At a time when public education in New Jersey exists under the political microscope, Rider University was once again recognized for leading the way toward more effective teacher preparation, earning a generous share of acclaim at the inaugural Showcase of Exemplary Practices: Excellence in Teacher Preparation on Friday, April 20, at the Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center in Princeton, N.J. A collaborative effort by Rochelle Hendricks, secretary of Higher Education for the State of New Jersey, and the New Jersey Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Showcase shone a celebratory light on what is working and the people who are making it happen.
Hendricks and several other state officials welcomed teacher-education program representatives from 24 state and private colleges and universities to honor faculty, staff, and programs for their exemplary contribution to preparing teachers to positively affect student achievement from Pre-K to high schools. Rider President Mordechai Rozanski, Dr. Donald Steven, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Sharon Sherman, dean of Rider’s School of Education, were on hand to applaud colleagues from institutions across the state for their effective work.
Following a rigorous application and selection process, several Rider faculty and staff members were presented with certificates at the Showcase honoring their commitment to teaching and learning through the reception and implementation of institutional grants.
Dr. Carol Brown, associate professor of Education, was fêted for her work with the National Writing Project at Rider University, which works with area educators to improve writing and literacy learning across disciplines at all levels.
The National Writing Project at Rider has more than 200 teacher consultants in the Trenton region, teaching in public and private schools from kindergarten through high school in content areas, such as social studies, English, mathematics, and the sciences, in specialist areas, such as art and physical education, and in supervisory areas, such as language arts and mathematics. More than 24,000 students have benefited from the enthusiasm, skill and continued collaboration with other writing project teachers since July 2001.
Dr. Kathy Browne, associate professor of Marine Sciences, academic director of Rider’s Teaching and Learning Center, director of Rider SELECT, and assistant provost; Dr. Sylvia Bulgar, professor of Education; and Jean Kutcher, administrative director of the Teaching and Learning Center, were honored for their work with Rider’s SELECT and CONNECT-ED initiatives.
Rider SELECT is a collaboration between Rider’s Science departments and the School of Education dedicated to the preparation and career-long professional development of teachers of science and mathematics from kindergarten through baccalaureate instruction. It has four components, which include preparing future teachers, providing professional development for teachers currently in the work force, engaging in research in science and mathematics teaching and learning, and providing outreach to the community. SELECT is housed in the Bristol-Myers Squibb Center for Science Teaching and Learning, which is designed specifically to support teaching and learning science by inquiry. The Center serves as a regional hub for science and mathematics education.
Established in 2003, CONNECT-ED (C-E) initiative is a consortium of 14 central New Jersey districts and independent schools, Rider and Princeton Universities, Raritan Valley Community College and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. It is dedicated to providing a coherent, sustained system of professional development for K-12 teachers of science and mathematics that models the inquiry approach to teaching and learning and organizes content around the Big Ideas in science and mathematics. Rider serves as the lead institution for the Consortium.
Sherman; Dr. Donald Ambrose, professor of Graduate Education; Dr. Jonathan Yavelow, professor of Biology; Dr. Peter Hester, associate professor of Teacher Education; Dr. Kathleen Pierce, associate professor of Graduate Education; Prof. James Messersmith, Prof. Suzanne Carbonaro, Dr. Sven Strnad; a fifth-grade teacher at Millstone River Elementary School in Plainsboro and Rider alumnus; and Sarah Sell ’13, an Elementary Education and Mathematics dual major, were recognized for implementing innovative recruitment initiatives for Building the Pipeline for STEM Teaching.
Rider’s Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Teacher Academy – a response to federal and state education policy agendas focused on legislation to bolster student achievement in today’s schools – is a collaborative interdisciplinary math and science program that gives junior and senior high school students from local urban communities hands-on experiences in science, and a new set of science skills that are transferable to future investigations and teaching endeavors.
Now entering its third year, the Rider University STEM Teacher Academy has graduated 30 high school students who are pursuing careers in science and mathematics teaching, or planning to pursue such careers.
Dr. Susan Mandel Glazer was presented with the Exceptional Contribution Award for her 50-plus years of service to teacher preparation and developmental strategies for struggling readers. A member of the Rider faculty since 1969, Glazer has made tremendous contributions to literacy education, both on campus and abroad.
Glazer founded and currently chairs the graduate program that prepares teacher candidates to be reading specialists at Rider, and also directs the University’s Center for Reading and Writing, where children of varied abilities, from ages 5 through 17, learn side-by-side and become successful readers and writers.
Past president and vice president of the International Reading Association (IRA), Glazer has published 17 books and more than 200 articles on literacy education. She was honored as IRA Teacher Educator of the Year in 1998 and has received 200 literacy awards from reading councils across the world.
This Showcase of Exemplary Practices ceremony will be followed by other professional events sponsored by the Secretary of Higher Education and New Jersey Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, which will be held throughout the year.