KU News: Homecoming events, multimillion-dollar grants for educational outreach

Today's News from the University of Kansas

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From the Office of Public Affairs | http://www.news.ku.edu
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Week of activities for KU Homecoming begins Sept. 26
LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas will host its 110th Homecoming Sept. 26-Oct. 1. The week will feature a variety of events for alumni and students, culminating in the KU football game against Iowa State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, in David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. On Friday, Sept. 30, a Rock Chalk Block Party on Massachusetts Street will feature the Homecoming Pep Rally and a free concert by country artist Chris Lane.
New federal awards to SWIFT Education Center will fund projects that move schools from inclusion to rightful presence
LAWRENCE — SWIFT Education Center, within the Life Span Institute at the University of Kansas, has received two federal awards for a total of $13 million to support educational systems in transforming their policies and practices to create schools where students have the resources and sense of belonging that they need to thrive.
New assessment model will allow teachers to modify instruction as students learn
LAWRENCE — Accessible Teaching, Learning, and Assessments Systems (ATLAS) has teamed up with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on a $2.5 million grant project to develop an innovative assessment model that provides students opportunities to demonstrate knowledge and skills not only at the end of the school year, but also as they learn.
Second DEIB vice provost candidate to present Sept. 23
LAWRENCE – The second candidate for the University of Kansas Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging vice provost position will give her public presentation from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, in the Kansas Union Woodruff Auditorium. The event will be livestreamed. Nicole Hodges Persley, an associate professor in KU’s departments of American Studies and African & African-American Studies, is currently serving as the interim vice provost.
Jayhawk Global aligns existing resources to meet the needs of future students
LAWRENCE – Following an extensive review process, a number of University of Kansas institutions will be aligned with Jayhawk Global, a new organization that is responsible for promoting online education at KU. The Center for Online and Distance Learning will join the Jayhawk Global team, while Lifelong & Professional Education (LPE) will also now report to the vice provost for Jayhawk Global. LPE currently encompasses the Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute, Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and Professional Programs.
Full stories below.
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Contact: Paige Freeman, KU Alumni Association, 785-864-0953, [email protected], @kualumni
Week of activities for KU Homecoming begins Sept. 26
LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas will host its 110th Homecoming Sept. 26-Oct. 1. The week will feature a variety of events for alumni and students, culminating in the KU football game against Iowa State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, in David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.
The theme for this year’s Homecoming celebration is “Home on the Hill,” and activities will include:
1. Monday, Sept. 26, 5:30-7 p.m. — Homecoming Kickoff in Woodruff Auditorium at the Kansas Union. Get details on all the events of the upcoming week in a fun, festive setting, complete with a performance by the KU Spirit Squad and appearances by special guests.
2. Tuesday, Sept. 27, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. — Campus Pop-Up Event on Ascher Plaza at the Kansas Union. Hosted by the Kansas City Area Development Council, this event will spotlight the many career opportunities, attractions and other perks that Greater Kansas City has to offer. Attendees will be able to connect one-on-one with young professionals in the region as well as learn about the Student Alumni Network and Jayhawk Career Network.
3. Friday, Sept. 30, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. — Home Football Friday: Homecoming Fest on Ascher Plaza at the Kansas Union. Get in the spirit for Saturday’s football game against Iowa State with activities hosted by the KU Alumni Association and free Insomnia Cookies and Pepsi products.
4. Friday, Sept. 30, 5:30 p.m. — Rock Chalk Block Party on Massachusetts Street. Join fellow Jayhawks for an evening of music, games and activities, including the Homecoming Pep Rally and a free concert by country artist Chris Lane. The event, hosted by Kansas Athletics, is presented by Central Bank of the Midwest and supported by Adidas.
In addition, throughout Homecoming week, Jayhawks around the globe will have opportunities to connect as part of Kyou Networking Week, a series of in-person and virtual events. All Kyou Networking Week activities are listed at kuconnection.org.
All KU student organizations registered through Rock Chalk Central are invited to participate in the Homecoming Student Competition, which includes the Homecoming Sign Competition, Rock the Mic: Karaoke Night, Chalk ’N’ Rock and Jayhawk Jingles. Students can register here until 8 a.m. Friday, Sept. 23. More information on the Homecoming Student Competition can be found at kualumni.org/homecoming.
KU’s Homecoming is sponsored by Best Western Plus-West Lawrence, Central Bank of the Midwest, Konica Minolta, the KU Bookstore and Pepsi Zero Sugar. Jayhawks can purchase the official 2022 “Home on the Hill” Homecoming T-shirt online from the KU Bookstore.
For more information and to view the full schedule of Homecoming activities, go to kualumni.org/homecoming.
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Contact: Kari Woods, SWIFT Education Center, [email protected]
New federal awards to SWIFT Education Center will fund projects that move schools from inclusion to rightful presence
LAWRENCE — SWIFT Education Center, within the Life Span Institute at the University of Kansas, has received two federal awards for a total of $13 million to support educational systems in transforming their policies and practices to create schools where students have the resources and sense of belonging that they need to thrive.
The first award, a $10 million, five-year cooperative agreement funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, will launch the National Center on Inclusion Toward Rightful Presence. Amy McCart, research professor and co-director of SWIFT, is the primary investigator for the grant and will lead the new center.
McCart said that a guiding principle of the new center will be to partner with local and state education agencies across the nation to support educators and their students as they move beyond inclusion, or physical presence, in schools and classrooms, to co-created systemic conditions for rightful presence, where students have true belonging.
“For too long, students with disabilities have been treated like guests in their schools, asking to be included,” McCart said. “This groundbreaking work will start with the presumption that the school belongs to students who have been left on the margins. SWIFT will work with educators to end policy and practice barriers that lead to disenfranchisement and replace them with systemic change for equity.”
This work will focus on students who receive intensive support to achieve at-grade-level or alternate-grade-level standards. This includes students who identify with autism, intellectual disability, deaf/blind, traumatic brain injury and multiple disabilities. McCart said that the center will demonstrate the effectiveness of this transformational process in up to 32 schools in four states, as well as provide specific technical assistance to other education agencies as needed.
The second award is a research grant funded through the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education to develop “Resources Aligned and Integrated for Student Equity,” or RAISE. Educators will use RAISE to make instruction and support decisions for students with complex learning situations. Principal investigator Jeong Hoon Choi, assistant research professor and associate director of research and evaluation at SWIFT, will lead the $3 million, four-year grant.
The project will partner with 18 grade schools, kindergarten through fifth grade, in a single school district to validate RAISE as a decision-making process for students with or at risk for disabilities because of conditions exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. SWIFT’s National Center on Inclusion Toward Rightful Presence will use RAISE in its work with schools as well.
“As school systems adjust to meet the needs of students resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we continue to think about students who benefit from the most complex support,” Choi said. “This project will allow us the opportunity to empirically investigate how our data-informed instructional decision processes can best support school staff to match available resources to ensure students thrive in general education.”
McCart added that the two awards offer an opportunity to influence education in ways that build on research and transform school environments for the benefit of students in ways that will have widespread positive influence.
“With the collective imperative to build equity and join justice, SWIFT is at the ready to support their partners in this work,” she said.
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Contact: Jackie Hosey, Accessible Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Systems, [email protected], @atlas4learning
New assessment model will allow teachers to modify instruction as students learn
LAWRENCE — Accessible Teaching, Learning, and Assessments Systems (ATLAS) has teamed up with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) on a $2.5 million grant project to develop an innovative assessment model that provides students opportunities to demonstrate knowledge and skills not only at the end of the school year but also as they learn.
The Pathways for Instructionally Embedded Assessment (PIE) project will use research-based cognitive models of learning as the basis for assessments that give educators timely information about their student’ academic progress. Learning pathways created for the PIE project will help teachers guide their students to academic success by showing them where the student is, where the student has been and where the student is going. Teachers can then tailor instruction throughout the school year to better ensure that students make progress on their pathway toward grade-level academic achievement.
Brooke Nash, ATLAS associate director for psychometrics, is PIE’s principal investigator. Russell Swinburne Romine, ATLAS associate director, and Eun Mi Kim, ATLAS math research lead, are co-principal investigators. According to Nash, many state education agencies are interested in assessment solutions that provide their teachers with a way to monitor students’ academic progress throughout the year as well as achievement at the end of the year.
“Districts and state departments need measures of student achievement for planning, program improvement and accountability purposes. Teachers need timely and instructionally meaningful information about their students’ academic progress while learning is occurring,” Nash said. “Statewide standardized assessments built to provide information at the end of the school year do not provide assessment results teachers need to refine their instruction as students are learning.”
Despite growing interest in innovative assessment models, limited state resources often hinder the flexibility to explore new models. PIE is a proof-of-concept project that will serve approximately 1,500 fifth-grade general education math students and their teachers in Missouri, with potential to serve thousands more if developed for full-scale use.
“This grant funding provides DESE the opportunity to accelerate our plans to redesign the state’s assessment system,” said Missouri Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven. “The PIE project will give us a chance to advance our goal to better see where and when students need more academic support in order to become success ready. We are very excited to get to work on this project.”
ATLAS is a center within the Achievement & Assessment Institute, a designated research institute at the University of Kansas.
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Don’t miss new episodes of “When Experts Attack!,”
a KU News Service podcast hosted by Kansas Public Radio.
https://kansaspublicradio.org/when-experts-attack
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Contact: Evan Riggs, Office of the Provost, 785-864-1085, [email protected], @KUProvost
Second DEIB vice provost candidate to present Sept. 23
LAWRENCE – The second candidate for the University of Kansas Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) vice provost position will give her public presentation from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, in the Kansas Union Woodruff Auditorium.
The presentation will be livestreamed, and the passcode is 551402.
Nicole Hodges Persley, interim vice provost for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, is the second of four candidates who will present her philosophy on the role diversity and inclusion play in higher education in the United States and how her philosophy would advance Realizing Intersectional Standards of Excellence (RISE) on KU’s Lawrence and Edwards campuses and further KU’s mission considering current challenges and trends in higher education.
She is an award-winning KU professor, artist and community leader with over 15 years of experience in diversity, equity and inclusion work, where she has created intentional equity pathways between academic and creative communities.
Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to offer their impressions and observations of each candidate online. There will be separate surveys for each of the four candidates where members of the KU community will have the chance to share their opinion of each candidate. Feedback on Hodges Persley’s presentation is due by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, and a recording of her presentation will be available here until the survey closes.
Each candidate will meet with Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, provost and executive vice chancellor, as well as campuswide DEIB leaders and DEIB office staff, vice provosts, deans, KU Athletics, faculty-staff affinity groups, university governance and a representative from the chancellor’s office during their campus visit.
In addition to her work in DEIB, Hodges Persley has served in several areas of KU administration from department chair to director of museum studies. She is an associate professor in the departments of American Studies and African & African-American Studies and a faculty fellow in the University Honors Program, where she teaches courses on acting, directing, hip-hop studies, African American studies, performance studies and transnational performance. She has written five books, including a forthcoming book, “Hip-Hop in Musical Theater,” set to publish in 2023.
Hodges Persley is a working professional director who specializes in works that explore race and performance in American theater. She has directed critically acclaimed theater and performance works throughout Kansas City, New York and Los Angeles and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) as well as the Stage Director and Choreographers Society. She has been invited to share her creative and scholarly work internationally at universities as a visiting scholar.
Hodges Persley is the artistic director of KC Melting Pot Theatre, an African American theater company in Kansas City, and the co-founder of CreateEnsemble.com, the first social media collaboration platform for artists and allies of the global majority. She received her bachelor’s degree in French and art history from Spelman College, a master’s degree in American studies from the University of Southern California, a master’s degree in African American studies from the University of California-Los Angeles and a doctorate from USC’s Department of American Studies & Ethnicity.
Two more candidates are scheduled to present in the weeks ahead.
1. Candidate 3, 2-3 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 28, The Forum at Marvin Hall
2. Candidate 4, 2:30-3:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 3, Kansas Union Big 12 Room
More information about the search is available online.
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Subscribe to KU Today, the campus newsletter,
for additional news about the University of Kansas.
http://www.news.ku.edu
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Contact: Valerie Hawley, Jayhawk Global, [email protected]
Jayhawk Global aligns existing resources to meet the needs of future students
LAWRENCE – When Michelle Mohr Carney accepted the role of founding vice provost for Jayhawk Global in February, her charge from Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, provost and executive vice chancellor, was to lead the strategic development process by facilitating the design and implementation of a new organization that is responsible for promoting online education at the University of Kansas.
During the past eight months, Carney, who also serves as the dean of the School of Social Welfare, has conducted an extensive review of existing functions, processes and structures by meeting with and listening to deans, vice provosts, faculty and many internal partners. Through critical analysis from the lens of the future student, Jayhawk Global started to take shape as natural partnerships and restructuring opportunities started to evolve and became clear.
“Through months of hard work taking inventory of all available resources on campus and evaluating structures and procedures,” Carney said, “we have innovatively and strategically aligned already existing expertise and knowledge in the areas of instructional design, marketing, recruitment, enrollment management and student success to create strong partners and teams. I am confident in the organization we’ve created and excited to share our plans with the campus community.”
Jayhawk Global is an education innovation center at KU that delivers and advances nontraditional forms of learner engagement, including online degree programs, professional and workforce development, certifications, competency-based education, credit for prior experience, employee training and enrichment learning.
“KU teams will work collaboratively with our renowned scholars, academic units and noncredit entities to expand our already exceptional educational opportunities for future Jayhawks and their ever-evolving needs,” Carney said.
The landscape of online education changed dramatically due to COVID-19. The National Center for Education Statistics reported that in fall 2020, 30.3% of students at U.S. public institutions were enrolled in some, but not all, distance education courses and only 24.2% of students were not enrolled in any distance education courses.
Demand for online courses has increased locally, even as the traditional college student returns to campus. In fall 2021, 45% of students enrolled in classes on the KU Lawrence campus enrolled in at least one online course. The number of students taking an online or hybrid course across all KU campuses in fall 2021 was up 37% from fall 2019.
Jayhawk Global will advocate for and partner with academic units to coordinate and assist in creating high-quality, engaging online degree programs, minors, courses and certificates, as well as support the existing College Online degree majors and minors within the Jayhawk Global structure. To further its mission of providing outstanding support and guidance in instructional design, the Center for Online and Distance Learning (CODL) will join the Jayhawk Global team.
Lifelong and Professional Education (LPE) will also now report to the vice provost for Jayhawk Global, which should elevate existing programs and connect KU to new lifelong learners, regardless of where they are in their careers or their location. LPE currently encompasses the Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute (KFRTI), Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center (KLETC), the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and Professional Programs.
These divisions have provided noncredit education and workforce training and development since 1891. They will maintain their responsibility and operate under the Jayhawk Global umbrella out of the same locations, providing the same high-quality online and on-ground noncredit programming. A rebranding campaign to identify Jayhawk Global will be launched in the coming months, including movement of webpages to the Jayhawk Global website.
A number of existing structures and staff will have key responsibilities in the new scope of Jayhawk Global. Emily Zentner, interim vice provost for LPE and director of LPE’s business services, will now be the assistant vice provost for finance and business operations. Stacy Cordell, director of professional programs for LPE, will now be the assistant vice provost for Academic and Professional Programs.
Valerie Hawley, who has assisted in the strategic development process and advising on marketing and student success for Jayhawk Global for several months, will continue to serve Jayhawk Global as assistant vice provost for marketing and student success. Hawley also serves as the marketing, communications and advancement director for the social welfare school.
Carney has agreed to stay on as the founding vice provost for Jayhawk Global through May 2023. This continuity will allow Jayhawk Global efforts time to grow, strengthen and prepare for a smooth transition to new leadership to be identified through a national search.
“The success of a venture like Jayhawk Global is essential to KU’s ability to advance as a leader in higher education,” Bichelmeyer said. “We are fortunate to already have great scholars and instructors who are eager to share their passion and expertise with potential students who are striving to achieve their personal goals and ambitions. Jayhawk Global will break down barriers and improve access to some of the best academic programs and most engaging education available anywhere in the world. I appreciate the detailed work Michelle and her team have undertaken to identify the structure, the initial offerings, the talent, the faculty support and the student support that will give this initiative a solid foundation. I’m excited to see what programs will help us grow Jayhawk Global and make KU’s academic programs as accessible and respected around the globe as they are at home in Kansas.”
As part of KU’s new strategic enrollment planning process, KU deans will be working with Nick Stevens, interim vice provost of enrollment management, and department chairs to consider whether they should offer their academic programs across a range of formats. In addition to the research residential format at the KU Lawrence campus, opportunities include workforce and continuing professional development at KU Edwards, online and noncredit programs through Jayhawk Global, and over time there will be more opportunities to provide certification and competency-based programs. Deans are currently informing Jayhawk Global administrators of future programming needs and opportunities.
On Oct. 1, Jayhawk Global will open the application process and launch marketing efforts for two of KU’s new online degree programs, the Master of Social Work and Doctor of Philosophy in Advanced Social Work. Later this fall, Jayhawk Global plans to open additional degree programs to admit students who will begin studies in the spring, summer and fall 2023 semesters.
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Lawrence KS 66045
Phone: 785-864-3256
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http://www.news.ku.edu
Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, director of news and media relations, [email protected]
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