College of Education Receives Accreditation from International Dyslexia Association

West Liberty, W.Va., June 9, 2016 by Maureen Zambito — West Liberty University is one of nine universities in the country that received accreditation this year from the International Dyslexia Association (IDA). “Our master’s of education reading track was recognized by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) in May and is now an IDA accredited program. This represents the hard work of our reading specialist Theresa Kowcheck and the careful preparation of a self-study, followed by an accreditation visit by IDA. We have placed a special emphasis on the explicit teaching of multi-sensory instructional literacy practices in our curriculum,” said Dr. Keely Camden, Dean of the College of Education. The reading track in the master’s of education also was submitted to the West Virginia State Department of Education Program Review Board for recommendation to the West Virginia State Board of Education for West Virginia state accreditation. “We expect to hear back from the State Department of Education this month on the status of our state reading certification proposal,” Dr. Camden added. The IDA and its affiliate, the Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI), certified WLU for having met the standards outlined in IDA’s Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading. This was the third round of university reviews by IDA, which conducts the process every two years. An alumna of WLU, Kowcheck teaches in the master’s program as an instructor for the reading specialist track. She also is the director of the Center for Multisensory Learning at Wheeling Country Day School where WLU students fulfill their clinical hours for the master’s in reading track. “I’m proud of the long time partnership between West Liberty University and Wheeling Country Day School. The partnership between these two strong, academic institutions has built a foundational education program for teachers who instruct students with language-based learning differences,” said Kowcheck, who has been a certified Orton-Gillingham reading practitioner since 2007. The IDA Standards provide a framework for course content in university and other teacher preparation programs, offering thorough, research-supported documentation of what every teacher ought to know and be able to demonstrate, whether they are teaching dyslexic students, other struggling readers or the general student population. “We are delighted to see this third group of teacher preparation programs meet the rigorous requirements for IDA accreditation, as well as to see increasing numbers of programs demonstrating an interest in seeking IDA accreditation,” said Louise Spear-Swerling, Ph.D., vice president of the CERI Board of Directors...
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West Liberty Students Celebrate Every Kid Healthy Week and Take the Screen-Free Week Challenge

      West Liberty University partnered with West Liberty Elementary School and other local organizations to celebrate Every Kid Healthy Week and encouraged families to take the Screen-Free Week Challenge. Launched by Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) in 2013, Every Kid Healthy Week is an annual observance in April that promotes the importance of sound nutrition, regular physical activity, and health-promoting programs in schools. Why? Because healthy kids learn better! West Liberty Elementary School Principal Stacy Greer reports, “Each night this week, students will have the opportunity to participate in free events that promote physical activity, health, and family interaction. We are also celebrating Every Kid Healthy Week by encouraging families to take part in the Screen-Free Week Challenge.” Promoted by Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood since 1994, this is highlighted as “a week to turn off televisions, smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles for seven days and turn on the world around them. Screen-Free Week is a chance for children to read, play, think, create, be more physically active, and to spend more time with friends and family.” Every child that participates in the challenge will receive a free ticket to a minor league baseball or softball game at CONSOL Energy Park, courtesy of the Washington Wild Things. Austin Snodgrass and the Washington Wild Things Mascot kicked off the celebration at an assembly at West Liberty Elementary School this week. Participating students also received raffle tickets to win other prizes. This celebration is the end of a year-long implementation of an initiative called “Eagles Move to Improve” at West Liberty Elementary School. With grants funded by Action for Healthy Kids and the Highmark Foundation, the school purchased curriculum and materials to promote physical activity and to integrate math, science, reading, and social studies lessons with movement. They also purchased more physical education and recess equipment. Diana Rice, West Liberty Elementary School Wellness Team leader and certified Physical Activity Leader by Let’s Move Active Schools, has partnered with Kathleen Wack, Assistant Professor of Health and Physical Education to lead the initiative. In fact, it’s not unusual to see Rice’s students dancing through the hallways when moving to art or music class instead of walking in a line, or jumping up for a quick 5-minute brain energizer in between math and reading. “I have seen such a positive difference in my classroom after I add some movement. Students are more...
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Gold Headlines: May 08, 2015

    =Honors Convocation= West Liberty University held its 2015 Honors Convocation to recognize students for their outstanding academic achievements on Thursday, April 30 in Kelly Theatre in the Hall of Fine Arts. Congratulations to Laura Denning (Athletic Training Program), Taylor McKinney (Exercise Physiology Program), Shaun Black (Physical Education & Health Program), and Jamee Burke, Courtney Forsch, and Hillary Sayre in the Department of Professional Education for receiving the awards for outstanding majors. The College of Education is proud of their accomplishments. Special thanks to all of the dedicated faculty and staff members who encourage our students to set high standards for learning. =Student Awarded 1st Place in Undergraduate Research Competition= Elementary education senior, Hillary Sayre, claimed first place in the West Liberty University Undergraduate Research Competition for the second time in the last three years. Sayre’s project was entitled Aspergers Syndrome: Recognition and Training for Elementary and Secondary School General Education Teachers in West Virginia RESA 6. The purpose of the study was to ascertain the ability of RESA 6 teachers to recognize and identify the characteristics of Aspergers, along with classroom methods used to assist the students. The results indicated that less than 10% of RESA 6 educators could identify these characteristics and methods. Sayre indicated that she was “surprised by the results, but was pleased that this study allowed her to raise awareness of Aspergers and Autism Spectrum Disorder through the forum of the research competition.” Sayre will be graduating May 9 with a degree in Elementary Education and additional certifications in Special Education, Early Education, and an Autism Endorsement. =Three Exercise Physiology Students Hired from Internship= Three soon-to-be Exercise Physiology alumni are not only closing a chapter in their lives, but also already writing a new one. Ashley Millard, Joseph Semple, and Nathanael Taylor have all been offered jobs after they graduate this Saturday as a result of their outstanding performance during their internships this past semester. Ashley will be working for Ohio Valley Medical Center as an Administration Assistant helping with three different departments that are within the hospital: physician recruitment, physician management, and physician billing (accounting). Her internship focused on Health Care Administration over the past two semesters and impressed the staff so much with her work ethic and proactive attitude that they rewarded her with a newly-created position. “Ashley has done a phenomenal job representing our Exercise Physiology Program during her internship...
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Gold Headlines: April 24, 2015

        =Faculty Presented at American Educational Research Association Conference= Dr. Keely Camden, Dean of the College of Education, and Dr. Miriam Roth Douglas, Director of the academic Community Education Program involving informal educational models, attended and presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) international conference in Chicago last week. The theme of 2015 AERA conference is a call to examine the meaning of culture, language, and heritage in education research and Praxis with the aim of advancing justice. Dr. Camden and Dr. Douglas co-presented about Community Education and Democracy & Justice: “Justice and democracy reflected by an inclusive Community Education Program: Research & Praxis.” While there, they visited the Hull Settlement House, and studied the life of founder of Jane Addams. =WLU MAED Graduate Presented at West Virginia Graduate Research Day= Rachael Reardon, Masters of Art in Education (MAED) graduate (2014) presented in Shepherdstown, WV at the First Annual Graduate Research Day held at Shepherd University last Saturday. Rachel presented her study entitled, Are there Common Beliefs among General Education Teachers in Regard to Differentiating Instruction in Order to Meet the Needs of the Gifted Students? The presentation was accepted from several submissions across the state in various areas of graduate research. In addition to her presentation, Rachel presented a poster alongside students from WVU, Shepherd, WV State, and Fairmont. The project began from the coursework in the MAED program, which culminates with a Capstone Presentation in the final course where students present a research proposal on a topic of their choosing. Rachel Reardon is a second-grade teacher at Hooverson Heights Primary School in Brooke County West Virginia. Rachael stated, “I chose my topic because I worked in Special Education (Learning Disabilities/Gifted Education) for three years. I found that I was often met with resistance when it came to general education teachers providing accommodations to students who were gifted…yet, teachers are more open to providing accommodations to students with disabilities. In West Virginia, Gifted Education is considered Special Education and requires the development of an IEP for identified students. I enjoyed my experience at Shepherd University. I met individuals from Morocco, Serbia, and Brazil all in the same day. I had the opportunity to listen to Master’s projects from students in various fields of study, not just Education. I hope that the conference will expand to a larger contingency of students from more state colleges/universities...
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Gold Headlines: April 18, 2015

    =Course Feature:Project GOLD= Project GOLD is an initiative in the College of Education at West Liberty University matching students interested in volunteer work and service learning with non-profit organizations (e.g., Brooke County Historical Museum & Culture Center, PAW 21st Century After-School Learning Program, Team Mojo Foundation, Y Not Repeat Boutique in YWCA) in the tri-state region. After selecting the organization from our list of community partners, the students commit to a semester (60 hours) of volunteer work. The students are concurrently enrolled in a 3-hour credit course, EDUC 478 Community-Based Learning, in the College of Education requiring they document and reflect upon the experience. Contact Dr. Keely Camden, Dean of College of Education, at 304-336-8247 or [email protected] with any questions! =Center for Arts and Education Facilitated 15th Annual MAD FEST= West Liberty University’s College of Arts and Communication hosted the 15th annual Media Arts Design Festival drawing nearly 400 students from West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, along with WLU’s media arts design students last Friday. The Center for Arts and Education Director, Lou Karas, led the students and staff to facilitate the event. Karas stated, “Thank you to everyone who pitched in and helped get everything ready for MAD Fest!” =Faculty Promoted Health and Functional Movement Screen= Our faculty Dr. David Hanna, Abu Ma’afala, and Catherine Monteroso, along with Justin Kiger of Mountain River Physical Therapy collaborated with the Healthy Lifestyle Wellness Committee to offer a free health screening (e.g., blood screening, blood pressure, BMI and nutrition counseling) and functional movement test to all interested West Liberty University employees this Monday. PEIA was also on hand signing up faculty and staff for the walking program in which all participants will receive a free pedometer regardless of insurance. Those interested can attend an informational meeting on Wednesday, April 29, in the Boyle conference room of the ASRC at noon. If you are interested and can not make the meeting please contact Cathy Monteroso [email protected] or Anthony Salatino [email protected] The walking program is on an individual basis on your own time. There is no group requirement or time commitment. Thanks again to the Healthy Lifestyle Wellness Committee for organizing a great day. Jim Stultz was able to arrange some great gift cards for prizes. Abu Ma’afala organized Mountain River participation to conduct the FMS screening and have them provide corrective exercises. Anthony Salatino organized the schedule and arranged for...
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Gold Headlines: April 10, 2015

        =Accepted Students Day= West Liberty University hosted an Accepted Students Day this Wednesday welcoming more than 100 students and their families to visit our campus. During the Academic Breakout Session, Lou Karas, the Director of Center for Arts and Education, led our incoming Elementary majors through the Center and Makeshop. Faculty members from the Athletic Training program, etc. met with the other students to tour the ASRC and shadow an athletic trainer. The day ended with a complimentary dinner at the Marketplace where faculty and students warmly welcomed the accepted students to join our learning community. =Guest Speaker from Birth to Three Visited SPED Class= Pat Elliott from the Birth to Three organization presented to Professor Schimmel’s SPED 341 class on April 9th. She discussed early intervention and special education with an emphasis on the services Birth to Three provides in West Virginia. Pat intertwined her personal experience and wittiness into this presentation to bring much education and laughter. =Woodsdale Elementary Students Visited the College of Education= West Liberty University’s Health and Human Performance Department combined with Professional Education Department welcomed kindergarteners from Woodsdale Elementary School. Sixty-seven students enjoyed morning activities of swimming, provided by Kathleen Wack and interactive engagement activities provided by Sarah Schimmel and Judy Stechly and students from the following courses: SPED 391, SPED 341, READ 210, and READ 312 classes. In the afternoon, students from Cathy Monteroso’s HE 466 class had the students engaged in lively literature activities geared around Dr. Seuss books. Mrs. Allen, a kindergarten teacher at Woodsdale indicated it was the best field trip of the year for her students. =GYM 2.0!= West Liberty University Health and Physical Education majors in Kathleen Wack’s classes are using technology in innovative ways with local students. They are integrating technology to assess, improve student performance, differentiate instruction, generate excitement, provide instant feedback, and teach content to 21st century learners in a 21st century way! 1. Kane Borowski reviewed the video that he took of two middle school students’ throwing form. He used an iPad and the Coach’s Eye app. The app gives the teacher the capability to do slow-motion and stop action video, highlighting tools, voiceover feedback, and side-by-side comparison. 2. Brittany Burch checked the pedometer of a fourth grade student. The pedometer is worn on the hip, and it measures the number of steps and the MVPA (moderate-to-vigorous physical activity)...
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