Ramon Goings spotlights possible harm to minority-serving institutions from new teacher-prep policy

Writing on the website Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, Ramon B. Goings raises red flags about a federal regulation-in-the-making that will require states to come up with formulas to evaluate teacher-education programs.

ramongoingsGoings, the program coordinator of the Sherman STEM Teacher Scholars Program, and co-author Larry J. Walker, an educational consultant, argue that such evaluations are likely to threaten minority-serving institutions (MSIs) more than other higher-education institutions because MSIs typically enroll a higher proportion of students underprepared for college work. If teacher- preparation programs don’t meet the new standards, they may lose federal funding, including grants that support students who agree to teach in high-poverty schools.

“While it is important to hold universities accountable for preparing teachers [well] … policymakers must consider the important role of MSIs in educating [aspiring teachers] of color,” Goings and Walker write.

Despite school districts’ increased interest in hiring minority teachers, the regulation could discourage talented but underprepared students from pursuing education majors by, for example, imposing minimum test-score requirements. The teacher-prep programs either adopt the federally mandated standards or risk losing federal funds, including grants that draw students.

Either way, according to the authors, the capacity of the institutions to graduate dedicated minority teachers for underserved schools would be undercut.

Walker and Goings urge states to carefully consider the impact of the new standards. If states want to diversify their K-12 teaching workforce, the authors write, they must find ways to support MSIs in their longstanding contributions to the preparation of teachers of color.

In addition to his position at UMBC, Goings is a doctoral candidate in urban educational leadership at Morgan State University

Read the article here.

Veterans Day Celebration (11/11)


Come and celebrate Veterans Day with a free lunch in the Skylight Room!

When: November 11 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Where: The Skylight Room (3rd floor of The Commons)
Who: All UMBC students, staff and faculty veterans are invited to attend.

This event is informal and veterans are invited to come and go as is convenient. A UMBC Veterans t-shirt, American flag pins, and other assorted gifts will be given away in appreciation.

For additional information, please contact Sandy Vance, 410-455-2912 or Dan Thrift, 410-455-3852.

Sponsored by Veteran Student Services and Human Resources

Maryland Charity Campaign: Congratulations to our FitBit Flex Winner!


Congratulatons to Larry Hern of Facilities Management, the winner of our FitBit Flex drawing.

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Win a FitBit Flex, too!

We are offering another chance to win a FitBit Flex. Donate to the Maryland Charity Campaign between now and November 20, 2015 and be automatically entered into the drawing. Everyone who has already contributed to the fall campaign is also eligible to win.

Browse all the participating charities and donate online today!

If you have any questions about the campaign, or need assistance with making a pledge or donation, please contact your department’s or division’s MCC Coordinator.

President Hrabowski joins new panel to examine future of undergraduate education

President Hrabowski will serve as a member of the Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education, a panel of experts tasked with studying the impact and effectiveness of the nation’s existing educational systems and identifying the challenges and opportunities facing higher education.

The panel, formed by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, will use research drawn from higher education institutions across the country to forecast the future of the nation’s education needs and offer recommendations to ensure undergraduate education remains accessible for students from all backgrounds.

The three-year initiative, led by co-chairs Michael McPherson, President of the Spencer Foundation, and Roger Ferguson, TIAA-CREF President and CEO, includes expertise of national leaders in education, business, and government. The commission is funded with $2.2 million from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Open Enrollment Closes on Monday, Nov. 16

The annual Open Enrollment Period runs from Thursday, October 15 and closes Monday, November 16. During this time, employees can make changes to their health benefits.

The following are several reminders regarding this year’s Open Enrollment:

Final Information Session: Employees interested in obtaining more information regarding benefit plans and changes for the new plan year, may attend the final Information Session tomorrow, November 10, at Noon in UC 312.

Who needs to take Action: Employees who wish to enroll in or keep their Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for 2016 must take action. Those who are satisfied with their current plans do not need to take action. All benefits, except for the FSA plans, will roll-over to the 2016 plan year.

How to Make Changes: Employees currently enrolled in benefit plans who wish to make changes must call the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system to make changes in plan coverage, or enroll in an FSA for 2016. Employees who are not currently enrolled, but wish to enroll, contractual employees and retirees must complete an open enrollment form. The phone number to the IVR is 410-669-3893, please review phone instructions before calling. Open Enrollment Forms for regular employees, contractual employees and retirees can be found on the HR Website.

To learn more about 2016 plan enhancements, rate changes, and new wellness program activities for 2016, please visit the HR Website. Please contact Human Resources with questions at 410-455-2337 or by email to: hrbenefits@umbc.edu.