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    College of Education > Faculty and Staff Resources > Strategic Planning > 2018 Annual Strategic Planning Progress Report

    2018 Annual Strategic Planning Progress Report

    July 20, 2018

    Transforming Education

    Goal 1:  Improve the Function of K-12 Education

    Key Indicator 1:  Strengthen the new Penn State Center for Education and Civil Rights

    Progress Report -- The Center has been established and has become quite active.  Dr. Erica Frankenberg is the Director and has achieved national recognition for publications and funded technical reports focused on racial segregation and inequality policies in education.  The College bolstered faculty strength for the Center by investing in a new tenure line hire in legal aspects of higher education.  We collaborated with the Penn State Law on this hire.  We also invested College resources in two new tenure line faculty hires that are part of SSRI’s cluster hires in disparity research.  The College is also investing in a new post-doc position to build on the strengths of the Center.    

    Key Indicator 2:  Strengthen the new Penn State Center for Education Disparities Research (CEDR)

    Progress Report -- The CEDR has been established and Dr. Paul Morgan is the Director.  The Center’s research has been published in high quality academic journals and has received the attention of policy makers thanks to its visibility in the media.  Research from the Center has received extensive media coverage including articles in the New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, Disability Scoop, Chalkbeat, and the Journalist’s Resource.  Dr. Morgan was invited to present research findings as an invited expert to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. 

    In addition, the two new tenure line hires mentioned above will add bench strength to the CEDR.  This is a substantial investment of College resources that will enhance research bearing on the alleviation of educational disparities, largely focused at the K-12 level.  With respect to metrics, we are closely monitoring the College’s portfolio of sponsored research whose dollar value has increased by roughly 40% during the past year.  Research connected to CEDR clocked in at $1.7 million in awards last year.  We expect to see further growth, particularly in the area of disparity and civil rights research, in the coming years.

    Unanticipated Opportunity 1 – In 2017, the College expanded the Summer College Opportunity Program in Education (SCOPE) for rising high school juniors from underrepresented groups to include a follow-up opportunity for participants between their junior and senior years in high school.  The enhanced program proved to be successful and we are continuing with what has become known as SCOPE 2.0.  There are numerous metrics available that demonstrate the success of SCOPE at facilitating success at College for these students and their entry into the field of education.

    Unanticipated Opportunity 2 -- The College of Education continues to be involved with the Hazleton Community Center to provide educational opportunities for Hazleton youth as well as Penn State students.  This is a Federally supported project ($2,689,549) and accomplishments during 2017-2018 include: the creation of a STEM Lab within the Hazleton One Project, a virtual tutoring program connecting Penn State students with Hazleton students, and a maymester immersion experience focused on English language learners.   

    Goal 2:  Improve the Function of Post-Secondary Education

    Key Indicator 1:  Continue to Support the Learning Sciences Initiative

    Progress Report -- The College of Education has embarked upon a major effort to strengthen the Learning Sciences at Penn State.  Four new tenure line faculty members were hired during 2017-2018 as part of a cluster hire devoted to the Learning Sciences and will be joining us in August 2018 to complement the existing strengths in this emerging area within the College of Education as well as elsewhere in the University.  These hires are located in four distinct areas in the College (Learning, Design, and Technology; Educational Psychology; Mathematics Education; and Science Education).  Dr. Scott McDonald has been named convener for the initiative and plans are being made for a Waterbury Summit with a focus on the Learning Sciences during the summer of 2019.

    Unanticipated Opportunity 1 -- The Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) initiative is working to create a new Center for Data Empowered Learning.  The College of Education is actively working closely with the leadership of the TLT to make connections with The Learning Sciences Initiative.

    Unanticipated Opportunity 2 -- The College of Education has received a $50,000 gift to support the Restorative Justice Initiative (RJI) which was begun last year using seed moneys from the College.  The Initiative is led by Efrain Marimon and involves providing post-secondary educational opportunities for incarcerated populations.  The RJI spans multiple colleges and has worked with hundreds of incarcerated individuals and has over 80 general members (Penn State students and faculty members) who are involved in developing and delivering courses and related activities.

    The donor’s gift is being used to support the development of new courses and to organize a national conference on the topic in 2019.  This is a good example of how philanthropic support can be used strategically to advance strategic priorities of the College and University.

    Goal 3:  Improve Access and Affordability for All Forms of Post-Secondary Education

    Key Indicator 1:  Strengthen the Penn State/University of Pittsburgh Partnership

    Progress Report – The third annual summit for researchers and policy makers will take place on September 27-28, 2018 at the Nittany Lion Inn.  This is a “by invitation” summit that brings leaders from state agencies together with researchers from the two universities.  The goal is to build bridges between researchers at Penn State and Pitt and to break down barriers between research and practice.  The third summit will build on the existing momentum and identify specific partnerships to enhance. 

    Enhancing Health

    Goal 1:  Improve the Mental Health of Students in Post-Secondary Learning Environments

    Key Indicator 1:  Create the Penn State Center for the Promotion of Mentally Healthy Learning Environments

    Progress Report – Planning in progress.  Funding has not yet been identified.

    Unanticipated Opportunity

    We are in the process of securing a $300,000 gift that will name the existing CEDAR Clinic which provides mental health counseling services to Penn State students as well as to others.  Because the CEDAR Clinic has already been renovated, the funds from this naming opportunity gift will be directed to supporting graduate students studying counseling and related areas. 

    Goal 2:  Improve the Learning and Career Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities

    Key Indicator 1:  Support the WorkLink Program

    Progress Report – A planning proposal was developed and submitted during 2017-2018 to the DREAM Partnership for the initial phase of a Worklink program at University Park.  Worklink provides post-secondary educational opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities and will be designed to build on the success of the existing Lifelink partnership with the State College Area School District.   Connections were made with numerous offices at Penn State including the Division of Student Affairs, the Registrar, and Risk Management.  Funding for the planning grant in the amount of $45,000 has been secured and we anticipate the first students to enter the Worklink program in the fall of 2019. 

    Key Indicator 2:  Create the Penn State Center for the Support of Students with Disabilities

    Progress Report – Planning in progress.  Funding has not yet been identified.

    Stewarding our Planet’s Resources

    Goal 1:  Improve the Preparation of K-12 Teachers in STEM

    Key Indicator 1:  Renovate the Science Education Wing of Chambers Building

    Progress Report -- This $5 million renovation project that will transform a significant part of Chambers Building is currently in progress.  We expect to complete the renovation before the end of the calendar year.  Donor support has been identified which will complement College and University funding. 

    Goal 2:  Improve Adult Literacy About Energy

    Key Indicator 1:  Participate in the Penn State Center for Energy and Society

    Progress Report -- Meetings have been held and donors have been approached.  The College of Education is not in the lead on this initiative but is participating.


    Elevating the Arts and Humanities

    Goal 1:  Gain Insight Into and Harness the Power of Narrative in the Arts and Humanities

    Key Indicator 1:  Create the Penn State Center for the Story

    Progress Report – We will be announcing a 1.5 million estate gift commitment early in the fall 2018 semester that will create a faculty endowment to support a professorship with a focus on the role of narrative as well as a program endowment that will establish and support the Penn State Center for the Story.  These two endowments will be designed to work in tandem and will complement parallel efforts in other parts of the University.  Efforts are currently being made to find funds to “early activate” the Center.  We anticipate building bridges to the College of Communications, the College of Arts and Architecture (School of Theater), and perhaps other units at Penn State.  The goal of the Center will be to understand and enhance the effective role of narrative in pedagogy and leadership.

    Driving Digital Innovation

    Goal 1:  Gain Insight into the Complementary Role Digital Innovation Can and Should Play in Teaching and Learning

    Key Indicator 1:  Make Full Use of the Recently Created Krause Learning Space

    Progress Report -- Construction on this $3 million renovation thanks in part to a generous gift from Gay and Bill Krause has now been completed.  A ribbon cutting ceremony took place in October of 2017 and the space is currently being intensively utilized.  We see strong connections between this space and the emerging Learning Sciences Initiative. 

    Key Indicator 2:  Continue to Strengthen and Refine the Krause Studios for Innovation

    Progress Report -- The College has broadened the mission of the Krause Innovation Studio which was established in 2011 into what is now known as the Krause Studios for Innovation.  One of the emerging priorities for the Krause Studios is entrepreneurship and what can be done to diversify engagement in entrepreneurial activities so that entrepreneurship becomes more democratic.  We recently identified College seed dollars to support a fixed term professorial faculty position in this area.  The search is in progress and the position will be based in the Krause Studios for Innovation under the direction of Dr. Scott McDonald.

    Unanticipated Opportunity 1 -- The College of Education is partnering with the Bellisario College of Communications and other units to develop a new Institute for Immersive Experiences.  We have agreed to provide up to $25,000 per year for three years to launch the Institute.  We see numerous points of contact with the Penn State Center for the Story (see above) and the new initiative in the Learning Sciences (see above). 

    Unanticipated Opportunity 2

    We submitted a proposal for a University Strategic Planning grant with the title:  “Using Digital Innovation to Revitalize K-12 STEM Education Through High Performance Computing”  This is a joint effort involving the College’s Center for Science and the Schools (CSATS), the Institute for CyberScience, and Penn State New Kensington.

    Unanticipated Opportunity 3

    We also submitted a proposal, joint with the Bellisario College of Communications, for a University Strategic Planning grant with the title “Educational Outreach Initiative for Film and New Media at Penn State.”