education

New program offers Drury education students a fast track to a master’s degree

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 19, 2017 — Drury University’s School of Education and Child Development is offering a new option for students to complete both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in just five years.

The “4+1” program makes it possible for academically qualified and motivated students to begin their 36-hour master’s degree while still an undergraduate, saving them both time and money. Drury is one of the only colleges in the state of Missouri to offer such an option.

“Earning a master’s degree is a natural extension of the contemporary teacher’s professional development, leading to mastery in specialized areas of education, improved job prospects and a significant increase in compensation throughout the educator’s career,” says Dr. Asikaa Cosgrove, assistant professor of education and the director of graduate programs for the School of Education. “The concurrent credit program offers a seamless transition into graduate study, giving new teachers the opportunity to reach a higher level of preparation and competence without the difficulties of having to readjust to a return to college after years in the workforce.”

How the program works

Working closely with advisors, eligible undergraduate students may enroll in up to 9 credit hours of selected graduate courses from the master in education programs while still pursing a bachelor’s degree. Successful completion of these courses will earn both undergraduate credit toward the bachelor’s degree and graduate credit toward a master’s degree.

Students typically complete bachelor’s degree coursework in four years. They will then take the remaining 27 hours of graduate coursework during the subsequent three or four semesters (the typical sequence is summer, fall, and spring semesters).

The School of Education offers bachelor’s programs in Elementary and Secondary Education and a variety of graduate degrees with a range of specialization areas. For the 4+1 program, students can choose from one of two master’s degree programs: Curriculum and Instruction (elementary, middle, or secondary), or Integrated Learning.

More details about eligibility requirements, course schedules, and tuition structures are available at Drury.edu/education.

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Media Contact: Dr. Asikaa Cosgrove, Director of Graduate Programs – School of Education and Child Development: (417) 837-7806 or acosgrove@drury.edu.

Four of five finalists for SPS Teacher of the Year are Drury graduates

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 17, 2017 — Drury University’s commitment to outstanding teacher education will be evident as Springfield Public Schools prepares to name its 2017 Teacher of the Year at a banquet tonight. That’s because four of the five finalists for Teacher of the Year are Drury graduates.

Three of the finalists earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Drury, while a fourth earned a graduate degree. The four teachers are:

Betsy Cannella, an art teacher at Glendale High School. Cannella earned a B.Arch. in Architecture from Drury in 2006 and Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction in 2008.

Jenny Talburt, a fourth grade teacher at Pershing Elementary School. Talburt earned a B.A. in Elementary Education from Drury in 2001 and Master of Education in Special Reading in 2008.

Gretchen Teague, a communication arts teacher at Central High School. Teague earned a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Drury in 2006.

Kevin Zimmerman, an art teacher at Harrison Elementary School. Zimmerman earned a B.A. in Fine Arts and Secondary Education from Drury in 2007 and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction in 2010.

_w3a9062-editTeague and Cannella remain connected to Drury, as they are currently involved with the longstanding annual summer camps hosted by Drury’s Center for Gifted Education. Talburt is an adjunct instructor at Drury.

“We are so incredibly proud of what these teachers have accomplished in the classroom this year, and throughout their careers,” says Laurie Edmondson, dean of Drury’s School of Education and Child Development. “It’s a testament to Drury to see the kind of impact they are making in the lives of the students. This is exactly why we do what we do each day.”

Vocal music teacher Daniel Gutierrez is the fifth finalist. The finalists were selected from a pool of 77 nominations, according to SPS, and the winner will be eligible to compete at the regional level. Nominated teachers submit an essay describing their philosophy of teaching, which a selection committee uses to choose candidates to participate in face-to-face interviews with the committee. To be eligible, a teacher must have worked for at least four years as a teacher at SPS.

The annual awards banquet is hosted by the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools.

For more information about undergraduate and graduate education programs at Drury, visit: www.drury.edu/education.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Daniel Gutierrez on taking home Teacher of the Year honors.

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“Peter and the Wolf” tradition continues at Drury on Thursday, Feb. 16

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., February 14, 2017 — Drury University’s annual production of “Peter and the Wolf” for area third-graders will take place during two performances at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, at the O’Reilly Family Event Center. This year’s performances are made possible in part thanks to a $12,900 grant from U.S. Bank, through the U.S. Bank Foundation.

For more than 40 years, students and faculty from Drury’s music, theater and education departments have collaborated to bring “Peter and the Wolf” to life for an elementary school audience. The 1936 work by Sergei Prokofiev is designed to teach children about the orchestra through an easy-to-understand fairytale about a boy and his animal friends being stalked by a wolf. Each character is represented by a different instrument and musical motif. In 2016, Drury revamped the program to include new emphasis on the humane treatment of animals. Nearly 3,000 third graders from Springfield and the surrounding area are expected to attend the two performances.

“We are very grateful for the support provided by U.S. Bank through its grant program,” says Christopher Koch, associate professor of music at Drury and music director of the SDCO and Springfield Regional Opera. “Not only will the funding help us to continue our 40-plus year tradition of presenting ‘Peter and the Wolf’ to our region’s third graders, it also supports the regionally and nationally acclaimed Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra, a semi-professional ensemble-in-residence at Drury which allows our own students to sit side-by-side with professional musicians, faculty, and students drawn from across southwest Missouri.”

The U.S. Bank Foundation funds projects related to themes of workforce education, neighborhood revitalization, and arts and culture, organized under the umbrellas of Work, Home and Play. Support for the Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra falls within Play and is an investment in the arts and culture of our community.

“U.S. Bank makes play possible by investing the bank’s financial resources in community programming that supports ways for children and adults to play and create in venues across the country,” said Steven Fox, Regional President.

Grant funding from U.S. Bank will support a full roster of orchestral events in SDCO’s 2017-18 season. For tickets and information about SDCO, visit www.sdco.drury.edu.

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Third-graders to see revamped “Peter & the Wolf” thanks to Bob Barker gift 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 16, 2016 — A decades-old tradition will receive a revamp next week as Drury University’s Theatre, Music and Education departments present the annual performance of “Peter and the Wolf” for elementary school students at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

Nearly 3,000 third graders from throughout Springfield and the surrounding area are expected to attend the two performances by more than 50 Drury students at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 22. Media are welcome to cover the event.

For more than 40 years, Drury students and faculty have brought Sergei Prokofiev’s classic children’s symphony to life for the benefit of local youth. The 2016 edition has a new look and feel thanks to a gift from the Bob Barker Endowment Fund for the Study of Animal Rights and creative input from director Robert Westenberg. The performance will now include some small changes that reflect messages of humane education about wild animals.

The 1936 work is designed to teach children about the orchestra through an easy-to-understand fairytale about a boy and his animal friends being stalked by a wolf. Each character is represented by a different instrument and musical motif.

According to Westenberg, this year’s production will be “completely restaged and redesigned. It will feature new set pieces, costumes, and props.” Photos and brief videos of wolves in the wild will help reinforce “the importance of respecting our fellow animal creatures and how we need to harmoniously coexist within our mutual ecosystems,” Westenberg adds.

Others involved in the revamp include Drury theater technical director Mark Needelman (scene design), Drury theater professor Madison Spencer (costume design), Drury alumna Christine Bass (visual design) and professional choreographer Chyrel Miller. Dr. Robin Schraft will narrate the performance and Dr. Christopher Koch will conduct the orchestra. The Drury Friends of Music Fund helps support this annual musical education experience.

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Annual education conference to focus on mindfulness in the classroom

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 28, 2015 — Drury University will partner with Springfield Public Schools on Friday, Nov. 6, to present the 15th annual Developing Success in Youth conference on the DU campus.

With the theme “The Emotional Art of Teaching,” the conference will focus on the concept of mindfulness and how it can help teachers and students reduce stress in the classroom. Mindfulness is defined as being highly self-aware of one’s consciousness from moment to moment.

The featured speaker will be Dr. Patricia Jennings, associate professor of education at the Curry School of Education at University of Virginia, who will lead four sessions throughout the day.

Dr. Patricia Jennings

Dr. Patricia Jennings

The social and emotional dynamics of the classroom play a key role in promoting student learning and fostering pro-social behavior. Drawing upon research in the fields of neuroscience, psychology and education, Jennings will provide information about how mindfulness-based approaches can help teachers manage the stressful demands of the classroom, cultivate an exceptional learning environment, and revitalize teaching and learning. In addition to the research behind these approaches, participants will learn some simple awareness practices for managing stress and promoting wellbeing.

The material will be relevant to all K-12 educators and administrators. The full cost is $150, and groups of 5 or more from the same school are $125 per individual.

Nearly 100 educators from across Missouri have already registered to attend. For more information and to register online, go to: www.drury.edu/dsy, or contact Dr. Kristofor Wiley, assistant professor of education, at (417) 873-6397 or kwiley002@drury.edu.

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Education professor studies George Washington Carver on sabbatical

As a someone who teaches future teachers, Dr. Ed Williamson has always been fascinated with one of America’s most storied educators: George Washington Carver.

“(Carver) was born into slavery in the 1860s,” Williamson explains. “Then he contended with all the racism and prejudice of the day, eventually becoming arguably the most well-educated African-American of his time and a world-renowned scientist, inventor and humanitarian.”

Williamson has taught in Drury’s School of Education and Child Development since 1999. His work teaching courses on science instruction led him to build a connection with the staff at the George Washington Carver National Monument outside Diamond, where he would often take students on field trips.

When it came time to take a sabbatical this year, Williamson knew he wanted to spend it at the pastoral Carver Monument – in the archive and in the field as volunteer park ranger.

Williamson at the Carver National Monument site.

Williamson at the Carver National Monument site.

His research focused on the early years of Carver’s life and education. He used primary sources from the Monument’s archive, as well as secondary sources derived from oral histories and a swath of existing scholarship.

Williamson came to know the resiliency of the young Carver, who he says had an “I can” outlook on life from early on. Carver’s thirst for knowledge led him to leave his adoptive home at age 12 and go to school in nearby Neosho, never to return.

The research also led Williamson to a man named Stephen Frost. Frost was Carver’s first formal teacher at the Neosho Colored School. Carver left not long after arriving there, however.

“The story was that Carver was there about six months before he realized his new more than his teacher and then left,” William says. “But as I got more in depth, Frost became more interesting to me.”

Frost had only learned to read and write a few years before teaching in Neosho. He may not have had much formal education himself, but he was doing what he could.

“He was giving back what little he had,” Williams said.

Frost has a connection to present-day Drury, too. He came to Springfield in the late 1870s and became a pastor at the historically black Washington Avenue Baptist Church. That church is now the Diversity Center on campus. He returned to the Neosho Colored School a few years later and finished out his career there, teaching an entire generation of black students in that area.

As for Carver, his “I can” attitude in many ways matches the current push to teach perseverance and “grit” to youth. Researching that arc of achievement led Williamson to admire his subject even more.

“We ought to use George Washington Carver as the prime example of overcoming adversity and being resilient,” he says.

Carver eventually earned two degrees from what is now Iowa State University and was recruited to teach at the Tuskegee Institute in 1896 – the same year the Supreme Court made “separate but equal” the law of the land. He died in 1943, a decade before that precedent was overturned.

“So his entire career was under that shadow,” Williamson said. “It’s really remarkable what he was able to do, even with all the handicapping social conditions he faced.”

Williamson has lectured about his research once already at the Carver Monument and will do so again this November on the Drury campus.

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Story by Mike Brothers, Drury’s director of media relations. A version of this story first appeared in the Springfield News-Leader.

Drury hosts recognition ceremony for promising Missouri scholars

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 22, 2015 — The Drury Center for Gifted Education, in partnership with the Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP), will honor more than 400 of Missouri’s most promising young scholars at a recognition ceremony at 11 a.m. today, Friday, May 22 in the O’Reilly Family Event Center. Central High School Student and former Duke TIP honoree, Amanda Morrison, will be the keynote speaker.

To qualify for recognition, seventh-grade honorees must take the ACT or SAT and score at a level equal to or better than 50 percent of the high school juniors and seniors who took the test. Duke TIP, a nonprofit organization, has conducted an annual search for academically talented youth in the state of Missouri as well as 15 other states since its founding in 1980.

Drury University has hosted the annual statewide recognition event since 1981. Representatives from Drury, Duke TIP and Springfield Public Schools’ gifted education program will be available for comment to the media before or after the ceremony. Members of the media can contact Media Relations Director Mike Brothers at (417) 873-7390 to make arrangements.

Drury has been a national leader in providing education and enrichment programs for academically gifted students more than 30 years. The Drury Center for Gifted Education is the most complete center for gifted education in the state of Missouri, and is one of less than 20 complete gifted education centers in the United States. Each summer, more than 700 children from pre-K through high school attend Drury’s residential and non-residential pre-college programs. Visit Drury Gifted Education for more information.

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Drury student earns award from an International Honor Society

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 20, 2013 — Drury senior education major Erica Hankison has been awarded a scholarship from Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), International Honor Society in Education. Hankison earned the $500 Harold D. Drummond scholarship for undergraduate students in education.

Erica Hankison

According to KDP, the scholarship is based on transcript review, a student’s involvement in KDP and a written essay. A review committee evaluated the scholarship applications from around the country. Hankison is the first Drury student to receive this award.

“I’d never entered big, national scholarship contests before, but I recently learned about scholarship opportunities through KDP and applied. I was very happy and honored to learn that I had won,” said Hankison.

Hankison is a 2010 graduate of Nixa High School. She will finish up her final semester of classes at Drury this fall and complete her student teaching in the spring of 2014. Upon graduation in May 2014, Hankison says she hopes to find a job in elementary education in southwest Missouri.

Founded in 1911, Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, is a dynamic learning community that recognizes and enhances growth in scholars and leaders. The Society’s vision is advanced through:

  • Recognizing and confirming the status of scholars and educators to achieve and sustain preeminence in teaching, scholarship, and service;
  • Focusing on effectively addressing the needs of members through the phases of their careers as scholars and educators; and
  • Providing an energetic, diverse learning community that enhances professional growth through high-quality programs, services, and products.

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Latina teenagers will experience college at Drury

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 27, 2011 — Fourteen Latina teenagers from southwest Missouri will spend a week at Drury University from June 28-July 1 for the second year of the Campamento de Alumnas Hispanas (Summer Camp for Latina girls).

The girls taking part in the program are 7th and 8th grade, self-identified Latinas from the Springfield, Aurora and Monett areas. The students will live in Drury dormitories and eat in the university’s cafeteria during their stay. There is no cost to the campers.

While on campus, participants will engage in a variety of academic sessions facilitated by Drury faculty. Topics will include: adolescent literature, creative writing and computer programming among other topics. These academic sessions will be interspersed with non-academic programming, including: jewelry-making, self-defense, swimming, canoeing and hiking. All activities are intended to expose the girls to a variety of ideas that will help them reflect on their own identities in new ways while providing ample time for reflection and dialogue.

The project is led by Drs. White and Rebecca Denton from the School of Education and Child Development along with assistance from other Drury faculty and recent graduates.

Participants in the program will be afforded opportunity to consider their past (through their heritage), their present (as young women, as Latinas, and as residents of the United States), and their futures (as they consider future career and family choices). The final presentation, given at the end of the week for the families of the participants will be an opportunity to showcase all they have learned.

This project, in its second year, will provide opportunity for young female members of the Latino community to re-conceptualize their identities in a way that will include more possibilities and more career choices for them says Dr. White, “Placing young women on a university campus and allowing them to explore their possible futures will hopefully empower them to make more informed decisions regarding post-secondary education.”

Media Contact:
Dr. Jayne White
Professor, School of Education & Child Development
Office: (417) 873-7260
Mobile: (417) 569-3712
E-mail
: jwhite@drury.edu


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Eleven years of “Building Community through the Arts” at Drury University

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 14, 2011 — For the eleventh straight year, Drury graduate students are partnering with The Kitchen, Inc. to create and inspire art with residents of the Missouri Hotel.

The artwork produced by Missouri Hotel residents, a shelter for homeless single females, families or couples, will be shown on Friday, June 17 at the Missouri Hotel from 2-3 p.m. The theme of the art show is “Pieces of my dreams.”

“We chose that theme because the residents are visioning a fresh start in their lives,” said Gwen Marshall, a Drury graduate student.

The graduate course, Building Community through the Arts, is designed to offer students an approach to creativity in everyday living and learning, while giving students the opportunity to make a difference within the Drury neighborhood by introducing residents of the Missouri Hotel to visual arts, music and literature. “We are giving residents an opportunity to have relaxing, art-making time because that nourishes the human spirit, to have creative time and quiet time,” says Dr. Rebecca Burrell, Drury adjunct professor of education. Besides the opportunity to work with the Missouri Hotel residents, Drury students gain an understanding of visual and performing arts while also examining poverty in America.

Besides Marshall, other graduate students taking the class are: Scott Pearson, Marcia Wheeler and Kacie Craig.

The art show is free and open to the public.

During the eleven years of the class, Dr. Burrell estimates that she has had about 75 students take the class and has worked with over 160 Missouri Hotel residents.

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