Published: Dec. 29, 2017
2017 in review

As we look forward to 2018, let’s look back at just a few of the milestones from the CU Boulder School of Education’s 2017. Here are 10 highlights from 2017.

Two new undergraduate majors in elementary education and leadership & community engagement launched in August 

The School of Education welcomed 34 incoming first-year students enrolled in the school's two new undergraduate majors: the Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and the Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and Community Engagement. 

The new Elementary Education degree stands out among peer programs, because candidates will earn their degree in conjunction with the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse education endorsement. The innovative Leadership and Community Engagement degree supports students on their path to meaningful and sought-after careers in non-profit and community sectors, and the degree stands out as one of the only degree programs of its kind in Colorado and part of a small number of emerging community engagement degrees nationwide. 

New Master's degrees and pathways launched in 2017, expanding access to education programs

The Board of Regents approved new professional Master's degree in higher education in February, and we welcomed the first cohort fall semester. The new professional graduate degree program is designed to prepare students to work in several areas, including higher education administration and student affairs. An innovative collaborative effort between the School of Education and departments across campus, the program offers a dynamic combination of academic knowledge and experiential education.

School of Education also introduced a new multicultural, social justice leadership pathway for first-year students beginning this fall. The Multicultural Leadership Scholars program offers engaging courses, advising and co-curricular activities, and scholarships as part of a supportive pathway toward the Leadership Studies Minor.

Finally, the new 4+1 Ethnic Studies and Education Concurrent BA/AM Degree Program began admitting students in spring 2017. The School of Education and Department of Ethnic Studies teamed up to offer this new program that allows future teachers and community leaders to earn a bachelor’s degree in ethnic studies and a master’s degree in education in just five years.

New place-based initiative plants the seeds of sustainable partnerships in Colorado communities  

From school assessment assistance for rural districts to co-designing an afterschool program in a diverse Denver neighborhood, four new projects seek to strengthen partnerships in key Colorado communities as the School of Education launched its place-based partnership initiative.

The aim is to make a sustained commitment in a few carefully selected locations so that we can have a greater impact on the educational opportunities in three Colorado communities: Lafayette; Near Northeast of Denver; and Northeast Colorado. As Kathy Schultz continues her second year as Dean, she says this new initiative aims to develop long-lasting relationships across research interests and locate work in a few geographic areas to foster greater collaboration and sustainability over time. 

 Watching the historic solar eclipse near and far

We started the school year like many K-12 classes, staring at the sun — safely with glasses, of course — for the historic 2017 solar eclipse. Several faculty, staff, and students traveled to totality zones, while many others enjoyed the partial eclipse from Boulder. In addition, thousands of pairs of eclipse glasses were distributed to Denver-area K-12 schools through a team led by Professor Valerie Otero via funding from the National Science Foundation, the Noyce Streamline to Mastery grant, Google and a gift from Professor Emeritus Richard McCray. View the photo slideshow of our community viewing the Solar Eclipse, School of Education style

Education faculty receive a record number of CU Boulder outreach awards

A record 13 projects led by School of Education researchers have been granted 2017-18 Outreach Awards to help support community engagement projects aimed at improving college readiness for students of color, faciltiating community dialogues around "opting out" of state assessments, starting a worker-owned co-op, and more. Selected by the CU Boulder Outreach Committee, comprised of faculty and community members, outreach projects connect CU Boulder faculty research, creative work, or teaching with external community partners and constituents. 

Education scholarships and student support continues to grow 

With students, donors, speakers, and the dean each sharing their passion for education, the annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony united and honored more than 136 scholarship and fellowship recipients and supporters on Friday, Oct. 27. Our Scholarship Program has come a long way since its inception in 1993 when five scholarships totaling $2,500 were awarded to five students. This year, 136 scholarships and fellowships totaled $545,711 in support, and the ceremony celebrated student accomplishments and recognized the generosity of supporters. In addition, several innovative new scholarships came together this year to support students, including the new Scholarship for Opportunities, Nilon Scholarship, and Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship.

Support scholarships for students

Education deans nationwide unite to release Declaration of Principles to improve public education

Co-led by our Dean Kathy Schultz and Kevin Kumashiro, from the University of San Francisco, a coalition of education deans nationwide released a Declaration of Principles calling on federal leaders to do more to improve public education and advance democratic values in U.S. public schools. More than 200 current and former deans of colleges and schools of education nationwide endorsed the statement outlining four principles.

Inaugural Robert L. Linn Memorial Lecture Award announced at AERA in April and conferred at CU Boulder in September

Professor Jonathan Templin was selected for the inaugural Robert L. Linn Memorial Lecture Award, which was announced in April at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting in San Antonio and the award was conferred and inaugral lecture delivered on the CU Boulder campus in September. The award was named in honor of "Bob" Linn who was an inspirational leader in the field of measurement and policy and professor at the CU Boulder and the University of California, Los Angeles for more than 40 years. The lecture will be held alternately at CU Boulder and UCLA, and the lecture award was created by Linn’s wife Joyce Linn to honor early or midcareer scholars who exemplify insightful and interdisciplinary contributions to educational measurement and policy.

Several faculty honored with top national and university awards

Michele Moses, professor of educational foundations, policy and practice, was awarded the Hazel Barnes Prize, CU Boulder's most distinguished faculty award. She is also the first education faculty member to receive the award, which is awarded annually to a CU Boulder faculty member who best exemplifies the enriching interrelationship between teaching and research, and whose work has had a significant impact on students, faculty, colleagues and the university. The medal was presented at the spring commencement, and Moses was recognized at a reception in February. 

Kevin Welner, professor of educational foundations, policy and practice and director of the National Education Policy Center, was been awarded the 2017 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award. This is only the second year this national honor has been awarded, and the award recognizes a scholar who has excelled in conveying important findings and research to wide audiences and who has demonstrated the capacity to deepen understanding and appreciation of the value of education research in the public sphere.

Ben Kirshner, associate professor of Learning Sciences and Human Development and faculty director of CU Engage, received the 2016-17 Chase Faculty Community Service Award. The Chase Faculty Community Service Award is presented annually to a University of Colorado system-wide faculty member who provides exceptional service to the community. An advisory council recommends an award-winner to CU President Bruce D. Benson, who bestows the honor, which includes a $10,000 grant sponsored by an endowment from JPMorgan Chase through the CU Foundation. 

Allison Atteberry, assistant professor of research and evaluation methodology, was selected for prestigious National Academy of Education/Spencer Fellowship. Drawing from a unique combination of datasets, Atteberry will explore the effects of changes in teacher evaluation policies with support from the fellowship. Only 30 early career scholars working in critical areas of education research nationwide were selected out of roughly 300 applicants for the competitive NAEd/Spencer fellowship program. The fellows receive $70,000 for a period of up to two years to support research proposals that make significant scholarly contributions to the field of education.

Honoring our graduates: Five students earned outstanding graduate honors and offered advice for students

In this Outstanding Graduate series, we meet five honored 2017 graduates, how they found education, and what advice they offer current students. Meet Gabriella Martinez, outstanding humanities education graduate; Jess Waggoner, outstanding elementary education graduate; Diana Rapp, outstanding CU Teach graduate, Amber Gonzales Cortes, outstanding MA graduate; and Adriana Alvarez, outstanding PhD graduate and the focus of a Denver Channel feature segment.