Archive for the ‘Preprofessional Development in Teacher Education’ Category

Summer 2013 Research, Service Learning, Leadership Development and More…

Tatiana Burgess (English Education C’ 2014), Camille Fontenelle (Elementary Education C’2016), SaiSri Gajjala (Biomedical Engineering and Leadership C’2015), Megan Hallett (English Education C’2014), and Kevin Nai (English Education C’2014) are investigating the national urgency to increase college access and completion rates by focusing on federal, state, and district policies and practices.  After “ingesting” background reading on the nature of the federal and state relationship in education, federal theories of change and action, and policy briefs on college degree access as a global economic issue as well as a civil rights issue, these students had an opportunity to meet  face to face with important stakeholders to discuss views on practices as they relate to intended local behavior by state and federal policy makers.  The undergraderate research team conducted a lively discussion with key stakeholders on Wednesday June 12.

(left to right facing out) Malik Stewart, State and Federal Programs Director in the Redclay School District, Cimone Philpotts, Legislative intern DE Senate Finance Committee, Leo Dohan, Naramco Manager and Sponsor of the Bridge to Employment program, Curtis Bedford, Principal at Newark High School, Shannon Griffin, Parent Advocate and Executive Director of Learning Link of Delaware, and Latisha Bracey, Legislative Assistant to Senator Chis Coons Discuss Education and Practices that Support School Success and College Access

(left to right facing out) Malik Stewart, State and Federal Programs Director in the Redclay School District, Cimone Philpotts, Legislative intern DE Senate Finance Committee, Leo Dohan, Naramco Manager and Sponsor of the Bridge to Employment program, Curtis Bedford, Principal at Newark High School, Shannon Griffin, Parent Advocate and Executive Director of Learning Link of Delaware, and Latisha Bracey, Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Chis Coons Discuss Education Policy and Practices that Support School Success and College Access

Beginning on Monday June 17, the undergraduates continued collecting data by convening sessions that support a group of Newark High School seniors.  The high school students  will complete college and scholarship applications during a 10 day campus experience:  On Track for Success is funded by Bridge to Employment (BTE),  a Johnson and Johnson–Naramco program.  ASPIRE has partnered with this effort for the past six years.

The summer 2013 work continues the College Awareness Reaching Everyone (CARE) agenda introduced in 2009 as a central activity of the ASPIRE community.  The outreach, service learning, and community-based research activities build leadership skills for the undergraduate students, and the activities provide additional opportunities for pre-service teachers to develop culturally responsive interaction styles and practices. The high school students benefit from interactions on the campus and by building relationships with undergraduates who are successful students and near peer role models.   Taria Pritchett, English Education Class of 2012, who initiated Operation CARE when she was president of ASPIRE,  returned to campus on July 19th to conduct sessions on writing competitive college essays.  Taria is now a member of  the English faculty at Mt. Pleasant High School. Her teaching load next year will include developmental and IB courses.Teacher Taria

The work this summer continues with support from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Experiential learning, with added support from the School of Public Policy and Administration.  Several of the undergraduates are conducting research to fulfill credit requirements in a new Public Policy, Education, and Leadership course.

Seven of the high school students are continuing work that they began last summer when ASPIRE supported their efforts to become better self-regulated learners.  In addition to this summer’s study, ASPIRE members are tracking the changes in the high school students’ academic profiles that appear associated with the work done in summer 2012 to help the high school students improve their time management and study skills.  Undergraduates Kevin Nai and Sai Gajjala returned for the second summer to work with the Newark High students and continue research on college preparation and access.

summer20135summer20134Megan and Group Camille and Genovieve Tatiana Burgess, Megan Hallett, and Camille Fontenelle met the Newark students during sessions held at the high school and here on campus during the  2012-13 school year.  The undergrads will complete this phase of their research when the first summer session concludes on May 5, and they will work through July to finalize their paper and poster presentations for the August undergraduate research symposium.  The work this summer investigates two major course questions:


1)      Examination of the On Track for Success Program as an Agentive Process –What pre/post experience changes are evident in students’ reports of their personal confidence that they will pursue post-secondary degrees and in their reports they will achieve post-secondary degrees? What are the pre/post experience changes in students’ reports of barriers that might prevent success and in the students’ reports of resources that will ensure their success? How does On Track for Success (as a component of BTE) address national concerns for improving college completion rates in the U.S.?  What are the merits and limitations of this kind of intervention?  How is this kind of intervention viewed by key stakeholders who shape policy and practice?

 2) How does the On Track for Success program reflect national priorities related to the emerging Knowledge Economy and theories of change and action?  Who is participating and to what effect in post-secondary education?  What factors seem most influential in the college/career choices of the high school students?  Are they most concerned about location, environment, type of school, admissions requirements, quality of the academic programs, expenses, financial aid, housing, campus life, other?  What institutional options are the students considering and how are these influenced by market dynamics and public policy?   



We Are Inspired !!

On Monday, February 11, Kevin Nai and Arpita Mandal led a spirited discussion of the mission and activities of ASPIRE.  The organization welcomed six new students.  All the new faces are freshmen!!  Twenty continuing members attended the opening meeting and supported Kevin and Arpita  in describing the ASPIRE work on campus and in local schools, including officers elect Lorene, Tatiana, Kerianne, Camille, Conor, and Gemelle.   The group enjoyed an unscheduled and  inspirational treat, as ASPIRE welcomed Renatae Cuffee, the North East Region’s student representative to the national board of the National Education Association (NEA).  Renatae inspired us with a short video presentation on the work of the national student organization, which she described as very much like what ASPIRE is doing on campus and in our local community.  The one activity featured in the video clip that captured some passion among ASPIRE members was the gathering of student members of NEA to complete a “school makeover” in selected cities around the country…now that is a spring break  worth planning!!


Preparing today’s teachers for tomorrow’s classrooms

Success begins with effective test preparation — that’s why ETS is offering free Praxis™ Study Plan Development Webinars to help your teacher candidates prepare.

These free webinars deliver in-depth information about the Praxis I® and Praxis II® tests, and offer your students the opportunity to ask questions. Prospective test takers are also presented with a plan to help guide their preparation for their Praxis tests.

Webinar topics include:

  • An overview of the Praxis tests
  • An overview of the Tests at a Glance (TAAG)
  • Available resources for test preparation

The next Praxis I Webinar will take place on Friday, January 11, 2013, at 1 p.m. (ET).

Learn more about how to register.

Please pass this message on to your teacher candidates and help us continue to nurture the goal of bringing great teachers to every classroom. Registration opens approximately two weeks in advance of the listed date.

Praxis I Webinar Dates

  • Friday, January 11, at 1 p.m. ET
  • Monday, March 25, at 1 p.m. ET
  • Monday, May 13, at 1 p.m. ET

Praxis II Webinar Dates

  • Wednesday, February 13, at 1 p.m. ET
  • Wednesday, April 10, at 1 p.m. ET
  • Wednesday, June 19, at 1 p.m. ET

For more information, visit

Don’t Miss An Opportunity to Network

Great Opening

The ASPIRE community gathered on Monday 9/17 at 7pm to welcome new members and rekindle continuing bonds.  Officers Katie, Ellenie, Sai, Kevin and Arpita gave an overview of the organization’s mission and the fall semester program plan.  Twenty-five new students have completed membership forms for fall 2012, ASPIRE membership is now at an all time high of 79 active members.

In addition to outlining a very interesting meeting agenda that includes sessions on Teaching in Different Environments, Teaching with Technology, Classroom Management, and Planning Ahead to Get Employment in Your Field, the Officers generated a lot of excitement during their presentation on this year’s service project.  ASPIRE will launch All Students Aspire (ASA), a peer academic leadership program for high school students, at Newark High School in mid-October.

The immediate past president of ASPIRE, Quindara Lazenbury, sat front and center during the meeting to cheer the new leaders forward.  As is her style, Quindara gave each one a special hug, at the end of the meeting.


Feminist Arabic Literature

I explored the definition of feminism in Arabic Literature by 2 feminist authors and I explored how both authors worked differently in depicting women’s issues and how each portrayed female genital mutilation in their novels. I also explored and explained the different ways of depicting FGM and the author’s purpose in doing so.

  Arpita Mandal is a junior English Education major, completing her first summer research project.  Arpita started her career at UD, as a nursing major, but decided that she is very interested in education and our responses to the cultural differences among our students.

Congratulations Arpita!!!  The ASPIRE community celebrates your achievement and we look forward to learning more about this very provocative topic.

Opportunity !!!!!

ASPIRE Community, the Office of Public Engagement at the White House has announced the deadline for applications for whitehouse internships.  Go to for additional information.

The deadline to apply for the White House Internship Program is January 22, 2012. Don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity to work at the White House.

Interns work in key offices like the Office of the Vice-President, the Office of the First Lady, Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and the Domestic Policy Council and get the chance to attend meetings with government officials, conduct research, staff events, and write memos. If you or anyone else you know is interested, make sure to apply now!

Urban Life & Education Expert to Deliver Lecture at UD

Elijah Anderson, Sociology Professor at Yale University, is the author of Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City. Prof. Anderson will deliver the 50th Anniversary Distinguished Lecture for the School of Public Policy and Administration on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 5:00pm in Bayard Sharp Hall.

This lecture provides a special learning opportunity for preservice teacher education students and teachers in classrooms who want to become more effective practitioners in work with urban students.

Hello from Granada Spain

ASPIRE member, Ellen Baca, sent the following greeting recently:

Hello ASPIRE I plan to be active in the Spring Semester…I’m in Granada Spain :0)…climbed a mountain yesterday to visit a 13th century castle…lovinggggg my time here with all the Spanish culture, food, scenery and language!

ASPIRE Opens a New Year

ASPIRE members will welcome freshmen and other campus members who are interested in getting involved during opening activities scheduled for the week of September 5th.  Check the Get Involved Calendar for details.  ASPIRE President Quindara Lazenbury and the Officers have planned an interesting semester of meetings and workshops that include sessions on Integrating the Arts into Learning ActivitiesMaking the Right Impression: Mock Job InterviewsAchieving Success with ALL Students and much, much more.

A record number (19) of ASPIRE members and supporters has already signed up to support the organization’s outreach and service work.  The College Awareness Reaching Everyone (CARE) 2011-12 workshops for vulnerable middle and high school students will begin in late September.  Check the Get Involved page for details.  For information on joining the ASPIRE program, contact

Business Major and ASPIRE Member, Elvio Diaz, Works with Bayard Middle School Students in the 2011 Summer College Awareness Session