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Graduate Education Newsletter

Spring 2016

Greetings from the Chair

Tom Shields - image

With our national news focused on the heated presidential campaigns, you might not have noticed the changes in leadership and public policy at the federal level in K-12 education.

On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed legislation replacing No Child Left Behind (NCLB) with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The reauthorization of NCLB had been languishing in the House and Senate for years. It took a bi-partisan group of federal legislators, one of which was Congressman Bobby Scott of Virginia, to finally agree to changes in NCLB. The originations of this legislation started over 50 years ago when President Johnson signed the first Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). He believed it to be a civil rights milestone in his “war on poverty.”

The other big change at the federal level was at the helm of the U.S. Department of Education. Replacing outgoing Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, in January John King was named as Acting Secretary of Education. King is a former teacher, assistant principal, principal and commissioner of education in the state of New York, where he was also the first Puerto Rican and African American to serve in that role.

What is most fascinating about these changes is the possible focus at the federal level on equity and opportunity, particularly as it relates to race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. Although it will take at least a year to implement ESSA, many are celebrating the law’s emphasis on understanding the experiences of poverty, hunger, health, and abuse on a child’s learning. In addition to the policy change, Acting Secretary King has made it his life’s work to champion economic and racial integration in schools. In his first speech on Martin Luther King Day, Acting Secretary King stated, “Research shows that one of the best things we can do for all children — black or white, rich or poor — is give them a chance to attend strong, socio-economically diverse schools.”

Education faculty and staff at the University of Richmond are hopeful that these changes at the federal level will usher in a new and different era in K-12 education.

In this latest issue of UR’s Graduate Education e-newsletter, you will find stories and information on how our graduate programs and students are excelling at understanding these changes in K-12 education including the newly launched Board Certified Behavior Analyst Certificate, VACTE scholarship recipient John Drake Watson III, the UR chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, and school leadership in the 21st century with viewpoints from Dr. James Lane, Dr. Kate Cassada and Chandra Rhue, GC’12.

As always, we are so grateful for all of the good work by so many of our students, faculty, and staff. Happy reading!

Tom J. Shields, Ph.D.
Graduate Education Chair

In This Issue

Scroll to read each each section.

  • News & Information
  • Upcoming Events & Deadlines
  • Faculty & Staff Updates
  • Student Reminders
  • Education Features
  • Submit Your News
  • Join our Facebook Group
  • Connect

Previous Issues

News and Information

Upcoming Events & Deadlines

Summer 2016 Registration

Registration for summer classes opens on March 15. Review the schedule of classes for selections and then register in BannerWeb. Summer classes begin on various dates this summer. Please contact your Academic Advisor or Assistant Chair for course planning. TLP students needing to complete gaps in their transcripts should contact their academic advisor to discuss transcript gap resources.

Student Teacher Forum

Reminder to students who have applied to student teach in the Fall 2016 semester: The Student Teacher Forum is scheduled for March 21, 4-5 p.m. or March 23, 5-6 p.m. Your attendance is required at one of these Forums. Both meetings will be held in Keller Hall.

ELPS Internship Orientation

Dr. Dionne Ward will host the ELPS Internship Orientation at 5pm on Tuesday, April 5, in the Westhampton Center Living Room.

Comprehensive Exams

Spring Comprehensive Exams will take place in April (ELPS on April 16 and C&I on April 23). Additionally, if you plan to graduate in August and take summer Comprehensive Exams, please contact Claudia Mills (ELPS) or Julia Burke (C&I).

Graduate Celebration

The Graduate Education program will host a celebratory party for all December 2015, May 2016, and August 2016 graduates on Tuesday, May 3, 5:30–7 p.m. The party will be held in Stern Plaza (outside of Jepson Hall). Look for more information from each program (TLP, C&I and ELPS) in the coming weeks.

SPCS Night and Commencement

This spring’s SPCS Night will take place on Wednesday, May 4, and Commencement ceremonies for 2016 take place May 7 (SPCS) and May 8 (A&S).

Faculty & Staff Updates

  • Sharing Leadership Expertise

    Dr. James Lane, Goochland County Schools superintendent and adjunct educational leadership professor, served as guest blogger on Leadership 360. Lane’s co-authored piece focuses on Goochland’s ongoing efforts to meet the needs of 21st-century learners.

  • Presenting at NAEA Conference

    Rob McAdams, interim director of Partners in the Arts and adjunct assistant professor of liberal arts, will present “Creative Leadership in Learning & Working” at the 2016 NAEA National Convention on Thursday, March 17.

  • Interviewed on Student Safety

    Dr. Kate Cassada, Assistant Chair Education and Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, was recently interviewed for an NBC12 story on student safety in schools, focused particuiarly on special needs students.

  • Named Region I Superintendent of the Year

    Dr. James Lane, Superintendent of Goochland County Schools and Adjunct Professor of Education, was named Region 1 Superintendent of the Year by the Virginia Association of School Superintendents.

Student Reminders

VCLA Score Reports

Reminder to all students to submit their official score report for the VCLA to Renee Peterson. Even though students request that score information be sent to UR, only a listing is sent. The Education Department requires the official score report.

Graduation Reminders

May Graduates: Please remember to order your cap and gown.

August and December Graduates: If you plan to graduate in either August or December 2016 and have not already completed the graduation application, please contact Kristen Ball in the Registrar’s Office as soon as possible.

Inclement Weather Reminder

In case of inclement weather, the University is open unless an official announcement is posted to the emergency hotline (804-289-8760) and website (, or broadcast by voicemail or email from the Emergency Response Team (ERT). The University normally operates on schedule even when other area schools and businesses are closed, so always check the hotline or website for the latest update. When the University remains open during inclement weather, commuting students, faculty and non-essential staff should exercise their best personal judgment with regard to road conditions and other safety concerns.

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Join our Facebook Group

Engage with other members of the University of Richmond Teacher Education community by joining our Facebook Group.

The group is for students, alumni, faculty and staff affiliated with the Teacher Education programs at the University of Richmond. The group celebrates the accomplishments of our members and shares information related to teaching and learning.

Group membership must be approved by a group administrator or other member of the group.

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