Paraprofessionals enroll at CSU to earn
Good candidates for education degrees are often those prospective students who think they are inter- ested in education.
But when people who have already proven their commitment to educa- tion decide to earn their degree, the results should be outstanding.
That is one of the ideas behind Cen- tral State University’s new partnership with Dayton Public Schools (DPS).
A group of 18 paraprofessionals from the Dayton Public Schools system have enrolled at CSU-Dayton cam- pus to begin work on their Bachelor of Science in Education. Currently, this group, forming a “cohorts” class, is taking two courses: mul-
ticultural education and classroom management.
“These paraprofessionals are currently working in the Dayton schools as teacher aides,” said Dr. Jean Harper, CSU Associate Professor in the Col- lege of Education. “Upon graduation, they will have earned a degree that will qualify them to be intervention specialists, once known as special education teachers. Intervention specialists are a projected need of the Dayton Public Schools system.”
This partnership came about when Jeffrey J. Mims, president of the Board of Education for the Dayton School District and an alumnus of CSU, approached administra- tors. Mr. Mims wanted to create the
Reflections from Dayton Public Schools’ Superintendent Lori Ward, CSU alumna
“These paraprofessionals are taking their careers to the next level, by working on their educa- tion degree at Central State,” said Lori Ward, superintendent of DPS. Ms. Ward visited the CSU-Dayton campus in November, and talked with the students during one of their evening classes.
“We need strong urban educators, and that’s the goal of this partnership between Dayton Public Schools and Central State,” Ms. Ward said. “I am encouraged by the number of people who applied for the opportunity to be part of this cohort program. I am also impressed by the enthusiasm of those who are now enrolled and their desire to make a difference in Dayton Public Schools.”
Ms. Ward took over the top district position for DPS on July 1, 2010, after working there since
8 CENTRAL STATE UNIVERSITY
1995; her prior position, for two years, was as deputy for the superintendent.
She received her certificate in elementary educa- tion and her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (1980) from Central State Uni- versity. Her master’s of education degree with a concentration in computers was earned at the University of Dayton in 1999.
When she talked to the cohorts during her classroom visit, Superintendent Ward impressed upon them the importance of their studies. “As we try to move Dayton Public Schools students up the achievement ladder, we need you to work hard to become well-educated and dedicated teachers who will help meet our goals,” she said.
opportunity for paraprofessionals to earn their bachelor’s degree to become the Intervention Specialists needed by Dayton schools.
Dr. James Renick, Dean of the CSU- Dayton campus said, “This program allows Central State University to respond to the ever increasing educa- tional requirements of our communi- ty through an innovative partnership with Dayton Public Schools.”
“Superintendent Lori Ward has been a true leader in this effort,” added Dr. Harper. “She and the people in the human resources department were able to project their needs for the future, which includes having spe- cial education teachers with a strong background in urban education. We
Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Lori Ward shares informa- tion with the evening class.
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