Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
July 18, 1997

Education college seeks premier status

by Steve Sullivan

Campaign Destiny: To Become the Best coincides with a turning point in the College of Education's history.

Education faculty, staff and administrators are taking a hard look at the college's programs and developing a reorganization plan that will emphasize strengths in teacher education, technology and educational leadership. Campaign Destiny plays an important part in these developments and the college's concerted effort to "raise our aspirations," said Camilla Benbow, interim dean.

The college has a capital campaign goal of $3.57 million. Campaign funds primarily are targeted to develop and enhance the college's priority areas: the new Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching, Project Opportunity, student learning and education services,and educational leadership.

"We want to be a premier college of education at a land- grant university," said Benbow. "The campaign and the reorganization plans are important components of our efforts to meet that goal. We want to enhance scholarship, focusing on teaching and learning as they relate to science and technology, new models of student learning, education leadership and policy and science education. We want to do this while maintaining our excellence in teaching and outreach in the state."

Endowment funds will be used to create professorships and develop centers in key educational programming areas, Benbow said. The college already has several searches under way for senior faculty positions in education leadership, instructional technology and science education, as well as department head positions in health and human performance and industrial education and technology. The college also is developing a Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching.

"Instructional technology is a national issue and a priority in Iowa and nationally both Gov. Branstad and President Clinton are placing emphasis on it," Benbow said. "It will change not only how we teach, but what we teach."

The college seeks $1 million for new and enhanced programs. The most prominent effort in this area is Project Opportunity, a collaborative effort among faculty, practicing educators and students to improve the teaching and learning of teacher education students. Project Opportunity creates teams of approximately 30 teacher education students for their sophomore, junior and senior years. They take the same classes and participate in expanded student teaching opportunities at partner schools.

Project Opportunity has been a pilot program for the last several years. Because of its popularity and success, it may be developed into a college-wide approach to teacher education.

Educational leadership is another college program destined for national prominence, and campaign funds will be used to establish an endowed chair for the program, said Larry Ebbers, associate dean.

"Emphasis is being placed on developing K-12 and post- secondary community college leaders for the next millennium," Ebbers said. "If Iowa's educational system is to remain among the best in the nation, then we must equip its leaders."

Industrial education and technology plays a significant role in the college's Campaign Destiny goals. The IEDT undergraduate program prepares students for positions in manufacturing. In the past two years, placement rates have been 98 percent within six months of graduation. About 60 percent of the graduates accept positions in Iowa.

Campaign funds could go toward a professorship in the IEDT doctoral program, improvements to IEDT's facilities or to create a visiting executive/scholar in residence program, Benbow said.

Other possibile uses of campaign dollars is to enhance programs in the department of health and human performance's popular dance program in the Betty Toman Dance Studio, she said.

Benbow added renaming the physical eduation building in honor of former dedepartment head Barbara Forker is a source of pride in the college.

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