Inspire. Innovate. Impact Articles.

From the Dean

Greetings Alumni, Students, Colleagues and Friends! Welcome to our online space where we feature the work, success and updates that have taken place in our college during the past year. The beginning of each semester allows us to refocus our commitment to inspire, innovate and impact our students, our region, our state and beyond.

I’m so proud of the benevolence, expertise and of the incredible impact our faculty have had in their respective fields. Recently, our college received news from the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), that our School Counseling and School Principal Programs, and our undergraduate Teacher Education program were accredited. AAQEP is a national accrediting body that is recognized by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CHEA provides recognition to accrediting organizations, which ensures quality in higher education for students and accountability to the public. CHEA recognition is another way of saying that CHEA “accredits the accreditor.”

In keeping with accreditation news, the Educational Leadership Department's Principal and Superintendent programs received national recognition through the Specialized Professional Association Program (SPA). The SPA Program requires data collection for evidence of a high rate of student success, as well as faculty collaboratively using the data for continuous program improvement. Also, the Lamar University Collegiate 100 Chapter welcomed 13 new members with a formal induction ceremony, and many of our alumni from each of the department's received prestigious awards.

Our college has made an intentional decision to augment our relationships with schools and community partners, and our staff and faculty are key members of the team to help us accomplish these goals. Along this line, our Teacher Education undergraduate program was recently admitted into Cohort VI of the national coalition, University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation (US PREP). US PREP is a national center committed to high-quality, university-based teacher preparation with the use of a two-semester residency model. A pilot program will be launched in Fall 2023 in partnership with BISD. We have ten students who will be placed in one of three schools – Charlton Pollard, Blanchette, or Fletcher Elementary Schools. Students will be paid a stipend so that they can focus full-time to the residency program which has become the gold standard for preparing classroom teachers.

A special thank you to our faculty, staff, students and alumni for their outstanding accomplishments and achievements. Our college continues to do great work. I invite you to read about our successes and continue to check back regularly for updates and new information.

This is my last letter for Impact Magazine as the Dean of the College because I have decided to retire from higher education. These past eight years have been a wonderful opportunity for me, and I am grateful to have served. Going forward I am fully confident that the future of the College is very bright. As always, it is a great time to be at Lamar University!

Go Cardinals!

Robert J. Spina, Ph.D., F.A.C.S.M

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