CWUNewsNews Professor Helps Potential Teaching Students, 17 Sep 2018 09:01:26<p>Student demographics across the country are rapidly changing. In response, more teacher reflecting cultural diversity are needed. CWU, which has an established record for developing top-quality teachers, is now helping develop ways to diversify the teacher workforce.</p><p>“Right now, I’m working with the Grandview and Mabton School Districts, which are 93 percent and 98 percent Hispanic, to develop ‘Grow Your Own’ teaching academies,” said CWU education professor, Keith Reyes. “They would identify students within those communities who have interest in and aptitude for teaching and then cultivate and foster them to realize their dreams.”</p><p>Reyes and Eric Hougan, from CWU-Des Moines, are establishing those academies founded on research that has determined that when there is a demographic match between teachers and their students, more positive outcomes result for students of color. They include in test scores and on discipline.</p><p>Reyes, who teaches courses pertaining to multiculturalism, educational leadership and administration, also knows firsthand about the important role of education to a minority student’s success, which he, himself, had to navigate.</p><p>“I dropped out of school at age 17 as a result of my economic and domestic circumstances--as well as my own ignorance and pride,” Reyes noted.</p><p>Reyes and his three younger brothers grew up in a high-poverty barrio in El Paso, Texas. His mother, who was an immigrant from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, dropped out of high school after learning she was pregnant with him.</p><p>Reyes candidly referred to his father as emotionally and physically abusive, who struggled with alcoholism and substance abuse, unemployment, and numerous jail sentences.</p><p>“He was a terrible role model in terms of being what a healthy, adult male should be,” said Reyes. “I wrecked my life pretty badly based on the template he had given me. I came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ after hitting the very bottom of the barrel.”</p><p>Which happened when Reyes was serving a jail term for possession of marijuana, one of the “cocktail of legal and illegal drugs,” along with alcohol, to which he had turned for relief from his pervading sense of hopelessness and worthlessness.</p><p>“I had never understood that I had some kind of intellectual capacity or merit—I had never been told that,” he recalled. “Once I did go on to college, there were a few individuals who actually saw that I had some potential and they told me that I was pretty smart.”</p><p>Initially, he thought he would become a Baptist minister, “but over time it became clear to me that there was work for me outside of the ministry. By then, I was too close to my degree to start over.”</p><p>So he earned his bachelor’s degree in practical theology and then began working informally at a private school. Realizing that teaching was the field for him, he went on to pursue a school administrator license, and multiple certifications, including in bilingual education and social studies.</p><p>Reyes would also earn a master’s degree in sociology, and a Doctorate of Education in educational leadership, which led to a career in school administration.</p><p>“When I became a principal, I felt that I was going back to save myself over-and-over again,” he explained. “I really did see myself in so many students, irrespective of race, ethnicity, and even gender. That was the motivation that kept me in the public school system for as long as it did.”</p><p>His career includes five years in pre-kindergarten through high school classrooms, and eight others in colleges and universities. He sought employment within higher education once he realized that he could even extend his life-saving calling, with the help of others.</p><p>“If I’m a principal of 450 students, I can reach 450 students,” he said. “But if I’m a professor to 30 classroom teachers, with 30 students of their own, then I’m exponentially amplifying my reach. It gives me the ability to impact the lives of children who I may never meet personally but will be helped by the teachers with whom I now work.”</p><p>Before coming to CWU, Reyes was a Chicano and ethnic studies, and sociology instructor and advisor at Yakima Valley College, where he was named the school’s 2010 Teacher of the Year. He also spent several others years in other community college and university settings, and provided online instruction too.</p><p>At CWU, his research now focuses on educational inequity, including policies and practices within K-20 schooling that lead to the educational gap and unequal educational outcomes for various groups of students, “especially bilingual students and students from diverse cultural backgrounds,” he noted.</p><p>“There are structural impediments and challenges to the daily lives of racial minorities, those who are socio-economically disadvantaged, even females, at various points in life that make their educational goal attainment very difficult,” he said. “But I do think, overall, that there is much more awareness of the importance of education, including higher education, by students of today—particularly Mexican-American, Latino, and Hispanic youth.”</p><p>Reyes views his research, presented both nationally and regionally at educational leadership conferences, as simply part of the larger expectation he has for himself and his career.</p><p>“My life is to serve other people and help other people find their purpose, just like I was able to find mine,” he said, “to find value in one’s self, in what someone does that dignifies them and lift other people up.”</p><p>Media contact: Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,<br>Friday, September 14, 2018</p><p>&nbsp;</p></br>CWU First in State to Offer Computer Science Teaching Endorsement, 26 Mar 2018 07:56:51<p><img alt="" src="/csel/sites/" style="width: 150px; height: 147px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: left;">Starting in the fall, Central Washington University will become the first university in Washington State offering its students a computer science teaching endorsement.</p><p>The new endorsement is part of CWU’s new STEM Teaching Program, which allows undergraduate students to earn both their STEM degree and teaching certification at the same time. This degree structure gives students career choice and flexibility.</p><p>“We hope this will begin to meet the need for more highly trained computer science teachers and more computer science education options in Washington schools,” said Jennifer Dechaine, CWU biology and science education professor. “We are excited to partner with Washington P-12 schools on this new program.”</p><p>The teaching endorsement program proposal was approved by the Professional Educator Standards Board on March 15, 2018.<br><br>“The first iteration of the program will be part of our STEM Teaching Program for undergraduate students seeking teaching certification and endorsement in science or mathematics fields,” Dechaine said. “This program will be co-delivered by CWU’s College of the Sciences and the School of Education in the College of Education and Professional Studies.”<br><br>In 2016, CWU received a $2.19 million grant to develop and implement an innovative STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) teacher preparation program. The program, based on University of Texas-Austin’s UTeach model, was customized for Washington State to meet the state’s teacher preparation requirements.</p><p>Students began entering the STEM Teaching Program in fall 2017. Dechaine, and Ian Loverro, professor of Curriculum, Supervision, and Educational Leadership, are co-principal investigators of the grant.</p><p>“We are looking forward to partnering with Washington P-12 schools on this new program” Loverro said. “And we’re excited to partner across disciplines within CWU to make this a successful program.”</p><p>For more information about the program, contact Rachel George at or go to</p><p>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,<br>&nbsp;</p></br></br></br></br></br>CWU receives state grant to increase educators of color for state classrooms, 23 Jan 2018 09:56:24<p>CWU—the largest producer of certified teachers within the state—is studying new ways to increase the number of students of color seeking to become teachers.</p><p>The Washington Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) recently selected CWU, along with several other higher education institutions, to participate in the PESB Pilot to Policy Grant: Advancing Systemic Equity. The goal of the program is to develop and implement policies and procedures surrounding issues of racial equity and local community engagement.</p><p>“To initiate our effort, the grant team will go on a statewide listening tour to hear from current students of color in our ‘Grow Your Own’ (GYO) partnerships, current CWU teacher candidates of color, and recent CWU alumni of color from our various teacher education programs,” said Professor Grace Blum, from CWU’s Department of Education, Development, Teaching, and Learning.</p><p>CWU’s highly regarded GYO programs already help school districts develop staff from within their local communities to address hard-to-fill positions.</p><p>Blum collaborated on the grant proposal with her faculty colleagues Eric Hougan and Keith Reyes, both from the Department of Curriculum, Supervision, and Educational Leadership. Blum and Hougan work at the CWU-Des Moines and CWU-Pierce County University Centers, while Reyes is based in Ellensburg.</p><p>“We will be able to see both the challenges and opportunities our teachers of color face through analyzing their progression from being high school students themselves, to applying and enrolling as teacher candidates, graduation, certification, and to teaching in the field,” Blum continued. “This type of comprehensive review will allow us to assess the effectiveness of our current institutional support around racial equity and, based on the findings, craft and implement an Equity Vision and Action Plan (EVAP).”</p><p>Blum, Hougan, and Reyes are also members of CWU’s newly formed School of Education Diversity and Equity Committee.</p><p>“We will present our findings and recommendations to this committee, laying the foundation for the subsequent approval of the formal EVAP by the School of Education,” Hougan added.</p><p>Year 2 of the grant will focus on the implementation of the approved action plan.</p><p>“We believe the plan will include developing a formalized mentorship network that supports our GYO students of color, current teacher candidates of color, and recent alumni of color from our teacher education programs,” Reyes stated. “We will also look to communicate and hear feedback from all stakeholders at the university, and incorporate this input into policy.”</p><p>In the last five years, CWU has experienced a dramatic, campus-wide increase in its enrolled students of color. That is born out in the percentage of Latinx teacher graduates, which rose between 2012 and 2017 from 7.9 to 14.3 percent. However, during that same timeframe, the percentage of African American teacher graduates remained virtually unchanged, growing slightly from 1.4 to 1.8 percent.</p><p>“The focus of this work is crucial to teacher education as a whole and our work at CWU as we seek to increase access and recruitment of underrepresented populations into the profession,” stated Ron Jacobson, executive director of the CWU School of Education. “As one of the largest producers of teachers in Washington, and with a reach across the state, CWU is perfectly situated to take on this challenge.”</p><p>CWU typically certifies between 300 and 350 new—and needed—teachers, principals, and school psychologist each year. The university now has teachers working in 70 percent of Washington’s schools.</p><p>“In the long term, along with more recruited and enrolled teacher candidates of color, we want to see the number and scope of community partnerships increased,” Hougan noted. “We need to shape a seamless system of transition and support for our teachers; beginning with those interested in pursuing teaching as a career, to create a support network with resources for teachers of color in the workforce.”</p><p>The two-year PESB grant program will continue through June of 2019.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Media contact:</strong> Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,</p>CWU To Offer Studies In Accessibility; 10-Week Certificate Available Summer 2017, 09 Feb 2017 14:52:25<p>Central Washington University has approved a new certificate and minor&nbsp;in Accessibility <img style="margin: 3px; width: 350px; height: 263px; float: right;" alt="Stairs and wheelchair ramp" src="/csel/sites/">Studies, which will start this spring. It’s the first program in the country dedicated to increasing accessibility by applying universal design principles to all fields of study and careers.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The program provides opportunities to learn about barriers that exclude people with disabilities. Moreover, it serves to ensure that every environment will accommodate everyone, regardless of ability.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“We want all environments to be designed for maximum functionality by maximum participation,” said Naomi Petersen, Accessibility Studies professor.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>One fifth of the population is affected by disability, and laws protect their rights as individuals to have access. To be accessible, an environment—work, home, school, shopping, medical, leisure, and virtual/digital—must be functional for everyone.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>These laws and accessibility requirements directly impact employers in all industries. And having employees skilled in this area brings added value to an organization.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The idea for the program stemmed from Petersen’s challenge to use a 3D printer to make instructional materials accessible to a blind student. Petersen found herself asking, “Where do I learn about this?”— Only to find that typically you must figure it out for yourself. After working closely with <a href="">Disability Services</a> and the <a href="">Multimodal Education Center</a>, she realized the university could provide this area of study to aid Central’s staff and students, as well as other professionals.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The university agreed.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Almost 30 CWU pre-professional degrees across disciplines—from business and information technology, to social services and safety and health management—have added the Accessibility minor option as a way to broaden their student’s employment opportunities. Several interdisciplinary research projects have already been proposed.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The first course, ASP 305 Accessibility and User Experience, will be offered spring quarter. A fast-track certificate will be available in the summer. Students who choose this option can become certified in 10 weeks by completing a four-course sequence online.</p><p>A minor in Accessibility Studies is earned by completing five program-approved elective credits in addition to earning the certification. The credits must be related to the student’s major area of study.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The Accessibility curriculum is aligned with the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) certification, to prepare students to be successful on the IAAP test.</p><p>All courses are offered online in order to make them available to those who are online majors as well as for working professionals.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>While still in its infancy, the Accessibility Studies program has established goals for the future, including a foundation account for donations and grants that will fund scholarships and research.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>As an employer, CWU human resources executive director Staci Sleigh-Layman instantly recognized the value to the university and other employers.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“There is real benefit to having our supervisors have this knowledge and competence, and to use it in their areas or responsibility across the campus,” Sleigh-Layman said.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>She is helping to guide the design of specialized industry training for select supervisors, come fall. As the pilot, CWU would use the training as a career development opportunity for employees. Additionally, she said, face-to-face, or hybrid instruction is being considered.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“This kind of program is the type that would be attractive to many companies and organizations … it’s movable and scalable,” according to Sleigh-Layman.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>A formal Accessibility Studies launch will take place on May 18th on the CWU Ellensburg campus. The date was chosen to coincide with Global Accessibility Awareness Day.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>For more information, or to register for spring quarter, visit the Department of Curriculum, Supervision, and Educational Leadership <a href="">Accessibility Studies website</a> or contact Naomi Petersen at, 509-963-1481.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Media contact: Dawn Alford, public affairs coordinator, 509-963-1484,</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>--February 9, 2017</p>CWU alumnus flies wounded veterans, 28 Dec 2015 07:46:05<p><img alt="" src="/education-foundation/sites/" style="width: 498px; height: 280px;"></p><p>Central Washington University [education and aerospace] alum and retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Richard “Dick” Iversen is helping post-9/11 wounded veterans travel easier by piloting free private flights with his longtime friend Jeff Hendricks.</p><p>Many of the wounded soldiers Iversen, 72, and Hendricks, fly are missing limbs, which makes travel through traditional airlines difficult. Through the work of Jeff-Air (named after Hendricks) and the Veterans Airlift Command, they are able to give wounded veterans a personal flight that accommodates their disabilities. There is no security to go through, and no one to tell them to rush or that they’re in the wrong seat.</p><p>Read more of this story in the<a href=""> Daily Record</a>.</p>CWU Education Administrator Ranks Teacher Shortage a Crisis, 09 Oct 2015 08:55:13<p><a href="" target="_blank">Read article on Central Today</a></p>Boeing CEO creates endowed scholarship for STEM Teachers, 12 Aug 2015 08:43:35<p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/education-foundation/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 333px;"></p><p>Students studying the sciences just got a financial boost from legendary <a href="" target="_blank">Boeing CEO Ray Conner</a>. Conner and his wife Katie recently established the Ray and Katie Conner Endowed Scholarship Fund with a gift of $305,769 at Central Washington University.....<a href="" target="_blank">Read More</a></p></p style="text-align: center;">CWU Presentation to Focus on Repatriation of WWII Veterans, 05 May 2015 12:05:40<p>A majority of history books date the end of World War II to Japanese surrender ceremonies aboard USS Missouri or the demobilization of returning US soldiers in 1945 and 1946.&nbsp;</p><p>“We would make the case that the real end of World War II wasn’t until the remains of more than 171,000 deceased servicemen and women were removed from temporary burial sites and transferred--with dignity--to their final resting places,” says Central Washington University education professor Naomi Petersen.&nbsp;</p><p>In honor of Memorial Day, CWU will host “A Salute to Survivors, Supporters, and Service Members” on Thursday, May 7, at 3:00 p.m. in the Student Union and Recreation Center Ballroom. A portion of the ceremony will focus on special US Army trains, which were used to return and repatriate deceased American soldiers.</p><p>Petersen, from CWU’s Educational Foundations and Curriculum department, will present the research she conducted on the subject, with retired US Air Force Lt. Col. James Murrie, who will also attend the event.</p><p>“This is a fascinating story of collaboration across armed services, intermodal transportation, [and] forensic science,” Petersen notes. “[It’s] a historic effort to honor the wishes of family members regarding the dignified return of the remains of their loved ones.”</p><p>It is based on “The Last Train Ride: The Repatriation of the World War II Fallen,” by Petersen and Murrie, which is published this month in Railroad History Journal.&nbsp;</p><p>“The event will provide some career context for the [CWU Army and Air Force] cadets and an opportunity for informal discussion with veterans and family members,” Petersen added.&nbsp;</p><p>It will also offer an opportunity to honor veterans and their families, and to share the grief of losing loved ones and comrades, Petersen points out.</p><p>May 5, 2015</p><p><strong>Media contact: </strong>Robert Lowery, director of Content Development, 509-963-1487,</p>Another CWU Education Graduate Receives Award, 20 Nov 2014 08:53:00<p><img alt="" src="/education-foundation/sites/" style="width: 150px; height: 172px; float: left; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;"></p><p>Another CWU alum has been selected as a Washington Teacher of the Year.</p><p>Anndria Cook, ’12, has been selected by her peers across the state as the Washington Art Education Association’s Teacher of the Year at their recent annual conference in Tukwila.....<a href="" target="_blank">Read More</a></p>National Teacher of the Year returns to the routine in Zillah, 31 Jul 2014 11:36:54<p><img alt="" src="/education-foundation/sites/" style="width: 300px; height: 200px;"></p><p>Before Zillah High School teacher [and CWU alumnus] Jeff Charbonneau became National Teacher of the Year in the spring of 2013, he could count the number of flights he had taken on the fingers of both hands. As of late July, he has earned more than 450,000 frequent flyer miles.</p><p>He has done things most people only dream of, from meeting President Barack Obama and throwing out the first pitch at a Seattle Mariners game, to discussing education policy with the Chinese minister of education. It was all part of the job for Charbonneau as unofficial education ambassador, speaking and presenting at education conferences or to lawmakers, education officials, media and educators around the United States.</p><p>Read more of this story in the <a href="">Yakima Herald Republic.</a></p><p>Story by Rafael Guerrero</p>