“Most of our students are working toward degrees and certifications that will help them professionally, either in advancing in their work or gaining a position in human services,”
- Dr. Emily Duvall, Curriculum and Instruction Faculty

Locations

Coeur d'Alene

Phone: 208-667-2588
Toll-free: 888-208-2268
Fax: 208-664-1272
1031 N. Academic Way,
Suite 242
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

cdactr@uidaho.edu
www.uidaho.edu/cda

Elementary Education majors teaching children in a classroom

UICDA Enrollment Increase 2011

Rising UICDA Enrollment Reflects Demand for Real-World Education

By Donna Emert

University of Idaho Coeur d’Alene’s Fall 2011 enrollment numbers are up 5.4 percent. Enrollment at the Coeur d’Alene Center is up 33 percent over the Fall 2008 count.

The recent upward trend is due in large part to the growth of UICDA’s region-wide graduate degree program in educational leadership, undergraduate degree programs in psychology, organizational sciences, early child development and early education, and elementary education.

The programs are representative of what students and the marketplace are demanding: academic training tempered by real-world experience.

Many of the current 529 UICDA students bring experience with them, working as they pursue degrees and certificates. Students also find experience built into the curriculum.

For example, the Educational Leadership Program is designed to accommodate working teachers and education administrators. “They’re living it while they learn it,” said Kathy Canfield-Davis, who co-directs the program. “Their schools and classrooms are the laboratory. They’re able to apply what they’re learning, putting it directly into practice.”

“Today schools are faced with really unprecedented challenges, including the economic downturn and the ongoing implementation of new policies to meet changing federal and state requirements,” said Canfield-Davis. “With resources diminishing, it’s going to take creative and smart leadership to make sure kids receive the best education we can give them.”

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs and ongoing professional development for educators are a mainstay of UICDA course offerings. The demand for psychology courses is also strong.

“Psychology is one of the most popular undergraduate degrees nationwide,” says College of Letters, Arts, & Social Sciences Associate Dean for northern Idaho/Outreach, Richard Reardon, who teaches psychology and sociology courses at UICDA.

“Public perception of the field tends to focus on disorders and pathologies, but the field is much broader than that,” said Reardon. “Psychology is the study of mind and behavior, and has become the most popular liberal arts and sciences degree of choice for those who wish to stop at the bachelor’s level.”

Students who earn bachelor’s degree in psychology often go on to graduate programs not only in psychology, but also business, law, medicine, education and other areas. “Insights into human thought and behavior are valuable to almost any enterprise,” said Reardon.

Organizational Sciences, a new and growing interdisciplinary program, incorporates curriculum from business, industrial/organizational psychology, public administration, industrial sociology, educational leadership and other disciplines to provide students with an understanding of interpersonal workplace dynamics and fundamentals of leadership. It too provides opportunities for real world application, and insight.

“The program tends to draw students who are already in the workforce, particularly those in non-profit businesses and organizations,” said Reardon. “Abstract concepts become clear to students as they experience and apply them in the workplace.”

University of Idaho Child Development and Early Education majors in northern Idaho are typically already working with children and families, said Janice Fletcher, who leads the program in Coeur d’Alene.

“Most of our students are working toward degrees and certifications that will help them professionally, either in advancing in their work or gaining a position in human services,” Fletcher said. “Knowledge and professional values are well-taught in the college classroom, but experiences with children and families are important in cementing that knowledge and value system.”

In northern Idaho, Kootenai Medical Center, the Idaho Infant and Toddler Program, area school districts, child care programs, Head Start and Early Head Start programs are all vital partners in child development and early education students’ training, said Fletcher.

Bringing solid academic training to bear in real world situations is also at the heart of the Partner School Initiative, which allows education students to work in K-12 classrooms well before their requisite final year of classroom internship.

“The Elementary Education program started to see steady growth since we began to really develop our Partner School Initiative, which is grounded in service learning,” said Emily Duvall, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction. “We teach all of our elementary education courses in local schools working with real students and supporting established teachers.”

In Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls, the University partners with Ponderosa Elementary, Post Falls Middle School, Seltice Elementary, Hayden Meadows Elementary, Ramsey Elementary and Bryan Elementary schools. The teachers-in-training provide after school programs, teach classes and small groups, work one-on-one with students, give and score assessments, create and manage centers for teachers, librarians, and Title I, and observe, assist and receive feedback from master teachers.

As a result, UICDA is graduating teachers with more classroom experience than those coming out of many other programs, says Duvall.

“This is not an ivory tower education,” Duvall said. “Our graduates are already seasoned professionals.”