News from the School of Education
News from the School of Education
SOE Dean's Digest

Message from the Interim Dean

It is my honor and pleasure to serve as the interim dean of the UMKC School of Education, a school that I have been proud to call my professional home for the past thirteen years. Since assuming the interim deanship in June, I have been humbled at the response of the SOE faculty, students, staff, and alumni to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the renewed and strengthened call for racial equity and inclusion, and to many other challenges and opportunities that this year has presented. 
As we bring 2020 to a close, I am pleased to have the opportunity to highlight how the School of Education responded to this year through creative activity, research, and professional preparation. In this inaugural newsletter, we also provide several updates to ways in which our academic programming is evolving to meet our mission of preparing outstanding teachers, leaders, and mental health professionals for service to richly-diverse communities in Kansas City and beyond. Finally, I also want to briefly take the chance to acknowledge two colleagues who have taken on new roles with the School of Education beginning this fall: Jacob Marszalek, Ph.D., who joined the dean's office as interim associate dean in September to oversee faculty affairs, graduate affairs, and assessment; and Shelly Beech, Ed.S., who joined the division of educational leadership, policy, and foundations as an associate professor of professional practice and leadership coach with the KC-PLUS program, which you can read more about below.
Best wishes,
Carolyn Barber, Ph.D.
Interim Dean and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation/Missouri Endowed Faculty Chair

Class of COVID-19: Documenting the Pandemic

Donna M. Davis, professor in the division of educational leadership, policy, and foundations, is producing a full-length documentary on the global pandemic and its effects on schooling in the United States. Class of COVID-19 explores the unique challenges facing schools, teachers, students, and families. Davis partnered with local documentary filmmaker/director Jon Brick, and together they have interviewed over 75 subjects to illuminate their stories while revealing the heartbreak and courage of individuals simply trying to survive in an educational system that is clearly broken. The film covers the events surrounding the initial shut-down of schools, the social and community unrest that has occurred during quarantine, the unease and uncertainty of re-opening, and ultimately the experiences of participants navigating the return to school. 
Read the article from UMKC Today!

COVID-19 and Education: Studies Conducted by The Urban Education Research Center (UERC)

The Urban Education Research Center (UERC) is conducting three studies that look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted education. One study is examining the crisis from the perspectives of institutional leaders and adult learners, gauging their priorities, actions, and mindset during this difficult time.  Partners for this study include Kansas City Scholars, The DeBruce Foundation, and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning. The UERC is also conducting two studies that examine how the work of teachers has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic. The first is a survey of the membership of the American Federation of Teachers, the second largest teachers' union in the United States. The second study examines how teachers' practices and their feelings during work changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. To the best of our knowledge, the study will provide the first direct evidence of teachers' work before and after schools closed as a result of COVID-19 (all studies to date rely on retrospective reports of change.
Read more about the UERC

Community Counseling and Assessment Services (CCAS) Transitions to Telehealth, Expands Multidisciplinary Training

Community Counseling and Assessment Services (CCAS), the in-house counseling training clinic in the division of counseling and counseling psychology, has switched all counseling services to the public over to telehealth.  Practicum student counselors are being trained in and meeting with clients via private and secure video conferencing in order to provide much needed mental healthcare during the pandemic.  
CCAS is also happy to welcome their third cohort of psychology department trainees and first social work department practicum trainee – helping create a multidisciplinary environment for better services to community clients and students.
Learn more here!

Did You Know?

  • The Kansas City PLUS program, offered in partnership with the Master of Arts and Educational Specialist degrees in school (PK-12) administration, offers a residency-based model for preparing school leaders. 
  • The Institute for Urban Education has been hosting Voices in Education, a webinar series designed to offer tools, strategies, and resources to educators looking to meet the challenges of this school year while highlighting best practices among Kansas City area teachers.
  • The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program has been streamlined to prepare students with degrees in content areas (like history or mathematics) for certification as middle school or high school teachers, or as K-12 teachers in art or world languages. 
  • Loyce Caruthers, Ph.D., professor; and Dianne Smith, Ph.D., professor emerita, have received numerous national awards for their book, Womanish: Black Girls/Women Resisting Contradictions of Silence and Voice. 
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