UNI goes to Washington

Forty five minutes. That’s how early you need to arrive for a meeting at the White House. And whatever you do, don’t forget to bring a valid government-issued photo ID. After all, invites from the White House don’t come around very often. The last thing you want is for a lack of preparation to leave you standing at security.

Two UNI employees who attended a teacher education preparation summit at the White House in December certainly made the most of their opportunity.

Teacher Ed Summit

Victoria and Farah were able to network with officials from the University of Central Florida, the University of Minnesota, Brigham Young University and other leading teacher education programs.

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology (OET) invited the University of Northern Iowa to participate in the Advancing Educational Technology in Teacher Preparation Summit on Dec. 13 and 14 in Washington D.C.

Sixteen higher education institutions from across the United States with distinguished teacher education programs were invited to the summit.

Victoria Robinson, associate vice president for educator preparation, and Farah Kashef, faculty tech integration specialist, attended the summit on behalf of UNI.

According to their official website, the Office of Educational Technology is responsible for developing “national education technology policy” and establishing “the vision for how technology can be used to transform teaching and learning.”

The summit was convened to gather together national leaders in teacher education preparation to discuss the future integration of technology in the classroom.

Victoria and Farah were able to network with officials from the University of Central Florida, the University of Minnesota, Brigham Young University and other leading teacher education programs. Their work together won’t be isolated to this summit, either. Moving forward, the group will be collaborating on initiatives that will help achieve a widespread culture of active use of technology in teacher preparation.

The fact that Victoria and Farah were even invited to this exclusive summit is a testament to the success of the teacher education program here at UNI.

UNI graduates more than 450 new teachers each year, which is more than any education program in the state of Iowa. 99 percent of last year’s graduating teachers were employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation. More than 9,200 K-12 educators, principals and superintendents in Iowa are UNI grads.

At the national level, UNI is the No. 4 public university in administering the TEACH grant, which is available for eligible students who intend to teach in a high-need field in a low-income school. UNI also ranks in the top two percent of the nation for number of undergraduate education degrees awarded.

The summit invite also follows recent renovations to the Schindler Education Center, where classrooms have been updated with innovative technology to create a premier teacher education facility here at UNI.

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