Holmes Program Develops Minority Teachers

In partnership with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Eastern is continuing its participation in the Holmes Program.

Left to right: Lucero Garza, Laina Rivers and Alexis Sanchez

This year, three elementary education graduate students–Alexis Sanchez (Uncasville), Lucero Garza (Willimantic) and Laina Rivers (Bloomfield)–are participating in the Holmes Master’s program, which supports students from underrepresented backgrounds who are pursuing careers in education.

While the National Center for Educational Statistics projects that 55 percent of all K-12 students in public schools will be students of color by 2023, more than 80% of all K-12 teachers are white. Unless teacher preparation programs recruit more students from minority populations, this underrepresented trend will continue into the future.

“Having the opportunity to be involved in a program that advocates for minority teacher recruitment is eye opening and rewarding,” said Rivers. “There are so many people of color interested in the education field but do not know where to begin or do not believe that they can be successful in the field. I am humbled and honored to be a part of such a program.”

“The Holmes Master’s Program has given me the opportunity to inspire and encourage underrepresented students to join the teaching force,” said Sanchez. “I have only had a handful of minority teachers in my life and would have liked to have had more teachers of color. There is a dire need for minority teachers nationwide to fill the diversity gap in schools. Being part of that movement has been an honor.”

Morgan Cunningham, (COMM ’18) is a true example of how hard work, perseverance, and the desire to learn are the keys to success!

Morgan was 8-years-old when he fell in love with radio. As he was half-heartedly doing yardwork, his dad, knowing how much he loved music, suggested he call the radio station they were listening to and request a song. “There was just something magical about talking to a DJ off the air and behind the scenes . . .,” remembers Morgan, adding, “Little did I know that this would become such a big part of my life – my hobby and my career!”
Morgan’s dad was a continuing education student here at Eastern and aware of our radio station, WECS. He encouraged 14-year-old Morgan to present a concept for a show – to play 1950’s and 1960’s pop and rock n’ roll. When told the only spot open was midnight, he eagerly committed. In their excitement, Morgan’s mom and dad supported him fully, driving him to and from his late night shifts. While Morgan was delivering his one-man, on-air show, he received supportive mentoring from Associate Professor John Zatowski, who listened to his shows and provided feedback.
As a high school student applying to college, Morgan picked Eastern because he felt a match with the University after being a part of WECS for a few years. He submitted only one application. He was accepted and while initially, he sought only to concentrate on broadcasting and production, he took advantage of classes in public relations, advertising, and television production.
Morgan was recently hired at Lite 100.5 WRCH / WTIC Newstalk 1080 as a part-time on–air talent, practicing both DJ and board operator skills, as well as covering national news and programming. He also syndicates his own national radio show, “The Morgan Cunningham Show,” hosts InterviewUniverse.com for on-line podcasts, and works at Eastern as an assistant to President Nuñez.
Morgan will graduate in May 2018. He credits his communication professors who, “. . . push critical and analytical thinking and are fully devoted to the success of their students.” He adds, “If students are willing to put in the work, our professors will work hard to help them succeed beyond college.” Looking ahead, Morgan is thinking about Eastern’s Graduate program. For now, he will continue working at WECS and maintain his other radio engagements – gaining experience and continuing to grow as a seasoned radio professional.

Congratulations to Dr. Mark Fabrizi, Assistant Professor of Education!

Dr. Fabrizi has recently been appointed Editor for The Leaflet, the journal of the New England Association of Teachers of English (NEATE), the regional affiliate for the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). The goal of The Leaflet is to provide English teachers at all levels with an opportunity to share ideas, research, and classroom experiences with other professionals. The journal is published at least twice per year, spring and fall. The Leaflet has served the members of NEATE for more than 100 years and continues to be a valuable resource for English teachers. “I am excited and honored to be selected as editor of such a well-established and important professional journal that serves so many English teachers in New England”, says Dr. Fabrizi.

Dr. Fabrizi has completed his first issue: Volume 114, Number 2, Winter 2018. He was appointed this job because he had many great ideas on how to improve the professional look and quality of The Leaflet. He started by redesigning the cover with a new and improved logo, creating a new template for the contents, and reaching out to as many English Teachers in New England he could, to assemble an ever growing resource pool for contributions to the journal. English Teachers of Secondary School, College Professors and even soon to be teachers of English are encouraged to submit poetry, stories, editorials, book reviews, cartoons, comics and more.

In Dr. Fabrizi’s latest issue, a very moving article titled “I am a Teacher” was written by Eastern’s own Michelle Wnuk (ENG, ’14), who is certified to teach grades 7-12. Following her program completion from Eastern, Michelle was immediately hired to teach English at RHAM High School and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree. Dr. Fabrizi says, “I encourage all our English Education students, both current and graduated, to share their creativity and have their voices heard.”

To become a member, sign up at http://neate.org/page/the-leaflet and share your professional contributions!
NEW ENGLAND ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS OF ENGLISH – Networking English language arts teachers at all grade levels since 1901

Posted on February 20, 2018 by Jill Skowreski, SEPS

Operations Management Students Demonstrate Liberal Arts Practically Applied, Gain Real life Experience and Support Local Businesses!

Business students at CREATE Conference on April 21, 2017.

Led by Faculty Mentor Fatma Pakdil, BUS 260 undergraduate project groups worked with local businesses and analyzed several operations management related topics. “We collaborated with companies located in our community by focusing on their problems, issues, and projects so students could see the real life applications and practices of topics covered in the course” quotes Dr. Pakdil. Teams comprised of up to three students worked with the help of company and academic mentors. In addition to the examples and practice questions analyzed in class, having a real case with various topics to work on was more challenging and showed students what they can expect after graduation. These community based projects underscore Eastern’s commitment to “Liberal Arts Practically Applied”. The following summarizes the students’ projects:

Improving Customer Satisfaction based on SERVQUAL and DINESERV at the Willimantic Brewing Co., was the focus for Majesta Brouillette, ’19/BUS and Cayla Ruiz,’19/BUS. Increasing customer satisfaction is a main goal in the service industry. These students measured customer satisfaction based on the DINESERV scale. Previous studies on DINESERV were analyzed in order to create a questionnaire. During the data collection stage, 115 customer responses were collected over a two week period. Then, data analysis using SPSS 22.0 helped determine what areas should be improved in order to increase customer satisfaction.

Also at the Willimantic Brewing Co., students led by Alexandra Bowker,’19/BUS with Ruchi Patel,’19/BUS and Justin Stannard,’19/BUS analyzed one-year sales numbers in order to identify what menu items are preferred more favorably by customers. Based on sales, the team identified what items should be kept in the menu improvement process.

Additionally students led by Jimmy Yuen,’19/ACCT, with contributions from Trevor Ross,’19/SLM,’20/FIN and Katie Burke,’19/BUS, ’20/BIS observed and measured serving time (the time between receiving an order and order delivery) at the Willimantic Brewing Co., during lunch and dinner services. Using statistical process control, the team analyzed if there was any statistical abnormalities in the service delivery process. After performing normality tests, process capability was analyzed and several control charts such as Run chart, I-MR and Xbar-S charts, were drawn to analyze the service delivery process.

 At General Cable, students Arthur Gifford,’19/BUS Kyle Bulmer,’19/BUS and Ryan Vaillancourt,’20/Explor. Prof. Studies worked on Lead Time Reduction through Raw Material Planning. They analyzed a comprehensive data set including historical data collected by the firm. ABC analysis (an inventory categorization technique) was simply implemented to categorize the raw material. The results of the project were implemented in decision making processes.

Also at General Cable, students Deep Patel,’19/ACCT, Landon Kane,’18/BUS, and Joshua Oyoo,’19/ACCT concentrated on Tensile & Elongations out of Primary as a Predictor of Irradiation Results. The students statistically analyzed and compared elongation values of the cables to their respective tensile strength values using a linear regression model. Further statistical analysis tools were implemented to discover the factors effecting elongation levels of the material.

At the Generations Family Health Center (GFHC), Koren Thomas,’19/BUS, Rebekah Brancato,’20/BIS and Mike Baldassarre,’20/ACCT worked with a project team to implement a fixed asset tagging process. The GFHC staff took yearly inventories but the system was outdated and inefficient which led to many errors and misplacing of equipment and assets. This team helped implement an asset tracking software to simplify the inventory process allowing Generations to better track and take more efficient inventory of their grant purchased assets.

In the light of the Six Sigma Methodology, Maria Taylor, ’16/Gen STUD, aimed to (1) eliminate waste and create better efficiency to help support a growing market with the existing resources and (2) improve the customers experience by focusing on quality. Using the DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) process, the team came up with ideas to decrease waste by focusing on the root causes of the specific problem analyzed in the project.

Some of these accomplishments were shared at the CREATE (Celebrating Excellence and Artistic Talent at Eastern) Conference on April 21, 2017. http://www.easternct.edu/create/files/2014/12/FINAL-CREATE-2017-Program.pdf

Congratulations to all the Spring 2017 Business 260 Operations Management Students for your hard work and accomplishments!








Experience-Rich Program Leads to a Bright Career

Adam Shepherd photo

Adam Shepherd

Adam Shepherd exemplifies the level of success possible when a dedicated student commits to an excellent program. A spring 2017 graduate of Eastern with a degree in Communication, Adam recently accepted a coveted position at global sports network ESPN as an associate operator. His range of responsibilities will include video editing, studio operations, control room operation, and related duties on ESPN’s television productions. Reflecting on Adam’s success, Communication Associate Professor Andrew Utterback comments, “Adam Shepherd was not only an active student but also an involved student. Adam took full advantage of the co-curricular learning opportunities offered by the Department of Communication in Television Production—primarily within Eastern Television News (ETV NEWS).”

While his Communication professors may highlight Adam’s dedication and work ethic, Adam credits the Communication Department for much of his success. He explains, “Without my experience in the Communication Department, I would not be where I am today. When I first came to Eastern, my interest was working in television. After taking Dr. Utterback’s Television Production course, I knew where I wanted my career to go. I quickly joined the Eastern television group, ETV, where I got hands-on, real world experience in television production. This group was so beneficial to me because it gave me experience I could put on my resume.”

Continuing to expand his experience and build solid work credentials took a central role for Adam: “Another major part of my experience at Eastern was working in the Sports Broadcasting group. This group really took off my sophomore year, thanks to Nick Aconfora, [COM ҆15] a current ESPN employee. Nick opened the door for not only myself, but also for fellow ESPN employees Brian Dostaler [COM ҆17] and Damon Gray [COM ҆16] to use the broadcasting group as real experience to learn and grow in television and sports production.”

Meanwhile, the television club led by Dr. Utterback and media engineer Paul Melmer provided valuable real-world experience related to the demands of producing a weekly news show. Adam reveals, “This opportunity with the group gave me a way to grow and learn so that I could confidently apply to ESPN and be prepared to work there after school because the experience I got in the news group was so professional.” In fact, Adam developed an impressive resume in a relatively short amount of time. “On my resume, everything I listed when I applied to ESPN was Eastern experience—my job as the ETV Director, the TV studio lab assistant, and a video editor and production assistant for ETV Sports,” he explains.

Adam and fellow ҆17 COM graduate Brian Dostaler are among the increasing number of Eastern alumni hired by ESPN in recent years. “I believe the Communication Department, and specifically the TV field, gives students real world experience that we can take anywhere to a job and apply it right after school,” Adam asserts. Thanks to a special combination of quality programming and teaching, students across the School of Education and Professional Studies (SEPS) have demonstrated similar patterns of success. According to a 2017 SEPS survey of those students indicating employment as an immediate career goal, over 50% reported that they had been offered a degree-related position prior to commencement.


Minority Teacher Recruitment: A Root Cause Analysis in Connecticut

The current teachiMinorityTeacherng force, both across the nation and in Connecticut, does not represent the student population served by our schools. To develop a more representative teaching force, it is particularly important that the composition of teacher candidates across all programs reflects the demographics of the communities our programs serve. Eastern Connecticut State University and its School of Education and Professional Studies (SEPS) are fully committed to supporting and developing diversity among teacher candidates. To achieve this goal, SEPS has embarked on a variety of initiatives involving partnerships with local school districts and regional community colleges, as well as national organizations, such as the Holmes Program. The AACTE Holmes Master’s Program supports graduate students from historically underrepresented groups interested in careers in teaching, school administration or higher education. The first initiative of its kind within the region, the inaugural cohort of Eastern’s Holmes Master’s students enrolled in summer 2016.

To begin examining the factors inhibiting a more representative teaching force throughout the state, Eastern’s Holmes Master’s students and Dean’s Scholar administered an electronic survey regarding the teaching profession to a sample of Connecticut high school students in the fall of 2016. The researchers conducted a root cause analysis to examine the reasons why high school students would have an interest in the teaching profession. A detailed report of the findings was prepared and distributed to State of Connecticut legislators and Department of Education administrators, as well as to teacher preparation program leaders across the state. The full report, Minority Teacher Recruitment: A Root Cause Analysis in Connecticut, is currently available online. We invite colleagues to join our investigation into the root causes for minority teacher disproportionality in Connecticut and across the country, and we encourage discussions that lead to sustained and coordinated efforts at enhancing access, diversity, and equity.

Teacher Education Exposed: Evaluation for the Continuous Improvement of Clinical Preparation Programs by Focusing on Integration


Teacher education seems to continually face its share of critics, perhaps more so than other fields like engineering and nursing. As professional programs, they all share matters of professional standards, accountability (namely via accreditation), and licensure, certification, or registration of their members. Yet, education is the one profession whereby legislatures and laymen alike hold regular judgment of its practitioners and their preparation. Despite many successes, the synecdoche of the single “teacher of the year,” or the single “bad” teacher prevails in shaping public opinion, and unfortunately, policy. These individual cases are often narrow in scope. But, their impact on the profession can be far reaching.

University-based programs prepare a vast majority of the nation’s teaching force. Even still, there is a growing belief that market-based approaches espoused by the proliferation of alternate route programs are essential for improving the profession. Much of the critique of teacher education has to do with its familiarity and its unknowns. Most Americans have spent a significant share of their formative years in schools, day-in-and-out, working with teachers. This level of access makes teaching familiar and vulnerable to scrutiny. Conversely, even new teacher education candidates are innocently blind to the skillful intricacies of masterful teaching. This is particularly true when each purposefully crafted instructional maneuver appears effortless, making each vicissitude seem easy enough for anyone who dares to think he can, able to teach.

This is just one contradiction defining the political landscape of educator preparation that programs must address directly. Like engineering and nursing, teacher preparation is a theory-to-practice based profession, full of complexities. It is incumbent upon the profession to better manage that which is familiar and that which is unknown to the public; thereby recasting the polarizing, synecdoche-driven narrative to one that fully explains continuous improvement and the positive impact of educator preparation. The one area where programing is most visible and open to critique is the clinical experience. Moreover, programs must harness the nature of critique for its own good.

Both higher education professionals (Cochran-Smith, 1991; Musset, 2010; Purpel, 1967) and teacher candidates (Anderson & Stillman, 2013; Evertson, 1990) agree indisputably that the clinical experience is the most important aspect of teacher preparation programs. The clinical experience in its totality consists of early P-12 classroom-based practica culminating with an extended student teaching segment. The experience encompasses those “hands-on,” experiential learning events, whereby teacher candidates “are provided opportunities to test out theory and practice in authentic school settings, to engage in problem solving and to develop their skills, informed by professional competencies” (Easley & Tulowitzki, 2013, p. 756). While no two teacher preparation programs are exactly alike, most states have established a ten-week minimum for student teaching. This premise and time requirement reflect minimally agreed upon standards for clinical experiences.

Heeding the critique for the improvement of teacher preparation, the NCATE Blue Ribbon Commission, the AACTE Clinical Practice Commission, and other groups have been assembled to examine the national status of clinical programming and to develop roadmaps for effectiveness. Any set of national standards, even when supported by research, warrants deeper consideration at the local level. This is particularly sage, as implementation and practice are highly contextualized within each organization’s existing and evolving cultures. It is at this level, where therubber meets the road, that any set of global standards is further tested, hailed for its benefits, criticized for its limitations, and/or personalized during implementation. It is for the last reason that we understand the true merit of any set of standards—finding the means for efficacy among contextualized capacity.

At Eastern Connecticut State University, the Office of Educational and Clinical Experience continually refines clinical practice in light of the national knowledge base, institutional culture, and feedback from regional community members. The iterative process of change has been embraced along with the need for clear guidelines to evaluate program effectiveness on an ongoing basis. In this regard, evaluation is not operationalized for punitive action but for continuous improvement.

Institutional goals along with the availability of existing community-based resources were major influences for the guidelines development. The work of national commissions has also been instructive. And while these guidelines are unique to the needs and values of our institution, we understand that they may also be of benefit to the profession at large. Their core construction focuses on program integration for the cohesion and effectiveness of clinical preparation in teacher education with five central vectors:  Partnerships; Selection and Development of Clinical Faculty; Academic Faculty; Program Pedagogy; and Evidentiary Practice.

Guidelines for the Evaluation of Clinical Preparation Programs in Teacher Education:
A Focus on Program Integration

Partnerships (consisting of mutually-developed, goals-oriented programming among two or more participating agents) may include school districts, preparation programs, teachers’ unions, state policy makers, and other agencies committed to teacher development.

  • Partnerships are mutually constructed.
  • Partnerships focus on teacher effectiveness and high quality, seamless supports for teacher effectiveness.
  • Partnerships seek to remove barriers for teacher effectiveness.

Selection and Development of Clinical Faculty focuses on all individuals who directly supervise and/or evaluate future teachers during clinical programming.

  • S & D demonstrates evidence of clinical faculty’s understanding of the candidate development cycle, drawing on adult learning theory.
  • S & D demonstrates evidence of clinical faculty’s ability to positively impact the development and learning of teacher candidates.
  • S & D ensures the composition of clinical faculty is diverse and adequate for supporting cultural competency development among candidates.
  • S & D demonstrates evidence of routine opportunities for clinical faculty to collaborate around targeted issues and concerns regarding teacher candidates’ individual and collective development, as well as their own professional development as clinical faculty.

Academic Faculty consist of teacher preparation faculty, including those in Arts and Sciences, who are typically not directly involved in the day-to-day operations of clinical practice.

  • Academic faculty make deliberate connections that bridge content and theory into practice during coursework.
  • Academic faculty are provided data on candidate performance during clinical practice to refine teaching and academic programming.
  • Academic and clinical faculty meet routinely to ensure seamless and developmentally progressive integration of theory, content, and clinical practice.
  • Academic curricula are aligned with national and state standards regarding content knowledge within respective teacher education disciplines.

Program Pedagogy refers to teaching and learning practices within the teacher education program that focus on future teachers’ effectiveness for positively impacting learning and development among diverse P-12 learners and the school communities in which they work.

  • Clinical faculty and candidates mutually employ evidentiary and inquiry based approaches to learning, whereby practice and outcomes are the sources for generating questions for continuous improvement. Systematic processes are used to investigate inquiry-based questions. The results are documented and reflected upon individually and collaboratively.
  • Theory and content knowledge from academic coursework are seamlessly integrated into clinical practice. Clinical practice is employed throughout the academic program of study to reflect candidates’ progressive development.
  • Clinical pedagogy is based on national standards and models of excellence that demonstrate a positive impact on P-12 student learning and development, academic programming, and partnership programming.

Evidentiary Practice defines the intentionality of the teacher preparation program to meet its goals (aligned with state and national norms), to demonstrate teacher candidate effectiveness, as well as a positive impact on the profession of teacher preparation.

  • Practice is based on sound and reliable evidence that candidates are able to support the learning and development of P-12 students (including students of diverse abilities, socio-economic backgrounds, linguistic backgrounds, and cultural backgrounds). The results are documented and reported for decision-making.
  • Clear goals for candidate learning and program effectiveness are developed annually with clear targets.
  • Practice generates evidence that program outcomes (based on goals) are reviewed with partners, clinical faculty, academic faculty, and candidates/alumni. The outcomes are used for further goal setting and the development of strategies to meet goals.
  • Practice is informed by national trends of excellence and peer-reviewed research on clinical programs, and findings are shared and discussed with stakeholders for decision-making toward program improvement.

The last tenet of evidentiary practice takes us full circle by embracing the need to recast the oversimplified binary of the “good teacher, bad teacher” synecdoche by making the profession and its programing transparent. This tenant calls for programs to routinely disseminate effectiveness and continuous improvement reports to internal and external stakeholders for public accountability and commentary.



Anderson, L. M., & Stillman, J. A. (2013). Student teaching’s contribution to preservice teacher development: A review of research focused on the preparation of teachers for urban and high-needs contexts. Review of Educational Research83(1), 3-69.

Cochran-Smith, M. (1991). Reinventing student teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 42(2), 104-118.

Easley, J. & Tulowitzki, P. (2013). Policy formation of intercultural and globally minded educational leadership preparation. International Journal of Educational Management, 27(7), 744-761.

Evertson, C. M. (1990). Bridging knowledge and action through clinical experience. In D. D. Dill (Ed.), What teachers need to know (pp 94-109). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Musset, P. (2010). Initial teacher education and continuing training policies in a comparative perspective: Current practices in OECD countries and a literature review on potential effects. OECD Education Working Papers, No. 48. OECD Publishing.

Purpel, D. E. (1967) Student teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 18(1), 20-23.


Authors: Jacob Easley II, Dean, School of Education and Professional Studies/Graduate Division easleyj@easternct.edu and Mary-Grace Shifrin, Coordinator of Educational and Clinical Experiences at Eastern Connecticut State University shifrinm@easternct.edu.

Combining Skill Sets for Career Success

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Dr. Alex Citurs

In a recent discussion about achieving success in today’s job market, Dr. Alex Citurs, Assistant Professor of Business Information Systems (BIS), highlighted the increasing importance of an amalgam of skills for jobseekers. He explained that the Business Department provides its students with opportunities to develop marketable strengths in more than one area: “Employers are looking for combinations of skills. We try really hard to facilitate the combination of skill sets that employers are seeking for career success.”

Dr. Citurs pointed to Todd Anderson (’14, BUS) as an excellent example of a former student who is using a combination of skills from BIS and Finance to build a successful career. A senior financial reporter at Prudential Financial, Todd will speak and take questions about “Integrating BIS and Finance Skills in BIS Finance Careers” on Tuesday, February 21, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Science Building (301). All are welcome.

Automation and the U.S. Economy

Brendan Cunningham Photo sm

Dr. Brendan Cunningham

Jobs and the American economy are always relevant topics for discussion, yet today more than ever they dominate the national discussion, which increasingly revolves around international trade agreements. Recently, Dr. Brendan Cunningham, Assistant Professor of Economics at Eastern, shared some thoughts on automation of production, an economic concept studied in his macroeconomics courses that relates directly to the principles of this blog—innovation, design, entrepreneurism, and artistry.

Automation has been expanding for decades, affecting most industries and increasingly evoking the question, “To what extent will machines replace people in the workplace?” In a recent example, Otto, an American self-driving technology company, successfully tested the design of its self-driving semi-trailer truck system in the fall of 2016. Automated driving will clearly disrupt the workers who depend on driving careers, such as truckers and taxi drivers, and it will continue to transform the workplace over time. Jobs that involve routine, predictable tasks will experience effects more quickly than other, more complicated roles. Nevertheless, even white collar workers will be displaced in some cases, especially with the advancement of the most sophisticated form of automation—artificial intelligence. For example, computer-assisted diagnosis may increasingly present x-ray technicians and others with competition.

The last time society experienced this level of economic transformation was at the turn of the twentieth century and primarily involved agrarian industries. Our response was to require expanded universal education, and to develop more skills among workers, preparing them for different jobs. MIT Economist David Autor has used the banking industry as a modern example of this effect, pointing out that the introduction of automated teller machines (ATMs) did not eliminate the need for bank tellers. Despite the ubiquity of ATMs, employment opportunities for tellers are reasonably stable, but their tasks are different—more complicated than they once were. Automation does not eliminate the employment of humans; it changes what people do and what skills they need.

Within the current, spirited discussion of international trade agreements is an argument that we must bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States; however, the decline in manufacturing jobs can be attributed more to the effects of automation than to the effects of trade. If manufacturers return to the U.S., it’s not clear how many jobs would actually be created. It may be that factories operate in the U.S. using robots built overseas, in countries such as China, where robot design is advancing rapidly. In other words, tariffs may encourage companies to locate in the U.S., but fail to create more jobs, highlighting the need to update the education and training of American workers to ensure success in our changing world economy.

Dr. Cunningham’s primary field of research is applied industrial organization, including topics such as media economics, copyright economics, and the economics of higher education. He primarily teaches courses relating to these topics as well as macroeconomics. Dr. Cunningham will present his thoughts on automation of production and Universal Basic Income at UCONN’s Center for Learning in Retirement (http://clir.uconn.edu/) in the Fall of 2017.

Launch of the Student Excellence and Persistence System

The School of Education and Professional Studies (SEPS) has launched the Student Excellence and Persistence System to support undergraduate students’ academic success and to ultimately enhance student retention and persistence within the School. The first stage of this student support system is to learn and understand the student needs and root causes that contribute to their academic performance. We know that Eastern’s graduate and retention rates are 52% and 78%, respectively; which are slightly higher than the national average (44% and 67%), from the recently released College Scorecard by the U.S. Department of Education. Additionally, more than 50% of first time freshmen are retained in the majors within the school. Early results, as measured by multiple indicators, reveal common, self-reported root causes of low academic performances and a reinvestment among students toward their academic pursuits.

If you have any innovative ideas and strategies to help students perform better in classes and maintain our academic program quality simultaneously, please contact Dr. Anita N. Lee, Special Assistant to the Dean. Every small steps we do to enhance student success will help our students to be better liberally educated citizens!

Anita N. Lee, D.P.E.
Special Assistant to the Dean