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b2ap3_thumbnail_10-24-FirstEnergy-edu-grant.jpgThe FirstEnergy Foundation has awarded Waynesburg University’s Department of Education a $5,000 grant for the purchase of iPads.

The iPads will be used in college classrooms to teach future educators how to integrate technology into daily lessons for K-12 students. 

“FirstEnergy recognizes the value of a strong, well-educated work force for the future,” said Randy Durr, manager of external affairs for FirstEnergy.  “We’re pleased to support this effort to equip future educators with the tools they need to assure their students succeed.”

Through the use of the iPads, Waynesburg University students will learn how to find appropriate applications that support the objectives they are teaching and how to actively engage students in the activity. Students will also learn how to use data from applications to make instructional decisions. 

“We are excited to have the grant money to purchase iPads for the Education Department,” said Yvonne Weaver, chairperson for the University’s Education Department and instructor of education. “Faculty will use various iPad applications to help our future teachers learn how to infuse technology into their lessons. This is one way to teach students how to differentiate instruction to meet individual needs in a classroom.

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Ashley Wise, Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_10-23-Voices-from-Field-Ed.jpgWaynesburg University’s Department of Education recently hosted Dr. Rob Furman, who presented “Are You Future Ready?” as part of the Department’s “Voices from the Field” speaker series.

Furman is an educator, leader, principal, scholar, speaker and published author, and is currently the principal at South Park Elementary Center in the South Park School District in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The presentation focused on how technology can play a significant role in preparing students for achievement in the future and includes information about the skills needed to move education forward in a productive and effective manner.

“I think Dr. Furman’s message was clear that teachers are facilitators of learning these days,” said senior education major Cassandra Kemp. “I appreciated how he connected [his presentation] to our part of rural, western Pennsylvania in pointing out that if our schools don’t have funding to have a piece of technology for every student, that there are ways for us to bring in only one piece of technology as a model.”

Furman was recognized with the 2015 Outstanding Research and Publication Award by the Pennsylvania Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (PASCD). His writing also earned him the distinction of being named to the 2015 Top 100 Educational Blogs list by #60 National, and he was a 2014 Pittsburgh-Tribune Review Total Media Newsmaker.

Furman holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from West Virginia University, master’s degree in educational administration from Duquesne University and a doctorate in instructional leadership.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

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Ashley Wise, Director of University Relations

724-852-7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_AWBeattie-Signing-1.jpgA.W. Beattie Career Center and Waynesburg University are partnering to provide the opportunity for A.W. Beattie students to earn Waynesburg University credits while in high school, enabling them to get a head start on their bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education.

Today, officials of the two institutions signed an articulation agreement, which will provide a pathway for qualified A.W. Beattie students to enroll in the Early Childhood Education Program at Waynesburg University. Upon enrollment at Waynesburg, eligible students will be awarded six academic credits. 

“Waynesburg values the educational experience that A.W. Beattie provides for its students,” said Dr. Shari Payne, vice president for enrollment at Waynesburg University.  “This agreement is a way for us to help their students build on that experience so they can achieve their career goals in the most efficient way possible.”

The agreement was signed by Dr. Dana Cook Baer, provost at Waynesburg University, and Eric Heasley, executive director of A.W. Beattie, on the campus of Waynesburg University.

“A.W. Beattie Career Center is focused on the development of multiple college and career pathways for student success,” said Heasley. “Post-secondary and employer partnerships are the back bone of providing students access to the skills needed within the workforce.”

The primary objective of the agreement is to maximize credit transferability while retaining all Waynesburg University academic requirements and providing a rigorous program of study. Only those students who matriculate to Waynesburg will be granted Waynesburg credit.

To be eligible, A.W. Beattie students must have completed the curriculum as outlined in the A.W. Beattie Career Center Program of Studies catalog, have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and have a test score of at least 75 percent on the respective written and performance sections of the NOCTI Exam.

For more information, contact Waynesburg’s Undergraduate Admissions Office at admissions@waynesburg.edu or 800-225-7393.

A.W. Beattie Career Center is consistently rated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as one of the top performing career centers for high school students who are enrolled in post-secondary education, employed in their field of study or engaged in military services one year after graduation.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

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Ashley Wise, Director of University Relations

724-852-7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Posted by on in Alumni

b2ap3_thumbnail_Bethany-Orndoff.jpgAs a little girl, Bethany Orndoff never looked forward to missing school when she was sick. In fact, sick days made her sad. The sadness stemmed from her love of learning, and the emotion would soon prove to be an indicator of her future career.

“I chose to be a teacher because I've known that's what I've wanted to be for as long as I can remember,” she said.

Knowing how much she enjoyed math and inspired by Rebecca Wilson, her high school math teacher and fellow Waynesburg University alumna, Orndoff continued to walk the path that would ultimately lead her to her beloved career.

Currently teaching grades 9 through 11, Orndoff is responsible for creating and implementing lesson plans and making changes as she sees necessary based on the needs of her students.

Recognizing the importance of her position, Orndoff strives each day to be a light to each student.

“The great thing about being a teacher is the amount of lives I will impact. Right now, I see just fewer than 100 students a day — imagine the amount of students I will have seen in 10 years! To be a part of a student's life is something I will always cherish,” she said.

In teaching, Orndoff said she also identifies the opportunities to be a mentor.

“Students come to me with questions, and I am there to give advice,” she said.

Orndoff genuinely enjoys her students and is grateful for a career that allows her the opportunity to experience something new each day.

“I enjoy waking up and going to my classroom and greeting my students as they walk in,” she said. “I am the teacher that has a smile on her face every day, in every class, and I am smiling because I know that I'm where I belong.”

Partial to her alma mater, Orndoff said that she believes “only the best come from Waynesburg University.”

“The reason for that is how well the University prepares us for the real world,” she said. “I had all of the tools necessary to succeed, and that's what I did. I was able to secure a job and started the day after graduation. In the education field, that is unheard of."

Orndoff specifically credits Debra Clarke, assistant professor of education and chair of the Department of Education at Waynesburg University, and Yvonne Weaver, certification officer & field placement coordinator at Waynesburg University.

“They helped me evolve into a professional educator,” she said. “I have always turned to them for advice and their doors are always open for me. Their leadership and mentoring have allowed to me to be where I am today, and I am forever grateful."

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During the spring semester, a Waynesburg University education student designed and implemented a hands-on, educational program for a local preschool class as a service project, providing students with an out-of-the-box learning experience. 

Abigail Standley, sophomore early childhood education major from Gahanna, Ohio, combined a former graduate student’s memorial and the support of the Department of Education to create a sustainable program for children in the Community Action Southwest preschool program at Jefferson-Morgan Elementary School. 

Standley designed and presented a supplemental gardening unit for her preschool classroom, during which the students planted flower seeds and took a field trip to a nearby greenhouse, where they learned about gardening and growing plants.

The project began with a conversation between Standley and Pam Abbe, tutor coordinator and director of the Knox Learning Center at Waynesburg. Abbe’s daughter, Leah Abbe Zwerver, passed away June 14, 2008, after completing graduate studies at the University. Abbe developed a fund in her daughter’s memory with the goal of providing support to Waynesburg University Student Services for one-on-one cultural and environmental experiences between University students and public school students.

Standley decided to honor the goals of this memorial fund with her service learning project at the preschool. She worked closely with Debra Clarke, chair of the Department of Education and assistant professor of education, to develop and carry out the idea. Clarke attests that the process, in addition to working toward an admirable cause, helped Standley grow immensely as a student and servant.

All education majors at the University receive field placements each semester in a local classroom, where they are expected to assist the classroom teacher and complete tasks assigned by the teacher. 

“The project was intended to provide a special experience for the children at the field placement and to honor the memory of a former Waynesburg University student and local community member,” said Clarke. “Many, many hours of service were dedicated to the project planning and implementation. Standley learned a lot as she worked on the special service project.”

While field placements for sophomore level education students only require 12 weeks of twice a week, two-hour sessions in their assigned classroom, Standley plans to continue her service project for the duration of her time at the University.

“My entire goal of this project for this semester was to start out small and grow big by the time I graduate in 2017,” said Standley. “My ultimate goal is to have this be a permanent service project on campus in which all University students can participate. This would consist of University students going into local school districts to give them out-of-the-box opportunities within their educational experience.”

According to Clarke, Standley has exemplified the goals of the Department of Education, which aims to reflect the University’s mission of faith, learning and service in all activities.

“The Department of Education’s mission is to prepare teachers who embrace learning and dedicate themselves to service and leadership in the profession,” said Clarke. “Standley certainly embraced learning and developed quality leadership skills as she dedicated her efforts to the service activity."

As Standley continues to strengthen the relationship between the University and local schools, Clarke foresees the benefits of the initiative both for Standley’s future and for the future of the Department of Education.

“Standley learned to persevere, to be flexible, and to be open to the ideas of others. Overall, she acquired numerous planning and preparation skills that she will use as she completes her final two years of study in the Department of Education and prepares to move into her own classroom,” said Clarke. “Her project will serve as a role model for future students as they work to maximize the learning and service opportunities provided through the Department of Education's field experience requirements.”

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

Tagged in: education news
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