Setting the Bar High in Higher Education

June 19, 2013 by University of La Verne

College of Education and Organizational Leadership: Setting A Bar High In Higher Education

For more than a century, the University of La Verne has been known as one of the region’s leading institutions for producing top educators in California. From celebrated teachers to high-powered elected officials, today the College of Education & Organizational Leadership (CEOL) continues to build on that reputation.

From left to right: Professor Dr. Peggy Redman, Associate Dean Dr. Barbara Poling and Dean Dr. Mark Goor.

Led by current Dean Dr. Mark Goor, one of the keys to the CEOL’s success is connecting theory to practice in each of its programs. Future educators come to La Verne to prepare for careers in child development, elementary and secondary education, special education, pupil personnel services, school psychology, reading, and educational and organizational leadership. But it is the curricular and co-curricular activities within these programs that provide skills and training necessary to become successful.

Through several university partnerships, the CEOL offers Professional Development Schools (PDS), which allow student teachers and undergraduate interns to work alongside veteran teachers and their students, providing them with hands-on experience in their selected fields.

Partnerships include:

  • Child Development Center at Los Angeles County Fair Association Fairplex
  • Cecilia Solorio Elementary, Etiwanda School District
  • Yorba Elementary School, Pomona Unified School District

Another example of putting theory to practice is the University of La Verne Literacy Center. Opened in 2001, the Literacy Center provides tutoring for local students in the community who require a little extra attention. Tutoring sessions are conducted by CEOL students in the Reading and Language Arts Specialist Credential Program. La Verne is one of only three private Southern California universities to offer the Reading and Language Arts Specialist Credential, and Master of Education in Reading.

“The goal has always been to be actively involved in a mutually beneficial learning experience,” Goor said. “All of the students in our college have to have an experience either with K-12 schools, clinics, hospitals and/or organizations. It is required of them and integral to the success of our preparation programs, which all focus on theory to practice.”

The University of La Verne is also accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and Goor and Associate Dean Dr. Barbara Poling work constantly to further develop and improve curriculum and programming in the CEOL. Much of this is accomplished using evolving technology that now facilitates delivery of programs in hybrid and online models, and utilizes developed data collection systems to monitor student progress.

Among the CEOL’s highest points of pride are the products of its programs. Celebrated alumni include: Dr. Lou Obermeyer, California State Superintendent of the year in 2011, Dr. Dianne Van Hook, Chancellor at Santa Clarita Community College District and President of College of the Canyons, Dr. Arturo Delgado, Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools and Dr. Gary Thomas San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools. Another La Verne alum, Dr. Robert Meteau, a middle school principal, was recently named “Principal of the Year” in the nearby Banning Unified School District.

The University of La Verne has also reached out on a global scale. In 2007, representatives of La Verne traveled to Southeast Asia, where a Memorandum of Understanding was signed, uniting La Verne with Pannasastra University in Cambodia, which, among other things, served to assist in curriculum development to establish a Master’s of Education degree in Educational Management and Leadership.

More recently, La Verne President Devorah Lieberman has made two trips to Asia. During each the goal was to meet with alumni and families of current students, meet with prospective students, and reach out to leaders of prestigious Asian universities with a goal of establishing inter-institutional collaborations.

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