Category Archives: Features

Education Classes at Ursuline – Teaching Life Skills and Leadership

Our major of the month for August is Education. To learn more about the Education Unit at Ursuline College, we interviewed the co-directors of the Education Unit, Dr. Mary Jo Cherry and Dr. Jim Connell. Cherry and Connell both shared valuable information about why being an education major at Ursuline is so special.

What are some things that you learn in an education class that help you for the rest of your life?

Jim Connell: I guess I would start by saying that you really do get in touch with who you are and who you are going to be. We emphasize that quite a bit – it is important, if you’re going to be an effective leader, to really know yourself. That’s just essential. You deepen the understanding of yourself so that you can be an effective leader.

Mary Jo Cherry: And I would say that’s probably similar in teacher education.

If you were talking to people that had a negative image of people in education or education majors in general, what would you want those people to know about education majors?

Mary Jo Cherry: I would say, speaking for undergrad, they are very dedicated and they want to work with kids. They are very hard working. A lot of our undergrad education majors are athletes, and a lot of them work full-time or part-time. You can’t be in this major and not be dedicated. They don’t get many electives, if any at all. It’s not for the faint of heart. These students, in addition to their coursework on campus, they’re out in the schools from their very first semester. As an example, the special education majors, before they even get to student teaching, have clocked a minimum of 365 additional hours. They’re really dedicated and they’re committed to doing what’s best for kids.

Jim Connell: I would go in a couple directions there also. Mary Jo ended with discussing hours. In both of our field courses, we exceed the minimum you see at some other institutions. If someone has a negative image, I’m not so sure that I can change that. But, what I can tell them is that the people who are in education operate out of a high sense of commitment and a strong sense of personal satisfaction from what they do. They really do enjoy it.

Mary Jo Cherry: The other thing I can mention is that our graduates see themselves in a profession, and they see themselves giving back as part of their professional responsibility. Our undergraduate advisory board has some of our undergrad graduates, but we also have educational administration graduates, who just happen to end up on our board because someone nominated them. They are absolutely wonderful. Educators are by and large a very committed group. They see themselves not only as working in the profession but also giving back. There’s a wonderful sense of community.

Any tips for current education students, future education majors, or recent graduates of Ursuline’s programs?

Mary Jo Cherry: I always say get as much experience around the children you want to teach as you can, so age level, developmental level. So for my students, I usually say it doesn’t matter what you do with them, just be sure you want to do this. Get as much experience as you can. The other thing I say is be willing to move where the jobs are. If you’re in a position to move, there are teaching jobs all over the country. I suggest that they be open to charter schools, private schools, parochial schools, and public schools, because you need to get your foot in the door and you need experience. If you’re always doing what you truly believe is the best for children, you won’t be hurting anybody.

Jim Connell: I think I would go a different way. I simply say to people that you want to look around and pick a program that has success and a network. We work to make sure people are in a place that they can get jobs, and we help them network at all times. Look for not just the beginning of the program, but the end.

Mary Jo Cherry: We really do work as much as possible with individuals, as opposed to a group of people in a class. The whole institution, not just our unit, not just our programs, walks the talk. We are really here for you, and you are not a number. There are at least three students who are currently in the educational administration graduate program that went through our teacher education undergraduate program.

I want the students to know a little bit more about you. What is your favorite part of teaching education classes?

Mary Jo Cherry: It’s the students I teach. That’s it. I love being with the students, and it’s energizing, it’s fun, and I just enjoy it.

Jim Connell: Mary Jo was talking about enthusiasm. I always present the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” I can be excited about teaching curriculum development, but it’s making the students enthusiastic about it that’s the key. It’s getting the students excited about what they’re learning.

Mary Jo Cherry: We do our administrative duties, but we only do it because we can still teach. I bring stickers, and pencils for every occasion. And I love sharing stories. I warn them that anything they say in class, I’ll have a story about it.

 

Sneak peek >> Summer 2014 Issue

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Sneak peek >> Summer 2014 Issue

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Sneak peek >> Summer 2014 Issue

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Sneak peek >> Summer 2014 Issue

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Experiencing Google Glass

Being one of the first in Ursuline’s Community to use Google Glass, I felt privileged to put them on and see campus through Glass. To be honest, I watched a few hundred promotional and Explorer Program Youtube Videos to prepare myself. I hoped that the first time I said, “Ok, Glass” I would do something spectacular.

I won’t lie; I fumbled with adjusting Glass around my hair and ended up taking a few photos of the ceiling. But after a few minutes I asked Glass to store notes and then connect to 131010110040-2Facebook, Fieldtrip, Tumblr and Twitter. Glass technology is certainly innovative. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years we see the general population wearing Glass to work, the grocery store or surfing the internet while waiting in line at Starbucks. It is very much like Siri, without her talking back.

The information I ask for is shown to me in a rectangular projection in my upper, right hand vision. While I was watching a YouTube video on how to make a paper crane over lunch, I could hear the instructions but my neighbors didn’t notice a thing. I’m impressed with the sleekness of the overall interface and how well Glass responds to common language commands.

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Google Glass. Fun with the latest in technology – and eyewear.

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Ursuline College was chosen by Google Glass to be part of the Glass Explorer Program. The College picked up its’ pair at the company’s office in New York City this past summer.

Google Glass is a wearable computer developed by Google that is equipped with an “optical head- mounted display.” The lens-free glasses are like a hands-free smart phone that individuals can use to surf the Internet, make calls, text message, record video and more, via voice commands all displayed in front of the user’s eyes.

Ursuline’s Alumnae Director Tiffany Mushrush Mentzer ’03 saw Google Glass on the Today Show when the company introduced its’ Google+ and Twitter contest. Mushrush Mentzer decided to enter.

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This is our “something”: Ursuline Arrows stride through season without their gym

gymAs members of the Arrows’ Volleyball team step up into a white cube van on a warm fall afternoon, carefully, one after the other, it is hard not to notice their lethargy. Hard practice, play and late night studying may contribute to the fatigue, but the root of their expression is travel.

At 3:45 a.m., July 20, 2013, Ursuline College felt the first disaster in its 142-year history – a tornado. The EF1 strength funnel swept through campus, causing the west wall of the O’Brien Athletic Center to collapse, disfiguring windows, its roofs, railings and doors and sending debris flying more than two miles away. More than 167 mature trees were snapped and twisted. Many more were left uprooted, their insides exposed.

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Fashion Forward. Trendsetting Students Become Designers

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Senior Susan Hayley Fox ’13 presented her collection,“Rose of Araby.” Inspired by the sleek lines of the 1920’s deco era, the feminine silhouettes worn by the flapper girls and the ladylike floral fabrics made famous by designer Lela Rose, Fox designed a knockout collection. Ursuline’s students prepare for the fashion industry through rigorous course work in design and merchandising, culminating in a senior runway show.

The College’s fashion students have the option of attending NewYork’s Fashion Institute ofTechnology (FIT) during their junior year. They also have hands-on access to the College’s Historic Costume Study Collection that includes more than 3,500 pieces of 20th century American apparel and accessories. The VOICES staff caught up with six of the Innovations ’13 designers and production team members to find out what inspired their creations. 

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Ursuline receives NCATE, CAEP accrediation for Education Unit, one of six colleges in country

121219133606-3The National Council for Accreditation for Teacher Education (NCATE) and The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the newly established educator accreditation organization, granted Ursuline’s Education Unit professional accreditation for its undergraduate and graduate education programs. Ursuline is one of six colleges in the country to receive this dual accreditation, which is valid until spring 2020.

“We are thrilled to be one of only a handful of educator preparation institutions in the country to have achieved this dual status. This recognition of our excellent programs reflects the quality of our graduates and their rigorous preparation for their places in the education community,” Jeanne Sternad, Ursuline Education Unit Executive Director, said.

This accreditation indicates that the College’s Education Unit meets the demanding standards set forth by the professional education community. It also means that Ursuline students are well prepared for state licensing standards and can compete with teachers anywhere in the United States.

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