Simpson University Hosts 1st Instructional Aide Training Day

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University hosted 250 instructional aides from nearly 20 North State school districts on Aug. 12 for a training day designed by the School of Education.

The day, which featured presentations on a variety of topics, as well as lunch, was put together at the request of area superintendents and principals for an event centered on educational paraprofessionals.

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Instructional aides help with basic classroom management and often work one-on-one with students or in small groups, among other tasks. Some work in special education classrooms, others in traditional settings; some are assigned to work with an individual student to address specialized needs.

“They wear many hats and are a vital part of our school communities,” said Cherlyn Chairez, credential analyst at Simpson’s School of Education.

The Instructional Aide Training Day, held in the James M. Grant Student Life Center, included a welcome and opening remarks from Irene Lopez, director of the School of Education, university President Norman Hall and Provost Dale Simmons.

Session topics included classroom management; working with ACEs students; individualized instructional strategies; collaboration and teamwork with teachers; professional standards of conduct; understanding all types of special needs students; playground supervision best practices; and the paraprofessional-to-teacher pathway.

Presenters included Dr. Carol Wertz, a university supervisor and retired education professor; Don Ray, principal of North Cottonwood Elementary School; Melissa Wierzbicki, teacher at North Cottonwood; Mike Bettes, school counselor in the Cottonwood Union Elementary School District; Dr. Jennifer Costillo, chair of the Simpson University Psychology Department; and the School of Education’s Lopez.

Dr. Costillo talked about cultivating presence and mindfulness to contribute toward student self-esteem, leading attendees through a mindful eating exercise with a piece of chocolate.

Lopez led a session titled “Lowering the Affective Filter in Students” and shared some of her own struggles as a young student whose first language was not English. She offered strategies to help students become more successful in the four areas of learning: listening, speaking, reading and writing; and she asked audience members to share some of their own strategies for helping individual students.

She then encouraged the aides—some of whom traveled from as far away as Trinity County for the training day—to look for opportunities to make a difference.

“Each of you is a mustard seed,” she told them, referencing Matthew 17:20. “You have no idea the impact you will have on students and on parents. You just have to say yes to what is in front of you. Have the faith to walk out what is impossible.”

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Simpson University offers multiple programs for those interested in education. The traditional undergraduate and ASPIRE degree-completion programs offer bachelor’s degrees in liberal studies. The School of Education offers single- and multiple-subject credential programs, as well as a Master of Arts in Education and a Preliminary Administrative Services Credential. Learn more at simpsonu.edu/education


Photos from the Instructional Aide Training Day photo booth:

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Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 8-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction.

Simpson is launching new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements, and it is offering new scholarships.

Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.

Simpson University School of Education Honors 43 Students, Hosts 100 Local Educators

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University’s School of Education, which recently received full accreditation renewal for seven years, honored 43 students in two January ceremonies and hosted more than 100 local educators for a teachers summit.

“As the School of Education, we’re committed to preparing you for your life and calling of doing good while serving students,” Dr. Craig Cook, dean of the school, told recent graduates. “Each of you fulfills that calling in your own unique way, shaping the lives of students.”

 

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The School of Education, which offers master’s degrees and teaching and administrative credential programs, has graduated nearly 3,000, many of whom teach or serve as administrators in Northern California.

Among the most recent graduates were 16 students who earned a Master of Arts in Education and seven who earned their Preliminary Administrative Services Credential. They were honored in a medallion ceremony following Simpson University’s commencement on Jan. 12.

A Jan. 15 credential ceremony honored another 22 students who completed the teaching credential program, highlighting Student Teachers of the Year for Single Subject and Multi-Subject, as well as a Dean’s Cup recipient.

Within the same week, the School of Education also hosted 100 North State educators for a rescheduled Better and Stronger Together Teachers Summit. The original event, scheduled to coincide with the statewide summit on July 27, was canceled due to the Carr Fire.

The summit featured five Shasta County Teachers of the Year– Holly Jones, Jennifer Marty, Matthew Fowler, Paul Burbank, and Brian Grigsby—in a panel discussion about what the theme of “It’s Personal” meant to each of them as a teacher.

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Simpson University has been a host site for the statewide Better Together summit for the past four years. The free summit provides a networking, learning and resource-sharing platform for local educators.

The following Simpson graduates were honored during the medallion ceremony:

  • Outstanding Teacher Single Subject: Trey Nichols
  • Outstanding Student Teachers Multiple Subject: Bethany Holthaus and Natessa Burrone
  • Dean’s Cup: John Fitzpatrick

“This program is so special,” Burrone told the audience after receiving her award. “It has truly prepared me to become an educator, and I’m so thankful for that.”

Burrone shared that her mother passed away six years ago from cancer.

“This was a life-changing event that shaped the person I am today,” she said. “In my second phase of student-teaching, I was faced with a situation where I knew I had to open up to a student about my life more than I ever thought I would.”

A young boy in her classroom had lost his father in a recent accident, and his mother was terminally ill. “He was acting out toward his teachers,” she said. “Everyone tried to help him, but he was mad at all adults.”

One day the boy locked himself in a closet at school. Burrone said she sat with him and shared the story of losing her mom to cancer. “We talked for hours,” she said. “I became the person that understood him and he felt comfortable with me. He started coming to school again every day and called to tell me about his day. That’s how I know that everything we’re going through as teachers will be worth it.”

Holthaus said her student teaching experience taught her that “the most important thing” is not teaching Common Core state standards.

“It’s establishing a deep personal connection with each student,” she said. “We as teachers have to pour ourselves into them everyday and have faith that we make a difference.”

Learn more about Simpson University’s School of Education at simpsonu.edu/education.

Photos by Chyna Xiong, Matea Langston and Peter Martinez / Simpson University

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Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding almost 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated almost 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a highly ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership.

Simpson is launching new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements.

Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.

Simpson University Partners with Crown College to Teach ‘Virtual’ Class

REDDING, Calif.—In a new joint venture between colleges of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, Simpson University is sharing a sociology class in “real time” with Crown College in Minnesota.

Dr. Craig Cook, who serves as dean of Simpson University’s School of Education, taught at Crown College from 2004 to 2012 and has a degree in sociology. He is teaching the general education course in a face-to-face format at Simpson while interactively “livestreaming” it to a classroom at Crown.

“Combining resources in this way is economical, but it’s also exciting to collaborate,” Dr. Cook said. “One goal is to heighten the interaction between our two colleges and our students, who share a common denominational heritage.”

Simpson University and Crown College are two of the four U.S. colleges affiliated with The C&MA denomination. The others are Toccoa Falls College (Georgia) and Nyack College (New York).

In his Simpson classroom, Dr. Cook uses a 360-degree “Owl” camera that follows a speaker around the room. His students see a screen showing the classroom at Crown. The Crown students have two screens: one showing PowerPoint slides related to course content and one showing the Simpson classroom.

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Simpson University’s Dr. Craig Cook talks to Crown College Provost Scott Moats after the second joint class session. The “Owl” camera, front center, follows voice sounds.

The technology allows for live questions and answers. “I told the students this class is going to have a different rhythm,” Dr. Cook said. “It may feel awkward at first, but let’s hang with it. The goal is learning and getting the information to you in an effective way.”

Dr. Scott Moats, provost at Crown College, first broached the collaborative idea with C&MA colleges and hopes to eventually write a paper about this new learning partnership between institutions.

“This is our second semester at Crown of working with this technology, and we learn more each class and each semester,” Dr. Moats said. “The Crown/Simpson collaboration is one of, I hope, many steps where we can begin to think about ways to collaborate and strengthen our institutions. I am excited to work with Dr. Cook on this project and have the highest regard for his knowledge of sociology and his understanding of pedagogy. He is the perfect partner for an experiment of this nature.”

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Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university will celebrate its centennial in 2021. Simpson was named as one of the 2018 Colleges of Distinction. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings; the Betty M. Dean School of NursingA.W. Tozer Seminary, the School of Education, and the School of Graduate Professional Studies. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.

Sen. Ted Gaines to Speak at Simpson University Spring Commencement

UPDATED 4-25-18

REDDING, Calif.— Simpson University will honor more than 150 graduates during two indoor spring commencement ceremonies Saturday, April 28, inside the James M. Grant Student Life Center at 2211 College View Drive.

Due to a rainy forecast, the traditional 10 a.m. outdoor ceremony will be divided into two indoor ceremonies. At 10 a.m., students from the School of Traditional Undergraduate Studies (except for nursing) will be recognized. At 2 p.m., students from the School of Adult and Graduate Professional Studies, Betty M. Dean School of Nursing, A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary, and the School of Education will graduate.

The keynote speaker will be California State Sen. Ted Gaines. Sen. Gaines was elected to his current role in 2011 and represents the 1st District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra, and Siskiyou counties.

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Sen. Gaines graduated with a degree in business administration from Lewis and Clark College in Oregon. He and his family live in El Dorado Hills, where he runs Gaines Insurance in addition to his service in government and other community and professional involvement.

Both commencement ceremonies will be live-streamed at simpsonu.edu/graduation.

It will be the final Simpson graduation for university President Robin Dummer, who will retire in May.

Simpson traditionally holds graduation twice a year — in January for summer and fall grads, and in April for spring graduates.

Simpson University was founded in Seattle, Wash., in 1921, and moved to Redding in 1989. In addition to offering 24 four-year bachelor’s degrees in its traditional program, Simpson has also helped more than 3,500 North State residents complete their degrees through the School of Adult Studies (ASPIRE) program, which offers classes online and on campus. The School of Education, which offers master’s degrees and credentialing programs, has graduated more than 2,500 students, many of whom teach or serve as administrators in Northern California.

For more information about Simpson University, visit simpsonu.edu.

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Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.