This week, Karen Riley, Ph.D, Dean of the Morgridge College of Education, testified at the State Committee on Education for House Bill 15-1001. The bill, which addresses distribution of money for scholarship programs that assist early childhood education professionals, did not appear to cover programs that train individuals in early childhood special education. “We have a shortage of individuals with credentials to work with very young children with special needs,” said Dean Riley. “Typically early childhood and early childhood special education programs are separate programs with different requirements and an inclusive measure would serve the broader community while remaining consistent with the intent of the measure.”

On January 14th, MCE held Colorado’s first and only public screening of the documentary “TEACH”. Over 200 educators and community leaders participated in the event which concluded with a panel discussion hosted by MCE Faculty member Paul Michalec, PhD, Program Coordinator and Clinical Professor for the Curriculum Studies and Teaching program.

Four of the Denver teachers and building leaders featured in the film were invited to be part of the panel, including Matt Johnson, MCE alum from the Denver Teacher Residency Program. During the discussion, Michalec quoted a stunning statistic that over 50 percent of new teachers will leave the education field within five years of beginning their careers. Why would teachers continue to teach despite an overwhelming number of obstacles stacked against them? Johnson, teacher at McGlone Elementary, explained that the students are his reason for continuing, a sentiment echoed by others. Lyndsay Young, teacher at MLK Early College, expressed that many students have never known a high school graduate and need a constant driving force in order to succeed. She saw herself as that force.

Carrie Morgridge, of the Morgridge Family Foundation, asked the panel, “What can [we]…do to help improve the system for you?” The panel’s overwhelming response was that teachers could be better prepared for these struggles if colleges of education provided more opportunities for their students to gain hands-on experience. “We need more forums between professors, teachers, and working practitioners,” said Suzanne Morey, Principal at McGlone Elementary School.

The event was featured in the DU Clarion. MCE will continue to drive critical conversations about teaching and teachers. Stay tuned for more events and opportunities to engage.

2014 was an eventful year for the Morgridge College of Education. From the introduction of new leaders to exciting student opportunities; we are excited to share with you some of our favorite moments of 2014.

Morgridge College of Education community members had the unique opportunity to ask new University of Denver Chancellor, Dr. Rebecca Chopp, questions about higher education, inclusive excellence, technology, and community building. The video series Chatting with Chopp features Chancellor Chopp as she answers questions posed by the DU Community.

Chancellor Chopp brings a wealth of experience to DU.  Most recently, she served as the president at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. In addition to her advanced administrative roles at numerous institutions, Chancellor Chopp is a widely published author and editor. In 2013, she co-edited the book Remaking College: Innovation in the Liberal Arts. The Morgridge College of Education is excited to share our opportunity to Chat with Chopp.

Watch the video above to learn more about Chancellor Chopp’s perspective on higher education.


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