FSU College of Education among the nation’s top online graduate programs in Education

January 16, 2018 Leave a comment

Stone building entranceThe Florida State University College of Education’s online graduate program continues to rank among the best in the nation at No. 13. The college offers online programs in curriculum and instruction, educational leadership/administration, instructional systems and learning technologies, and learning and cognition.

“Our continued position as one of the top online graduate programs in the country demonstrates our commitment to providing students with an outstanding educational experience,” said Marcy Driscoll, dean of the College of Education. “We continue to offer innovative online programs, such as our M.S. in curriculum and instruction and our Ed.D. in educational leadership and policy, that suit the needs of professionals in the field of education.”

The methodology for assessing online programs included factors such as student engagement, faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, peer reputation and admissions selectivity.

For a complete list of the U.S. News & World Report online graduate rankings, visit http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education.


Education doctoral student wins three minute thesis competition

December 1, 2017 Leave a comment

By: Kara Irby

An education doctoral student took home the first-place prize for the Three Minute Thesis competition at Florida State University, Wednesday, Nov. 29.

Shannon Gooden, a doctoral student in FSU’s School of Teacher Education, won the $1,000 prize and the opportunity to represent Florida State at a regional competition in February.

“It’s so humbling,” Gooden said. “There were so many amazing talks and pieces of research. This is the first time the College of Education or the School of Teacher Education has had a winner to my knowledge, so it’s not only humbling to be representing them, but to represent the university as well. I can’t take that for granted.”

The Three Minute Thesis competition, which began at the University of Queensland in Australia in 2008, charges graduate students to explain their thesis work in a compelling three-minute speech. The goal is for participants to effectively explain their research, which at times can be very complex, in plain language to a nonspecialist audience.

“This is the fifth time we’ve had the competition and the presentations were exceptional,” said Mark Riley, interim dean of The Graduate School. “It makes me incredibly proud to see the amazing caliber of students we have at FSU.”

Gooden’s prize-winning presentation, “Understanding the culture of science through a research experience for teachers program,” highlighted the takeaways of 10 K-12 teachers who recently participated in the Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program. In the program, teachers work side by side with scientists at the Florida State University-headquartered National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

Gooden said her research examined three simple questions: “Who does science, how do they do it and what do they have to know?”

“Our hope is that they take something away and bring it back to the classroom, and it may not be scientific content,” Gooden said. “For instance, at the MagLab, the teachers work with superconducting materials or on geochemistry projects. Although they might not take those concepts back into the classroom, they may take concepts like perseverance through mistakes, students talking more about their ideas or the notion that anybody can become a scientist.”

Gooden has worked with the RET program for the past four years. As she got to know the program directors and staff involved with educational outreach at the MagLab, she became interested in how scientists are viewed.

“We sometimes classify them in an ivory tower situation,” Gooden said. “So, I wanted to examine the ways scientists could actually become more real for students and teachers. Because if teachers don’t understand that, it’s going to be much harder for students to know what scientists actually do and that they can think and act like scientists as well.”

College of Education Dean Marcy Driscoll attended the event and congratulated Gooden on her win.

“We couldn’t be prouder of Shannon and the work she’s doing,” Driscoll said. “Her research on science teaching exemplifies the type of impact we aim to have on the field of education and society at large.”

Florida State’s 2017 Three Minute Thesis competition attracted 32 participants. A team of judges watched the presentations and selected 14 finalists.

Categories: College of Education

FSU Sport Management Student Association Volunteered, Met with Industry Execs in Nashville

November 20, 2017 Leave a comment

SMSA students visit the Nissan Stadium

This fall, the Sport Management Student Association (SMSA) took 44 of its members, along with Dr. Jason Pappas, to network in Nashville, Tennessee. SMSA got the opportunity to meet with the Tennessee Titans, the Nashville Predators, and the Nashville Sounds. The students were also able to participate in service learning through volunteering with the Nashville Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K and had the chance to attend the Tennessee Titans football game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The first full day in Nashville consisted of tours and meetings with the three sports teams. The first stop the students made was to Nissan Stadium, the home of the Tennessee Titans. The group got to meet with Ticket Sales Executive Drew Silver and Group Sales Coordinator Jim Rice. The tour of Nissan Stadium included the Owner’s Suite, Mascot Room, Locker Room, and a view of the Titans’ field. SMSA also got the opportunity to speak to a panel of four Titans employees from various departments within the organization. The presenters answered any questions the students had about their experiences within the sport industry and how they got to their current position with the Tennessee Titans.

From Nissan Stadium, the group of students walked to Bridgestone Arena, home of the Nashville Predators hockey team. Students had the chance to meet and listen to Sean Henry, chief executive officer and president of the Nashville Predators. They received a tour of the arena and of the Lexus Lounge, an exclusive area for members to watch the games and socialize during hockey games. Mickey Hock, a former FSU student and now Corporate Development Manager for the Predators, led the tour and spoke to the students about his life and day-to-day responsibilities working at Bridgestone Arena.


SMSA students tour Nashville Sounds Minor League Baseball stadium

The students then traveled to the last meeting of the day with the Nashville Sounds Minor League Baseball team. The Sounds have been affiliated with Oakland Athletics for the past three seasons. General Manager Adam Nuse spoke with SMSA about Minor League Baseball and answered any questions the students had about working in the industry. The students were then given a tour by Community Relations Manager Destiny Whitmore and Guest Relations Associate Allie Guido. They had the opportunity to walk around First Tennessee Park and see the locker room, club suites, and the band box, where guests can play mini golf, cornhole, and other lawn games all while attending a Nashville Sounds baseball game. The students learned that many people in the sports industry start out in Minor League Baseball and that it is a great way for them to get their foot in the door.

The next day included volunteering at the Nashville Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K. Students arrived at 5:00 a.m. to help with set-up for the event and got to experience the freezing weather of Nashville!  SMSA was responsible for all parts of the event, including registration, t-shirts, gear check, and handing out food and drinks. The students also stood at the end of the three races announcing the runners’ names and handing them medals as they crossed the finish line. They learned every aspect of what it takes to put on an event for over 3,000 runners.


SMSA students volunteer at the Nashville Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K

On their last day in Nashville, the students attended the Tennessee Titans football game against the Cincinnati Bengals. SMSA got the chance to spend time as a big group and get to know each other more in a social setting. They also had the time to explore downtown Nashville, where they walked around visiting different restaurants and listening to the live music played all over the city.

Nashville was a great place for students to network with sport industry professionals and to have fun with each other. SMSA organizes a networking trip for its members each semester and gives students the opportunity to meet new people within the sports industry. The students had an amazing experience in Music City, USA and can’t wait to hear what is in store for the spring!

Categories: College of Education

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 http://education.fsu.edu/high-impact.

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 http://news.fsu.edu/news/university-news/2017/04/26/communication-professor-receives-fsus-2017-distinguished-teacher-award/.

Categories: College of Education
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