Proof Points: College of Education

OSU innovation in teacher education is improving the quality of the workforce, the student experience and student learning.

  • Launched in 2003, the Education Double Degree prepares graduates to be teachers in some of the areas of highest need, especially science and math. Students in the program simultaneously earn a bachelor’s degree in education and a second bachelor’s degree in an academic area of each individual’s choosing. The program now includes more than 1,500 students and has already produced 167 graduates, who enjoy a competitive edge in the job market: They help schools comply with federal law requiring teachers to be “highly qualified” in their respective disciplines.
  • The Immersion Program partners with Oregon schools to offer a full teacher education program inside racially and linguistically diverse schools in Portland, Salem and the mid-Valley. Graduates are well prepared to work effectively with diverse students and colleagues. In five years, some 125 highly sought after graduates have emerged from the program.
  • Kathryn Ciechanowski is leading a research team that is learning how teachers can be more effective in helping English language learners be more successful in learning content while learning language skills. Given that Latino/a students are the fastest growing group of Oregon students, this research is especially important to our state.
  • Professor emeritus George Copa is a nationally recognized expert in school design – an initiative that promotes education by making the learning environment more student-centered. This concept includes classrooms that emphasize resource centers, group interaction and individual creativity instead of the traditional “teacher lecturing in front of the class” motif. Copa’s work also focuses on helping large schools develop a more intimate learning environment by dividing into mini-schools and integrating the community into the school in different ways.

OSU is advancing learning outside of schools, in communities and workplaces.

  • The Community College Leadership Doctoral Program is developing a national reputation for success in preparing community college leaders. Its graduates include the presidents of Portland, Clackamas, Lane and Umpqua community colleges and leaders of campuses elsewhere throughout the Pacific Northwest and around the country.
  • Oregon 4-H engages about 150,000 Oregon youth — about 30 percent of all Oregon K-12 students — in youth development programs, including more urban than rural youth and increasing numbers of Latino/a youth. One 4-H program, Tech Wizards, has had remarkable success in contributing to Latino/a youth high school graduation rates and college participation through a unique collaboration with high schools and Intel.
  • The Science and Math Investigative Learning Experiences or SMILE Program has a 20-year history of providing sustained after-school programming for underserved youth in rural Oregon communities. The longer students stay in SMILE, the greater their academic success: By the time they've spent at least four years in SMILE, their chances of high school graduation are better than 90 percent, compared to 75 percent for Oregon as a whole. SMILE has trained more than 300 Oregon teachers to lead weekly science clubs that take field trips and conduct projects such as analyzing a watershed or designing a laser communications system.

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