CWUNews FeedNews Feed Events & Due Dates, 22 Jan 2019 11:59:41<p>Feb 28th - <a href="" target="_blank">2019 Education Career Fair</a> - SURC - 10am-3pm</p><p>April 9th - Last day to apply for <a href="" target="_blank">edTPA voucher</a> for <em>spring</em> student teaching</p>CWU receives state grant to increase educators of color for state classrooms, 25 Jan 2018 10:59:51<p>January 23, 2018</p><p><strong>ELLENSBURG, Wash.</strong> — Central Washington University—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><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/images/pesb-press-release.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 267px; float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;">“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, <a href=""></a>.</p></a href="">Educator to the Stars: CWU Alumnus Takes Teaching Skills to Hollywood, 12 Feb 2014 09:59:57<p><img alt="" src="/teacher-certification/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 320px;"></p><p>Rubbing elbows with the Hollywood elite might involve more academics than Academy Awards, especially when your role is to teach child actors when they are on a production set. Educators, known as studio teachers, are mandatory on movie and television sets whenever there are actors under the age of 18.</p><p>“You are more than just a teacher,” says actor and studio teacher Mark Alkofer. “Under the child labor laws regarding children in the entertainment industry, you’re also a child welfare worker.”</p><p>Alkofer began his college career at CWU in 1990, earned his bachelor’s degree at Washington State University in 1995, and later returned to Central to earn his teaching certificate in 2000. He immediately moved to Los Angeles for his first teaching job, at Guardian Angel Catholic School in Pacoima, California, near Burbank.</p><p>“I learned a lot about classroom management, discipline, planning, and organization, mostly through trial and error—especially error,” he laughed. “I went to acting classes on nights and weekends.”</p><p>“When the economy was tough, and it was hard for teachers to find work, I made an effort to add high school endorsements to my credentials,” he related. “Adding the high school single-subject certificate made me eligible to take the exam to be a studio teacher.”</p><p>According to Alkofer, getting the job as a studio teacher “like most things in Hollywood,” involved a lot of networking, establishing credibility with production companies, and then becoming eligible to join the studio teachers' union, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 884.</p><p>“The official title of the job is Studio Teacher-Welfare Worker. When parents and directors see you doing a good job of teaching kids on set, while making sure they are safe and don't work too long, you get requested for jobs on other projects,” he added.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>“My first studio teaching job was on a Reba McEntire video,” Alkofer said. “I was new to the profession and was working about once or twice a month as a studio teacher. I would work as an extra on days when I wasn't teaching.</p><p>“At that time, I was an extra on <em>Moneyball</em>.&nbsp; The director asked us to laugh at Brad Pitt, as Billy Beane, during a trade negotiation scene. Toward the beginning of the film, I can be seen smirking.”</p><p>Alkofer has also appeared in <em>Mad Men</em>, <em>Hot in Cleveland</em>, <em>CSI</em>, on NFL pregame shows, in commercials for the Game Show Network, and in <em>Alvin and the Chipmunks 2: The Squeakquel</em>. In <em>Alvin</em>, Alkofer plays one of the football officials—“a small part, but it got me my SAG [Screen Actors Guild] card.” He has also appeared in plays and provided the voice-overs for his original cartoons.</p><p>Alkofer, who signed up with an agency to get assignments, says that the job changes all the time. “The schedule is a lot like being a substitute teacher. And sometimes you’ll be on a set where you’re responsible for a four-year-old, some middle-school kids, and a couple of teenagers.”</p><p>The variety and flexibility of studio teaching allows him to pursue his acting career as well as providing incredible networking opportunities. Recently he was on the set of one of 2014 Superbowl’s favorite commercials, seen here at</p><p>This was especially meaningful for Alkofer since he was a Wildcat football player from 1990 to 1992.</p><p>“My times at Central allowed me to become a teacher, and eventually a studio teacher. Going back to college there made a major difference in my life,” he reflected. “To this day, I feel very much at home walking on the CWU campus. It's a lot of fun to go to Central football games down here [in southern California], like last season's win against Azusa Pacific, or to come home and see a game in Ellensburg.”</p><p>“My future plans are to keep being a studio teacher, and hopefully get a call for one of the Portland shows such as <em>Portlandia</em>, <em>Grimm</em>, or <em>Leverage</em>, and be able to work a bit in the northwest,” he said. “I'm going to keep acting, and writing my own sketches and cartoons, and with them, I hope to make a few people laugh.”</p><p>A Yakima native, Alkofer graduated from Davis High School in 1990.</p><p><br>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,</p><p>&nbsp;</p></br>