Tag Archives: College of Education

Prominent Educator and Author Gloria Ladson-Billings to Hold Two Lectures at TSU

UnknownNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Renowned educator and author, Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, popularly known for engaging educators in dialogue about improving schools for urban children, will be a guest of the College of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership at Tennessee State University on Tuesday, Sept. 29. More than 200 area educators, including principals, faculty, school district and university administrators will hear Ladson-Billings talk about the nation’s “education debt” and race theory relative to current education policy, during two lectures.

TSU President Glenda Glover is expected to welcome Ladson-Billings at a luncheon in the Executive Dining Room.

“We are excited to host Dr. Ladson-Billings at TSU because of her ability to contribute to a discussion that will inevitably benefit K-12 students and the men and women who teach them,“ said Dr. Kimberly King-Jupiter, Dean of the College of Education. “Dr. Ladson-Billings, across her career, has engaged educators in critical discussions about how to inspire diverse students to excel academically.  Her focus has been on the need for teachers to know their students, to identify and elevate students’ gifts amidst the challenges associated with urban schooling.”

Best known for her groundbreaking and influential book, “The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African-American Children,” Ladson-Billings will also discuss what schools and colleges are doing about the increasing drop in the number of racially diverse teachers, even though PK-12 student demographics reflect an increase in racial and ethnic diversity.

“This is precisely why the department extended the invitation to Dr. Ladson-Billings,” said Dr. Trinetia Respress, chair for the Department of Educational Leadership.

Dr. Ladson-Billings will lead two discussions. The first, “When My Teacher Doesn’t Look Like Me: The Crisis in the African-American Teaching Force,” in the Executive Dining Room at noon on the main campus. The second lecture will be held from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., on “Hip Hop/Hip Hope: The (R)Evolution of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy,” on the Avon Williams Campus.

Ladson-Billings, a pedagogical theorist and teacher educator, is on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education. She is also a researcher at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research.

For more information on the lecture or on how to register, call 615-963-5450.

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Remains Key Pipeline to Recruit Metro Area Teachers

University Ranked No.1 Among Top 10 HBCU Teacher Producers 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Renita Perkins is a second-generation graduate of Tennessee State University. Her mother, a retired teacher, received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from TSU, and so did her daughter and son-in-law who are working on their doctorate degrees.

Renita
Renita Perkins, Principal, Taylor Stratton School of Excellence

“I continue to be a part of the school’s heritage,” said Perkins whose tie to TSU spans more than 30 years. “Tennessee State University is truly a ‘school of excellence.”

When it comes to excellence, many agree with Perkins, principal at Nashville’s Taylor Stratton School of Excellence, who earned her bachelor’s, master’s and Education Specialist degrees from TSU.

“Tennessee State taught me the value of professional collaboration and networking,” said Whitney Bradley, a 2009 TSU graduate and teacher at Bailey STEM Magnet Middle School, who earlier this year was recognized as “Teacher of the Year” in her school, and for the Tennessee Mid-Cumberland Region, for her approach to team building. “I believe in highlighting the good in my team members so that we all shine together.”

With graduates like Perkins, Bradley and many others, teacher preparation is serious business at TSU, and a mainstay in the supply of qualified teachers and school administrators serving in the area and across the nation.

A year ago, as Metro Nashville Public Schools wrapped up the year with the need to hire or name principals to new assignments for 2014-15, TSU-trained teachers and administrators answered the call. With the exception of three, all of the 10 principals hired or assigned received all or part of their training from TSU. Perkins, who was named “Principal of the Year” in June by the Greater Nashville Alliance of Black Educators, was one of the newly assigned.

Unknown-1This achievement has earned the TSU teacher preparation program many national and local recognitions over the years. Just recently, HBCU Lifestyle, a publication dedicated to “black college living,” ranked TSU No. 1 among the “Top 10 HBCUs that Produce Teachers” in the nation. The publication, which provides HBCU students and their families with “valuable advice” about college admissions, campus life and financial aid resources, said TSU’s undergraduate and graduate offerings and concentrations in biology, chemistry and elementary education made the school’s teacher preparation program more attractive.

“Obviously we are very excited about this ranking,” Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Mark Hardy, said. “This only shows that Tennessee State University is a leader in this area as is reflected in the quality of students we are graduating.

Dean's Shot
Dr. Kimberly King-Jupiter

The Dean of the College of Education, Dr. Kimberly King-Jupiter, was equally excited about the HBCU Lifestyle ranking. “We are thrilled about this No. 1 ranking,” she said. “Our goal is to contribute to the production of diverse, highly qualified and culturally responsive teachers who can meet the needs of all students.  We believe that when schools hire our candidates, they are capable of inspiring and helping students realize their own dreams.”

TSU has long been a popular spot to recruit top educators into the Nashville school system. During the 2013-2014 school year, of the 636 new hires, 54 were from TSU, second only to MTSU with 56. Vanderbilt University followed in the third spot with 44, along with Lipscomb and Trevecca Nazarene Universities, which tied for the fourth spot with 40 among area institutions pipelining students directly into Metro. In 2012, TSU beat out all area universities for the most teachers hired.

“We have a great working relationship with Metro schools, with nearly 9 percent of TSU’s teachers going on to teach within the school system over the past two years,” said Dr. Heraldo Richards, associate dean of the College of Education, about a year ago. “We have a direct pipeline with our students who are highly recruited. In fact, some of our students have been offered positions prior to finishing their program.”

According to Richards, one of the most successful programs is the Ready2Teach training that students receive in their senior year. An undergraduate teacher residency preparation program, Ready2Teach emphasizes problem-based learning, co-teaching, and performance-based assessment.

“This (program) gives our students the opportunity to stay in the same class the entire year and receive valuable training with the same students and mentor teacher. Students in the program are ready to teach after just four years and are prepared to walk into a classroom and teach immediately,” Richards added.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Birmingham BOE Names TSU Alum as New Superintendent

Dr. Kelly Castlin-Gacutan
Dr. Kelly Castlin-Gacutan

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Birmingham Board of Education has named an alumna from Tennessee State University as the system’s new superintendent.

Dr. Kelly Castlin-Gacutan, who currently serves as the deputy superintendent of operations at Bibb County Schools in Georgia, was announced as the new superintendent on Tuesday. She is expected to start her work in Birmingham no later than July 1.

Castlin-Gacutan has worked in education for 20 years, serving in various roles ranging from a K-12 educator and assistant principal, to district-level administrator.

Dr. Castlin-Gacutan earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Tennessee State University in 1991, her Master of Education in Early Childhood Education from Brenau University, and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

 

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Alum Named Regional Teacher of the Year

Whitney Bradley (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – An alumna from Tennessee State University was recently named one of the best teachers in the state, selected by her peers as one who is, “leading the charge and making a real difference for students.”

Whitney Bradley, a teacher at Bailey STEM Magnet Middle School in Nashville, was named Teacher of the Year at her school and will compete for the Metro Nashville Public Schools district-wide Middle School Teacher of the Year. She was also named the Teacher of the Year for the Tennessee’s Mid-Cumberland region and will compete for the Tennessee Teacher of the Year award later this year.

“I am humbled,” said Bradley after winning these awards. “It is a blessing to bring positive attention to the school and to this community. I am honored because people count out our students and staff all the time and now we get to celebrate the goodness of Bailey Middle School and urban educators.”

Bradley, who graduated from TSU in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, is in her second year as an eighth grade team leader at Bailey. She has also held positions at White Creek High School, and served as co-director of Camp Wisdom Summer enrichment program.

Bradley said that for her, teaching is a calling or a ministry of sorts. She loves working with the, “least of these,” because they need it the most.

“I love to see my (students) smash the menial expectations placed on them just because of their backgrounds or life circumstances,” she added. “They are lights and when they own it, I love it.”

Bradley is an instructional leader at Bailey, which allows her to work with students, and help mentor and lead a group of her colleagues to improve instructional practice through the, “Learning Through Practice” approach.

“This approach I can attribute to my days at TSU,” Bradley said. “Tennessee State taught me the value of professional collaboration and networking. I believe in highlighting the good in my team members so that we all shine together.

Working as a team allows teachers to teach to their own strengths. We hold each other accountable. “We work together to make sure the students understand the content.”

She said she also learned valuable “life lessons” at TSU, which she carried into the classroom, specifically citing Dr. Samantha Curtis, director of the Write program, who taught her about time management and not to forget what is important to her personally.

“It’s all about pacing,” said Bradley. “Dr. Curtis taught me that everyone doesn’t want 100 percent of me 100 percent of the time. That lesson has been invaluable in my classroom and at home. I love my students and give my all when I am teaching, but I still have some love left over for my son and loved ones at the end of the day. Its all about balance.”

All Teachers of the Year, including Bradley, will be celebrated at a formal dinner and awards ceremony May 11 at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena, where district-level winners will be chosen.

 

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

“Do Not Change Tennessee Education Standards,” TSU Panel Tells State Leaders and Lawmakers

Dr. Candice McQueen, Tennessee Commissioner of Education, welcomes the audience to the Forum and explains her thoughts on the education standards in Tennessee. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Dr. Candice McQueen, Tennessee Commissioner of Education, welcomes the audience to the Forum and explains her thoughts on the education standards in Tennessee. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Without an outright endorsement, a panel of educators and legislators meeting at Tennessee State University Thursday appears to support the position of many who are urging lawmakers to rethink making any changes to the state’s academic standards for grades K-12.

Giving what they called a “balanced” representation of views on one of the biggest and controversial issues facing the Tennessee General Assembly, the panel said the focus should be on preparing students to think beyond graduation either for successful college careers, or technical or trade education that prepares them for the work place.

The panel was part of a forum under the theme, “Viewpoints on Tennessee Academic Standards for K-12,” hosted in partnership with the American Association of University Women of Tennessee, and the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs at TSU. It brought together key members of the House Committee on Education, including Rep. Harold Love Jr. (D-Nashville), member of the Education Instruction, and Programs Standing Committee; and Rep. Mark White (R-Memphis), chair of the Education and Administration Planning Subcommittee.

State Representative Harold Love Jr. (left) comments on the current education standards in Tennessee at a Legislative Forum today at the Avon Williams Campus. Representative Mark White (right) also attended the Forum, as well as Dr. Candice McQueen, Tennessee Commissioner of Education, and Dr. Linda Gilbert, director for Murfreesboro City Schools. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
State Representative Harold Love Jr. (left) comments on the current education standards in Tennessee at a Legislative Forum today at the Avon Williams Campus. Representative Mark White (right) also attended the Forum, as well as Dr. Candice McQueen, Tennessee Commissioner of Education, and Dr. Linda Gilbert, director for Murfreesboro City Schools. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Michael Harris, dean of the College of Public Affairs and Urban Planning, who moderated the panel, welcomed participants on behalf of TSU President Glenda Glover, who was away on travel.

In a statement earlier, Tennessee Commissioner of Education, Dr. Candice McQueen, welcomed the discussion on the standards, pointing to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the Nation’s Report Card, which shows Tennessee as the fastest academically improving state in the nation.

But even with this level of success, the commissioner sees a “widening gap” in the achievement level. She said more than half of the state’s students are from disadvantaged backgrounds who lack the resources to keep pace.

“If we want to be successful then we must find ways to help these disadvantaged students,” she said. “We have to prepare these students to think about success after graduation by steering them toward college or skills sets such as auto mechanic, welding or other trade or technical areas that improve their chances for successful life careers. To achieve this we must develop the ability to work together as K-12 educators and higher education professionals.”

Representative Love, a staunched supporter of education, citing his own late mother’s role as a longtime educator, said he understands the need for fully trained people in the classroom, and parents who are actively engaged in their children’s education.

A proponent of the current K-12 academic standards, Love said the role of the standards should be to prepare students for world-class jobs, which they emphasize.

“The current standards do not need changing,” he said. “Maybe some minor tweaking, but we do not need to change them.”

Responding to a parent’s concern about the lack of resources for their underperforming student, Love called for more funding to provide after-school tutoring for children who need it.

His House Colleague, Rep. White, concurred that students must be prepared to be competitive with the technical and job-ready skills to be successful in the work place.

He also sees no need to change the standards. “Keep the standards in place,” White added.

Another strong proponent of the standards, Dr. Linda Gilbert, director of the Murfreesboro, Tennessee City Schools, said she supports school superintendents who are calling for no change in the standards.

“We are at a crossroad, at the center of which is a child, and we must do everything to provide the environment and learning necessary to make that child successful. We cannot turn back now. …we cannot turn back on education in the state.”

On Tuesday, Feb. 10, 114 superintendents from the state’s 141 school districts presented a letter to lawmakers asking that “no legislative action be taken during the 2015 legislative session to change our academic standards.” This action follows a recent press conference by leaders of all 13 of Tennessee’s community colleges emphasizing their support for the K-12 academic standards.

Many argue, that the success of the recently signed Tennessee Promise law that offers future graduates of any Tennessee high school the opportunity to receive two years of community or technical college tuition-free, hinges on how prepared students are to succeed.

“This is an issue that the public needs to be informed about, and kept abreast on what is facing our schools, our students and our legislators,” Dean Harris said recently as he prepared for today’s forum.

Speaking earlier, the President-elect of the AAUW Tennessee, B. Ayne Cantrell, said her organization, whose mission is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research, was pleased to partner with TSU to host the forum.

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Women in Higher Education in Tennessee, the American Society for Public Administration, and the Lipscomb University Institute for Conflict management, sponsored the forum.

 

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Academic Excellence, Parental Engagement Earn TSU “S.W.A.G.” Awards for 50 Elementary Students and Families

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Fourth-grader Marlee Sabria Wade was all smiles as she looked at the blue lapel pin she had just received. The wording on the pin read, “Students with Academic Greatness.”

All semester-long the 9-year-old from Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary School in Nashville came to class every day and on time, participated and scored very high on all her class work, she had no unexcused absences, and no office referrals for bad behavior. Marlee displayed the behaviors necessary to succeed in school.

State Representative Harold Love Jr., pins TSU Students with Academic Greatness Award  winner Marlee Sabria Wade, a fourth-grader from Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary School, during the inaugural S.W.A.G. Award ceremony at TSU on Thursday, Jan. 29. (photos by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)
State Representative Harold Love Jr., pins  Academic Greatness Award winner Marlee Sabria Wade, a fourth-grader from Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary School, during the inaugural S.W.A.G. Award ceremony at TSU on Thursday, Jan. 29. (photos by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

That seems like a badge of excellence, but for Marlee, standing barely 3 feet tall, it is an understatement.

“When I was younger I always knew I had academic greatness but I just didn’t know what it was,” said Marlee, with a grin and a show of confidence that explains how proud she is of her own ability. “I want to be a doctor or a fashion designer and I know I will make it because I do well in all of my work and I am never late.”

She definitely will. Her “no-nonsense” grandmother, Margaret Thomas, a retired seamstress, is a major influence, and already has Marlee watching as she (Thomas) stiches different styles — in case fashion design becomes the choice.

Being on time, working hard and already having career choices have certainly earned stripes of excellence for Marlee, her younger sister, Ilee Wade, a kindergartener, and about 50 other students from their school, thanks to a Tennessee State University initiative that keeps the students on track and their parents engaged.

Participating in the inaugural S.W.A.G. Awards ceremony at Tennessee State University were: State Representative Harold Love Jr., left, Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary School Principal Trellaney Lane, the Dean of the College of Education Dr. Kimberly King-Jupiter, and Robert Churchwell Jr., after whose late father the elementary school was named.
Participating in the inaugural S.W.A.G. Awards ceremony at Tennessee State University were: State Representative Harold Love Jr., left, Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary School Principal Trellaney Lane, the Dean of the College of Education Dr. Kimberly King-Jupiter, and Robert Churchwell Jr., after whose late father the elementary school was named.

About a year ago, the University, through the College of Education, entered a partnership with Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary School through the S.W.A.G. (Students with Academic Greatness) initiative to acknowledge and recognize families and students who strive to achieve behavior and academic benchmarks identified by their home school.

Every nine weeks the Dean of the College, Dr. Kimberly King-Jupiter, and the S.W.A.G. Team travel to Churchwell Elementary School to award certificates to students for maintaining the program’s goals. Students who received two certificates during the fall semester were recognized with a pin and a certificate at the inaugural S.W.A.G. Award ceremony in the Ferrell-Westbrook Complex at TSU on Thursday, Jan. 29.

Essential to the academic greatness of any students are engaged parents. So, the Team recognizes parents for what they do to encourage academic greatness.

SWAG“The goal of ‘S.W.A.G.ging’ these students from K-4th grade is to stress the importance of not just going to school but to do their best academically,” said King-Jupiter. “So often, kids only receive acknowledgement for sports and entertainment. Or, they receive notoriety for bad behavior. The goal of the S.W.A.G. Initiative is to reward students publicly for academic excellence while also exposing them to alternative career choices.”

And the message is getting across, S.W.A.G. officials say. They say parental and family engagement – a key indicator to students’ academic success – is overwhelming.

For instance, Marlee says she does not worry about getting to school on time. It just happens, as she puts it. Her mother, Treva Wade, a TSU graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Communications, knows the importance of being on time and she makes sure Marlee and her sister are out the door in time to be in class on time.

“My mom gets me and my sister up early and ready for school everyday, so we are never late, and she makes sure we do our homework,” said Marlee.

With no direct University or government funding, how is such a novel program staying afloat, dean King-Jupiter was asked.

“We see the S.W.A.G. Initiative as a low-cost way to build a pipeline, but we are looking for funding sources through grants and other means to sustain the program,” she said.

Until then, resources, including award and gift items, are donated by some of her fellow deans, vice presidents, professors and the core of staff members who help run the program. That’s in addition to members of the community who contributed to the purchase of Kindle tablets for each family. “We got by with a lot of help from our TSU family and friends.”

At the inaugural S.W.A.G. award ceremony that included a catered buffet dinner, University, state and local officials formed a procession to receive the students as they came up to be pinned and presented with their certificate of excellence. A parent, representing each of the more than 40 families at the ceremony received a gift bag stuffed with a Kindle tablet and other University paraphernalia.

Officials included TSU Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Mark Hardy; State Representative Harold Love Jr., Churchwell Elementary School Principal Trellaney Lane, and Robert Churchwell Jr., after whose late father the elementary school was named.

“Your child has been a model student in the partnership’s examination of parental involvement and academic achievement,” Hardy said to the parents, as he presided at the ceremony on behalf of TSU President Glenda Glover, who was away on business. “And to you the Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary School, and Dean King-Jupiter and our College of Education, we applaud you for promoting academic excellence. Your presence here tonight along with all of these officials is an indication of how much importance we attach to the S.W.A.G. program and what it is doing for these young people.”

While S.W.A.G.’s primary target is student academic excellence, parents received rousing ovations for encouraging their children.

“In SWAG we recognize and reward the model of parenting that is engaged. This is the only way we can be sure these students will succeed. We also want ‘S.W.A.G.gers’ to know that a focus on academic excellence will open doors to opportunities,” King-Jupiter noted.

Principal Lane added that the TSU/Robert Churchwell partnership offers an opportunity to recognized students who have academic greatness and parents who give it their all to make sure their children are achieving at their very best.

“Today we celebrate academic excellence and congratulate these students for their accomplishments,” she said. “We thank you parents. You are doing something special; please continue to be the great role models you are.”

The College of Education S.W.A.G. Team received high praise for their contribution. They include: Assistant Dean Alethea Hampton, Assistant Professor Thurman Webb, Assistant Professor Calli Holaway, John Barfield, of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs; and graduate assistant Darreon D. Greer Sr.

The team also receives support from other members of the college including Associate Dean Heraldo Richards, and department chairs Trinetia Respress and John Tiller; and Ruth Gordon, Jo Mercer and Jennifer Sparks.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Recognizes TSU Student as One of Nashville’s Top 30 under 30 Recipients

Kelli Peterson
Kelli Peterson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Since 2009, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has recognized influential members of the local community under the age of 30. In mid-November, the Middle Tennessee Chapter released a list of 30 individuals they believe have made significant impacts in the community through leadership and volunteer efforts.

Among that list is a doctoral student from Tennessee State University who has been selected as one of Nashville’s best professional and philanthropic community members for 2015.

Kelli Peterson, who is pursuing her Doctorate of Education degree in Teaching and Learning, Focus in Curriculum Planning, will be honored early next year as one of the most “prominent, influential and successful young professionals in the community.”

“I am truly blessed and honored to be named as one of Nashville’s Top 30 under 30 by such a wonderful organization,” said Peterson, who has served for the past two years as the assistant principal at East End Preparatory School. “I was surprised when I found out because I had worked extremely hard on a compelling essay to express my qualifications and passion for being a servant to Nashville through education. I knew the competition would be extremely competitive.”

2015 class of Nashville’s Top 30 Under 30
2015 class of Nashville’s Top 30 Under 30

According to Peterson, the recognition is important to her for two reasons. First, along with the other 29 professionals, Peterson will be given a chance to make an even bigger impact in the lives of others. As a member of Nashville’s Top 30 under 30, she will be campaigning to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Second, and most importantly, this is an opportunity to be a positive role model for her students.

“It is my goal to shed light on this disease to the African-American community, as well as children so that in tandem we may fight together,” said Peterson. “Although Cystic Fibrosis occurs less in African-Americans, it is important that we come together as Americans to help support this movement.”

According to Peterson, each recipient of the Top 30 Under 30 has to raise a minimum of $2,500 through ticket sales for the April 10 gala, donations and sponsorships. One way, she said, is to get her students involved.

“I plan to get my students involved as the leaders of the fundraising effort to show the power of children, and ask that the community show children ‘if they lead, we will follow,’ by donating as well,” she added.

Along raising funds for the organization, Peterson said that being named to the Top 30 Under 30 list was also important because it is an opportunity for her to show her students that anything is possible and nothing is out of reach. When she left Flint, Michigan, at age 17, she vowed that every accomplishment she made in life would not be for self-notoriety, but to show “all the little brown girls and boys sitting in a classroom they could move past the glass ceiling.”

“I walk the hallways at school everyday so that my ‘little brown children’ can see a brown woman as their assistant principal and thus, dream beyond it,” Peterson said. “I am in the second year of my doctoral degree, not for my personal gain, but so that my students can call someone that looks like them ‘doctor.”

Peterson, through her nomination to the Top 30 list, wants to show her students that someone that looks like them and that serves them on a daily basis, can be recognized not for the amount of money they are able to give, but the service they provide to the community. 

“I want to be able to prepare all my students for a brighter future,” added Peterson. “I want my students to know that anything is obtainable.”

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Middle Tennessee will hold its 7th annual “Nashville’s Top 30 Under 30” event April 10, 2015 at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville. Visit the Top 30 Under 30 website for more information or to donate.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was founded in 1955 with the mission of supporting research and education over the genetic disease.  Cystic fibrosis attacks the lungs and digestive system and affects about 30,000 children and adults in the United States.

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Professor Selected for Accreditation Council Appeals Committee

Dr. Carole de Casal
Dr. Carole de Casal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Council for the Accreditation for Educator Preparation (CAEP) has selected a professor from Tennessee State University to serve on one of the most prestigious slots for its accreditation committee.

Dr. Carole de Casal, professor of Educational Leadership and former chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, has been selected as a member of the Executive Appeals Committee. She was one of only 10 in the nation chosen to perform in this role for the new organization. The committee will be responsible for reconsideration and decision when a university does not pass their accreditation and chooses to appeal.

CAEP takes the place of the long-standing National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and advances educator preparation through evidence-based accreditation that assures quality, and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 student learning.

de Casal has more than 25 years of experience with accreditation, and more than 20 years working as both a team leader and team member for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the southern states. She has also worked as a State Board of Examiner for the NCATE, and more than 10 years working as a state program approver for sponsored programs administrations.

She has also served a Research I Carnegie University as the director of Accreditation for three campuses and eight colleges, serving in this capacity when Hurricane Katrina destroyed one of the campuses under state and national review for its first accreditation in 10 years. Both campuses subsequently passed their accreditations. In fact, the review was videotaped and distributed as the model for a way in which an NCATE and state review should be conducted.

Additionally, de Casal has led four other institution departments and colleges through accreditations, three of which were recognized as national models for the way in which accreditation reviews should be conducted.

The appointment comes on the heels of another selection for de Casal. She was recently selected to become a member of International Women’s Leadership Association. Few women professionals are invited for membership, and those who qualify have to make significant national and international contributions to their chosen career arena, the national and international community, and the national and international family unit.

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Remains Key Pipeline to Recruit Metro, Area Teachers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When Jimmy Arredondo moved to South Korea more than 10 years ago to teach English, the Tennessee State University graduate came away from the experience with a renewed drive and passion to become a certified teacher.

“I finally discovered what I was meant to do,” said Arredondo, who graduated in May with a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. “When I first received my bachelor’s degree in English and history, I had no desire at all to teach. But when I was in South Korea, I felt like this is what I was destined to do and it was something I actually enjoyed.”

Metro-Nashville SchoolsArredondo recently landed a position with Antioch Middle School teaching social studies, and is one of many that have landed jobs with the Metropolitan Nashville Public School System ready to teach thanks to the education and training he received at TSU.

Having no official teacher training, Arredondo decided to attend TSU because of the reputation the University for producing and placing teachers in their chosen career field.

“I had no prior classroom teaching and TSU gave me the skills I needed to be successful,” added Arredondo. “I now feel comfortable when I walk into the classroom on day one and start my teaching career knowing a I have a big toolbox of methods and classroom management skills to draw on.”

For the past two years, Tennessee State University has been one of the top teacher preparation programs in the state, providing exceptionally qualified candidates for teaching positions not only across the state and the southern region, but right here in the University’s backyard with MNPS.

“We have one of the top education programs in the country, and our students have the skills and abilities to teach anywhere across the country due to the teacher preparation they receive here at Tennessee State University,” said Dr. Kimberly King-Jupiter, dean of the College of Education. “The students that choose to remain in the Nashville area have better opportunities with Metropolitan Public School System because of the wonderful partnerships and programs that have been created over the years along with a steady pipeline into the school system.”

TSU has long been a popular spot to recruit top educators into the Nashville school system. During the 2013-2014 school year, of the 636 new hires, 54 were from TSU, second only to MTSU with 56. Vanderbilt University followed in the third spot with 44, along with Lipscomb and Trevecca Nazarene Universities, which tied for the fourth spot with 40 among area institutions pipelining students directly into Metro.

In 2012, 52 of the 553 new hires were from TSU, placing the University in the number one spot, with MTSU coming in a close second with 50 hires. Lipscomb, Trevecca and Vanderbilt came in at third, fourth and fifth respectively.

“We have a great working relationship with Metro, with nearly nine percent of the total new hires with the Metro school system coming from TSU over the past two years,” said Dr. Heraldo Richards, associate dean of the College of Education. “We have a direct pipeline with our students who are highly recruited. In fact, some of our students have been offered positions prior to finishing the program.”

According to Richards, one of the most successful programs is the Ready2Teach training students receive in their senior year. A clinically rich undergraduate teacher residency preparation program, Ready2Teach emphasizes problem-based learning, co-teaching, and performance-based assessment.

Richards explained that Ready2Teach, an initiative unique to the Tennessee Board of Regents schools of which TSU is a part, puts more focus on future teachers learning in-depth content in the subject they plan to teach, applying problem-based learning, and completing a year-long residency with mentor teachers in a P-12 classroom.

“This gives our students the opportunity to stay in the same class the entire year and receive valuable training with the same students and mentor teacher,” added Richards. “It’s very different from past training. When students are placed in the residency program, they are ready and certified to teach after just four years. Our students feel that they are extremely prepared to walk into a classroom and teach immediately.”

Principals in the Metro school system agree, and have been so impressed with the quality of teachers that some have offered positions to students following completion of the program.

Michael Ross, principal at the Caldwell Enhanced Option School in east Nashville said he offered positions to two of the five students that went through the residency program during the 2012-2013 school year.

“The students from TSU that have come through the program at Caldwell have all had a full understanding on how to work with students of diverse backgrounds and learning abilities,” Ross said. “Each student, while going through the residency program, had great insight on how to work with students and meet them where they are in their education level. Both of the students I hired from TSU have done a fantastic job this year and I have been very proud of what they have accomplished. I attribute it all to the training they received at Tennessee State.”

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU’s Oldest Spring Graduate Set to Receive Degree at Age 67

James Bowen
James Bowen

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – James Bowen is proving that college isn’t just for students age 18 to 22. Bowen is part of a growing population of older students returning to college, and will be the oldest student at Tennessee State University to receive his degree at the upcoming 2014 Spring Commencement at age 67.

“This is all part of me reinventing myself,” said Bowen, who will graduate with a master’s degree in Educational Technology. “I would like, in the long run, to encourage people to keep on learning. Our education is never complete.”

Bowen first stepped onto the TSU campus in the mid 1960s and played defensive back on the football team under Coach “Big John” Merritt while pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology. He went on to graduate in 1968.

“Things were a lot different back then,” added Bowen. “We were a wild bunch back then and not as dedicated to our studies as students today. Heck, we even had a curfew.”

Bowen left TSU after graduation and pursued different career opportunities, including teaching, but ultimately ended up in sales, where he became one of the top 50 car salesmen in the country. “I was enjoying life and making lots of money while raising a family but there was something missing,” he added. “At age 65, I decided I needed to go back to school to start on my next business venture.”

Bowen is part of a growing trend of older students returning to college and wants to help those returning “navigate the waters” of the admission process and how to approach “younger America.”

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that the most significant shift of student growth is probably the massive increase in the adult-student population in higher education in the past 20 years. Thirty-eight percent of those enrolled in higher education are over the age of 25 and one-fourth are over the age of 40. The share of all students who are over age 40 is projected to increase another 23 percent by 2019. It is that growing population Bowen wants to target.

“I want to help others make that leap and provide them some insight on the application process and dealing with students more that half their age,” Bowen added.

Life on campus, added Bowen, as well as students have changed in the 46 years since he left the University. “I want to serve as an inspiration to students age 65 or older who want to return but don’t know where to start.”

Students are more disciplined today, said Bowen, but the biggest challenge he, and perhaps those returning have to deal with, is the advancement of technology. He has been required to learn everything from computers to mobile devices and social media.

“It’s was tough at first,” said Bowen. “I started the process early so I could prepare myself for what would be thrown my way. I started with an email address, which I never had, bought a computer and started teaching myself the basics. I then slowly learned about the different social media platforms and how they all connected.”

Now that he is ready to graduate, Bowen is not only ready to share what he learned with others, but remain on campus with other students and continue learning. A life-long learner, he eventually wants to teach.

“Since being here at Tennessee State University, I’ve acquired this hunger and thirst for education,” Bowen said. “I would love to continue my studies and go into agricultural education and go into teaching. It’s a passion.”

At graduation on May 10, family members from around Nashville will file into Hale Stadium and turn out to support Bowen. They include his children, ex-wife, grandchildren and various other family members.

“I want to show my family members and anyone else that if you dream it, you can do it,” said Bowen. “I am proud to be an inspiration to others, whether they’re in their 30s, 40s, or even their 90s, and let them know that it’s never too late to chase your dreams.”

 

 

READ more student success stories including:

Johnathan Fitzgerald
Annette Scruggs
Karen Munoz

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.