday, April 28, 2014 (4 – 6:30 p.m.)
Post-Secondary Online STEM Education: Promise or Problem? Guest Speaker, Dr. Anthony (Eamonn) Kelly, Professor and Researcher, GSE, Educational Psychology, George Mason University.

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Academic Calendar -  Fall 2013

December 11

Last day of classes.

December 12-18

Final exams.

December 24-27

Holiday – Winter recess. Faculty/staff holiday. Campus closed.

December 30-31

Campus open. No classes.

December 31

Grades due from instructors. (11 p.m. deadline.)
Last day to apply for a leave of absence for fall semester 2013.

January 1, 2014

Holiday—New Year's Day. Faculty/staff holiday. Campus closed.

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