Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Agenda - December 3, 2014

  • Welcome
  • Teacher Work Sample - December 4, 2014 (8:00 a.m.) Salon Cassia - Dr. Reynaldo Ramirez
  • Assessment Report - Dr. Rene Corbeil
  • Data Summit Assignments
    • Science - Maria Diaz/Patricia Ramirez/Carson Crook
    • Mathematics - Jim Telese/Roger Contreras/Gustavo Valencia
    • Social Studies - Miryam Espinosa-Dulanto/Jim Mills
    • M.Ed. C&I - Rey Ramirez/Bobbette Morgan
    • Ed.D. C&I - Peter Gawenda/Rene Corbeil
  • Final Exam Schedule
  • Commencement
  • Other

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Enlightening Article from Diane Ravitch's Blog - Horace Meister: The “Mass Hysteria” at the U.S. Department of Education

This essay was written by Horace Meister, a young untenured scholar who cannot use his own name for fear of retribution. Read it and judge it by the evidence.

This is what happens when policy is based on ideology, not evidence.

He writes:

Horace Meister: The “Mass Hysteria” at the U.S. Department of Education

by dianeravitch
This essay was written by Horace Meister, a young untenured scholar who cannot use his own name for fear of retribution. Read it and judge it by the evidence.

This is what happens when policy is based on ideology, not evidence.

He writes:

The power and reach of the federal Department of Education (DOE) has grown dramatically since 2009. The DOE has used Race to the Top and the controversial granting of waivers from the legal mandates of No Child Left Behind to force states to implement very specific policies. These policies include increasing the number of charter schools, evaluating teachers through value-added measures, and implementing the Common Core Standards and associated assessments. The DOE has also attempted to improve the “lowest-achieving schools” by closing them, turning them over to private operators, or firing the principal and/or the staff. continue reading....
Women's Faculty Network  Meeting at the Brownsville Campus with UTRGV Provost Dr. Havidán Rodríguez : 

Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, UTRGV Provost, will give the welcoming remarks at the first Women’s Faculty Network (WFN) meeting on the Brownsville campus. Moreover, Dr. Rodríguez will discuss the progress towards our consolidation. Dr. Marie Mora (Vice Provost Fellow for Faculty Affairs at UTPA) will also provide an overview of what the WFN has accomplished at UTPA from its inception under the NSF-funded ADVANCE Program. This will be a great opportunity to learn about the WFN and ADVANCE, and how they will benefit the women faculty at UTRGV.

Date:  November 24th
Time:  10:00 - 11:30
Location: Salon Esperanza (LHSB 2.604)
Food:  Yes!

The next WFN meeting at UTPA will be a brunch on Thursday December 4th from 10:00-11:30 a.m.  Please mark your calendars! 

The last WFN meeting (October 21st) was with motivational speaker Melanie Mills.  She discussed “Navigating Uncertainty with Ease”.  There were 41 women who attended, including 29 tenured/tenure-track women (representing 17% of all T/TT women at UTPA), plus eight Lecturers/Clinical Faculty and Professional Staff, and four women from UTB.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Note from Blanca Bauer Regarding Instructor Evaluations

The course evaluation period for Fall 2014 is scheduled from Nov. 17 - Dec. 7. The window for submissions has been extended by a week this fall to accommodate students’ availability during the Thanksgiving break. The evaluation period will close at midnight Dec. 7 before finals begin the following day. The deployment will occur with notices through email and on Blackboard to all students who enrolled during the fall term.

Just as a reminder to you, the evaluation process has been standardized across all UT System institutions to include:
·         Consistency in instrument format
·         Review of students’ responses
·         Review of the rate of response by course section
These reviews are conducted by the UT System Administration and the UT System Board of Regents.

The student response rates to course evaluations have declined since 2013 and are now working away from the 100 percent goal established by the University of Texas System through theChancellor’s Framework for Excellence (see attached Excel file for historical response rate summary available by term and department). The number was progressively improving; however, over the last two year period, rates rose from 34 percent (Spring 2013) to 52 percent (Fall 2013) and then regressed back to 36 percent (Summer II 2014). Faculty are seen as a front-line solution to getting students to complete the evaluations because they are in direct contact with the students, affording faculty the ability to emphasize the importance of these evaluations. Students view professors as figures of authority, therefore students are more likely to respond to a professor asking them to submit the course evaluations than an email, Blackboard, or other system message that will likely be overlooked. By not working toward 100 percent participation, the lack of responses fails to create improvements for the students, faculty, and university.  In short, professors are capable of helping raise the course evaluation student response rate close to the 100 percent target. The benefit for professors to emphasize the importance of students responding to course evaluations is that there is less of a margin for error in a large, versus small sample rate that could potentially overemphasis extreme responses.

Please make sure students read the instrument carefully as UT System’s scale has changed from the one the institution historically used.  For technical questions, please contact Jose Butron at extension 7199. If you have any other questions or concerns, please call Dean Straight at extension 7650 or the OIRPE office directly at extension 8816.

As always, thank you for your cooperation with this important activity.

Grade Inflation and Changes in Teacher Preparation

Attached is an article by Joy Resmovits entitled, "Teacher Training is a Ridiculously Easy Way to Ace College". Read and give me your thoughts.

Cut and paste the link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/12/teacher-preparation-nctq_n_6142634.html or click HERE.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Agenda - November 5, 204

  • Welcome
  • Blog URL - http://utb-tli.blogspot.com/
  • Department Goals - Blog Post
  • M.Ed. C&I Mission Statement - Blog Post
  • Open Forum
  • EC-6 & 4-8 Exam Specifications - Blog Post
  • Bi-National Conference Report - Drs. Caceres and Espinosa-Dulanto
  • Thanksgiving Party - November 19, 2014, 11:30 a.m. @ Garza Gymnasium
  • Teacher Work Sample Assessments - December 3, 2014
  • Other Announcements

Department Goals - SACS 2015-2016

The following goals are administrative goals that would provide an efficient operation for the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Innovation.  

  • The TLI Department will employ various means of communication (e.g., email, blogs, webpage, etc.) timprove and maintain a high level communication between faculty, administration and others.

  • The TLI Department will develop a professional development plan that provides a high level of training in curriculum, assessment, and the application of technology to support faculty knowledge and skill development. 

  • The TLI Department will adopt standards for the delivery of online coursework that are based on best practices for online instruction.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

EC-6 and 4-8 Exam Specifications

This information was provided by Dr. Zelma Mata from a brochure created by 240Tutoring.com.

General Information:

In CORE Subjects each subject area on the exams is now a separate test which must be passed.
Once all subject area tests are passed the entire exam is considered successfully completed.

Administration Details:

  • The new exam is now called CORE Subjects. It will be a Computer Administered Test (CAT). 
  • Students taking a CORE Subjects exam for the first time will sit for all five subject-area tests. 
  • Students are required to retake only the subject-area test that they fail. Initial CORE Subjects exam is $120. Any subject-area test taken after is $60 per test. 
  • The tests are timed independently. Time is not combined or carried from one test to the next. 
  • Subject area tests can be re-taken 45 days after the initial exam. Students only re-take exams they previously failed.

Dates for both EC-6 and 4-8 exams:

  • Winter 2015 - CORE Subjects is first offered
  • Summer 2015 - Last administration of Generalist exams
  • August 31, 2017 - Last date to finish certification requirements for the Generalist
  • October 30, 2017 - Last date to apply and recommend for the Generalist

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mission of Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

As stated in the 2013 NCATE Report:

The mission of the Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction is to to advance knowledge of, and professional practice in, teaching and learning. In addition it is the mission of the M.Ed. program to provide graduate programs that are grounded in evidence-based professional practice, collaboration, knowledge acquisition, reflective inquiry, pedagogical leadership, and respect for the culturally and linguistically diverse learner. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bi-National Conference

The College of Education in Partnership with el Colegio de Educación in Matamoros will be holding their Congreso Internacional de Educación through videoconferencing from the UT-Brownsville campus on Saturday, October 25, 2014. Goodie bags and gifts will be raffled during the event.

The College of Education encourages students and the community to attend. Registration forms are available at the College of Education's office of the Dean Main 2.306. The conference fee is $20. 

Faculty are also encouraged to use this activity as an extension of their coursework and inform their students.

For more information contact Dr. Reynaldo Ramirez at 956-882-7255.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

THECB Standards for Online Courses

Distance education courses are categorized into two types in accordance with THECB:

(8) Distance Education--The formal educational process that occurs when students and instructors are not in the same physical setting for the majority (more than 50 percent) of instruction.

(9) Distance Education Course--A course in which a majority (more than 50 percent) of the instruction occurs when the student(s) and instructor(s) are not in the same place. Two categories of distance education courses are defined:

    (A) Fully Distance Education Course--A course which may have mandatory face-to-face sessions totaling no more than 15 percent of the instructional time. Examples of face-to-face sessions include orientation, laboratory, exam review, or an in-person test.

    (B) Hybrid/Blended Course--A course in which a majority (more than 50 percent but less than 85 percent), of the planned instruction occurs when the students and instructor(s) are not in the same place.

(10) Distance Education Degree or Certificate Program--A program in which a student may complete a majority (more than 50 percent) of the credit hours required for the program through distance education courses.

To qualify as a fully distance education course, the student-instructor contact will NOT exceed 15% of the instructional time (whether it is 45 hours or 48 hours).

M.Ed. C&I - Student Learning Outcomes

The following are Student Learning Outcomes for the M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction. Those with an asterisks have been chosen for assessment.

  • Students will be able to write, organize, and present solutions to curricular issues in a way that displays their knowledge of curriculum program theory, design, and evaluation at the completion of their graduate program. (Comprehensive Exam)
  • Students will be able to critically analyze and evaluate research in a way that is specific to curricular issues and practices. (Curriculum Development Problems and Processes)
  • Students will be able to integrate content pedagogy by designing effective, real-world curriculum research projects. (Capstone Course)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2014-2015 TLI Personnel Committee

Dear Colleagues,
At our last TLI meeting the faculty were asked to nominate a department member to serve on the TLI Department Personnel Committee. At the end of last week, I had only received one nomination. Today I was able to speak to the nominee to determine whether they would accept the position.

Dr. Maria Diaz, Assistant Professor for Elementary Science Education, has agreed to serve on the committee. She will certainly do a great job and learn a lot in the process. Please help me congratulate Dr. Diaz.

The TLI Personnel Committee also includes Dr. Irma S. Jones (Chair) and Dr. Peter B. Gawenda. Dr. Jones is also representing the department at the college level.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

EC-6 Science Options Recommendation

Sent to EC-6 Committee:

It appears then the courses we recommended to be developed and included in the science course inventories were not to be included. If this is the case, we'll work on getting these developed at a later time. The choices below are rigid and do not allow to address specific areas in which teachers and EC-6 students struggle.

If this is what we have then the choice must be a selection from three hour science courses to not increase the program hours beyond 126. Therefore, the courses in combination should not exceed 6 hours. My recommendations under this situation would include either of these two combinations; however, my preference would be Option 1.

Option 1
ENVR 2355: Natural Disasters
This course will explore hazardous Earth processes, including landslides, subsidence, tsunami, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tornadoes and floods, as well as the nature and effects of human interaction with the environment.

GEOG 2313 Principles of Geography Physics Elementary
An introduction to physical geography with emphasis on weather, ocean currents and climates. Soils and vegetation types and distributions are also studied. Can be counted in the supporting areas of elementary education curriculum.​


Option 2
ASTR 1401: Introduction to Astronomy I
This course introduces the student to basic concepts in Astronomy and of our Solar System. Telescopes and other instruments, including the planetarium, are used as an integral part of the course. The course includes three laboratory hours a week to emphasize course concepts.

PSCI 4210 Physical Science for Educators I
This is the first part of hands on physical science course designed for education majors in EC-8 programs. The course will provide the students with basic theoretical background in physical science (properties of matter, mechanics, waves), and will develop skills in physical experimentation.​

Phase 1 Acceptance Letter

After the possibility of a return letter showing up in our spam folder, I checked. Well, I'm glad I did because it was returned as "undeliverable". I feel so fortunate to work with faculty who so freely discuss issues and voice concerns.

We had a great discussion today. It's so welcoming to know that you all care and work so hard. Thanks Peter and Bobbette for bringing this issue to mind.

If you haven't checked your spam folder, do so.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Agenda - October 8, 2014

  • Welcome
  • Blog URL - http://utb-tli.blogspot.com/
  • Course Loads - Dr. Ramirez
  • Phase 1 - Dr. Morgan
  • M.Ed. C&I - Dr. Ramirez
  • Doctoral - Dr. Gawenda
  • EC-6 Bachelors Interdisciplinary Studies - Dr. Ramirez
  • PPR - Dr. Ramirez
  • UTRGV Core Curriculum - Dr. Ramirez
  • Department Assessment Committee - Dr. Telese
  • Bi-National Conference - Drs. Caceres and Espinosa-Dulanto
  • Personnel Committee Nomination
  • Teacher Work Sample Assessments - December 3, 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014

UTRGV Meetings

UTRGV Curriculum Meetings will be held in Harlingen next Wednesday, Thursday, and possibly Friday. Please be aware that agendas are being developed for these meetings and you may be asked to attend. Also, some of you may want to attend to show support for the various programs. Dates and times will be announced.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

UTRGV Application Support - Wednesday, August 27 @ 10 a.m.

The Educational Technology Lab (Main 1.302) will be available on August 27th at 10 a.m. if you need help uploading your application documents to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

You may want to bring a pen drive with your documents or a scan with all of the documents. There will be individuals who have successfully submitted their applications to help.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Data Driven Decisions Regarding New Programs

As I see the number of specializations that are being requested for the UTRGV M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, I wonder what data supports these requests. In the past, whenever we have requested a new program, the question asked is usually, "have you done a needs assessment to determine that the program or specialization is needed or will survive the test of time?" Why? Because we don't want to tie up financial and human resources trying to keep a non-viable program.

As faculty, we have a responsibility to do our homework and demonstrate that their is a need for these new programs. Everyone should be held accountable to providing this data and no program should be created that doesn't have a substantiated need. Every new program or specialization must meet this test.

We should look at programs that have been requested, as well as, look at the number of students that enroll in our current specializations. Without this critical inspection, we are hurting our students and our university. We cannot support programs or specializations that will not support a healthy enrollment.

I'm recommending that those programs with low or near low enrollments ratchet up their recruitment efforts and provide a rationale for keeping them in our inventory. At the same time, any new program or specialization must meet the same requirements from the out-set.

Think about this idea and consider it as we consider new UTRGV programs and specializations.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

TLI Faculty Meeting Agenda - Wednesday, August 20, 2014

  • Welcome
  • Faculty Searches - Dr. Reynaldo Ramirez, Jr.
  • Faculty Information Sheets and Office Hours (Due September 2) - Dr. Reynaldo Ramirez, Jr.
  • Outside Employment Forms - Dr. Reynaldo Ramirez, Jr.
  • Printer Situation - Dr. Reynaldo Ramirez, Jr.
  • Faculty Workloads - Dr. Reynaldo Ramirez, Jr.
  • CAEP Consultant Visit (September 3 and/or 4)
  • TK20 Assignments on Syllabus and Purchase Requirement 
  • Data Summit - Dr. Reynaldo Ramirez/Dr. James Telese
  • Dr. Brogdon's Despedida - Dr. Irma Jones
  • Faculty Senate - Dr. Bobbette Morgan
  • BAIS Program Updates
  • Master Program Updates -  Dr. James Telese
  • Doctoral Program Updates - Dr. Peter Gawenda
  • Other

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Our NCATE Legacy

This is just a quick note to the faculty of the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Innovation to let you all know that you have done an outstanding job in preparing to be ahead of all other universities in South Texas.

To that extent, we are positioned to be able to take the lead as the new University comes into effect. The UT Rio Grande Valley is going to need our help to establish a College of Education that is NCATE accredited. We have received word from Pedro Reyes, the executive Vice Chancellor for the UT System, asking us to provide a plan, budget, and resources so that the College of Education at UT RGV is NCATE accredited.

This will be a difficult task, but we have got to do our best to collaborate and have all of those that are part of the RGV College of Education work cooperatively, whether it be those here at UT Brownsville or UT Pan American. We have to find ways to work together to become in accredited . 

Our task is to ready ourselves for whatever challenges we face in the next few months. Without a doubt, we'll handle this next challenge with the same tenacity as ever and come out ahead for the teachers in our region. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Audio File of Dr. Giordano's NCATE Announcement

Below is the recording of Dr. Gerry Giordano's announcement to the COE faculty about the accreditation results of the National Council for Teacher Education (NCATE) site visit.

If you have Google Drive installed use that app or download to listen on your computer's audio player, like iTunes. If that doesn't work follow the link and request that the file be shared.

Click HERE.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

National Accreditation In Sight

Salon Cassia was filled with faculty and staff from the College of Education, College of Business, and the College of Science, Mathematics, and Technology to hear the recommendations of visiting team members from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. The room was filled with anticipation as the team chairman described the process.

There was even a period of uneasiness when he addressed the ways that a unit could respond if they felt that the accreditation team made unfavorable findings. He then began identifying the standard and announcing the committees recommendations. What was needed to meet standard was then to be discussed.

We all stood in anticipation as he carefully outlined the recommendations for each standard. The first standard, content knowledge, was considered acceptable. He then noted that there were no recommendations for improvement. Wow! Number one was done.

The second standard, assessment, was one that we all felt uneasy when the process started. Never had we ever thought to assess our programs to the depth that we finally proposed and met. However, we knew that we had worked hard in this regard and weren't surprised when it was announced as met and with no conditions. Number two down!

After much discussion about a year ago, we all decided to take standard three to target, field experiences. Personally, I knew that allot of work had been put on this standard, but it was one that would be difficult to meet. When chairman announced that we had met the standard and there were no conditions, I think several of us felt like fainting, or at least, like shedding tears of joy. This is what we're here for and having met that standard was beyond our wildest dream.

I won't bore you we the rest of the play by play, but to only say that everyone of the other standards were met without conditions. Final accreditation will be announced during the summer or possible the fall. We know we've done well and can't wait for the final word.

As we were all excited and ready to jump for joy about what we accomplished the chair said that he had two other announcements to make. Oh Boy? What could these be? Would we be deflated after being up so high? Well, Jerry made the announcement that we had taken two of the standards beyond expectations, something which is rare in any NCATE accreditation visit. He also stated that we would be one of the very few to be recommended meeting all standards and having no conditions. That's remarkable. He announced that assessment and clinical practice were exceptional. The icing on the cake was announced and then a few tears actually were shed by the faculty.

We can't take the news lightly. All of the College of Education faculty worked tirelessly for five years to reach this milestone. I can't say enough about the faculty in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Innovation. You should be more than proud of all the effort that you gave.

I won't mention any names because almost everyone was recognized for their contributions. We all were in it together and this recognition serves as proof about how strong and committed this faculty is to excellence.

Thank you. I'm so proud of everyone.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

TLI Faculty Meeting Agenda - April 2, 2013

  • Welcome
  • Teacher Work Sample Request - Dr. Carmen Garcia-Caceres
  • Flipped Classroom  (Sophia.org) - Dr. Reynaldo Ramirez, Jr
  • Assessment Resources/May Meeting Maddness - Dr. Janice Butler
  • Textbook Adoptions
  • Graduation Attendance
  • Faculty Senate
  • Doctoral Program
  • Master Program
  • Other