Education – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Wed, 10 Mar 2021 21:41:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 https://today.citadel.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Citadel-Favion-new-150x150.png Education – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu 32 32 144096890 A look inside the new partnership between The Citadel and Beaufort County School District https://today.citadel.edu/a-look-inside-the-new-partnership-between-the-citadel-and-beaufort-county-school-district/ Wed, 10 Feb 2021 20:47:11 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22017 For the first time, the ZFSOE is partnered with Beaufort County School District, offering teachers the opportunity become school counselors.]]>

The Zucker Family School of Education (ZFSOE) at The Citadel is making it easier for South Carolina teachers to earn their master of education degrees.

For the first time, the ZFSOE is partnered with Beaufort County School District, offering teachers and neighbors the opportunity become professional school counselors.

The partnership lets students work towards earning their Master’s of Education in Counselor Education at a lower cost and closer to where they live and work. The degree is designed for adults who want to enter the school system as guidance counselors, either on the elementary or secondary level.

Students who successfully complete the program will obtain both a graduate degree and recommendation for licensure through the state to become a professional school guidance counselor.

If you or your school district are interested in participating, or creating new partnerships in other counties, please contact Lee Westberry, Ed.D., director of program development and enhancement for the ZFSOE, at lwestber@citadel.edu.

Hear more about the program from the Dean of the ZFSOE, Evan Ortlieb, Ph.D., and educational leaders from Beaufort County, in the video below.

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Gov. McMaster presents ‘Order of the Palmetto’ to North Charleston Principal Henry Darby, CGC ’07 and ’10 https://today.citadel.edu/gov-mcmaster-presents-order-of-the-palmetto-to-north-charleston-principal-henry-darby-cgc-07-and-10/ Tue, 09 Feb 2021 15:39:38 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=21991 Through the Zucker Family School of Education, Darby earned a M.Ed. in Secondary School Education in 2007 and an Ed.S. degree in 2010.]]>

Note: Henry Darby earned two degrees from The Citadel Graduate College. Through what is now the Zucker Family School of Education, Darby earned a Master’s of Education (Secondary School Education) in 2007 and an Education Specialist degree in 2010.

As seen on WCBD – Count on 2, by Tim Renaud

Governor Henry McMaster on Monday bestowed South Carolina’s highest civilian honor upon North Charleston High School Principal Henry Darby.

The principal and Charleston County Councilman spends many of his nights stocking store shelves at Walmart in North Charleston to earn extra income – not for himself but to support low-income students and families in their time of need.

“I didn’t expect the attention,” he told News 2. “I simply wanted to work for Walmart without fanfare and to use those resources for my students. But my very first night someone yelled out ‘hey, Mr. Darby, you work for Walmart? Aren’t you the principal?’ and it blew me out the water,” he said with a laugh.

Why a North Charleston high school principal spends his nights stocking store shelves to support students in need 

But news began to spread across the community and through the national media about his efforts to give back, and a GoFundMe that was set up to assist the principal’s efforts to give back started to surge.

The Today Show was in the Lowcountry last month to honor Darby, and Walmart donated a $50,000 check to the school during their live broadcast.

“We thought, what a cool story to share with the rest of the country,” said Melvin in an interview on News 2 Today. “We decided to come down and share the story of a man who really embodies what a lot of educators have become over the past year in the midst of this pandemic.”

Melvin went on to say that working as an educator during the day and then stocking store shelves overnight – simply for the betterment of others – that is the kind of story that people cannot get enough of right now, a story of hope and helpfulness.

The Charleston County School District announced over the weekend that Governor Henry McMaster was going to present Darby with the Order of the Palmetto, it’s the state’s highest civilian honor awarded to citizens of South Carolina for extraordinary lifetime service and achievements of national or statewide significance.

A ceremony was set for Monday morning outside North Charleston High School.

During his remarks, Gov. McMaster reflected on Darby’s accomplishments throughout his life and career in education before speaking about his selfless efforts to provide support to those who need it the most.

“Henry Darby is a remarkable man,” said Gov. McMaster. “One of the finest things about him is he’s 100% all ours – born here, educated here, been all around the world teaching what he knows – this is the kind of man that we’re proud of.”

Gov. McMaster presented Darby with the prestigious award before turning the microphone over to the high school principal so that he could deliver his thanks to the school district, the community, and share words about why he felt the need to give back.

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Citadel creates Center for Mathematical Inquiry to help SC public school students https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-creates-center-for-mathematical-inquiry-to-help-sc-public-school-students/ Fri, 22 Jan 2021 16:03:36 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=21555 Rural SC high school math teachers encouraged to apply for professional development opportunity, with $2,000 stipend, by Jan. 31 deadline]]>

Photo: (left to right) Jennifer Albert, Ph.D., Evan Ortlieb, Ph.D. and Richard Robinson, Ph.D., leaders of the new Center for Mathematical Inquiry

South Carolina high school math teachers in rural school districts encouraged to apply for professional development opportunity, with $2,000 stipend, by Jan. 31 deadline

As a whole, South Carolina public schools are often ranked among the lowest in the country by organizations including U.S. News & World Report, and the National Education Association, for example. Math is identified as one of the key subject areas needing improvement.

Part of the mission of The Citadel’s Zucker Family School of Education (ZFSOE) is to help improve the quality of education in the state. ZFSOE continuously strives to provide professional development opportunities to K-12 teachers to help them improve their skills.

One new way the ZFSOE will help math teachers in South Carolina is the Center for Mathematical Inquiry. Funded by a $100,000 grant from the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (SC-CHE), the Center will provide professional development opportunities to Algebra 2 teachers, paying each $2,000 for their participation.

Dean of the Zucker Family School of Education Evan Ortlieb, Ph.D.

It’s a joint effort involving the ZFSOE’s STEM Center of Excellence, led by Jennifer Albert, Ph.D., and Swain School of Mathematics and Science professor, Richard Robinson, Ph.D.

 “One of the key areas of need in the state is assistance with fully engaging high school students who are studying Algebra 2. Right now only about 70% of them in South Carolina pass the course,” said Evan Ortlieb, Ph.D., dean of the ZFSOE and project director for the Center. “Through a professional development workshop and webinar series, Algebra 2 teachers will come together across multiple rural school districts to collaborate and share best practices, as well as learn new concepts in teaching the course.”

The Center will provide this training virtually to 24 South Carolina high school teachers. “Teachers from anywhere in the state can apply through January 31,” Ortlieb said.

Ortlieb explained that 10 of those slots are reserved for teachers in Georgetown County School District (GCSD). Compared to the state’s pass rate of 70%, only about half of GCSD students pass Algebra 2, a particularly important area to focus on.

Superintendent for Georgetown County School District Keith Price, Ed.S.

“We are thrilled that The Citadel is partnering with us to provide this professional learning series for our Algebra 2 teachers,” said Keith Price, Ed.S., superintendent for GCSD. “Algebra 2 is such an important course to help students prepare for college and career readiness. By engaging in this opportunity, not only will our teachers have the opportunity to study, plan, collaborate and implement research-based best practices, but our students will also see increased potential for success in this rigorous course as well as subsequent courses to follow.”

The Center will provide other programming as well, including free monthly webinars, open to anyone interested in attending.

Applications are open to South Carolina teachers until January 31.

To apply for one of the Algebra 2 program openings, click here. For more information, visit the project’s website at: https://www.centerformathinquiry.com/, or contact Ashley Andrews at aandrew1@citadel.edu.

This is a sponsored project through a grant from the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education under the auspices of the EIA Centers of Excellence Grant Program.

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A veteran, student, alumnus and coordinator — meet Jesse Brooks https://today.citadel.edu/a-veteran-student-alumnus-and-coordinator-meet-jesse-brooks/ Mon, 09 Nov 2020 20:30:02 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=20087 An integral part of The Citadel is the Veteran Student Success Center, open to both day and evening veteran students.]]>

The Military College of South Carolina is, in addition to being a leadership laboratory for the Corps of Cadets, where many former service members choose to complete or continue their education.

An integral part of The Citadel’s support for those students is the Veteran Student Success Center (VSSC), open to both day and evening veteran students.

In addition to supporting academics, one of the VSSC’s primary missions is to foster social interaction and community-building for veterans on campus.

These things would not be possible without the Veteran Services Coordinator, Jesse Brooks; he also assists the school’s certifying official.

Jesse Brooks, a Citadel Graduate College student and Veterans Services Coordinator, works in the Veteran Student Success Center at The Citadel

Brooks, one of The Citadel’s many student veterans, is also a full-time employee. He processes students’ VA Education Benefits, while also planning, coordinating and collaborating on events for veterans.

If that weren’t enough, Brooks also serves as the advisor for The Citadel’s Student Veteran Association, which also works to help further veteran initiatives, while building relationships both on and off campus.

When he’s not in the VSSC, Brooks is working towards completing a Master’s of Education in Higher Education Leadership.

“When I am not at working here or at home doing school work, I enjoy spending my time with my daughters, Adalyn and Kayla. They were a big driving force for me to continue my education and to get my degree, just so I could hope to be a good example for them. I always tell them to question things until they are satisfied learning about it, and to go in with as much interest as possible.”

Jesse Brooks, USN (Ret.), Citadel Class of 2020
Jesse Brooks graduating from the Naval Nuclear Power School

Learn more about the former Navy nuclear machinist mate here:

When did you retire from service? Did you come to The Citadel immediately after? If not, what did you do between?

I honorably discharged in 2014.  Prior to discharging I had already had a job lined up in Atlanta, GA, at a natural gas plant. I worked there for three years before deciding I needed a career change and to go to college. I initially went to pursue a Mechanical Engineering degree; but, after several life events, I realized what I really wanted to do was help people. It was at that point I transferred to The Citadel and began to work on my B.A. in Psychology.

Jesse Brooks with Bachelor of Arts degree from The Citadel

How did you hear about The Citadel, especially being from Hawaii? Where did you earn your undergrad?

So I am a military brat. I was born in Honolulu, lived in San Antonio, and finished middle school in Germantown, OH (about an hour north of Cincinnati). I first heard about The Citadel when I was stationed here, from 2010-2012, when I was going through the Navy’s Nuclear Training Pipeline. When my buddies and I would go downtown on the weekends, we would always see the cadets walking around, and we just ended up chatting with a couple of them. We were just asking each other about The Citadel, being in the military and enjoying conversing.

What do you hope to use your M.Ed. for after graduation? When do you expect to graduate?

I plan on using my M.Ed. to move up into high executive type positions within an institution. Ideally, I would love to become a department head of veteran/military affairs/services because this is a demographic of students and people in general that I enjoy working with and for. I expect to graduate in Fall 2021, if everything goes to plan.

What does it mean to you, being able to help other veterans earn degrees and to be part of a community here on campus?

Helping veterans, to me, is the very least I can do for these people. Regardless, if someone does one year or retires, these people made a sacrifice that I will always be grateful for. I grew up in a military family, these are the people that I am used to. Any one of them would drop whatever they are doing to help out someone else. I just want to be that person to help them.

What’s your favorite part of your job or The Citadel as a whole?

My favorite part of my job is when I can just take a small break from the computer and talk to a student. Doesn’t have to be advising, counseling, about school, but I usually bring the conversation back around to how things are going here, any issues with classes or the VA and then just let them know that if they need help to reach out.

What I enjoy most at The Citadel, especially as a student, is the atmosphere. I feel had I gone to any other college, I would have been less motivated to do the work. At The Citadel, there is this feeling of discipline and structure that is so reminiscent of the military, that I knew I could do nothing but succeed.

Do you ever interact with cadets? If so, how? Do you ever give advice or support to those planning to go into the military after graduation?

I do interact with cadets, less now, than when I was in my undergrad, but I still interact with those who are using VA Education Benefits. I never really “advised” many cadets unless they were wanting to go into the Navy, and especially if they were wanting to go into the Nuclear Program. I feel like I know enough about those two to give a cadet enough information. Regardless, I would (and still do) support those who plan on joining the military. To me there is nothing more selfless you can do than to serve your country, in peace or war.

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The Citadel plus Clemson equals more doctors of education in South Carolina https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadel-plus-clemson-equals-more-doctors-of-education-in-south-carolina/ Thu, 10 Sep 2020 10:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=18045 The Citadel's Zucker Family School of Education and Clemson University are working together to help students earn a Doctorate of Education.]]>

Photo: Clemson’s first Ed.D. cohort in Education Systems Improvement Studies; nine earned their Ed.S. at The Citadel (Courtesy: Clemson College of Education)

Citadel graduates lead the way while pursuing their doctorates

For some, teaching — and learning — is a lifelong pursuit. And it’s because of people like this that The Citadel’s Zucker Family School of Education partnered with Clemson University, in order to help more teachers earn a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.).

The Citadel, along with Coastal Carolina University and Winthrop University, partnered with Clemson to establish an Ed.D. consortium partnership, and the program’s first group of students started class in summer 2018.

Lee Westberry, Ed.D.

“Earning a doctorate in education is the pinnacle of professional development for teachers,” said Lee Westberry, Ed.D., a professor and the program coordinator for Education Leadership at The Citadel. “In addition to personal growth, earning an Ed.D. creates many new and practical opportunities in a variety of educational career paths.”

Through the agreement, anyone admitted into Clemson’s Ed.D program — with an education specialist (Ed.S.) degree from one of the four institutions — has a pathway to earn their doctorate more quickly.

With The Citadel’s strong focus on leadership, it makes sense that Citadel graduates would make up the largest proportion of students seeking their Ed.D.

In each of the three years since the partnership was formed, Citadel graduates make up much, if not most, of the students in the group. In fact, more than half of the newest Ed.D. students are from The Citadel.

Kevin Smith

“I have found myself reflecting on how the Ed.S. program has flowed seamlessly into Clemson’s Ed.D. to continue my own growth as I pursue my goals,” said Kevin Smith, an Ed.S. graduate from The Citadel. “I highly recommend those who are interested in making an impact to invest their time with the committed faculty of The Citadel’s Ed.S. program. I believe it is the right choice for those who desire, like me, to be an educational leader of consequence.”

According to Westberry, an Ed.S. is required to work as a superintendent, the highest-ranking education official. But an Ed.D. is for something more.

The Citadel’s Ed.S. in Educational Leadership offers teachers an advanced graduate degree, between a master’s and a doctoral, that prepares them as candidates for certification at the superintendent level. Clemson’s Ed.D. program offers teachers the theoretical and practical knowledge and research skills that they need to be an educational leader.

To learn more about other programs offered by the Zucker Family School of Education, click here.

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New Citadel degree helps educators and professional development specialists teach in evolving educational environments https://today.citadel.edu/new-citadel-degree-helps-educators-and-professional-development-specialists-teach-in-evolving-educational-environments/ Thu, 13 Aug 2020 17:13:25 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=17754 With a focus on alternative learning systems, the Zucker Family School of Education is now offering a new graduate degree to better serve educators.]]>

Photo: Bond Hall on The Citadel campus

Applications are now open for as early as Fall 2020

The COVID-19 environment is forcing educators, students and specialists who train working professionals to reevaluate their traditional methods of teaching.

In a time when many are focused on alternative learning systems, The Citadel’s Zucker Family School of Education is now offering a new graduate degree to help P-12 and higher education teachers — as well as professional development experts in military, healthcare, corporate and community settings — address this dynamic educational environment with a focus on student-centered education.

Graduates will be provided with theoretical and practical knowledge that’s essential to understanding instructional processes for varied learners in a range of settings.

The M.S. in Instructional Systems Design and Performance Improvement, which was proposed pre-pandemic, will also help educators long after the COVID-19 environment ends by providing practical experiences in the development of learning tools and environments.

Evan Ortlieb, Ph.D., dean of the Zucker Family School of Education

“The opportunity that this experience provides for educators — both in and out of schools — is really incalculable,” said Evan Ortlieb, Ph.D., dean of the Zucker Family School of Education. “In addition to the ways in which COVID has forced us to change how we think about education, rapidly-evolving technologies and research are offering new and improved ways to teach and learn. And that’s what this degree is really about — helping educators learn the best ways to harness new technology and information, mold it to fit specific needs, and then deliver extra benefits to students.”

The program, which will be held 100% online, will teach educators how to build educational experiences and products – both virtually and physically. Graduates will learn how to flexibly teach in new and dynamic ways, design courses, develop curriculums, create student guides, produce training materials and much more.

For more information about Instructional Systems Design and Performance Improvement, click here. To apply to the new program for any semester — even as early as Fall 2020 — click here.

The mission of the Zucker Family School of Education at The Citadel is to support the development and preparation of individuals who are knowledgeable about the learning process and learners who are effective, ethical, and reflective educators prepared to assume leadership roles in the profession and community. Further, with a focus toward learner-centered education, they are effective in educating a diverse learner population to high academic standards.

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The Citadel Provost, Dr. Sally Selden, featured as woman of influence https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadel-provost-dr-sally-selden-featured-as-woman-of-influence/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 14:46:49 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=17658 Citadel Provost Dr. Sally Selden being interviewed by Post and Courier reporter Jenna Schifrel for We the Women seriesCitadel Provost Dr. Sally Selden being interviewed by Post and Courier reporter Jenna Schifrel for We the Women seriesThe Citadel's highest ranking woman interviewed by reporter Jenna Schiferl for The Post & Courier's We the Women series.]]> Citadel Provost Dr. Sally Selden being interviewed by Post and Courier reporter Jenna Schifrel for We the Women seriesCitadel Provost Dr. Sally Selden being interviewed by Post and Courier reporter Jenna Schifrel for We the Women series

We the Women conversation series celebrates 100 years since women in America were given the right to vote

As seen on PostandCourier.com

It’s been 100 years since the 19th Amendment was ratified, giving women of the United States the right to vote.

In celebration, The Post and Courier reporters interviewed South Carolina women about the ways they’ve used their lives and their voices and their right to vote. This series, called “We the Women,” will roll out the first weeks of August, culminating on the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which became part of the Constitution of the United States on Aug. 18, 1920.

Today, We the Women continues, featuring a conversation between Post and Courier reporter Jenna Schiferl and Brigadier General Sally Selden, Ph.D., Provost and Dean of The Citadel.

New videos will post online at postandcourier.com daily at 10:30 a.m. through Aug. 18.

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Killing COVID-19 germs on campus, step by step https://today.citadel.edu/killing-covid-19-germs-on-campus-step-by-step/ https://today.citadel.edu/killing-covid-19-germs-on-campus-step-by-step/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2020 18:22:41 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=17541 Knob Athletes report to campus at The Citadel in Charleston, SouthKnob Athletes report to campus at The Citadel in Charleston, SouthWe are taking a multi-layered and generously resourced approach that provides ongoing, carefully mapped out cleaning and disinfection to keep our campus as safe as possible.]]> Knob Athletes report to campus at The Citadel in Charleston, SouthKnob Athletes report to campus at The Citadel in Charleston, South

8 ways The Citadel’s facilities are being sanitized for Operation Fall Return 2020

Having cadets and students back, and campus back in action, means optimizing cleaning and disinfection services with the goal of killing COVID-19 germs and keeping all facilities as healthy as possible.

“We care deeply about the health of our campus community which is why we are taking a multi-layered and generously resourced approach that provides ongoing, carefully mapped out cleaning and disinfection,” said Cdr. Jeff Lamberson, USN (Ret.), vice president for The Citadel Facilities and Engineering Department. “For example, certified teams are disinfecting classrooms every evening after classes end.”

Cdr. Jeff Lamberson, USN (Ret.), vice president for The Citadel Facilities and Engineering Department, overseeing sanitation preparations in Murray Barrack.


The Citadel has hired The Budd Group, with almost 60 years of experience in disinfection services, to implement and oversee the ongoing campus sanitation operation.

Keeping clean, step by step

Budd Group expert sanitizing a cadet room at The Citadel
Contract manager for The Budd Group, demonstrates a backpack atomizer, which can clean an entire barracks in four hours, in Murray Barrack

1. Cadet rooms and barracks

All barracks and cadet rooms are thoroughly disinfected and sanitized using professional processes prior to move-in. Each barracks restroom will be equipped with hand-soap, hand sanitizer, touchless faucets and hand driers. Barracks restrooms will continue to be disinfected and sanitized daily.

2. Classrooms

L’Quante Hill demonstrates an electrostatic atomizer in a Capers Hall classroom at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina
L’Quante Hill demonstrates an electrostatic atomizer in a Capers Hall classroom at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina

Nightly, disinfecting teams will deploy into each classroom. These teams are using safe disinfectants on high touch-point areas, including desks and chairs. Additionally, classrooms are equipped with disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer.

3. Look for the backpacks

Ray Cervantes, contract manager for The Budd Group, demonstrates a backpack atomizer, which can clean an entire barracks in four hours, in Daniel Library at The Citadel

Electrostatic disinfection teams are deployed across campus in high traffic areas. You’ll see them wearing backpacks with sprayers that send a deep cleaning, environmentally safe, mist into the air and across surfaces, penetrating hard to reach areas as well. After four minutes, the surfaces are fully disinfected. How does it work?

Electrostatic spray uses a specialized solution that is combined with air and atomized by an electrode inside the sprayer. Subsequently, the spray contains positively charged particles that are able to aggressively adhere to surfaces and objects. Because the particles in the spray are positively charged, they cling to and coat any surface they’re aimed at, enabling the sanitizing agent in the spray to then disinfect.

4. Proctors are following in your footsteps

Enhanced custodial services include disinfectant proctors assigned to busy locations such as the library, the mess hall and large shared spaces.

Karen Kennedy and Iris Hamilton Seabrooks clean chairs and tables in Daniel Library

“These proctors are responsible for disinfecting and sanitizing specific touch-points, such as cafeteria surfaces, water fountains, stairwells and handrails, door handles and push rails, trash cans, bathroom surfaces, and light switches,” Lambert explained. “They’ll also be attending to frequent gathering areas, such as conference rooms, break rooms, shared work spaces, media rooms, and waiting areas.”

5. Atomizers for use by all

Ryan Bilitski, a junior cadet in Charlie company and a facilities and engineering intern demonstrates an atomizer in Daniel Library offices at The Citadel

Feel like an area you are about to use needs a little extra attention? Disinfection atomizers are located in spaces across campus filled with a botanically-based solution that kills COVID-19 germs. The atomizers can safely be used by anyone wanting to sanitize an area before or after using it.

6. Sanitation stations

Self-help sanitation stations are located around campus in buildings and offices. These include large dispensers of disinfectant wipes and also hand-sanitizer.

Jeff Lamberson, vice president for Facilities and Engineering, demonstrates some of the procedures in place to keep cadets, faculty and staff safe during

7. Special service areas

Special service areas, such as the Treasurer’s Office, have protective plastic shields in place between staff and customers to block germ transmission and are regularly sanitized.

8. Offices

Faculty and staff offices were disinfected prior to reopening campus and are sanitized on a regular basis.

Lamberson says he wants The Citadel family to know that “we will continue to use our resources to ensure that our campus is a clean and a safe place to learn, lead, and achieve.”

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The Citadel’s commitment to elevating education throughout South Carolina continues https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadels-commitment-to-elevating-education-throughout-south-carolina-continues/ Thu, 30 Jul 2020 23:00:49 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=17394 Hundreds of K-12 teachers in South Carolina will be better prepared to educate students in the fall after learning new techniques through the STEM Center.]]>

Photo: South Carolina educators participating in a small session during Computer Science Professional Development Week

College’s STEM Center of Excellence prepares K-12 teachers for enhanced instruction 

When school resumes, hundreds of K-12 teachers in South Carolina will be better prepared to educate their students, whether it be face-to-face, virtually or a combination of the two.

Those teachers will integrate new techniques and concepts into their lessons, learned over the summer from The Citadel’s STEM Center of Excellence (SCE).

In addition to supporting Citadel cadets and students, the SCE serves as a community resource, holding numerous educational events for children annually and providing robust professional development programs for K-12 STEM teachers.

In July, more than 400 teachers participated in two, week-long workshops presented by the SCE. Both were originally planned to be held on campus, but were moved to a virtual format in response to the pandemic.

The goal of both workshops: help teachers inspire and prepare more South Carolina students to pursue STEM-related careers.

Addressing the shortage of computer science teachers

The first workshop involved the SCE’s ongoing work to increase the number of computer science teachers in South Carolina schools.

The SCE offered computer science professional development for nearly 250 teachers, with the goal of ensuring that every high school, and most middle schools, have at least one dedicated computer science teacher.

The South Carolina Department of Education selected the SCE to provide instruction in response to new, stricter guidelines about computer science requirements in South Carolina public high schools.

A teacher using the kits, provided by the STEM Center, to learn about computer science during the Computer Science Professional Development Week

“Now that a keyboarding class no longer counts as computer science credit, 436 high schools have to be able to teach in-depth computer science,” said Jennifer Albert, Ph.D., director of the The Citadel STEM Center of Excellence. “We’ve been working the last two summers with the Department of Education to make sure all of those teachers have the training and the certification needed to teach those classes.”

The experience was free for teachers, thanks to the funding from the state’s Department of Education, as well as a grant from the CS Teachers’ Association.

Infusing computing

The second workshop, held the last week of July, represented the final stage of a multi-million-dollar National Science Foundation grant awarded to the SCE, and project collaborators at North Carolina State University. The goal of the STEM+Computing project was aimed at helping teachers integrate computing and STEM curricula into their classes.

Nearly 200 teachers participated in the event, learning how to blend computational thinking — a problem-solving method that describes problems and their solutions in ways that a computer would understand — into their educational content.

Providing the workshop virtually didn’t faze the SCE director.

“We’ve had to restructure everything get the same, small-group, personal feel,” said Albert. “We had to almost triple the number of session facilitators that we hired this year, because we want them in small groups so they have the same amount of attention that they would have face-to-face.”

In fact, the SCE’s methods for adjusting to a virtual format, as well as more information on the workshop, is included on page 59 of a recent publication in the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education.

The SCE is a collaborative effort between The Citadel’s Zucker Family School of Education, the School of Engineering, and the Swain Family School of Science and Mathematics. It delivers outreach initiatives, like Storm The Citadel and more, to increase student interest, participation, and opportunities in the STEM disciplines.

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Remembering Myra Thompson, one of the Emanuel 9 and a double Citadel alumna https://today.citadel.edu/remembering-myra-thompson-one-of-the-emanuel-9-and-a-citadel-alumna/ Wed, 17 Jun 2020 09:23:15 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=16804 In 2015, The Citadel Graduate College lost a double alumna who was dedicated to giving back and educatinng others -- Rev. Myra Thompson.]]>

On June 17, 2015, Charleston changed forever.

The tragedy of the Emanuel 9 massacre affected all of the Lowcountry, including The Citadel family. In addition to losing nine irreplaceable members of the community, The Citadel Graduate College lost a double alumna who was dedicated to giving back, Rev. Myra Thompson.

Thompson was leading the Bible study at Mother Emanuel AME for the first time, after being re-licensed to preach just hours before the tragedy.

“She was a wonderful mother and was very nurturing. She loved to learn. She would get so excited about learning new things. She was supportive of me and, at an early age, she recognized my talents and enrolled me in after school computer classes and encouraged me to learn everything I could. I did not realize it then, but now I see that my mom was way ahead of her time and somehow knew technology was going to be a major aspect in the world.”

Denise Quarles, daughter of Myra Thompson

During the 1980s and 90s, Thompson was a teacher at Brentwood Middle School — now called Meeting Street Elementary School at Brentwood, in North Charleston.

Her love of learning– and of teaching others — led Thompson to earn her Master of Education in Reading Education in 1994 through The Citadel Graduate College.

“I have wonderful memories of Myra Singleton (Thompson) and will always remember her as a very special graduate student,” said Dan T. Ouzts, Ph.D., professor emeritus in the Zucker Family School of Education. “I was her professor and advisor while she was pursuing the Master of Education in Reading and taught her several reading education courses. Myra was teaching at Brentwood Middle School and I often visited her classes during her internship. She was a very special teacher.”

Myra Thompson receiving her Master of Education in Reading degree (Courtesy: Denise Quarles)

One Master degree wasn’t enough for Thompson, however. In order to learn more and to be an even better educator, she returned a few years later to earn her Master of Education in Counselor Education in 1999.

“The Zucker Family School of Education is honored to have Myra Thompson as an alumna of our Reading Education and Counselor Education graduate programs,” said Renée Jefferson, Ph.D., interim dean of the Zucker Family School of Education. “Myra Thompson’s legacy as an English teacher and school counselor is one of commitment in educating and supporting all students. Her professional career epitomized the goals we have for our graduates, dedication to service as a principled educational leader.”

Thompson’s Citadel connections didn’t end with her degrees, however. One of her nephews, Anthony Sands, is currently a rising senior in the South Carolina Corps of Cadets.

At the time of her passing, Thompson left behind three children, 11 brothers, three sisters, a large extended family, and her loving husband — Rev. Anthony Thompson — who wrote “Called to Forgive: The Charleston Church Shooting, a Victim’s Husband, and the Path to Healing and Peace” in 2019.

Thompson’s passion for education didn’t stop in school or Bible study — it was a part of who she was, and who she raised her children to be.

“My mother grew up in the Civil Rights era and always took time to educate me on what African Americans had to endure — as far as not being treated equally and not having the same opportunities,” continued Quarles. “I still have books that she bought me as a child to teach me about what our ancestors had to endure. She used every opportunity she could to make sure I knew, even though things weren’t perfect, my generation was afforded opportunities hers did not have and that there was more work to be done. If she was still alive, I’m sure she would be dedicating her time working with organizations to help evoke change for how African Americans are treated.”

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