The spring semester has gotten off to a dynamic start at the College of Education. In January we spearheaded a timely Dean’s Diversity Lecture, earned a No. 5 ranking from The Best Schools for our online program, sponsored the Creative Writing Expressions Competition in honor of MLK Day, and laid the groundwork for TIER-ED, an exciting initiative that will forever change how our College and campus innovate in the digital learning sciences.
On January 25, Aurora Chang of Loyola University Chicago gave a Dean’s Diversity talk on how the process of immigrant documentation in the U.S. is, in her view, the foundation on which undocumented students’ hope is built and their powerful narratives told. This important lecture series has welcomed to campus several speakers whose research addresses topics related to diversity and inclusivity in areas such as transgender issues, racial equity in education, and scholar activism.
The weeklong campus celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. culminated with the College of Education’s annual MLK Creative Expressions Competition at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Through their creative work, students expressed what Dr. King’s dream of “justice for all” means and how we can carry those aspirations forward.
Our online programs continue to stand out with the Learning Design & Leadership program ranking No. 5 on The Best Schools’ “25 Best Online Master in Educational Technology Degree Programs” list. This innovative program focuses on education reform and technology integration for the 21st century. Congratulations to our faculty members who made this ranking possible. View the full rankings list.
Research and Innovation at Illinois
On Feb. 1, Assistant Professor Christopher Napolitano of the Department of Educational Psychology was interviewed on The Matt Townsend Show via Sirius XM to discuss his study surrounding the key to willpower. Listen to the archived interview and learn more about Christopher’s research—doing so may help you view your mentally taxing activities in a whole new light.
Special Education scholar Hedda Meadan-Kaplansky was named a University Scholar. Hedda’s research focuses on finding innovative ways to enhance the communication skills of children with disabilities who are minimally verbal or nonverbal. For those efforts, as well as for her strengths in teaching and service, Hedda truly deserves this special honor.
More well-deserved recognition for faculty research includes: the development of care plans for children with disabilities; the need for longitudinal, process-oriented data on refugee and immigrant youth outcomes in school; and how pay-it-forward financing programs could have differing effects depending on how individual voters fare economically.
Finally, I want to announce an exciting new initiative in the College of Education that promises to bolster the capacity and research of technology in education. The Technology Innovation in Educational Research and Design (TIER-ED) initiative will encompass cutting-edge research surrounding the impact of new technologies on educational contexts and learning. TIER-ED was chosen by the Provost’s Office to be one of the new Investment for Growth programs funded in 2018. The goal of the program is to be responsive to high-demand and emerging-demand programs that lead to financial sustainability and additional sources of revenue.
TIER-ED will strengthen our pipeline of students into programs that prepare them for design and research; identify more effective ways to utilize technology in teaching and designing tools to support teachers; and establish new connections with industries to help develop and bring to scale the technology innovations of the University of Illinois.
Thank you for your continued support of the College of Education at Illinois. With ILLINOIS, we’re changing education for the better.
Yours in Orange & Blue,
James D. Anderson, Ed.M. ’69, Ph.D. ‘73
Dean and Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Professor of Education