Judith Herb College of Education

Clinical Partnerships and Practice

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 Dr. Rhonda Aguiton. 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. Currently, the class is taught at Old Orchard Elementary School, Toledo Public School District and Dorr Elementary School, Springfield Local Schools.

Mrs. Susan Parks started the program in 2009. Teacher candidates have serviced six elementary schools and one middle school within three local school districts. To date, over 800 teacher candidates and 800 elementary/middle-aged learners have benefited from this program. Dr. Aguiton, Assistant Lecturer, conducted her dissertation study on teacher candidates developing reflective skills within a course that has a clinical experience component, “A Descriptive Study of Clinical Experience Under a School District-University Partnership for Teacher Candidates in the Literacy Field.”

Dr. Ed Cancio developed a partnership with Washington Local Schools to improve the services educators provide students with challenging behaviors during the 2017-2018 academic year. He provided technical support to the teachers and support staff (e.g., behavior management skills, evaluation of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders [EBD] programs). He also observed teachers in their classrooms to offer suggestions for further development of behavior management skills. Dr. Cancio was also asked to evaluate the EBD programs/classrooms at Wernert Elementary. In addition, Dr. Cancio presented four workshops during WLS institute day on February 2018. In the past Dr. Cancio functioned as a consultant to Toledo Public Schools (TPS) separate facility schools for students with EBD. He also worked with a TPS cohort to train teachers in the area of special education with an emphasis in EBD. This was a two-year endeavor.

Dr. Katherine Delaney collaborates with Toledo Public Schools 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. Katherine Delaney and Ruslan Slutsky partner with TPS preschool and elementary schools as a part of the Brady Partnership Schools initiative. The initiative strives to provide extra support and learning opportunities for pre-service teachers interested in teaching in under-served, high needs school districts. Pre-service teachers who participate in the BPS program must apply to participate, commit to volunteerism in an afterschool programs through the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Toledo, and complete all teacher education practicum placements in three TPS partner school sites.

Drs. Laurie Dinnebeil and Bill McInerney are under contract to provide training and technical assistance to early childhood special education teams throughout Pennsylvania and are completing a virtual “book club” with teams of early childhood special educators, general early childhood teachers, and early childhood administrators in Arizona. Pennsylvania and Arizona leaders are committed to 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.

Laurie and Bill have also received a new federal personnel preparation grant, Great Start for Higher Education. The purpose of the project is to work with community college faculty members in Michigan to enhance the degree to which associate-degreed early childhood teachers are prepared to work with young children who have diverse needs and their families. Laurie, Bill, and their colleague Camille Catlett from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will be working with faculty members from Grand Rapids Community College, Mott Community College and Monroe County Community College beginning in 2019. This project is a follow up to an earlier federally-funded project that provided training and technical assistance to early childhood faculty members at community colleges in Ohio.

Finally, Laurie and Bill have a project, “Project Open House” that is funded through the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council. The purpose of Project Open House is to enhance families’ access to high-quality inclusive childcare. Through this project, Laurie and Bill are working with Ohio’s regional childcare resource and referral agencies to provide training and technical assistance to childcare providers and work at the state level to institute systems change efforts that will better support high quality inclusive childcare.

Toledo Transition (T2) is a comprehensive transition Program (CTP) within the JHCOE for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The program provides inclusive opportunities in college classes, vocational internships, housing and social experiences leading to a high quality of life. Directed by Dr. Devlin, T2 includes community partnerships within the University of Toledo and surrounding community. The program has provided both experiential and clinical experiences for students majoring in special education, occupational therapy, speech and language and disability studies. Toledo Transition is meeting a community need recognized by parents and advocates. Community and state agency partnerships are an integral part of the program including Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) and county Boards of Developmental Disabilities.

Dr. Lynne Hamer and Dr. Rebecca Schneider lead Teach Toledo, an initiative to recruit and support “Toledo’s citizens to become tomorrow’s teachers.” In partnership with Toledo Public Schools, the program recruits TPS paraprofessionals and others who would like to become licensed teachers and who have a commitment to urban living and schooling. Participants are regular UT students, but they complete their first two years of pre-professional coursework as a cohort, meeting at a TPS school; they then come onto campus for their 3rd and 4th years in professional teacher education. The initiative involves coordinating resources from four UT colleges (JHCOE, University College, College of LLSS and College of Math and Natural Sciences) and well as Student Academic Support Services in order to create a community-based learning environment in which students with family and work responsibilities are supported to succeed. Research in education and the social sciences makes a strong case for the need for an ethnically and racially diverse teaching force—both for children of color, concentrated in urban public schools, and for all children. Teach Toledo is a response by JHCOE to this need.

Dr. Haughton partnered with Dr. Michal Schödl of Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel to develop and implement a technology-mediated, cross cultural academic and communication experience for pre-service teachers (USA) and tourism management majors (Israel). This task is integrated in the spring Classroom Assessment course (RESM 4200). It requires American and Israeli students to discuss strategies to accommodate linguistically and culturally diverse students from the lenses and experiences Israeli students. Israeli undergraduates who are non-native English speakers serve as consultants for their American partners. This collaboration helps pre-service teachers to build on the assessment strategies discussed in RESM 4200. They also integrate and justify instructional and assessment support for the English Language Learners they may have in their current and future classrooms in their final unit assessment projects. This collaboration has been in existence for three years with the hopes of continuation.

Dr. Haughton and Dr. Kehus partner with the University of Toledo’s Confucius Institute and Yanshan University (Hebei Province, China) to offer the International Leadership in Education Assessment and Pedagogy (I_LEAP) practicum for education students. I_LEAP is an optional, co-curricular experience that enables student educators to complete a short-term (approximately 12 days) field experience in China. Students are immersed in another culture through multiple academic site visits (university and P-12 schools), as well as visits to important cultural and historical locations and monuments in Beijing and Qinhuangdao. Participating students are required to integrate an international focus in their educational-based pedagogical, assessment and leadership coursework to reflect cross-cultural and global competences.

Dr. Kehus and Dr. Haughton were appointed as Developmental Counselors to Tonghua Experimental School, which is attached to Northeast Normal University, in Jilin Province, China. The appointments are for three-years beginning 2018.

Dr. Edward Janak 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 an advisory board member for the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA) and an expert content creator for the ALICE Training Institute. In her role with NaBITA, she trains school districts on how to create a behavioral intervention team toward identifying at-risk students and preventing rampage shootings. She has also trained school resource officers on domestic and foreign terror organizations’ recruitment of school-aged youth through social media. Dr. Pescara-Kovach has served as northwest Ohio’s Crisis Intervention Team ‘Fundamentals of Mental Illness’ trainer since 2014 and recently created the Northwest Ohio Critical Incident Stress Management (NWOCISM) team to assist survivors of, and first responders to, critical incidents toward preventing stress- and trauma-related outcomes in the event of mass shootings, suicides, targeted violence, or other high impact tragedies. In creating the NWOCISM team, Dr. Pescara-Kovach selected team members from Mercy Health, the Lucas County Suicide Prevention Coalition, Toledo Fire and Rescue, Toledo Police, City of Oregon Police, ProMedica Health Systems, Lucas County Drug Court, Oregon City School System, and Sylvania Area Family Services. In addition to being an educator and researcher, she works as a mental health and safety consultant in several school districts. She has given presentations on the topic of bullying and its link to suicides and homicides, mental health and the student-athlete, public mass shooter traits, PTSD in emergency response personnel, and threat assessment at the state, national, and international levels.

Dr. Dawn Sandt served as Principal Investigator for the University of Toledo Parent-Professional Partnership Program, a grant funded by the Ohio Department of Education. The purpose of the grant was to redesign a course within the Intervention Specialist teacher education program that prepared students to collaborate effectively with parents of children with disabilities. The course was co-designed and co-taught by parents of children with disabilities. This unique instructional approach facilitated the active involvement of stakeholders of our K-12 educational system in the training of our teacher candidates. Additionally, this course prepared pre-service teachers and parents to build strong partnerships for the overall purpose of improving K-12 student outcomes. Since its inaugural offering, the course continues to strengthen its ties with community partners. Parent advocates serves on parent panels to discuss critical principles of effective partnerships, parent empowerment strategies, effective communication, and community resources for families of children with disabilities. Administrators from local schools attend administrator panels to discuss school issues as it pertains to the special education process. After taking this course, Jessica Young (pre-service Intervention Specialist), Renee Palacios (parent of a child with a disability), and Dr. Dawn Sandt teamed up to expand the recreational opportunities for children with disabilities in the area by starting a UT chapter of RallyCap Sports. This is a fine example of how the knowledge, skills, and dispositions nurtured within a classroom setting can evolve into a needs-based, real-world resource for families of children with disabilities.

Dr. Dale Snauwaert is engaged in collaboration with the Institute of Bioethics and the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Universidad de Javieriana, Bogota', Colombia.   He is also engaged in collaboration with the faculties of the school district of Bolivar Valle, Colombia and the Jardin Tia Nora/Liceo Los Alpes Colegio International Baccalaureate School, Cali, Colombia.  These collaborations originated with a Fulbright Specialist Grant Award.  Below is a description of these collaborations:

Institute of Bioethics—Two Projects: Associate Researcher/International Advisor

  1. A research project identifying and strengthening local knowledge and practices on peace education through a study-intervention Project in three rural communities specially affected by the armed conflict. 
  2. The second research Project explores the philosophical and legal foundations of, and the scope of, nature rights.  Indigenous and Afro-Colombian traditional authorities will be engaged to uncover their own ways of grounding and understanding these rights. On this basis a critical analysis of our own ways (western) of philosophically addressing both the grounds and scope of nature rights will be conducted. We hope that this analysis could provide not just insightful innovations on the theory of nature rights but a new framework and guidelines to assess specific projects in particular territories (often highly biodiverse). This project will work with and strengthen “Nature rights watch”,  a new project in collaboration with the Latin American Center for Social Ecology and other universities in Bogotá.

Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Javieriana

Research collaboration and consultation regarding the development of peacebuilding knowledge and capacity within the Faculty of Social Sciences in different areas of Colombia, including the flat in north of Cauca, the South of Meta, the Guaviare and Buenaventura.

Professional development workshops with the Faculties of the Bolivar Valle school district and the Jardin Tia Nora/Liceo Los Alpes Colegio IB School (Cali): 

The workshops will explore the development of a pedagogy of reflective inquiry as the core methodology of peace education as well as progressive approaches to education.

Drs. Nancy Staub and Jeanine Diller advise UT undergraduates committed to making a difference for students in Toledo Public Schools in the area of science. In Science After School, a newly formed UT student club, undergraduates organize, plan, and deliver science lessons to students in grades four through eight at Chase STEM Academy. The purpose is to encourage students, particularly young women to like science as well as, give the Chase students a peek at college by holding some science workshops on UT’s campus. Over the past few years, the number of young females from Chase participating in the program has doubled.

Dr. Staub has developed EdCampUToledo which will hold its inaugural event on UT’s campus March 16, 2019. EdCampToledo is dedicated to providing professional development to local area teachers and preservice teachers at all levels and subjects free of charge, including principals. It is founded on the premise that teachers themselves have much to offer each other by sharing experiences through conversations—not planned presentations. The day-long event is designed to be peer-led, participant driven professional learning that allows teachers to collaboratively identify topics of interest and then meet up with other teachers at the event that share these same interests. EdCampUToledo will also facilitate the same process for principals on topics related to school leadership.


Last Updated: 6/27/22