It’s time to register for the conference! To begin, go to the Registration form link.
The Renaissance Group and the TECSCU is pleased to present a call for proposals for their Fall 2014 Joint Conference. The conference will be held September 28-30th at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.
This year’s theme is: “Teacher Education in an Age of Accountability:Accreditation and Assessment in the New Era”
We are seeking proposals that share how your campus works through issue such as:
To submit a proposal, please go to this proposal submission page.
Proposal Submission Deadline: August 30, 2014
For additional information please contact Katy Heyning at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Sunday, December 15, 2013, I awakened at the usual time of 5:30 a.m., quickly reviewed my electronic appointment book to check my “to do” list for the day, which included attending Sunday church services with family, preparing lunch with my wife, Silvana, Italian-style, completing outdoor Holiday decorations, calling Fresno’s Superior Court to report for Jury Duty; somehow they always know when someone is about to retire, and last but not least, composing my “last lecture”, or more accurately described as my “last official E-mail message” to reach my friends and colleagues across America before they take a well-deserved break for the Holidays.
I have been writing E-mails of all lengths and content for several years now. I believe this medium has served me well to communicate casual, as well as serious information, inform students about their lessons and grades, and share positive and at times difficult and sensitive news. Therefore, I firmly believe that my last official message, “lecture”, communication, or whatever one wishes to call it, should be in the form of an E-mail message. I can just hear many of you now: “Thank goodness this is the last one!”
California State University, Fresno has been my professional home for the past eight years; post-retirement time, after spending 33 and one half years in the Central San Joaquin Valley of California public schools –Fresno Unified, Central Unified and Sanger Unified School Districts, as well as State Center Community College District, where I held various educational responsibilities. I started teaching, Spanish and Italian, and after 11 very rewarding years, working with middle school, high school and community college students, I was given the privilege of teaching and mentoring adults, by serving in various school site and district office administrative roles until my retirement in 2004. Little that I know many years before (1959) at the age of 12, when I left my beloved family and my native Lucca, Italy, that my life’s journey would present me with such incredible experiences.
I never attended Kindergarten; therefore I cannot claim “everything I ever needed to know I learned in Kindergarten.” I can easily say, however, that I have learned most of what I needed to know from the personal and professional experiences referenced above. I truly believe learning is a life-long process, and as I approach my last days of employment with California State University, Fresno and The Renaissance Group, I am confident my learning will continue after this second retirement, officially concluding 43 years of public services in the most important profession in the world, education. And I will always remember the quote, “students do no care how much we know, until they know how much we care.” The past eight years, spent with amazing colleagues and friends at California State University, Fresno (Fresno State) and in The Renaissance Group, have shaped the culminating chapter of my professional life in ways I will never forget. I believe that is when I started relying more and more on E-mail communication and video teleconferencing to conduct organizational business, given members of The Renaissance Group, and friends and colleagues from TECSCU, AACTE and AASCU and other educational partners were located in various colleges, universities and organizations across America.
I am forever grateful to Fresno State’s leadership, including Dr. John Welty, now President Emeritus, and to his administrative and staff support team; Dr. Paul Beare, Dean of the Kremen School of Education and Human Development, and his incredible administrative team, comprised of Dr. Jim Marshall and Dr. Sarah Lam, not to forget the Kremen School’s faculty, as well as the most amazing and supportive clerical and technology staff to be found anywhere. These remarkable colleagues and friends have supported me with academic development, and the work I have been privileged to complete on behalf of The Renaissance Group (Fresno State has been the home of the Executive Office of TRG for the past eight and one half years). While serving as Executive Director of The Renaissance Group, I was also supported with continued teaching opportunities, and have been a proud member of the Kremen School’s ERA Department, teaching and serving students as adjunct faculty and advisor to students completing the Master of Arts Degree in Education, Educational Leadership and Administration – Higher Education/Middle Leaders Pathway. My experiences in the ERA Department, led and mentored by Department Chair, Dr. Ken Magdaleno, and Program Coordinator, Dr. Linda Hauser, supported by an outstanding team of faculty and staff, serve as a constant reminder that quality teaching and learning extends beyond elementary, middle and high schools, and that our post-secondary work dedicated to preparing future professional educators can and does contribute to life-changing experiences for students in all of our schools. The students from the various EAD 261 (Introduction to Administration) courses I have taught, the students I have had the pleasure and privilege to advise in Fieldwork, Research Projects and Theses courses, and the exceptional colleagues, in and outside of our universities and in local school districts, with whom I have exchanged ideas and compared instructional notes, have been incredible master teachers. Thank you, dear friends and colleagues; you have been some of the best mentors and teachers I have ever had! The future is indeed bright, and our students are in excellent hands thanks to your dedication, leadership and passion for excellence; teaching and leading with words and actions, and most importantly with your hearts.
In a few days, I will retire from Fresno State, and as Executive Director of The Renaissance Group, bringing closure to a very special and productive chapter of my life. The Renaissance Group, the only national consortium of colleges and universities, where Presidents, Provosts, Deans of Education, and Deans of Arts, Sciences and Humanities carry out the noble role for the preparation of professional educators as an all-campus responsibility, in partnership with local school districts, are poised to continue this most important work. Dr. Cathy Barlow, Provost Emeritus from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, will serve TRG as its new Executive Director, while the University of Central Missouri, under the leadership of Dr. Charles Ambrose, President, Dr. Deborah Curtis, Provost, Dr. Gersham Nelson, Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Dr. Michael Wright, Dean of the College of Education will manage the financial aspects of the organization. The “Next Generation of TRG”, as it welcomes its 25th anniversary, will continue to be led by Dr. John Counts, President of The Renaissance Group Board of Governors, and President Emeritus of Western New Mexico University, as well as by the present and future members of the Board of Governors. Thank you Dr. Counts for your leadership, unconditional support of our work and for your friendship. You have been an amazing leader, colleague and friend! You have always believed in TRG, and because of that belief and passion, the future of “The Next Generation of TRG” will continue to be positive and bright. During my educational journey of 43 years, I have worked with several boards of school districts and organizations, but never with one as professional and supportive as TRG’s Board of Governors. This incredible team of colleagues and friends, representing the leadership of member institutions, using Dr. Counts’ description, is the finest “think tank” in the nation! I unequivocally support that statement, referencing almost six years of experience as proof.
Naturally no organization can exist without members, and although TRG’s membership list is not a lengthy one, the trust, dedication and commitment unconditionally expressed by the loyal few is commendable and greatly appreciated. Thank you Presidents, Provosts, Deans of Education, and Deans of Arts and Sciences of member institutions for your continued support and belief in the work of our national consortium. A sincere note of appreciation is also extended to TRG’s partners, whose programs and services, presence, and financial assistance have made possible the Annual Joint Conference held in Arlington, VA, as well as the development of various Signature Projects and services. Thank you, Dr. Mary Gendernalik-Cooper, Dr. Kenneth Witmer, Dr. Katy Heyning and TECSCU, Dr. Sharon Robinson and AACTE, Dr. Chris Kalmus and LiveText, as well as the University of Mary Washington, West Chester University, and California State University, Fresno. If I have omitted anyone, particularly when there are so many outstanding colleagues who deserve recognition, I assure you it was not intentional; simply a sign that retirement is overdue. Thank you for understanding.
TRG’s founders and leaders of this amazing organization would be very pleased about our national presence and contributions to education. For complete details about member institutions, founders and leaders, contributions of signature projects, research, programs and services, please visit www.renaissancegroup.org, TRG’s website, and www.educationalrenaissance.org, the Electronic Journal sponsored by TRG.
Below are downloadable links to slide presentations from the Fall 2013 Joint Conference. All presentations have been reduced in size and converted to pdf format.
Gearing Up for the Common Core: A Systemic Model for Instructional Improvement
Virginia Boris, California State University Fresno
JoDee Marcellin, Sanger USD
Aligning and Elevating Teacher Preparation and the Teaching Profession: From Recommendations to Real Change
Dr.William Buxton – State University of New York, Cortland
Marla Ucelli-Kashyap – American Federation of Teachers
The Interplay of a Data-Driven Student Reform Initiative, the Common Core State Standards, and a Professional Development School Faculty Study Group
Dr. Cathy J. Siebert, Assistant Professor - Ball State University/Anderson PDS Liaison
Dr. Julie Morse, Assistant Principal - Anderson High School, Anderson, IN
Transforming Organizational Cultures to Facilitate Reform Agendas in Teacher Education Programs
Dr. Linda A. Patriarca, Dean
Dr. Mark L’Esperance, Associate Professor
Dr. Diana Lys, Director of Assessment & Accreditation
College of Education, East Carolina University
Bringing Computational Thinking to K-12 Teachers: Effective Professional Development Model and Strategies
Christopher Gordon, MED; Mahnaz Moallem, Ph.D; and Shellby Morge, Ph.D.
University of North Carolina Wilmington
Partnerships Make a Difference: Immersive Learning of Pre-Service Candidates Working with Urban Students
Jill Miels - Department of Elementary Education
Ball State University Teachers College
Smarter Balanced Overview
Jacqueline E. King - Director, Higher Education Collaboration
Integrating Computing & STEM Education Using Simulation & Modeling Technology Tools: A Focus on Common Core State Standards
University of North Carolina Wilmington
The Mouse is Dead: Welcome to Higher Education in the Post-PC Era
Chris Penny, Ph.D.
West Chester University
A.S.K Assistance. Strategies. Know-How
Pamela Petty, Ed.D.
Daniel Super. Ed.S.
Common Core Across Higher Education: Implications for Practice
Sylvia Dietrich - Director, School of Teacher Education
Pam Petty - Professor, Literacy
Kandy Smith - Assistant Professor, Literacy
Tony Norman - Director, Educational Leadership Doctoral Program
Common Core Implementation: Leadership Opportunities for Schools of Education
Ron Jetty, University of Wisconsin System
Parlez-Vous: Common Core Standards?
Dr. Tom Walsh, Kean University
Transforming Clinical Practice in Elementary Teacher Education Through PSCT & Coaching
Toni Strieker, Professor
Maria Shaheen, Assistant Professor
Lee Digiovanni, Associate Professor
Daphne Hubbard, Associate Professor
Woong Lim, Assistant Professor
Kennesaw State University
Common Core State Standards (CCSS): Higher Education’s Role in Developing Educational Professionals
Tammy Allen, Scott Ammon, Amie Breshears, Brad Drace, Jennifer Husemen, Dan Jensen and Vicki Orcutt
University of Central Missouri
After months of preparation by the conference planners of TECSCU and TRG, the two national organizations and perhaps the very best “friends” of educator preparation programs and initiatives in America, greeted approximately 80 colleagues and friends at Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, VA, a most welcoming, familiar location. This year’s event marked the eight anniversary of the Fall Conference at this facility, five years for The Renaissance Group (TRG), and three years as a joint venture with TECSCU and TRG.
Overlooking the nation’s capital and historic Georgetown, the Key Bridge Marriott is located four miles from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and within three blocks of the Washington Metro system. The riverside hotel is a five-minute walk to the Francis Scott Key Bridge, linking Arlington, Virginia to the Capitol district. The Iwo Jima Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon, the Kennedy Center, and downtown Georgetown are all within five miles of the hotel.
The conference program was purposely designed to address various aspects of America’s latest educational reform, the Common Core State Standards. The Theme,“Parlez Vous Common Core Standards? Implications and Recommendations for P-20 Instructional Leaders at Local, State and National Levels” was successfully delivered as intended. However, given opportunities to improve teaching and learning are no stranger to public P-20 education, it is important to note that speaking the language of the Common Core State Standards is only a first effort, and the ultimate goal is to achieve high levels of proficiency, if educators hope to attain a meaningful level of success with its implementation.
The dates of the Fall Joint Conference, September 28-October 1, 2013 proved to be a great choice. Although prominent signs of a beautiful fall season were displayed throughout the countryside, with picture-perfect weather that could redirect even the most dedicated professionals to the outdoors, the conference content and engaging sessions did not give way to those temptations, as evidenced by the impressive number of participants at all presentations. The “shut down” of government offices and facilities prior to the closing of the conference did however limit the final phase of the conference, which was dedicated to congressional visits.
The Deans’ Leadership Institute held on Saturday, September 28, opened three and one half-days of timely professional development for educators from a number of states, higher education institutions, as well as their partner school districts. The program provided opportunities for participants to actively engage in effective leadership and partnership building scenarios particularly as they related to engaging faculty in the Common Core State Standards. Using rubrics designed for managing change in the adoption of the Common Core Standards, participants were invited to conduct an audit of existing opportunities within their respective institutions. Finally, using a case study approach, program facilitators presented on Effective Advocacy as it related to strengthening voice of higher education in teacher education related policy and practices.
Much of the day, Sunday, September 29, was dedicated to TECSCU’s Executive Committee and TRG’s Board of Governors for the purpose of conducting the organizations’ regular business, including discussions and plans for the future.
The official conference opening took place at 5:00 p.m., with welcome messages by TRG’s and TECSCU’s leadership, followed by a motivating keynote address by Dr. Jacqueline (Jaci) King, Director Higher Education Collaboration, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Dr. King provided an overview of the work of the Smarter Balanced Consortium, the opportunities and challenges for all educators in K-12 schools and school districts, as well as in higher education institutions. The Consortium is comprised of 26 states and territories, working collaboratively to build next-generation formative, interim and summative assessments for K-12 schools tied to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics. Preparing all students to be college and career ready is the ultimate goal of this initiative, offering all educators new opportunities to improve teaching and learning, including opportunities for higher education to enhance educator preparation programs, improve college readiness, reduce remediation, strengthen lower division courses and boost completion rates. Her message was very well received, setting the perfect stage for the next two days.
The Capital View Ballroom, located on the 14th floor of the conference facility, was the site of the Conference Reception, which followed the keynote presentation, offering all guests a spectacular moon-lit view of Georgetown and Washington DC. The ambiance, the assortment of delicious treats and libations, and the lively exchange of thoughts, ideas and stories by the participants brought perfect closure to the first day of the Fall 2013 Joint Conference of TECSCU and TRG.
The following one and one half days were carefully designed to offer a menu of promising/best practices in the form of concurrent and general sessions. Twenty such presentations were offered, including: Common Core Across Higher Education: Implications for Practice; Common Core Implementation: Leadership Opportunities for School of Education; Higher Education’s Role in Developing Education Professionals; Transforming Teacher Education Through Coaching Pre-Service Co-Teaching; Bringing Computational Thinking to K-12 Teachers: Effective Professional Development Models and Strategies; The Mouse is Dead: Welcome to the post PC Era; Professional Development Partnerships: Growth for Educators and Students; Partnerships Make a Difference: Pre-Service Candidates Working with Diverse Populations; Teacher Residency: Collaboration for Instructional Shifts in Common Core, and many more, all focused on the challenges and opportunities for the implementation of Common Core State Standards.
The Luncheon on Monday, September 30, featured Dr. John Welty, President Emeritus of California State University, Fresno, long-time supporter of educator preparation programs, TRG and TECSCU. Dr. Welty shared his Reflections on the Future, reminding us about some of the inevitable changes resulting from technology innovations and consumer demands, and the opportunities these present for all educators in P-20 instructional settings. Dr. John Welty was also the recipient of this year’s Renaissance Leadership Award, in recognition of his many years of support and commendable leadership to educator preparation programs and to The Renaissance Group. Dr. Paul Beare, Dean, Kremen School of Education and Human Development at California State University, Fresno was given a special award for his leadership and unconditional support in hosting The Renaissance Group for the past nine years. Effective January 1, 2014, The Renaissance Group’s new home will be the University of Central Missouri, and Dr. Cathy Barlow, Provost Emeritus at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington will lead the “Next Generation” of TRG as Executive Director, replacing Dr. Michael Giovannetti after his retirement in December 2013.
The Fall 2013 Joint Conference of TECSCU and TRG closed on Tuesday, October 1 on a very positive note, following the AFT Panel Presentation and Discussion led by Dr. William Buxton, Associate Professor at the State University of New York Cortland and Ms. Marla Ucelli-Kashyap, Assistant to the AFT President for Educational Issues, the take-away session led by Dr. Arlinda Eaton and Dr. Kenneth Witmer, and closing remarks by Dr. John Counts, President, TRG and Dr. Mary Gendernalik-Cooper, President TECSCU.
During the three and one half days of the conference, particularly in the evening, participants found time for networking and personal/social enrichment experiences, individually and collectively planned. The Renaissance Group is now preparing to present the next issue of its eJournal, Educational Renaissance, to feature Fall 2013 Joint Conference Proceedings, and other important aspects of the program. The conference evaluations received thus far have spelled success, and work is underway for planning meaningful professional development opportunities for all members of TECSCU and TRG during 2014 and beyond.
The Fall 2013 Conference Final Schedule is now available for download.
The latest Concurrent Sessions document is now available for download.
Download the following Fall 2013 Conference document (pdf format):