College of Education Blog

A Tale of Two Educators

Posted by KC Coburn on Feb 5, 2016 2:03:01 PM

The UH Mānoa College of Education is a small public college on an isolated island in the Pacific. Often stereotyped as 'laid back," the population of our islands is smaller than most mid-sized cities in the continental U.S. Given our small population and isolation, you might expect that we accomplish less than our metropolitan cousins. But this week, like many weeks, I read the new profiles and news about our professors, students, and alumni, and I think, 'Wow!' 

tale-two-educators-blog.jpg

This week's news featured a story about the winner of the 2015–16 Milken Educator Award (and $25K cash prize), a Waipahu High School (WHS) science teacher named Michael Sana who earned both a post-baccalaureate certificate in secondary education and a master’s degree in curriculum studies from the UH Mānoa College of Education. The story of how he earned the award is uplifting, to say the least. If you haven't read it, you'll want to. 

 Since becoming chair of WHS’s science department, Mr. Sana has helped to transform the school’s science curriculum into the rigorous college and career-focused program it is today. He is responsible for increasing the number of AP Biology students from 12 to more than 50, and many of his students have gone on to receive college scholarships. Through his encouragement and guidance, his students also conduct scholarly research, which has led to 120 publications with the National Institutes of Health. My youngest son attended a high school that was being restructured and had no AP courses available - I can only imagine what an impact it would have had on him to have had access to teacher like Mr. Sana.

The recipient of 14 education awards over the last ten years – including awards from the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association, Bishop Museum, the Society of American Military Engineers, Chevron Hawai‘i, and the National Science Teachers Association – Sana can add the prestigious Milken Educator Award to the growing list. He credits his teachers for helping him become the educator he is today.

Which brings me to the profile I just read about one of the professors in the Curriculum Studies department where Mr. Sana received his Master's Degree. Her name is Dr. Sarah Twomey. Like Michael Sana, she started with a desire to work within communities of diversity that value and care for the children of their community. While Dr. Twomey never imagined that she would end up as a professor in Hawaiʻi, she shares how it has allowed her "to continue to be an advocate for public education and to support teachers in the difficult and very important role they play in creating future citizens who will be capable of responding compassionately and effectively to global changes in all areas of society." Teachers like Michael Sana gain the skills they need to make a difference in the communities they serve when they learn from like-minded professors like Sarah Twomey.

"My history as a teacher in public education in Canada has given me a maturity and understanding of the importance of recognizing the role of justice in driving effective change. In Hawai‘i, this has become a commitment to decolonizing education in order to honor the ancestral knowledge and self-determination of Native Hawaiians. As a visitor to this place, I have learned the responsibility of reciprocity from the host culture. To facilitate a dynamic, respectful, and intellectually challenging learning environment has been my goal as a professor while at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa." ~Dr. Sarah Twomey

Recently, I read a quote below a video from the crew of the Hokulea, who are just arriving in Brazil. They are depending on the power of education to change the world we live in and raise up a global minded generation who will mālama honua with them. 

"If we are to leave a better Earth for our children, we must also leave a better children for our Earth." 

The original quote says we must "have better children for our Earth." But I think there is work to do, and it sometimes seems overwhelming, and maybe even a little bit daunting given the small role we occupy on the world stage. But when I look around at the educators housed within and coming out of the UH Mānoa College of Education, I still say 'Wow!' And I'm pretty sure I can see the better children our planet deserves sitting in their classrooms, nodding their heads, raising their hands and voices, and approaching tomorrow with the education they need and deserve.

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Topics: Paths to Education, Careers in Education, Curriculum Studies

Hawaii's Migrant Population and Education

Posted by KC Coburn on Jan 11, 2016 12:18:09 PM

Mass migration is occurring in many corners of the world with global implications. As populations of people flee war-torn, impoverished regions, seeking safety and opportunity outside their country of origin, many issues and challenges confront both the immigrants and the populations making room for them. One crucial issue is the education of young migrants as they make new homes in areas where they may not be familiar with the language or culture of the region. While Hawai'i has not seen a recent influx of migrant children due to war, Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco, the UCLA Wasserman Dean, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, states that, "[A]t over 17%, the percentage of Hawai'i's foreign-born immigrant population is significantly higher than the U. S. total (13%)."

On January 20, 2016, educators and anyone with a stake in education within Hawai'i will be enlightened by Dr. Suárez-Orozco’s public lecture on Education in the Age of Mass Migration at the UH Mānoa Architecture Auditorium. Suárez-Orozco, the College of Education's 2016 Carl and Alice Daeufer Education Lecture Series special guest lecturer, will address both global and regional issues connected to mass migration.
Dr. Suárez-Orozco

"In the 21st Century, global migratory flows bring ever-more diverse populations from heterogeneous ethnocultural, racial, and religious backgrounds,” Suárez-Orozco said. “The world is witnessing a rapid rise in the numbers of a plurality of migrants — involuntary, internal or international, authorized or unauthorized, environmental refugees and asylum seekers. In the second decade of the twenty-first century, 244 million folk are international migrants, or 3.3 percent of the world’s population. "

Suárez-Orozco notes Hawai'i's significant position in relation to the world at large: "In a world on the move, Hawai'i is an extremely important and instructive case for any understanding of the great global migrations in the 21st Century. At over 17%, the percentage of Hawai'i's foreign-born immigrant population is significantly higher than the U. S. total (13%). Our country's paradigmatic first (and only always) "minority-majority" state, Hawai'i's immigrant population grew at a particularly fast rate in recent times (between 1990 and 2000 Hawai'i's immigrant population grew by 30%). How Hawai'i manages the transition of its littlest new Hawaiians, – the children of immigrants in schools, will be a defining new chapter in the unfolding Hawaiian saga. It has significant implications for the wellbeing of the children, for Hawai'i’s future, and could be a model for the entire nation.”

In the abstract from his upcoming lecture, Suárez-Orozco describes some of the concerns and issues relevant to populations experiencing and attracting migrants:

Mass migration is the human face of globalization. Where immigrant workers are needed, families and children will follow. The great global migration wave of the past two generations has generated a powerful demographic echo. Nearly all the high-income countries in the world are experiencing substantial growth in their immigrant-origin student populations. Concurrently, globalization is placing new demands on education systems the world over. As a consequence, schooling systems are facing something they never faced before: educating large and growing numbers of ever more diverse immigrant-origin youth to greater levels of competence and skill at a time of economic upheaval and cultural malaise. This lecture shall examine the challenges of immigration and education in an age of global vertigo. The lecture will introduce the most up to date data on immigration comparatively and then focus on the US -- a country where immigration is both history and destiny, and Hawai'i. Immigration will be defined as an ethical act of and for the family. We will examine the family's role in immigration and best ways to support immigrant families. We will explore what every teachers should know about immigrant learners. The lecture shall examine best practices to prepare immigrant origin-children and emerging adults for higher education, for the labor market, and for the practice of citizenship in an ever more interconnected, miniaturized, and fragile world.

Please join the College of Education for this important public lecture, Education in the Age of Mass Migration: A lecture by Marcelo Suárez-Orozco. Details for the January 20, 2016 lecture can be found under COE Events on their public website.

#Daeufer2016 

 

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Topics: Careers in Education

The Voice of an Educator

Posted by KC Coburn on Dec 6, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Sometimes, the voice of an educator can resonates with you and you realize it's time to explore a career where you can make a difference, a career in education. Here are three interviews we completed with students, graduates, and faculty that we think will give you a sense of the types of careers available in education, and the type of people who pursue them: 

Meet Shikara Shahrin, ITE Elementary Graduate

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"The struggle of an educator is global, and as long as there is a conversation taking place among teachers, we will be okay.”

  • Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Department: ITE Elementary
  • Degree: BEd Elementary Education

Current Position

I have been a 1st–3rd grade music teacher, a 3rd grade English teacher, and am currently a K–5 substitute teacher at the International School of Kuala Lumpur.

How did you become interested in the field of education?

I come from three generations of educators. It's in my blood!

How is the college's Supporting Our New Graduates (SONG) program helping you along the way?

Despite time zone challenges, I have been able to Skype with Ronnie Tiffany-Kinder, a SONG mentor teacher. We have spent hours discussing all aspects of teacher life – cultural, political, economical, emotional, and instructional. Together, we figured out how I can rise above the circumstances of a first-year teacher. We revisited strategies I learned at the COE and talked about how to apply them in my new school with my Malaysian students. We also discussed how to balance non-teacher life, and I hung up feeling relieved and supported.

SONG is a great initiative and a much needed avenue for teachers to seek help. The struggle of an educator is not just confined to one particular geographical location. The struggle of an educator is global, and as long as there is a conversation taking place among teachers, we will be okay.

What are your future plans?

After I gain more experience teaching, I would like to go to graduate school and continue to make a difference in children's lives.

Interested in a teacher licensure program? 

 

Meet Kazufumi Taira, Educational Psychology PhD Student

Taira.jpg

“I have had opportunities to learn about culture-based education and indigenous pedagogy at the college, which has stimulated me to think about an education program for Okinawans.”

  • Hometown: Kadena, Okinawa, Japan
  • Department: EDEP
  • Degree: Educational Psychology PhD Candidate

What is your current position? I am an office manager for the Graduate Student Organization (GSO).

How did you become interested in the field of educational psychology?

After I came to Hawaiʻi and spent several years in my exchange and master’s degree programs, I realized that my Okinawan identity became more salient within me than before. This phenomenon happened not only to me, but also to other Okinawan international students. I wanted to examine factors that influence Okinawan international students’ identity through learning and activities in Hawaiʻi. This academic interest fit in the field of educational psychology, so I decided to do my research here.

Why did you select the UHM COE?

The COE provides excellent courses and environments to learn about education in general as well as education related to Hawaiʻi. I have had opportunities to learn about culture-based education and indigenous pedagogy at the college, which has stimulated me to think about an education program for Okinawans.

How has the EDEP program helped you along the way?

EDEP provides courses and an environment through which I can enhance my research and pursue my academic interests. I took Identity and Learning as well as Psychology and Culture courses to learn about identity development and psychological colonialism, which was beneficial to conceptually improve my research. Also, the program offers qualitative and quantitative methods courses that are essential for me to conduct my research in a scholastic way. Furthermore, the faculty members are really supportive and create an intellectual atmosphere where I can enhance my research with their assistance.

What are your future plans?

My future plans are to continue my research on identity development and saliency among Okinawans as well as to establish an educational program for Okinawans. I strongly believed that what I have learned from the EDEP program and UHM COE will be helpful for me to achieve these future plans.

Interested in a degree in Educational Psychology? 

Advise Me!

 

Meet Paul McKimmy, Technology and Distance Programs Director

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This interview was completed after Dr. McKimmy won the Excellence in Online Teaching award. Dr. McKimmy has a rare perspective; he is both an administrator in the field of education, and an instructor to students in Learning Design and Technology programs.

“This was the inaugural award for Excellence in Online Teaching, and my course was nominated by students from the class, so it's enormously gratifying to receive this honor.”

  • Hometown: Elk Rapids, Michigan
  • Department: Learning Design and Technology
  • Degree: EdD, Educational Leadership

Current Position
I have been with the College of Education since 2002, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses; overseeing the college’s Technology and Distance Programs (TDP) office, which includes our Distance Course Design & Consulting (DCDC) group; working with faculty to develop online and hybrid programs; and supporting instructional and administrative technology. Prior to coming to the college, I worked at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi as Director of Workforce Development.

What role do you see technology playing in education in the future?
Technology will continue to influence and expand affordances in teaching and learning. New technologies inspire new approaches and hopefully enable new efficiencies. Technology, however, will never be a panacea or obviate the need for intentional, quality instructional design and teaching.

Briefly describe your road to education (as a student and/or a teacher).
I started my education career in student services with the intention of becoming a Dean of Students. At some point, I realized that I had become the go-to guy for all things computer-related no matter what office I worked in. I got involved in providing professional development for faculty in video conferencing classrooms and realized that I wanted to move into technology full time. My position as Director of Technology and Distance Programs allows me to work with instructors, technologists, students, and staff. I enjoy facilitating technological progress in improving our instructional and support systems.

What is your philosophy of teaching?
I believe we learn best by doing. I incorporate review, discussion, and hands-on experiences into my courses, including real world projects when possible. Several years ago, I taught Management of Instructional Technology, and the students designed "smart classrooms" in conjunction with teachers from American Sāmoa. After the semester, I was able to take the entire class to Pago Pago for a week to implement their designs and train the collaborating teachers.

Awards:
COE Congress Thinking Outside the Box Award (2002)
COE Congress Leadership Award (2005)
COE Congress Transformation Award (2012)
UHM Online Teaching Award (2015)

What does the Excellence in Online Teaching Award mean to you?
This was the inaugural award for Excellence in Online Teaching, and my course was nominated by students from the class, so it's enormously gratifying to receive this honor. The award was specifically for design, so this is also an honor for DCDC who worked with me to build the course. Adam Tanners, Chloe O'Neill (Kubo), Michelle Carino, Hong Ngo, and Stacey Brook
comprised the DCDC team.

What are your future plans?
As UH distance education efforts mature, I hope to be influential in improving quality, effectiveness, and breadth of offerings. Our DCDC group is already having an impact by assisting other UH units in realizing their distance education goals.

You can explore programs in the Learning Design and Technology department where Dr. McKimmy teaches, or you can learn more about the College of Education's EdD program (the degree that Dr. McKimmy holds):

Advise Me!

 

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Topics: Paths to Education, Careers in Education, Learning Design and Technology

How Carolyn's Graduate Degree Lead to a National Award

Posted by KC Coburn on Sep 3, 2015 5:30:00 AM

Yamamoto, Kirio, Governor Ige, Harada, Ho, and Ogawa

Carolyn Kirio, a doctoral student in the College of Education (COE) Department of Learning Design and Technology (LTEC), is the winner of the 2015 American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Information Technology Pathfinder Award. She was recognized and presented with $1,500 during the AASL annual conference in San Francisco on June 27, 2015.

“This award is a testament to everything I have learned while pursuing my master's in library and information science and my doctorate in LTEC," Kirio said. "I would like to thank everyone, especially my instructors, for their support and guidance throughout. They provided me with the foundation on which to craft and structure Kapolei Middle’s library program in order to increase student and staff access to resources, services, and instruction."

Kirio, who earned a bachelor’s degree and professional diploma in secondary education as well as a master’s degree in library and information sciences, serves as the librarian at Kapolei Middle School (KMS). Recognizing the changing needs and learning goals of the community she serves, Kirio transformed the school’s library into the eHub of KMS.

As the only librarian of the multi-track school, Kirio created a 24/7 school library through technology and distance learning methods. She has enabled students and teachers to use library resources any time by designing online lessons. She also made instructional mp4 files available through closed circuit system and updated the library’s collection to include more electronic books and online encyclopedias, journals, and magazine subscriptions.

After returning from the AASL conference, Kirio was joined by Sandy Yamamoto, Library Media Specialist at Kapolei High; Dr. Violet Harada, Professor Emeritus in the Library & Information Science Program; Dr. Curtis Ho, LTEC Department Chair; and Dr. Michael-Brian Ogawa, Assistant Specialist in the Information and Computer Sciences Department as she received a commendation from Governor Ige.     

“Carolyn has been instrumental in changing the role of her school library into a digital hub for instructional resources that can be accessed in multiple ways,” Ho said. “We are pleased that her line of research for her dissertation in LTEC will add to the knowledge base in this area.”

Most people are surprised by the broad variety of doctoral programs offered in the field of education - technology being among them. At the UH Mānoa College of Education where Kirio studies, her choice of study for advanced degrees included: 

  • Advanced scholarship in education subject areas (ex: Mathematics)
  • Education related K-20 leadership preparation
  • Examining issues, questions & controversies in education
  • Assesment, learning & research design
  • Integrating teaching and technology
  • Health and wellness
  • Improving professional practice
  • Working productively with persons with disabilities

The College of Education also offers the support of a graduate studies advisor to help you identify programs that are a good fit for your personal and professional goals.

If you are considering an advanced degree in any field, you may wish to explore the broad opportunities available to graduates of masters and doctoral level programs in education. It's possible that advanced degree could lead to a National Award and Commendation!

Advise Me!

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Topics: Before You Apply to Grad School, Careers in Education, Learning Design and Technology

Careers in Educational Psychology

Posted by KC Coburn on Jul 31, 2015 5:00:00 PM

 We caught up with UH Manoa College of Education Professor and author Dr. Marie Iding recently to ask about her career in educational psychology.

IdingProfile

Tell us about the type of work you do

"I am a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology. Since 1991, I have been teaching writing intensive sections of psychological foundations to pre-service teachers and others. I also teach graduate seminars on university teaching and writing for publication in education, as well as numerous classes in development and learning, educational research, and educational psychology. I particularly enjoy teaching in other parts of the world, so I've taught 22 courses in our college’s Territorial Teacher Training Program in American Sāmoa (TTTAP). I've also taught courses at the College of Micronesia, Chuuk campus.  I've recently added to my international teaching experience by conducting workshops at universities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City – both as part of our COE's international efforts and collaborations."


As a university faculty member, Dr. Iding also contributes regularly to research in her field. You can see a list of her scholarly works here.


 How did you become interested in educational psychology?

"After completing my BA degree and without any teaching preparation, I became a 9th and 10th grade English teacher at a private alternative school in Southern California. Over half of my students had been expelled from other schools, making my job challenging and my teaching strategies largely trial-and-error. I started taking education classes at night at CSU Northridge to help me in my teaching. I grew interested in how teachers can best be prepared and in the psychology of learning and teaching, particularly in literacy and science areas. I always knew I wanted to earn a PhD, and educational psychology seemed like the perfect field."


The College of Education offers a variety of advanced degrees in educational psychology. Some can lead to work at a university, others to a career in applied research settings in educational agencies, testing organizations, and profit/non-profit institutions.


Why is a degree in educational psychology a good choice?

"Educational Psychology helps us to understand how people learn and how to teach effectively. I believe a basic understanding of educational psychology is useful for anyone – teachers, parents and future-parents, those involved in the business world who supervise and train employees, and those involved in human services."

What are your future plans?

"To see my academic books Becoming a Professor: A Guide to a Career in Higher Education (Iding & Thomas) and A Guide to Teaching at Colleges and Universities (Iding & Thomas) published with Rowman & Littlefield. In my spare time, I also tinker with writing fiction, and it would be wonderful to see my young adult novel, Shark Catcher, about an American Sāmoan boy published, too."

If you are considering becoming a professor at a community college or university, Dr. Iding's books and her career field may be a good choice for you! 

Advise Me!

 

Read interviews with students, alumni, and faculty in other College of Education programs.

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Topics: Careers in Education

Careers in Rehabilitation Counseling

Posted by KC Coburn on Jul 23, 2015 5:00:00 AM

We caught up with one of our alumni recently to learn what it's like to work in the Rehabilitation Counseling field and how he came to choose his career and education path.

Evan Nakatsuka, Master of Science in KRS Alumnus

nakatsuka-profile

"Whatever I learned in class or through assignments, I could apply at work the next day..."

Where do you work?

I have been the Assistant Director of Programs at Abilities Unlimited for the past four years.

What drew you to the rehabilitation counseling?

The degree program was very convenient for me because of the part-time, online structure. The opportunity to intern in various vocational rehabilitation settings also drew me to the program as it provided me with hands-on learning opportunities that I couldn’t have gained independently.

How did the program assist you in your career path?

Whatever I learned in class or through assignments, I could apply at work the next day since I was already in the vocational rehabilitation field as a job placement specialist. I gained a better understanding of the principles of the field and was able to help my company provide more resources and service options for consumers of public vocational rehabilitation services on Oʻahu.

krs-onlineDescribe how you became a Rehabilitation Counselor in Hawaii.

I work for a non-profit that has contracts with the State of Hawaiʻi Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. I was encouraged to look into the rehabilitation counseling program by the vocational rehabilitation counselors at DVR, and I thought it was very applicable to my current position and future career goals. Soon after learning about the program, my company hired two KRS students, and their guidance helped me complete the application process and commit to pursuing a graduate degree.

What advice would you give current or prospective students about this program?

I would say to research current companies that provide private and public vocational rehabilitation services so that you have a variety of internship and employment options to pursue. In the graduate program, you learn about ethics, principles, and techniques, but seeing how that is applied in the field can help you get a better idea of what skills you would like to develop and how you can contribute.

What are you future plans / goals in the field?

I’d like to improve how my company creates job match opportunities for people with disabilities by providing more detailed labor market information and skill development opportunities for consumers so that they can make informed choices about the employment opportunities that they pursue.

Interested in speaking with an advisor about the program? HRC Director Kathryn K. Yamamoto will answer your questions and tell you more about getting started as a Rehabilitation Counselor.HRC Director, Kathryn K. Yamamoto

Advise Me!

The Hawai‘i Rehabilitation Counseling program (HRC) is offered online and prepares rehabilitation professionals as well as individuals new to the field to work effectively in the rehabilitation service delivery system. The program is accredited by the Council of Rehabilitation Education (CORE) and requires 3 years of enrollment (6 credits/semester) in a hybrid online environment.

 

Read interviews with students, alumni, and faculty in other College of Education programs.

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Topics: Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science

How to Ace Your Grad School Interview

Posted by KC Coburn on Jan 8, 2015 8:57:00 AM


What is Your Favorite Color Marshmallow?

"Whenever I interview a prospective student,  I insert totally off the wall questions like 'what is your favorite color of marshmallow', or 'what's the highest you have ever climbed in a tree?' I like to move out of the realm of 'how do you feel about the state of education today?' or 'why are you a good fit for this program' ...and see what kind of actual personality the candidate brings to the table."

Dr. Margit Watts, a professor in the COE's Curriculum Research and Develop unit likes to learn more about her candidates. "Are they creative? Spontaneous? Humorous? Scared? Intimidated? 'Ready for anything?' It keeps the interview interesting and is quite telling." We visited with faculty at the COE this week to ask about the grad school Interview process and get tips for prospective students (that's you!). 


 So, based on feedback from our faculty who have conducted interviews, what are the Big 5? 

CassiusClay5

Tip 1: Pause Before Your Blurt

Tip 2: Be Genuine and Professional

Tip 3: Research Your Research

Tip 4: Know Your Goooaaaaal!

Tip 5: Answer the question, please

Here's the skinny on each tip:

Tip 1: Pause Before you Blurt "White!"

Going back to Dr. Watts' story; "I've had people answer the marshmallow question with totally boring answers; "white," …"is there any other color," …and someone who said, "well, it depends on what kind of ink you use to enhance the flavor. " Naturally, I gravitate toward the candidate who can provide creative, unexpected answers to unusual questions. If a candidate is going to succeed in an academic program geared toward improving education, generally speaking, he or she is going to need to be able to think in new and unexpected ways.

If the faculty member who is interviewing you asks an off the wall question, she is probably looking for a creative response. So, pause before you blurt out whatever comes to mind and give your brain a chance to devise a more creative answer, like "oatmeal!"

Tip 2: Be Genuine and Professional

This might seem like a bit of a contradiction but UH Mānoa College of Education Professor Rhonda Black looks for candidates who can do so: "Show that you care about education and about people." What are her two biggest turnoffs in an interview?

  • seeming phony
  • appearing not to care, or take the interview or the program seriously

Humor can be a really good way to connect and show "the real you," but Dr. Black warns against "flippant responses" which she realizes are probably meant as an attempt at humor, but can make you seem harsh, uncaring or sarcastic. And her biggest red flag? "Overstating your achievements and contributions."

Finally, don't be negative.  Don't talk about bad experiences other places or with other people.  Don't mention things you think they should change in program and ask why they don't do things a certain way. Focus on the positive. Be enthusiastic about the opportunity to study something you love.

Tip 3: Research Your Research

kittens4socialjusticeWhen you submitted your Statement of Objectives (most programs will require this before the interview stage), did you say you were keenly interested in the effect of soft, fuzzy kittens on learning outcomes in the Pre-K Classroom? If yes, be prepared to answer questions about the subject - whose research are you following? What is your opinion on the relevance of the research to the program you are seeking admission to? Want brownie points? Be prepared to discuss research being done by faculty of the program you are applying to and explain why it interests you.

Also, do your homework!  A former college dean and department chair recommends that you review the program website, be familiar with the courses and the faculty in the program area. Some colleges post faculty profiles - read them. Take a look at some of the things the faculty are involved in and be prepared to at least comment on them. Some colleges, like the COE, post facultty research on their public website.  Before the interview, check out the catalog and see what courses are like, read about requirements, etc.  If you do your homework, the questions you ask will  help you shine as much as your answers to interview questions. Meaning, it's good to ask questions, but your questions should convey the fact that you are informed. Asking a general question off the top of your head (Ex: "When does the Fall semester start again?") will not score you any points.

speaker-at-podium

Tip 4: Know Your Gooooaaaaal! 

Have a clear reason for why you want to be in a particular program. Be able to articulate what you want to learn and why -  what IS your goal?  What do you want to be able to do as a result of completing the program.  Note: The answer for why you want to be in the program should not be, "because I need a job," or "someone told me it was a good program." Go back to Tip 3 and make sure you have a good idea of what you want to gain from this program. 

Tip 5: Answer the question, please

Well, Duh... right? But it won't be as easy as it sounds if you are a bit nervous. Don't go off on tangents and then never get around to answering the question that was asked. And don't beat it to death.  You don't need to have a long 10 minute rambling response. And of course be honest in your responses. If your answer gets a little involved, you can say, "Forgive me, I covered quite a bit in that response - did I answer your question?"


If you are thinking about an advanced degree in education, you can speak to a graduate students advisor today.

Advise Me!

Your advisor will be happy to answer any questions you have about graduate programs at the COE - including how to best prepare for the interview after you apply! 

That pretty much covers it from our perspective. If you have successfully completed a grad school interview, please consider leaving your tips and comments below. Did we leave anything off that would have been usful to you? If you are thinking about applying, you might want to check out our guide, 5 Things to Do Before Your Apply 

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Topics: Before You Apply to Grad School

Why Choose an Advanced Degree in Educational Psychology?

Posted by KC Coburn on Dec 19, 2014 9:23:40 AM

"General Educational Psychology helps us to understand how people learn and how to teach effectively."

~Marie Iding, Educational Psychology Professor

Educators pursuing careers as professors, researchers, specialists, administrators, or other types of leadership positions may want to consider a Masters degree or PhD in the field of Educational Psychology. Here's a quick look at what a degree in Ed Psych can help you accomplish in your quest to become (or help create) better teachers:



 

The EDEP department at the UH Manoa College of Education promotes inquiry in human learning and development within the context of a diverse society. The major areas of study include human learning, human development, research methodology, statistics, measurement, and assessment and evaluation. 

For EDEP students, graduate study is primarily oriented toward specific professional, educational objectives, but it is also applicable to students who find an emphasis in educational psychology congruent with their personal objectives and who wish to engage in elective study to the greatest extent possible while fulfilling Masters or PhD degree requirements.

At UH Manoa, the EDEP department is close knit and provides a lot of access to faculty; approximately 50 students are enrolled in graduate programs of study in educational psychology. 

Careers

Graduate students in any EDEP program can look forward to a plethora of career opportunities. These include occupations as

  • PROFESSORS: Depending on areas of expertise, graduates could be hired in a variety of university departments such as Educational Psychology, Second Language Studies, Curriculum Studies, Teacher Education, Nursing, Disability Studies, Educational Technology, Computer Science & Information, and Business.

  • RESEARCHERS OR SPECIALISTS: Graduates could be hired as researchers or specialists in departments of education, K-12 schools, or research institutes.

  • ADMINISTRATORS: Previous graduates have also worked in administration at universities, K-12 schools, testing companies, testing & evaluation sections in departments of education, and directors of research institutes.

  • TEACHERS: Graduates who are teachers in K-12 schools have been appointed to leadership roles in areas of assessment & learning.

    Sound like a good fit for you? Do you have questions? 

Advise Me!

Meet EDEP Professor, Dr. Marie Iding 

IdingProfile

  • Hometown: Santa Monica, CA Department: Educational Psychology

  • Degree: BA in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University; MA and PhD in Education from University of California, Santa Barbara

How did you become interested in educational psychology?

After completing my BA degree and without any teaching preparation, I became a 9th and 10th grade English teacher at a private alternative school in Southern California. Over half of my students had been expelled from other schools, making my job challenging and my teaching strategies largely trial-and-error. I started taking education classes at night at CSU Northridge to help me in my teaching. I grew interested in how teachers can best be prepared and in the psychology of learning and teaching, particularly in literacy and science areas. I always knew I wanted to earn a PhD, and educational psychology seemed like the perfect field.

What is your role at the COE?

I am a professor in the EDEP department. Since 1991, I have been teaching writing intensive sections of psychological foundations to pre-service teachers and others. I also teach graduate seminars on university teaching and writing for publication in education, as well as numerous classes in development and learning, educational research, and educational psychology. I particularly enjoy teaching in other parts of the world, so I've taught 22 courses in our college’s Territorial Teacher Training Program in American Sāmoa (TTTAP). I've also taught courses at the College of Micronesia, Chuuk campus. I've recently added to my international teaching experience by conducting workshops at universities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City – both as part of our COE's international efforts and collaborations. 

HANOI_-_Nursery_School

Why is general educational psychology important?

General Educational Psychology helps us to understand how people learn and how to teach effectively. I believe a basic understanding of educational psychology is useful for anyone – teachers, parents and future-parents, those involved in the business world who supervise and train employees, and those involved in human services.

What is your own philosophy of teaching?

My philosophy of teaching is a very simple one. Teaching is a process of continuous learning and growth. 

What are your future plans?

To see my academic books Becoming a Professor: A Guide to a Career in Higher Education (Iding & Thomas) and A Guide to Teaching at Colleges and Universities (Iding & Thomas) published with Rowman & Littlefield. In my spare time, I also tinker with writing fiction, and it would be wonderful to see my young adult novel, Shark Catcher, about an American Sāmoan boy published, too.

 


 

Learn more about EDEP

See the EDEP section of the UH Manoa catalog, or visit the EDEP faculty directory to see research and contact information. If you are thinking about a graduate degree, download our guide;

5 Things to Do Before You Apply

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Topics: Paths to Education

Why Choose an Advanced Degree in Education?

Posted by KC Coburn on Dec 2, 2014 1:01:00 PM


A colleague of mine just added the following quote from Nelson Mandela to her email signature line; 

“A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”  
literate1

I immediately thought about all the places in the world where women and children are not privileged to become literate or for that matter attend graduate school. What a loss we all undoubtedly suffer as a result! I then thought about my colleague and friend and how fitting the quote is; she has a good head, a good heart, and is highly literate. She is also passionate about education, but not in the way you might think because she is not a teacher. So, what is her role in education? Her passion for education comes in the form of measuring and reporting on the success of teacher education programs here at the College of Education. She asks important questions that make a difference in the quality of education students in Hawai'i are receiving:

  • Do the mentor teachers we team our students with find them well prepared, ready for the classroom?
  • Do the students who complete our programs think it was worth their time? Worth their money?
  • Do our alumni find themselves well prepared for their careers? Do they find the jobs they hoped for?
  • Do the administrators who hire our students find them to be knowledgeable, effective and caring?

Beyond that, she helps the leadership here at the college assess the strength of our degree programs and understand where we can make improvements and where we shine. She evaluates feedback from students, mentor teachers, alumni and administrators who hire our graduates so that she can make recommendations to leadership at the college and they can (and do!) act on it. It's not easy work; there are tedious numbers to examine and contemplate, there are unwieldy reports to be written, there are surveys to be created, respondents to be located and encouraged. Why does she do it? Because she knows that by supporting the strength and success of educators in the classroom, educational leadership who develop curriculum and work to improve classroom instruction, and educational leadership who make education work for everyone, she is helping to ensure that every person who seeks literacy has access to it. In short, she believes what Nelson Mandela said. So, what does all of this have to do with an advanced degree in education? Well, to begin with; she has one (M.A. in Second Language Studies with two specializations: (1) Language Assessment, Measurement, and Program Evaluation, and (2) Language Teaching). She uses the degree she has to advance the quality of education our graduates receive. A lot of people out there are concerned about the quality of education; she is doing something about it. If education is an issue of importance to you, an advanced degree in a field like Educational Foundations, Educational Psychology, or Educational Administration may be a way for you to put your good head and good heart to work making education better! Thinking about it? Check out our blog post with tips on How to Pay for Graduate School (scholarships, anyone?), or download our handy guide with really useful tips on what to do before you apply:

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Topics: Before You Apply to Grad School, Paths to Education

Finding Money for Graduate School

Posted by Courtney Kubanek on Oct 24, 2014 11:35:00 AM


Higher learning improves job opportunity

Getting an advanced degree can create many opportunities. In fact, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and The Organization for Economic Co-operation illustrates how education pays you back in higher earnings and lower unemployment rates - but you still have to figure out how to pay for the degree. Not to worry! We’ve got great tips for you, including;

  • How the FASFA plays into funding grad school
  • How to get scholarships and find stipends 
  • International monies and how they work

By now, you’ve probably done the whole scholarship thing a couple times as an undergrad, but here is a quick refresher course on how to cover your bases and pay for your tuition, with as little burden on your own pocket as possible. Funding options include grants, scholarships, stipends, and student loans.

First off, the FAFSA

“Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is the first step toward getting federal aid for college, career school, or graduate school." Many prospective students recall that the FAFSA was tied to their parents income and mistakenly think it no longer applies to them. It is in fact very important to your funding efforts (we'll explain why...). And the good news; in many cases, your parents income is no longer relevant and your qualification for funding will be based solely on your own income. 

Even if you aren’t huge on the idea of loans, the FAFSA will enable you to get them if you end up needing them, and enable you to participate in work study programs if you qualify. Plus, many scholarships ask for your EFC (Expected Family Contribution figure provided by FAFSA) to let them know what your financial situation looks like and compare your needs to those of other scholarship applicants. Completing your FAFSA application is vital for getting university based funding as well. This is a step you simply cannot skip.

Graduate Scholarships

Once your FAFSA application has been evaluated and sent back you you, you will receive an EFC number, which some scholarships use to determine your financial need. It’s helpful to start working on, or editing the following items as early as possible in the process of applying for scholarships. Most applications will require one or both:

1. A Stellar Personal Essaywriting

Ugh! We know! But personal essays are a great way to explore your interests and strengths while telling other people about your life experiences. While there is arguably nothing more difficult than trying to fit your dreams and ambitions into a word count, having a clear window into your heart will help scholarship givers choose you. Remember, they are making a gift, and hoping that gift has an impact. If you wrote a great personal essay for scholarships or admissions in the past, update it with new experiences and what you have learned since you completed your undergraduate degree - that might save you a little time and stress!

When you have a draft ready, have friends, family, professors, whoever you trust... read it through and edit it. It helps to have as many pairs of eyes on a document as possible, but keep in mind you can keep or throw away any edits they make.

You should think of your edited personal essay as a base that can be tweaked and polished to fit whatever scholarship you may be applying for. Having a good solid one to start with will save you time later, and make the application process that much less taxing when you are sorting through the overwhelming number scholarships available to apply for.

2. Letters of Recommendation

The first rule of letters of rec is that you should always, always, always ask at least two weeks in advance of when you need it. Each scholarship may have different requirements for the letters themselves - some may have specific forms or items the writer may need to cover. If you haven’t contacted professors, teachers or employers who know how awesome you are in a while, now may be the time to start that relationship up again. Let them know you are going back to school, and test the water for future letter writing. That way they can start to gather their thoughts before you’ve even decided on what scholarships you’re going to apply for.

Some people you ask for a recommendation letter may prefer to have a starting point to add their thoughts to so they can save time and include the personal details they choose. For these folks, you may want to have a recommendation letter drafted. You can use one from the past that you really liked as a starting point. Write up what you think your ideal letter of recommendation would say, just in case your writer asks for it. Keep this draft as an ace in the hole - don’t send them the draft unless you are asked to do so.

When someone does write a recommendation letter for you, remember to send them a thank you. It’s a lot of work writing a sparkling recommendation letter, and it’s always nice to thank someone for helping you out- regardless of whether you win or not. It will also make your contacts happier to write letters in the future. And be sure to let them know when you win that scholarship, too! 

Where to look for money

Know where you want to go to school? Comb the area for scholarships! Universities will often have scholarships information available to prospective students. Comb their website and see what you can find. Some colleges will provide a list of funding resources specific to the programs you are considering, such as this page at the UH Mānoa College of Education. You can also ask a recruitment advisor at the college you are considering; they generally know what programs have scholarships and stipends available.

After you explore the university’s website, expand into the local community. Google searches are your friend. Things like “Hawaii Scholarships” may make it easy for you to find a whole host of ways to go to school in paradise!

What was that about a stipend?

Stipends are a bit like grants - typically, they are money that is provided (sometimes with strings attached) for students enrolling in specific types of programs. Let's say the Federal government would like to increase the number of Special Education teachers who become licensed this year; they may decide to make funds available to students who enroll in programs that lead to becoming a licensed Special Education teacher. It's a good idea to ask a recruitment advisor what stipends are available for programs you are interested in - and also to ask what types of funding is available for programs similar to those you are considering. It might be worth it to you to explore an alternative when someone is helping to pay your tuition!

In general, stipends do not need to be repaid, unless you fail to meet conditions tied to the money you receive. In our Special Education Teacher example, you might be required to teach in a specific setting for a specific number of years to meet the requirements of the stipend. 

eiffel-tower-imageMove on up! To the international level...

There are several large scholarships out there that are open to students studying in the United States, or anywhere in the world. While the competition is stiff, it’s still definitely worth it to throw your lot in with them - after all, you can’t win if you don’t try. And the money isn’t only for people who excel academically - in addition to the well known genius-type scholarships, there is support available based on your ethnicity, marital status, age, gender or unique situation - there is even a scholarship for people who know Klingon!

Here are a few scholarships that are open to the world, and can get you boatloads of cash for school: 



These are some ideas on where to find money, but there's more to choosing a graduate program than figuring out how to pay for it. We’ve put together a great guide called 5 Things to Do Before You Apply to Graduate School. Use the guide to get good information on managing your time and making sure you're qualified for programs you want to apply to.  If there's some other topic you want us to address, let us know, and we'll get right on it!

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Topics: Before You Apply to Grad School