Archive for the ‘College of Education’ Category

Florida State leaps another five spots in national rankings

September 25, 2017 Leave a comment

By: Kathleen Haughney, FSU Office of Research

Florida State University has jumped to No. 33 among national public universities in the U.S. News & World Report rankings after moving up five places for the second consecutive year.

The rankings appear in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2018” guidebook. In two years, FSU has vaulted 10 spots among public universities since placing No. 43 in 2016. Last year, FSU ranked No. 38 among public universities.

“We are thrilled that U.S. News & World Report continues to recognize Florida State University as one of the best universities in the nation,” said President John Thrasher. “It means our reputation of academic excellence is rising throughout the state and the nation, and that’s a reflection of our world-class faculty, staff and students.”

Florida State’s excellent graduation and student retention rates are the driving forces behind FSU’s ranking among the nation’s best public universities. FSU’s four-year graduation rate is among the top 25 nationally, the six-year graduation rate is 80 percent and the university’s freshman retention rate is nearly 93 percent, which ranks 18th nationally.

“This is an exciting time at Florida State University,” said Sally McRorie, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. “We are clearly recruiting even better students, and the success of our programs is being noticed, and emulated, by our peer institutions.”

The Florida Legislature’s designation of FSU as one of the state’s two preeminent universities and the additional funding that comes with it has enabled the university to raise faculty salaries and hire more faculty. As a result, FSU has improved in metrics such as faculty compensation and student-faculty ratio.

“We are extremely grateful to the Florida Legislature and Florida Board of Governors in helping our continuing efforts to raise Florida State to a higher level of national prominence,” Thrasher said. “The funding that the Legislature has invested in FSU has allowed us to vigorously pursue our strategic goals.”

McRorie reiterated that the university’s emphasis on student success is at the heart of its rapid ascent in the national rankings.

“I’m so pleased that everybody’s hard work is really paying off for the university,” McRorie said. “Before a student even arrives on campus, our focus is on their success, and we’re seeing great results.”

FSU is committed to preparing students through comprehensive orientation, stressing the importance of taking 15 credit hours each semester and encouraging students to take advantage of co-curricular opportunities available like internships and job shadowing, McRorie said.

The strategy is working. With FSU’s 80 percent six-year graduation rate, the university well exceeded a prediction by U.S. News that FSU’s graduation rate would be 71 percent.

FSU also saw improvements in reputational ratings by university peers, student selectivity and alumni giving.

Also included in this year’s U.S. News report were undergraduate business program rankings. Florida State’s undergraduate business program made a significant jump, moving up 14 spots to No. 27 among public universities and 18 spots to No. 45 among all national universities. The undergraduate business rankings are based solely on peer assessment.

“Our significant move up in the rankings reflects the hard work and commitment of our faculty and staff, and the unwavering support of our alumni,” said Michael D. Hartline, dean of the College of Business. “We are determined to continue strategic investments in our people and programs in order to continue further down the path of preeminence.  It’s gratifying to be recognized for our efforts.”

U.S. News & World Report determines its national university rankings based on seven factors: graduation and retention rates (22.5 percent); assessment of excellence, i.e. peer and high school counselor assessment (22.5 percent); faculty resources (20 percent); student selectivity (12.5 percent); financial resources (10 percent); graduation rate performance, i.e. the difference between actual and predicted graduation rate (7.5 percent); and alumni giving (5 percent).

Florida State University shares the No. 33 spot with four other public universities: Michigan State University, North Carolina State University, University of California-Santa Cruz and the University of Delaware.

Among all national universities, including private universities, FSU ranked 81st, up from 92nd last year. The national universities category comprises 311 institutions (190 public, 114 private and seven for-profit) that offer a wide range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees.

Categories: College of Education

FSU named diversity champion by insight into diversity

August 9, 2017 Leave a comment

By: Kathleen Haughney, FSU Office of Research

Diversity-Champion-2017-440x450For a second consecutive year, Florida State University has been recognized by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine as a “Diversity Champion” in higher education.

FSU is one of only 10 colleges and universities nationwide receiving the award by the magazine, which is the nation’s largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.

“Diversity enriches our academic environment and serves as a point of pride for Florida State University,” said FSU President John Thrasher. “This award is a testament to the efforts of faculty, students and staff across campus who are committed to nurturing a warm and welcoming atmosphere where everyone can thrive.”

Diversity Champion institutions are honored for their unyielding commitment to diversity and inclusion. INSIGHT Into Diversity has previously recognized Florida State with its Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award.

“We feel extraordinarily honored to be recognized as a national Diversity Champion for the second year in a row,” said Renisha Gibbs, assistant vice president for Human Resources. “Diversity and inclusion are central to Florida State’s mission. Every day we continue to look for new ways to build on our culture of civility and respect for all. I believe it’s the shared recognition that diversity strengthens the intellectual life of our institution that has contributed to our continued success in this arena. I know this accolade will propel us to keep striving for more.” 

The other institutions recognized by the magazine are Columbia University, Kennesaw State University, Kent State University, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Oklahoma State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Cincinnati, the University of Texas at Austin, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

“FSU is a visionary leader among campus communities striving for diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity. “As a Diversity Champion school, FSU exceeds everyday expectations, often eclipsing even its own goals, and develops successful strategies that serve as models of excellence for other higher education institutions.”

The university crafted a comprehensive plan in 2007-2008 to unite efforts for diversity and inclusion across all areas of the campus. Through that effort, the President’s Diversity and Inclusion Council was formed, comprising a group of faculty, staff and students committed to championing diversity, inclusion and social justice. Members of the council work on a number of initiatives, including efforts to recruit and retain a diverse faculty, staff and student body.

The university, with the help of the council, has implemented a number of initiatives to improve diversity and inclusion on campus. They include:

#PowerofWe: The Student Diversity and Inclusion Council, a group of diverse student leaders serving under the Office of the President, launched the #PowerOfWe campaign to inspire a campus culture that engages across different perspectives and identities. Throughout the 2016-2017 academic year, the group held a number of events that generated dialogue among faculty, students and staff about race, sexual orientation and other diversity issues.

Employee Resource Groups: The university currently has four employee resource groups – the Latin@Faculty Advocacy and Resource Group, the Black Faculty and Staff Organization, the LGBTQ+ Faculty Staff network and the Veterans Friends and Family Group. The university also created an Affinity Group Guide to provide general information for employees interested in establishing an affinity group.

President’s Diversity and Inclusion Mini-Grant Program: This program will launch in Fall 2017. To support efforts which align with the university’s new strategic plan, the Office of the President, through the Diversity & Inclusion Council, will solicit proposals for the implementation of diversity and inclusion initiatives and projects that further the diversity goals of the University. Awards may be up to $1,000 each. Faculty, staff and students will be eligible for the mini-grants.

Entrepreneurial Boot Camp for Veterans: For the past nine years, the university has hosted an entrepreneurial boot camp to give cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management for veterans disabled as a result of their service supporting post-9/11 operations.

Seminole Allies and Safe Zone Training: This program provides free workshops offered regularly throughout the academic year to students, faculty and staff. The trainings are presented as an intensive three-hour, in-house session focused on contemporary issues related to the LGBTQ community.

Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Series: Established in 2014, the training certificate creates an opportunity for faculty and staff to explore strategic areas around diversity and to learn more about the ways in which they can assist in creating a welcoming and inclusive campus for all. Fifteen faculty and staff have received the certificate and more than 210 faculty and staff have taken one or more courses toward completion of the certificate.

For more information on diversity resources and programming, please visit the Office of Human Resources website.

Categories: College of Education

FSU College of Education alumni among highest impact teachers in Florida

June 26, 2017 Leave a comment

iStock_000015946541XLarge-X5Seventy-one graduates of Florida State University’s College of Education have been recognized by the Florida Department of Education as some of the highest impact teachers in the state.

A recent analysis of their former students’ performance on statewide standardized tests found the effect these teachers had on student growth is among the most positive in Florida.

“Whether in a classroom where students arrived already high achieving, or a classroom in which students were underperforming, their efforts provide inspiration and opportunities to young people that may have been otherwise inaccessible,” said Education Commissioner Pam Stewart.

This analysis used the most recent three years of data from teachers who taught reading, now English/language arts, (grades 4-10), mathematics (grades 4-8) or Algebra 1 (grades 8-9).

Portrait Of Teacher In Class With PupilsFlorida’s value-added model was used in the analysis. The model measures the effect of a teacher or school on student learning by measuring differences in student performance on a statewide assessment from one year to the next and then accounting for specific student, classroom and school characteristics that impact the learning process.


“We couldn’t be prouder of our alumni and the excellent work they’re doing in the field of education,” said Marcy Driscoll, dean of the FSU College of Education. “This recognition is a testament to the quality of our both our students and our programs.”

To view the list of alumni recognized, visit

Categories: College of Education

Outstanding College of Education Faculty Members Recognized at Awards Dinner

April 27, 2017 Leave a comment

On March 25, Florida State University recognized the contributions and achievements of outstanding faculty members, including three from the FSU College of Education, at the annual Faculty Awards Dinner. 

  • Fengfeng Ke, associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology & Learning Systems, was presented with a Developing Scholar Award. This award recognizes mid-career associate professor-level faculty with a one-time allowance of $10,000 to support their research programs.
  • Kathie Guthrie, associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, was recognized with a Graduate Faculty Mentor Award. Recipients of this award, which is sponsored annually by the Graduate School, are chosen for outstanding mentoring practices and service to graduate education and receive $3,000.

  • Linda Schrader, teaching faculty in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, was honored with a Graduate Teaching Award celebrating superlative graduate teaching. Nominations for this award are submitted by students and alumni, and each recipient is awarded a $2,000 stipend.

“The College of Education is fortunate to have talented faculty members whose dedication in and out of the classroom provides an unparalleled educational experience for our students and plays a pivotal role in the success of our college,” said College of Education Dean Marcy Driscoll. “Our faculty continuously strive to build stronger programs, and their instruction, research, and service to our campus and the community inspire the many accomplishments of our students.” 

Additional honors were also given to other outstanding FSU faculty members during the dinner, including the Ralph Stair Prize for Innovation in Education, Distinguished Research Professor Award, Honors Thesis Mentor Award, Undergraduate Research Mentor Award, Undergraduate Advisement Award, Undergraduate Teaching Award, and FSU’s most prestigious honor for teaching, the Distinguished Teacher Award. 

For a full list of awardees, visit

Categories: College of Education

Faculty Members Receive Recognition at Spring All College Meeting

April 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Every year, the FSU College of Education honors several members of the FSU College of Education family for their service and dedication. This year at the All College of Education Spring Meeting held Monday, April 17, 2017, FSU COE honored three faculty/staff members.

Lindsay Dennis, assistant professor of early childhood education in the School of Teacher Education, received the College of Education Undergraduate Teaching Award. In her current role at Florida State University, Dr. Dennis teaches courses including Early Childhood Foundations, Early Childhood Observation/Participation, and Early Childhood Curriculum and Methods. Her research focuses on early literacy skill development as well as best practices for including all children at the preschool level.

Tamara Bertrand Jones, associate professor of higher education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, received the College of Education Graduate Teaching Award. In addition to teaching courses, Dr. Jones is also an associate director of the Center for Postsecondary Success, and founder and past president of Sisters of the Academy Institute. Her research examines the sociocultural influences on socialization during graduate education and the professional experiences of underrepresented populations, particularly Black women, in academia.

Gloria Colvin, a faculty and graduate research services librarian and the FSU College of Education library liaison, was honored for her years of service and dedication to Florida State University and COE as the college wished her farewell and a happy retirement. Her responsibilities included research consultations, presentations to classes and researchers, collection development and research support.  Colvin also coordinated the liaison program for the FSU Libraries, helping establish partnerships between the Libraries and other campus units.  Some of her many accomplishments include initiating a faculty delivery service, leading the FSU Libraries’ strategic planning process and beginning scholarly communication initiatives.

Categories: College of Education

English Education Student Among Those Honored for Commitment to Service

March 24, 2017 Leave a comment

March 22, 2017


Thirteen students were honored on March 22 for their commitment to service.

On Wednesday, March 22 at the President’s Annual Humanitarian of the Year luncheon, 13 Florida State University students were recognized for their commitment to making the world a better place.


Among them, English Education student Brittany Sinitch, a senior from Coral Springs, was honored for her work with Dance Marathon, anti-bullying campaigns, and the FSU Council of Teachers of English.

Calling the students some of Florida State’s finest ambassadors, Provost Sally McRorie said the honorees exemplify the values cherished by the university: engagement, academic excellence and service to others.

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English Education student Brittany Sinitch was named FSUCOE’s 2017 Humanitarian of the Year.

“You saw a need, and you did something about it,”McRorie said. “You didn’t wait for somebody else to do it. You didn’t wait until you got older, until you got a job, you’re out in the world. You did it now. That’s very inspiring.”

The President’s Undergraduate Humanitarian of the Year Award recognizes students who exhibit tremendous commitment to service. Each school or college selects one student to be their Humanitarian of the Year. The students are then recognized at an awards luncheon hosted by FSU President Thrasher. They also receive $200 that is donated in their name to a nonprofit organization of their choice.

On April 11, t
he awardees will attend Leadership Awards Night, and the overall President’s Humanitarian of the Year Award will be named. That student will receive an additional $1,000 for his or her charity.

Read more from the Center for Leadership and Social Change

Categories: College of Education

Inaugural FSU Education Hackaton Proposes Solutions Designed to Diversify Higher Education

March 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Last month, the Florida State University College of Education, in partnership with Jim

Moran School of Entrepreneurship, hosted their inaugural “HackEd: Brainstorming Solutions to Issues in Education.”

HackEd was a unique, daylong competition designed for students and professionals who share a commitment to improving public education with innovative solutions. The competition was modeled after hackathons, where computer programmers collaborate on solutions to software and programming issues. 

Six teams, each consisting of one to three people, identified challenges, proposed answers
and worked on solutions designed to diversify higher education. The teams each recommended solutions within one of three tracks –policy, practice, and technology. Each team then presented their solution to a panel of judges, and the winners received awards. The overall winning team was also presented with iPad minis.

The winning team in each of the three tracks were as follows:

Policy Track: “Ravenclaw” – Suggested a policy to tax College Board, the organization representing hundreds of colleges and responsible for the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), the Advanced Placement (AP) program, and various equity efforts, in order to provide test preparation to students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. According to their proposal, this test preparation would result in higher test scores and diversify the socioeconomic backgrounds of students entering college.

Practice Track: “Match Easy” – Match Easy created an interactive calendar mobile app to diversify students’ experiences while attending higher education institutions.

Technology Track: “Team W” (Get StartED) – Team W designed an exclusive platform to diversify the students entering higher education institutions. The platform would track high school achievement inside and outside the classroom while at the same time, promoting engagement between the students and college counselors.

Categories: College of Education
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