National experts on alternative education take a short break during their meeting at LHU.
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
Experts from around the nation gathered at Lock Haven University on March 25 and 26 to discuss the role of higher education in the preparation of teachers and administrators who work with at-risk children and youth. The At-Risk Connections for Higher Education Faculty conference brought together university faculty, Department of Education officials, professional association leadership, juvenile corrections and alternative education providers.
The conference outcomes include a white paper and call to action for universities to take a lead role in filling the gaps in education and training for teachers and administrators working with at-risk students. The white paper is scheduled for publication sometime this summer.
Dr. John Platt, University of West Florida, noted that “Alternative educators are charged with teaching some of the most challenging students in the school system. This conference has addressed how to meet the training needs of alternative educators so that they become equipped to meet the needs of the children they teach.” His comments were echoed by Dr. Loretta Serna, University of New Mexico, who described the conference as “a wonderful opportunity to interact with caring individuals who desire to make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth.”
President Keith Miller and Council of Trustees member Daniel Elby (CEO, Alternative Rehabilitation Communities, Inc.) welcomed the group to Lock Haven and noted LHU’s long-standing tradition of providing leadership on education issues. In 2003, Lock Haven University developed the first online Master of Education degree in Alternative Education in the nation and has graduated more than one hundred students from the NCATE accredited program.
Master of Education program faculty of Lock Haven University hosted the event which was funded under a U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Post-secondary Education. The conference planning, facilitation and evaluation processes were carried out by Cortney Force, Dr. Jessica Hosley, Dr. Marianne Lovik-Powers, Dr. Robert Nicely, Dr. Myint Thein, and Dr. Nate Hosley. The project director for the grant is Dr. Nate Hosley, professor and director of Master of Education programs at Lock Haven University.
Dr. Anne Stinson, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, summed up the importance of the conference. She said, “Too often school for the marginalized learner marginalizes that learner even further. Those of us who work in higher education can help to curtail this phenomenon by addressing the societal forces that produce this outcome.”