Judith Herb College of Education


Faculty Partnerships

Teacher candidates are putting theory to practice in their own backyard. The university class, Literacy Assessment and Remediation, is taught on-site at local elementary and middle schools under the supervision and guidance of Ms. Susan Parks. The class is designed to help prospective teachers in Early Childhood, Middle Childhood, and Special Education programs, study research and theory in literacy, and directly apply their knowledge to help struggling students within the field. Launch into Literacy with the UT Rockets tutoring program increases the effectiveness of teacher candidate preparation and provides tutoring for at-risk students at no cost to parents, providing a win-win situation for university candidates and the children in our local schools. For the 2015-16 year, the program is being conducted at Old Orchard Elementary and Dorr Elementary.

Teacher candidates have serviced six elementary schools and one middle school within three local school districts. To date, over 500 teacher candidates and 500 elementary/middle-aged learners have benefited from this program. Ms. Parks, Associate Lecturer in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the Judith Herb College of Education, was the recipient of the Edith Rathbun Award for Outreach and Engagement in 2015.

Dr. Ed Cancio developed a partnership with Toledo Public Schools to improve the services they provide to students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (EBD) in their separate facility schools. He travels to Westfield Achievement and Robinson Elementary Annex each week and attends the schools’ administrative meetings. Dr. Cancio provides technical support to the EBD teachers (e.g., improving motivation systems, classroom behavior management skills, and curriculum). He also observes teachers in their classrooms to offer suggestions for further development of behavior management skills.

Dr. Kate Delaney is collaborating with Toledo Public Schools on a project to support high quality instructional practices in Head Start and Title 1 preschool classrooms. These instructional practices include concept development, the use of open-ended questioning and child-directed inquiry, and feedback loops to encourage rich and meaningful sustained interactions between teachers and children.

Drs. Laurie Dinnebeil and Bill McInerney recently provided two days of technical assistance to the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE). RIDE is interested in adopting Dinnebeil and McInerney’s model of itinerant early childhood special education service delivery across the state. This model promotes the use of collaborative consultation as a vehicle for supporting the inclusion of young children with disabilities in community-based early childhood programs.

In other collaborative efforts, Dr. Dinnebeil and her colleague, Dr. Virginia Buysse of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, completed a literature review on the coaching and consultation literature as part of contracted work with Noah’s Ark, an early intervention provider in Queensland, Australia. Results from the literature review are being used to shape the future of early childhood intervention services provided to young children with special needs living in Australia.

Dr. Christine Fox is P.I. on the UT-Toledo Safety Forces Collaboration, along with Drs. Svetlana Beltyukova and Gregory Stone. This was Year 2 of a 3-year grant, totaling $475,845.  The grant involves developing, administering, scoring, and reporting the Fire and Police examinations.

Dr. Lynne Hamer leads “Community Conversations for School Success,” biweekly meetings at the Kent Branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library in collaboration with the UT Sociology/Anthropology Department. The purpose is “to bring together citizens and students, K-12 school administrators & teachers, and university faculty and students to pool our knowledge about what is needed for ALL people to succeed in K-12 & university.” Its mission is (1) “to establish shared, inclusive space for dialogue as community members concerned about education”; (2) “to inform ourselves and others about practice and research that help ensure opportunity for optimal and equitable education experiences for all students, P-12 and university”; (3) “to build cultural competence towards contributing to increasing graduation rates and teacher retention rates”; and (4) “to nourish and support the varied actions in which participants are involved outside of the CCSS.” 

Nationally, in addition to serving as a reviewer for multiple organizations, Dr. Edward Janak is an Area Chair for the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association and serves on the Book Award Committee for the History of Education Society. Locally, he is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Council of Community Schools and serves on their Performance and Accountability Committee.

Dr. Lisa Pescara-Kovach is working under a U.S. Department of Justice Education, Communication, Assessment, Intervention and Protection Plan grant that is geared toward enabling colleges and universities with knowledge and resources to prevent and respond to emerging and chronic crime problems. Through this grant, she is a trainer for the Campus Violence Prevention and Protection and K-12 Behavioral Threat Assessment programs. Additionally, Dr. Pescara-Kovach is the co-chair of The University of Toledo’s Anti-Bullying Task Force. She serves on the Oregon City Schools Health and Safety Committee; Advisory Board of the Lucas County Suicide Prevention Coalition; and is a workplace bullying, suicide, and threat assessment trainer for ProMedica Health Systems. Dr. Pescara-Kovach is the Ohio Director of Bully Police USA; Fostering Healthy Communities Bullying Prevention Liaison; and content expert on the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio BRAVE (Bullying and Related Acts of Violence Education) campaign.

Dr. Judy Lambert is partnering with Toledo Public Schools on a 2014 Ohio Board of Regents Improving Teacher Quality grant, Ohio New Learning Standards in Math and Science through a Technology Lens in NW Ohio.The purpose of the grant is to provide Toledo Public School teachers in grades 5-9 with professional development in math, science, and technology. The goals are to increase teachers' math and science content knowledge of physics related to force and motion, skill and comfort with using technology, ability to plan and teach integrated lessons, and to increase students’ understanding of physics concepts. Teachers attend after-school and summer workshops and participate in online discussions throughout the school year to critically reflect on their learning and to share successes and challenges of teaching integrated lesson plans with their colleagues.

Through a grant funded by the Ohio Department of Education, Dr. Dawn Sandt redesigned an existing course in the Intervention Specialist teacher licensure program. The course focused on parent-teacher partnerships and was co-designed and co-taught by parents. This unique instructional approach facilitated the active involvement of stakeholders of our K-12 educational system in the training of our teacher candidates. The purpose of this work was to facilitate the development of pre-service teacher and parent knowledge, skills, and attitudes regarding parent-teacher partnerships. Additionally, this course prepared pre-service teachers and parents to build strong partnerships for the overall purpose of improving K-12 student outcomes.

Online decision-making simulations designed by Dr. Nancy Staub, Associate Professor in Educational Administration at The University of Toledo, and Dr. Marlena Bravender, Baker College, provided the framework for a year-long professional development program for novice principals in Port Huron, Michigan. The model allowed participants to engage in rich discussion among peers by analyzing school scenarios and determining how to solve the problems presented in the scenario. Year-two of the project is underway.

 Dr. Victoria Stewart is collaborating with faculty from the UT Geography and Planning Department  as co-PI on a project supported in part by a National Science Foundation ITEST grant (NSF Award No.: 1433574), the Advancing Geospatial Thinking and Technologies in Grades 9-12: Citizen Mapping, Community Engagement, and Career Preparation in STEM (AGTT). Over the course of a two week summer workshop, high school students attending Scott High School in Toledo, Ohio, were introduced to recent advances in geospatial technology, its uses and applications, especially as it relates to understanding their community and their role as citizens.

Dr. Stewart also represents UT on the Valid and Reliable Instruments for Educator Preparation Programs (VARI-EPP) research consortium. The group, led by Ohio State University, is working on the development of unit-wide evaluation instruments, a pedagogy and dispositions evaluation, used during student teaching. This work is being conducted in part to meet the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) requirements for instruments to address (a) validity and reliability, (b) relevance, (c) verifiability, (d) representativeness, (e) cumulativeness, (f) fairness, (g) stakeholder interest, (h) benchmarks, (i) vulnerability to manipulation, and (j) actionability (Ewell, 2013)
Last Updated: 6/9/16