On Point e-Newsletter: Spring 2016

School of Education Newsletter: On Point

A Message From the Dean: Responding to the Teacher Shortage

The teacher shortage is here. After several years where the number of teacher education graduates exceeded the number teacher openings, Washington state schools are now finding it more and more difficult to hire all the teachers they need to fill open teacher positions. While schools have always had a difficult time finding qualified special education, math, and science teachers, the current teacher shortage cuts across all areas, including elementary classroom teachers and secondary content teachers.

SOE is doing its part to help schools meet their need for teachers in all areas by continuing to provide a variety of undergraduate and graduate teacher preparation programs. During the last few years, SOE has added alternative route options (ARC) to the traditional program offerings, including a Master's in Teaching Math and Science (MTMS). More recently, we have explored alternate delivery models to provide options for potential students (and teachers) who do not have ready access to a campus-based program.

Two other examples of SOE’s commitment to preparing quality teachers includes two new programs, both funded by state grants:

  • Alternative Route to Certification for School Employees (ARCSE) – The ARCSE will provide the opportunity for school employees in the Tacoma School Districts and Educational Service District 113 (Olympia) through a two-year $320,000 PESB grant to pursue initial teacher licensure.
  • Math Education Specialists (MES) – A one-year $160,000 grant from the Washington State Achievement Council (WSAC) will help elementary education teachers in ESD 114 to pursue certification as math education specialists.

Finally, the recent Education Job Fair was another indication of both the teacher shortage and our commitment to assist schools in finding excellent teachers, as described elsewhere in this newsletter.

SOE is deeply committed to serving the educational community. During this time when schools are in need of great teachers, SOE will continue to do all it can to help schools achieve their goal of serving all learners. I hope that you will find the rest of On Point informative of the various ways that we contribute. As always, I welcome your comments and questions.

Rick Eigenbrood Rick Eigenbrood, Dean
School of Education

Faculty Highlights

Jorge	 Preciado

Faculty/Staff Spotlight: Jorge Preciado

Jorge Preciado is currently assistant professor of education, chair of special education, and head of the School of Education’s diversity committee. Earlier this year, his contributions to SPU and the School of Education were acknowledged with an appointment of tenure. Here Dr. Preciado reflects on his journey to SPU and what excites him as an educator.

My journey as a faculty member started many years ago in Tijuana, Baja California, growing up in a close-knit Latino family. I have always felt the need for community and to serve others, and this is something that I try to do as a faculty member in the School of Education at SPU. While my lifelong dream was to be an elementary school teacher, which actually came true, I always felt the need to share information about education with preservice teachers and graduate students.

The road to SPU was well-traveled, spending 13 years as a general and special education teacher in Chula Vista, California. Upon completion of my doctorate studies from the University of Oregon in 2006, I accepted a position as a research associate at the Center of Teaching and Learning (CTL) at my alma mater. Then, after completing three years at CTL where I learned a lot regarding literacy and research, I completed a post-doctorate at Dynamic Measurement Group (DMG) in Eugene, Oregon.

I came to SPU in the fall of 2010 ready to expand my vision and explore the world of being a college professor. Since then I have been grateful to work with fantastic colleagues and to teach students who are passionate about education in courses regarding diversity, assessments, literacy, and classroom management. Currently, I am completing my first year as chair of the special education department. Additionally, I have continued to engage in scholarly work blending literacy practices and positive behavior supports for Latino students — an area I am truly passionate about. I am also working with a company in New York to create a K–6 leveled readers program in Spanish for Latino students.

Richard Scheuerman

Richard Scheuerman Elected Vice President of WA Historical Society

Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction Richard Scheuerman was named western vice president of the Washington State Historical Society, an organization “dedicated to collecting, preserving, and vividly presenting Washington’s rich and varied history” by providing educational resources and services to researchers, teachers, students, and the general public.

David W. Denton

David Denton Named AILACTE President

Assistant Professor David Denton was recently voted president-elect of the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education (AILACTE). AILACTE is a professional organization with 141 members from across the nation. The association’s mission is to bring institutions together for collaboration around teacher preparation, with emphasis on the importance of individuals, community, democracy, and equity. Denton will serve on the executive committee as president-elect in 2016–17, president in 2017–19, and past president in 2019–20.

Alumni Highlights

Jeremy Delamarter

Jeremy Delamarter, ’11

After graduating from SPU’s EdD program in 2011, Jeremy Delamarter accepted a position at Northwest University, where he works as assistant professor and director of field experiences in the College of Education.

In addition to these responsibilities, Delamarter has helped establish a partnership that brings AVID students from Bellevue School District to Northwest University’s campus to experience college life for a day. “This is a highly successful program,” Delamarter writes, “in which ‘at risk’ middle schoolers get to meet with professors, take a class, eat in the cafeteria, and interact with undergraduates.”

Delamarter’s research interests involve preservice teachers’ expectations of teaching:

“Years of research have established that preservice teachers enter preparation programs with fixed and rigid expectations of teaching. The research also tells us that these expectations are usually wrong. I’ve spent the last few years establishing a theoretical construct to better understand the nature of these misaligned expectations.

“Most research into teachers’ expectations of teaching is reactive. That is, it addresses in-service teachers who have reached a crisis point. I’m interested in proactive measures. The more that teacher preparation programs can understand about their students’ expectations of teaching, the more they can help them confront, evaluate, and revise their expectations before they enter the field.”

Interested in earning a Doctor of Education degree? Learn more about SPU’s program.

Tom Alsbury and Adam Swinyard

Tom Alsbury and Adam Swinyard, ’15

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) awarded 2015 EdD graduate Adam Swinyard’s doctoral dissertation “Organizational Monitoring Systems and Student Academic Achievement” the Research on the Superintendency SIG Dissertation of the Year. Swinyard was recognized for this achievement at the Research on the Superintendency SIG business meeting in April along with his dissertation chair, Thomas Alsbury, professor of educational administration and supervision.

Eric Boyer

Eric Boyer, ’15

Eric Boyer, PhD in Education ’15, was recently hired as assistant professor in the College of Education and Counseling Psychology at St. Martin’s University. Boyer has also taken on the roles of faculty advisor to Saint Martin’s University Future Educators (SMUFE) campus club and advisor to the Secondary Teaching Alternative Route (STAR) program. “My new position,” says Boyer, “will — and has already begun to — afford me the opportunity to ensure that those entering the secondary teaching profession will be knowledgeable, skilled, and compassionate about the importance of sound educational practice for our younger generations.”

News & Events

Education Job Fair 2016

SPU Education Job Fair Hosts 40 Employers

On April 28, a group of 40 employers visited campus for the 2016 Education Job Fair to meet SPU teacher, school counseling, and administrative program completers seeking open positions. These employers included local school districts, independent schools, and international teaching organizations.

The Education Job Fair, which has been held on campus for the past few years, showed the highest employer attendance than ever before with a 50 percent increase from 2013 and a 30 percent increase from last year.

Education Job Fair 2016

Dean Eigenbrood Addresses Employers at the Job Fair

The ratio of school districts to independent schools and other organizations has also risen dramatically: 36 of the 40 employers represented were public school districts. These numbers confirm the arrival of what educators have known was coming for a while: Washington state’s heightened demand for school teachers.

SPU education job seekers arrived at the fair, résumés in hand, prepared not only to learn about available positions but also to interview for them on the spot. Some students walked away from the event with job offers and conditional contracts.

“This recruitment event is important for us in terms of student experience and job placements, but bringing employers to campus also allows them to learn more about the teaching programs at SPU and what makes our learning community special,” says placement assistant Dyana Herron.

“Employers pulled me aside throughout the event to comment on the quality and commitment of our students — both those they were meeting for the first time, and others hired in the past who are already working in schools. Those stories are great to hear.”

Dr. Geneva Gay at SPU

SOE Diversity Committee Hosts Campus Events

The School of Education Diversity Committee has had a busy year engaging both SOE members and the broader SPU community in events focused on issues of diversity and cultural awareness.

At the beginning of the academic year, education faculty and staff members gathered for an annual retreat at which John Perkins Center Director Tali Hairston led the group in “culture shaping” exercises. Participants were encouraged to explore their personal stories and individual positions in society, then reflect on the impact those lenses have on their interactions with others.

Hairston also hosted a gathering during winter quarter, allowing SOE members the opportunity to expand on these earlier discussions in light of broader conversations occurring across campus, and explore what those conversations mean to the SOE — especially in regards to how better understanding the experiences of students of color at SPU might strengthen the support and preparation provided by the education programs.

In March, SOE welcomed to campus a panel of educators who serve in schools highly impacted by poverty. Kristin DeWitt, principal of South Shore School, Pat Larson, principal of Foster High School in Tukwila, and teacher Shana Brown, who serves as an SPU mentor teacher at Broadview Thompason K–8 and recently received an award for Excellence in Teaching at the White House, spoke to faculty about their hopes for how SPU prepares its education students.

This event was followed in April by a campuswide “Ways of Knowing” panel featuring Geneva Gay, an internationally known expert in multicultural education, and other scholars and community members. Their discussion of epistemology — or the theory of knowledge — examined the different ways that people define learning, knowing, and sharing knowledge, as well as whose knowledge counts. This event drew over 250 attendees from all over campus, including several undergraduate classes, faculty, and administrators.

SOE hopes to build on the conversations and experiences shared this year in an effort to cultivate the best possible learning environment for its students.

“Cultural literacy is very important and something that all educators should work to improve,” says diversity committee chair Jorge Preciado, assistant professor of education. “The more we know and understand the personal stories of our students, the better the learning environment for all.”

SOE Receives Educators for the 21st Century Grant

The Washington Student Achievement Council has awarded Seattle Pacific University’s School of Education a one-year grant of $160,000 to support professional learning for teachers and principals in high-needs schools in the Olympic ESD region. The initiative will seek to strengthen elementary mathematics instruction in high-needs schools through the development and support of elementary math specialists and by use of the Smarter Balance Assessment Digital Resource Library.

Dr. Larry Nyland

Larry Nyland to Speak at Graduate Commencement

The speaker at this year’s graduate commencement will be superintendent of Seattle Public Schools Larry Nyland. Nyland has a long history with Seattle Pacific University, including serving as faculty member from 1993 to 1997, when he founded the Superintendent Certification Program, as well as teaching in an adjunct position for many years. He was presented the SPU School of Education Visionary Leadership Award in 2015. Graduate Commencement will take place on campus June 10.

Solving Washington State’s Teacher Shortage

Solving Washington State’s Teacher Shortage The latest issue of Response delves into our state’s teacher shortage and how grads of SPU’s programs, such as ARC, are helping fill in the gap. Read how alumni like Burton Shields are making a difference in local schools. Plus, review a handy infographic that walks through the process to becoming an educator. Learn more about these programs.


Like you, we believe in our mission to engage the culture and change the world … starting in the classroom. That’s why SPU’s School of Education is always looking for new ways to help you connect with the future of education in our state and beyond. And there’s more than one way you can get involved. In fact, here are four ways to give.