GSE Faculty Member to Lead National Organization

On July 1, 2007 Dr. Gayle Thieman will become the President of the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS), the largest association in the country devoted solely to social studies education. NCSS has 25,000 members in every state, the District of Columbia, and 69 foreign countries, totaling more than 110 affiliated groups that represent and support educators and specialists from kindergarten through university.

Currently Dr. Thieman is planning the 2007 annual conference over which she will preside as President next December in San Diego, CA. Dr. Thieman teaches and supervises preservice teachers as a cohort leader in a year long teacher licensure program (GTEP, Graduate Teacher Education Program), specializing in social studies methods and instruction and technology.

She provides grant-funded professional development for teachers and administrators in Portland public schools and also works with social studies teachers through a Teaching American History grant. She has also taught and supervised administrative licensure candidates in the L2000 program at Portland State University.

Before joining the Graduate School of Education Dr. Thieman worked as a high school administrator in Washington and Alaska. She also taught social studies in secondary schools in Alaska, Colorado, and Illinois. She has presented numerous workshops and developed curriculum materials in U.S. history, law related education, gender and race equity, and interdisciplinary teaching. She is an avid downhill skier and enjoys gardening, reading, kayaking, and backpacking.

Counselor Education Gaining a National Reputation

The Counselor Education Program in the Graduate School of Education is a unique and growing program in Oregon and the nation. The primary purpose of the Counselor Education Program is to educate competent counselors for public and private schools, community mental health agencies, private practice, career counseling centers, addiction treatment programs, and rehabilitation facilities. Admission to the program is competitive; last year roughly 50 applicants of nearly 150 were accepted. Over the course of at least two years, Counselor Education students learn and work both in traditional university classrooms as well as within the two Portland State University community counseling clinic locations and community internship locations. Our students regularly intern with such community partners as The William Temple House, The Morrison Center, and the local Veteran’s Association.

The two PSU training clinics provide a unique opportunity for students to practice and further their skills while under the supervision of a more experienced peer and a seasoned faculty member. Further, the clinics provide a much needed community service by offering low-cost counseling to individuals who have difficulty affording such services elsewhere. The department is proud to house the only CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs) accredited program and associated clinic of this kind in Oregon.

Last year alone, at three PSU clinic locations Counselor Education students provided over 2300 hours of individual, couple, and family counseling to greater Portland population. As federal, state, and locally funded counseling programs have decreased, GSE service has become even more vital for the community. GSE clinics are now operating year-round and with extended hours. According to US News & World Report (America’s Best Colleges 2007), our rehabilitation service-learning program ranks fourth—behind only Brown, Duke, and Georgetown Universities—in nationally recognized programs for such community service.

In Counselor Education, students may pursue one of four areas of specialization: community counseling; couples, marriage and family counseling; rehabilitation counseling; and school counseling. In addition, students have the option of gaining additional certification in addictions treatment. Each of these programs is comprehensive and rigorous and affordable in comparison to similar programs around the state and nation. To learn more about counselor education at PSU, please visit their homepage at www.pdx.edu/sped-coun.

Did you know?

The Graduate School of Education is pleased to have a video about the school that is now accessible on our web home page. We hope you will take the time to view it by visiting www.pdx.edu/education to click on the line for opening it.

GTEP Graduate Working With The Navajo

Sara Trakselis has become accustomed to seeing more jackrabbits than people in her first year of teaching. The 2006 GTEP graduate works and lives on the northern end of the Navajo Nation in Montezuma Creek, Utah, where she teaches science at the local high school. The rural town has no telephone reception and mail is only delivered to a post office box at the school. Trakselis describes the place as a “very traditional public school in a very non-traditional place.”

Since accepting her position, Trakselis has found she is learning as much as she is teaching. She spent her first weeks acclimating herself to a people and place nearly 2000 miles away from Portland State. Immersing herself in a new culture and landscape has been both exciting and difficult, but Trakselis says that she revels in the daily challenges she’s faced with. She works to make her classroom reflect the values of the community and spends her free time taking classes on the Navajo language. Trakselis has also been brushing up on historic superstitions, customs, and traditions.

Such sensitivity and dedication come as no surprise to her PSU educators. Trakselis is “absolutely wonderful,” according to GSE Professor Sue Lenski. “She’s a very talented science teacher who had other job offers… but chose to take a year to contribute to the education of Native Americans.”

Trakselis sends stories and updates of her experience periodically to former cohort members and professors. If you would like to receive these messages, or learn more about her experiences, she can be reached by email at strakselis@hotmail.com.

Community Leaders Donate Time, Advice to Dean

The Graduate School of Education has established an Advisory Council. The membership, which is listed below, includes education and community leaders. We feel fortunate to have these distinguished individuals willing to give their time to help us improve the work we do.

The Advisory Council serves in an advisory role to the Dean of the Graduate School of Education and as an advocate for the school. The objectives of the Education Advisory Council are to:

  • Assist in increasing the visibility and image of the GSE in the community.
  • Provide strategic advice and support to the Dean on a variety of issues.
  • Become door-openers for conversations in the external community.
  • Be an advocate and promote positive public relations for the school.
  • Assist in the development of funding priorities and strategies for the school.

The first meeting of the Advisory Council took place on November 16th at our Helen Gordon Center. Lunch was provided compliments of the Nike Corporation. The Council was presented general information about the state of the GSE and more detail about our new secondary education inclusion program—a unique program that prepares secondary education candidates to teach in both their subject matter field and in special education.

Council members provided feedback on many aspects of the GSE and gave guidance that will help long range planning. The next meeting of the Council will take place in May.

Advisory Council Members:

Morgan Anderson, Intel

Julia Brim-Edwards, NIKE

Gale Castillo, Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber

Jackie Cooke, West Gresham Grade School

Terry Kneisler, Reynolds School District

Rob Larson, Oregon Department of Education

Fred Miller, retired, PGE

Jane Morrow, retired educator, Friends of the GSE

Vicki Phillips, Portland Public Schools

Preston Pulliams, Portland Community College

Bruce Samson, retired, NW Natural

Carol Thomas, Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory

Maxine Thompson, Leaders Roundtable

Mart Thrasher, Alumna

Carol Turner, Leadership for Action

Courtney Vanderstek, OEA

Yvette Webber-Davis, Oregon University System

Duncan Wyse, Oregon Business Council

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