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Dr. Lori Ferguson, assistant dean of the School of Education, teaches a class at Cedarville

School of Education Pours Into Ohio Educators

by Heidie Raine, Student Public Relations Writer

Cedarville University has produced more than 5,000 education professionals, sending well-equipped teachers into the world each commencement. As the school of education (SOE) continues to shape future educators, it’s also pouring into current ones by supporting, encouraging, and inspiring teachers and school districts around Ohio and beyond.

On Thursday, Sept. 30, Cedarville hosted Fayette Christian Schools (FCS) faculty on university grounds for a day of professional development. FCS administrators had expressed interest in several topics, including assessment ideas, inquiry teaching and learning, special education, and individual educational planning and writing activities.

“When schools come to campus, they can see the different areas where the SOE has expertise because our professors have researched and taught on topics in the K-12 world as well as higher education,” said Dr. Lori Ferguson, assistant dean of the school of education. “Our own students also tend to be beneficiaries when we’re preparing for visitors.”

Cedarville education faculty members, likewise, have a rich history of visiting local schools to present at school-run professional development days. In 2019, Ferguson went to Dayton Christian Schools to discuss growth mindset and the art of asking good questions. Dr. Kevin Jones, school dean and assistant professor of education, collaborated with and offered professional development to Grace Christian School outside of Columbus, Ohio — as well as Wilmington Christian schools — in late spring.

Associate professor of special education Dr. David Leitch, likewise, compiled and shared a list of Cedarville SOE areas of expertise with local schools for further professional development opportunities. In January 2020, Leitch also provided an overview of Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) and the House Bill 318 mandates to Cedar Cliff schools.

“I love professional development days because I love teaching and teachers,” Ferguson said. “I typically walk away having learned something as well.”

The SOE maintains its support of local schools through its partnership schools, which include but are not limited to Xenia Community Schools, Legacy Christian Academy, and Cedar Cliff Local Schools.

Though the COVID-19 pandemic limited opportunities for the SOE to connect, it also produced new ideas for virtual engagement. Virtual mathematics andfamily literacy nights allowed families to connect with Cedarville students and faculty from the comfort and safety of their homes.

“There was a school in Texas that requested a consultation about implementing virtual educational events after they heard of our math and literacy nights going online,” Ferguson explained. “ Dr. Megan Brown, assistant professor of education, and I spoke with them in fall 2020, and they seemed excited about the possibilities.”

When the SOE isn’t busy with educational events and professional development, it seeks tutoring partnerships with Xenia Community Schools and Springfield City Schools for students enrolled in The Education Profession and Methods I courses. Local families also regularly seek out tutors from the SOE for their children.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,715 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Bachelor of Arts in Middle Childhood Education program, strong graduation, and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.

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