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February 2017 Newsletter

Welcome back! We hope you have all had a productive and smooth start to the Spring semester. The Michael D. Eisner College of Education is always active, energized, and innovating, so let's take a look at some of the great work that our colleagues have been doing in the new year.



Self-Care Get Its First Publication

The Self-Care program just had their first letter accepted for publication!

Tarver Behring, S., Jeffries, C. & Spagna, M. (In press). Moving Toward a Culture of Self-Care in Higher Education. Inside Higher Ed.

Family Focus Resource Center

Family Focus Resource Center

The Family Focus Resource Center (FFRC) received a $476,175 grant from the North Los County Regional Center (NLACRC) called Family Empowerment Team in Action (FETA). The FETA program seeks to identify and respond to challenges that underserved families encounter when they have a child with a developmental disability. A collaborative between Family Focus Resource Center, the Department of Social Work and the Institute of Community Health and Wellbeing (ICHWB), the objective of the FETA program is to develop a responsive team to help identify and address these challenges over a two year period.

When a family has a child or children with disabilities, the family must get their basic needs met before they can effectively utilize services for their child with a disability. Interns in the Masters of Social Work program, their supervising faculty member Dr. Wendy Ashley and a team of student assistants will develop treatment plans to address challenges that may include language and transportation barriers, systems navigation issues and basic needs challenges (food, housing, healthcare, immigration and other legal concerns). Data collection and evaluation will be conducted through the ICHWB.

A program coordinator through Family Focus Resource Center will oversee the overall program and provide training in cultural competency for Regional Center service providers and empowerment training for underserved families in the NLACRC service area.

For more information, please contact Dr. Ivor Weiner.

Cal State Northridge Writing Project

Joining more than 150 Writing Project sites nationwide, 15 Teacher Leaders from the Cal State Northridge Writing Project scored over 1,000 entries in Scholastic's Writing Contest in January.

The Cal State Northridge Writing Project offered a three day training for the 7th and 8th grade Expository Reading and Writing Course (ERWC) in February.

The Cal State Northridge Writing Project will offer an Open Institute for teachers interested in learning how to navigate the 1000+ page English Language Arts/ English Language Development Framework on March 11th. See www.csun.edu/writingproject for information and registration.

The Cal State Northridge Writing Project will offer a full day workshop focused on the Improving Students’ Academic Writing program developed by the California Writing Project on April 1st. See www.csun.edu/writingproject for information and registration.

Kathy Rowlands and a Teacher Leader from The Cal State Northridge Writing Project will provide a three day training in the 7th and 8th grade Expository Reading and Writing Course (ERWC) for all the middle school teachers in the Temecula Unified School District beginning March 6th and 7th.

The Cal State Northridge Writing Project is currently recruiting k-University educators for the 2017 Invitational Summer Institute beginning in June. See www.csun.edu/writingproject for information and application materials.

Cal State Northridge Writing Project

CSUN Simulation Services

Scenes from the CSUN simulation services program

CSUN Simulation Services has been reaching out to departments across the campus, and will be providing services to a wide variety of programs and courses this spring. In the fall semester we provided about 50 hours of simulation services to more than 150 students in seven different programs.

Fall 2016 simulation experiences included:

  • Sundial Reporters building their interviewing techniques under the direction of Gretchen Macchiarella in the Journalism Department
  • Elementary ACT Teaching candidates experiencing job interviews under the direction of Steve Holle, Elementary Education.
  • Early Childhood Special Education candidates practicing interacting with parents of young children with special needs, under the direction of Zhen Chai in Special Education.
  • Students in an early fieldwork class rehearsing foundational teaching competencies under the direction of Beth Lasky in Special Education.
  • Student Teachers in the Ed Specialist program running IEP meetings under the direction of Sally Spencer in Special Education.
  • Students in the Elementary, Secondary and Special Education departments practicing collaborating with a resistant co-teacher, under the direction of Maggie Gallagher, with support from Rachel Friedman Narr, Rick Pendleton, and Erin Studer in Special Education.

In addition, we did demo simulations for the CSUN HR department, the Career Center, and faculty from Educational Leadership and Policy Studies as well as at several conferences, and for some of the UCLA education faculty. We are hoping to work further with each of these entities in the coming semesters.

This spring, 2017, in addition to repeating most of the simulations above, the following are also scheduled:

  • Counsellor interns will practice interacting with a distraught parent in EPC621, under the direction of Shyrea Minton in Educational Psychology and Counseling.
  • Two sections of early childhood special educators will practice conducting IEP meetings in SPED 532, under the direction of Zhen Chai in Special Education.
  • Three sections of counseling students will use the simulator to practice working with individuals suffering from PTSD, OCD and substance abuse under the direction of Diane Gehart and a variety of instructors in Educational Psychology and Counseling.
  • Five sections of social work candidates in SWK523 will practice interacting with an angry parent, under the direction of Katie Mortimer and five instructors in the Department of Social Work.

We are also collaborating with educators at the University of Central Florida to complete the first phase of a study comparing the use of the mixed-reality CSUN Simulator to traditional role play, and hope to have those findings ready for publication by the summer. If you’re interested in adding a simulated experience to your classroom, please contact Dr. Sally Spencer, Director, for more information or to schedule a demo. sally.spencer@csun.edu



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College of Education faculty and staff assembled