Archive for the ‘Service Learning in Teacher Education’ Category

Continuing to Serve…

 ASPIRE members are encouraged to participate in serviceThe following opportunities are upcoming:

  From Katie Kull 

(1) Tuesday Oct 22nd @ 6pm: “Leaders in ECE”; brilliant discussion on the educational gap that exist in America today and how we need talented ECE teachers to help us close it!

 Latin American Community Center 

403 N. Van Buren 

Wilmington, DE 19805
6:00-7:30 p.m. 

Dinner to follow LACC tour at Los Jardines

  (2) Wednesday Oct. 23rd @ 10am: Visit to a TFA Corps member’s ECE classroom at the Latin American Community Center and discussion on how ECE play a critical role in closing the education gap (Wilmington, DE)

 Contact Caitlin Gleason for more information at 


 From Dr. Carol Wong

 (3) Tuesday Nov 5th from 2pm-3:pm  serve as student guide for the Success through Education Conference

 The purpose of the conference is to initiate a partnership between the University of Delaware and Delaware high schools in order to recruit a diverse teacher population.

 Contact Carol Wong for additional information at


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 Were There: ASPIRE Members Serve During Winter Break

On January 17, days ahead of the National Day of Service, ASPIRE members traveled to A.I. duPont Middle School to interact with a group of about 50 middle and high school families.  Sharing wisdom about what their parents did when they were in middle and high school that helped them secure a seat at UD, Kevin Nai, Kerrianne Rojas, Lorene McCoy, SaiSri Gajjala, Arpita Mandel, Quindara Lazenbury, Anh Nguyen, and Stanley Anderson held the audience rapt.  According to Redclay’s Director of Title 1 programs, this kind of interaction brings reality to the day-to-day decisions that parents often make in supervising homework and planning for how their students will remain engaged in academic preparatory activities during the summers.  Engagement was a key theme of the presentation, as noted by Melva Ware, ASPIRE Director, college planning begins with conversations between students and their parents.


ASA Students Join End of Semester Celebration

On November 30, Newark and Cab Calloway high school students celebrated with their ASPIRE mentors to close a successful fall semester.  The party was held in one of the Trabant Center meeting rooms.  The high school students were very proud to share poster sized copy of the handouts that they used in introducing their learning skills workshops to their peers at Newark High School.   Kayla Griffin, pictured third from left,  joined the Newark students during the summer to help them develop messaging and images to launch the ASA club.  Kayla is a sophomore at Cab Calloway, a local high school for the arts.   The ASPIRE mentors were especially pleased to have the opportunity to introduce the high school students to the next group of ASPIRE leaders.  UD teacher education majors, Tatiana Burgess and Gemelle John, joined the ASA support team at the beginning of the fall semester, and both are assuming leadership roles in ASPIRE and will serve as officers-elect in spring 2013.Lorene McCoy and Camille Fontenelle have also accepted spring 2013 leadership roles in ASPIRE.  Stay tuned in January for a full introduction of the 2013-14 leadership team.

Good luck with exams, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!!!!!!

ASPIRE Service Event: On Track for Success

On Saturday December 1 2012, the ASPIRE community joined forces with McNair, SSSP, and NSBE to host a college and career planning event for high school families.  Undergraduates stepped up, by taking responsibility to coach individual students in writing their college essays and developing personal resumes.  The students will interact again by email in mid-January when the high school students will mail drafts of their essays to their undergraduate coaches.  There will be opportunities for additional face-t0-face interactions in June 2013 when the campus student community will support this group of students in a week-long college application and scholarship application completion “boot camp.”  Undergraduates who enroll for the first summer session in Public Policy and Leadership in Education UAPP 467 will have opportunities to engage with the On Track for Success students in a course that focuses on policies and practices guiding national concerns for increasing college access and completion rates in the U.S.

  The On Track for Success students are 11th graders at Newark High School.  Several of them participated in summer 2012 in an academic leadership camp led by ASPIRE officers.  The high school students developed workshops that they are now sharing with their peers at Newark HS.  On Saturday, ASPIRE leaders beamed as their mentees gave an impromptu presentation on their summer 2012 work.   The group ended their presentation by sharing their mantra :  Good Better Best, Never Let It Rest, Until Your Good is Your Better and Your Better is Your Best!!!!!!!         

Good Better Best

Never Give It A Rest*Until Your Good is Your Better*And Your Better is Your Best

  Congratulations ASPIRE Summer Research Fellows:  Katie Kull, Sai Gajjala and Kevin Nai.  Their presentation on August 9th concluded the first phase of the launch of the new ASA program for high school student academic leaders at Newark High School.

All Students Aspire: Peer Learning Strategies to Improve Efficacy

 The Newark HS students will share their work with their peers through three workshops: 1)Time Management, 2) Note-taking, 3)Study Strategies.  These sessions were developed with support from the ASPIRE research team and will be conducted at the high school as gatherings of students who are approved as peer tutors to meet students who want to improve their academic profiles in various courses. 

The undergraduates’ summer research focused on strategies for improving self-regulated learning, and their work with the high school students students challenged them to shape practices consistent with the ideas of theorists who advocate the importance of the development of personal confidence and efficacy.


Here and Ready!!

ASPIRE officers Katie Kull, Sai Gajjala, and Kevin Nai were joined on Monday June 25th by 10 eager high school students who will launch the ASA (Junior ASPIRE) program at Newark High School in the fall.  The Newark students include Genovieve Arango, Kevin Cramer, Rebecca McLaughlin, Lacey Morris, Lucila Sandoval, Zanieca Scott, Shanika Stanley, Alexus Walker, and DayQuan Wallace.  Kayla Giffin, a theater major at Cab Calloway high school, also joined the group to assist with planning for marketing the program in the fall.   The Newark students are working to develop workshops on Time Management, Study Strategies, Reading and Note-taking Strategies that they will present to peers in the fall, as the major component in the launch of a peer tutoring program.  The ASA students are emerging Academic Leaders, and they are interacting during their campus experience with established student leaders at UD from SSSP, McNair, and the ASPIRE programs. The group stopped enroute to the library on their first day on campus to pose for this picture.  The program will conclude on July 10th, and the students will preview their workshops for invited guests.

2012 Summer Research Fellowships

All Students Aspiring (ASA) will launch this spring at Newark High School in the Christina School District.  ASA is a high school student led initiative that is connected to ASPIRE, and ASA will replicate the ASPIRE leadership structure.  ASA leaders, like ASPIRE leaders, will host learning mastery workshops for their peers.  They will also mount a campaign to have students sign up to work as peer tutors.

Three Undergraduate Research Fellows Sought for Leadership of Summer Program

Program Dates: June 6 – August 9 (Selected Weeks)

These positions are supported by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning.  Summer Fellows will have a guided research experience. They will also work with students who are identified as the first leaders for the emerging ASA program at Newark High School.  The Undergraduates and the High School Leaders will design activities that will be implemented during the 2012-13 school year.  The Summer Fellowship Stipend is $1,300.

Email for additional information and to receive the application materials.  All applications are due by April 26, 2012.






Newark High School students have decided to start a chapter of the ASPIRE student organization at the high school.  Their purpose is to provide leadership for academic achievement among students.  Essentially,  All Students ASPIRE (ASA) leaders will recruit Students to Step Up and make being smart mean being popular, as well.  They want more students to take ownership of the personal responsibility to focus on school work, develop solid study habits, and earn good grades.  The leadership group met on Friday, February 24 at the ASPIRE student support office on the UD campus.  They plan to conduct at least one academic awareness session during the spring semester and work with ASPIRE leaders and Newark teachers to develop peer tutoring opportunities that allow the ASA leaders and those that they recruit as peer tutors to earn their volunteer credits.

High Fives and Hugs

 Lawrence “Mr. Bain” Manley (Junior English Education major), Elvio Diaz (Senior Accounting major), Elise Jackson (Senior English Education major) and Teresita Mariano (Senior English Education major) reconnected with students from Bayard Middle School, during the 54th Annual College Night at UD’s Bob Carpenter Center on Tuesday October 25, 2011.  Bain, Elvio, Elise, and Teresita have spent summer semesters involved in research and experiential learning projects at the Wilmington school.