Category Archives: Teaching & Learning

New U.S. Bank Stadium Features Artwork by Students Co-Taught by C&I Grad

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Jenna Hubert and Andrea Greamba pose for a photo before their students’ artwork on display in the new Vikings stadium.

Andrea Greamba, who graduated in 2014 with an M.Ed. in Arts in Education, was part of the opening celebration at the new U.S. Bank Stadium featuring artwork from Minnesota natives. Greamba co-lead an art project as a student-teacher with Jenna Hubert of Waite Park Community School in Minneapolis. The project the students created was chosen as part of the permanent collection for the new stadium out of over 1,100 entries.

“I have always been impressed with the quality of art student-teachers that I receive from the U,” says Visual Specialist Hubert. “I tell everyone I know, that I will only take them if they are from the U of M.” Hubert has been working with the Department of Curriculum & Instruction’s Teacher Education program for several years and has had 15 students in the M.Ed. program teach in her classroom.

The co-teaching model is a unique aspect of the graduate teaching program that offers hands-on teaching and classroom experience designed to prepare graduates to hit the ground running once they receive their teaching license. Teacher candidates are paired with experienced, practicing teachers in the Twin Cities metro where they can put their coursework into action.

Well prepared by her classroom experience at Waite Elementary, Greamba has since joined Sky Oaks Elementary in Burnsville as an art teacher.

To learn more about the M.Ed.—Initial Licensure program in Arts in Education or other teacher licensure programs visit the Curriculum & Instruction department website. The priority deadline to apply for 2017 is December 15, 2016.

C&I Graduate Triples Elementary Test Scores in One Year, Closes Achievement Gap

Bonnie Laabs
Courtesy of City Pages

Reporter Susan Du of City Pages recently reported that after just one year as the science teacher in struggling Hamline Elementary school, Bonnie Laabs raised the science proficiency rate from 17 percent to 61 percent, meeting the statewide average. According to Jodie Wilson, Hamline’s testing coordinator, this tremendous jump is “extremely unheard of” in St. Paul Schools.

Laabs uses a combination of extra-academic advice and mentoring, along with creative explanations of difficult science terminology with the help of classroom pets to help students overcome hurdles in scientific understanding.

She is also open about her own past in which she struggled with abuse at an early age, spent time in foster care, and got thrown out of school. She uses her redemption through education as an example to her students, allowing them to open up about their own fears and problems. Laabs also tells her story to underscore the importance of completing homework and getting a good education.

Bonnie Laabs graduated with a Ph.D. from the Department of Curriculum & Instruction with a focus on family, youth, and community. To read the entire article visit the CityPages website.

Lori Helman named Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading

[left to right]: Diane Barone, Outgoing ILA President Jerry Johns, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and award donor, Lori Helman, William Teale, Incoming ILA President
[left to right]: Diane Barone, Outgoing ILA President; Jerry Johns, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and award donor; Lori Helman; William Teale, Incoming ILA President
Lori Helman, associate professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, was named the Jerry Johns Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading at the International Literacy Association’s annual conference in July.

The award honors an exceptional college or university professor in the field of reading education and is given annually to a member of ILA who is currently teaching preparation in reading to prospective educators at the undergraduate or graduate level. “An ideal recipient is considered to be a knowledgeable professional, an innovative teacher, a leader in the field of reading, a role model, and a disseminator,” according to the association.

Helman’s work in literacy in reading includes several endeavors. Most recently, she launched PRESS, a website featuring videos and tutorials that supports educators in implementing a framework for schoolwide literacy improvement. Helman also completed a a six-year longitudinal study of immigrant, bilingual students’ language and literacy journeys and co-wrote Inclusive Literacy Teaching on her findings and the implications for education. She is currently working with bilingual and dual immersion schools to implement Spanish word study curriculum and serves as a member of the International Literacy Association’s Standards 2017 Committee revising national standards for reading teachers and literacy professionals.

Helman’s research and teaching at the University centers on topics such as literacy development in the elementary grades, effective instructional practices with multilingual learners, teacher development and leadership, and assessment and instruction to support aspiring readers K-6.

Learn more about the graduate programs and professional development opportunities offered in literacy education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction.

 

 

 

Minor in TESL Helps Students Build Communities While Furthering Their Career

teslminorarticle“One of my main goals coming into college was to gain new perspectives, which the minor in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) has done for me,” says English literature major, Ellie McCabe. “It’s provided me a really good look into what it’s like to be learning a new language, and in doing so gave me a lot more empathy towards those who are trying to learn English.” The 4-course minor (or post-baccalaureate certificate) offered by the Department of Curriculum & Instruction is geared at preparing students to teach English abroad or in community ESL programs to non-native speakers or as a springboard to further graduate study.

Early childhood education student, Chloe Imhoff, became interested in the minor as a way to further her teaching skills and job prospects. “The TESL minor allowed me a different perspective on education and a deeper look into how can I better assist my future ESL students. It gave me some strategies and allowed me experience working with ESL students through service learning opportunities,” she notes.

Erika Diaz, who recently completed her bachelor’s degree in child psychology, was drawn to the program in order to help ESL learners become active members of the community. “I took it for granted knowing English,” Diaz admits. By helping new English-language learners she aims to strengthen diverse communities.

Diaz also appreciated the individualized attention and close ties created during the TESL program. “The small classrooms and knowledgeable instructors have made this experience make me feel like a part of a community. “

Many of the program’s graduates plan to teach abroad, including Virge Klatt, who is completed the TESL program as a post-baccalaureate certificate and plans to go back to her native Estonia one day to teach English. Spanish major, Whitley Lubeck, would like to teach English abroad for a year before teaching at home. “The TESL minor gives me the option to teach here or abroad and goes hand-in-hand with my major,” says Lubeck.

The participants of the program keep coming back to one specific aspect of the program that engaged them, and that’s the ability to create ties and build bridges through language. “The minor is only four courses, and so worth it!” says McCabe. “If you want to build relationships with people from different communities and make a difference while doing so, I can’t recommend it enough.”

To learn more about the TESL minor/certificate visit the program’s webpage or contact Martha Bigelow. Priority deadline for Spring admission is December 15.

 

 

 

Rodriguez talks with MPR, Pioneer Press about state math, reading scores

Michael Rodriguez head shot
Michael Rodriguez

Michael Rodriguez, Campbell Leadership Chair in Education and Human Development and professor in the Department of Educational Psychology’s Quantitative Methods in Education program was recently interviewed by Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) and quoted in the Pioneer Press on the 2016 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs). Students’ performance on these statewide tests— which measure progress toward Minnesota’s academic standards in reading and math— remained largely unchanged over last year. More specifically, Black, Hispanic, and Native American students’ test scores continued to be roughly one-third that of their white counterparts.

Dr. Rodriguez told the Pioneer Press, although the state has made smart policy decisions to try to close achievement gaps, the MCA results don’t reflect that. “We haven’t seen it in the outcomes, and that’s really frustrating,” he said. “This is not just the Minnesota story. We see this nationally.”

“It’s really unfortunate that we expect so much from this single event test score,” Rodriguez said in his interview with MPR. “It’s telling us there’s not much movement. But I’m not convinced that single measure is going to be sensitive enough to pick of the kinds of movements that are occurring.”

When asked (by the Pioneer Press) what schools can do to improve outcomes for low-performing student groups, Dr. Rodriguez suggested communities be brought into the schools, making the instruction more culturally relevant to the students and demonstrating that education leads to greater opportunities.

Read the Pioneer Press article.

Listen to the MPR interview.

McConnell quoted in MinnPost on new technology to lessen ‘word gap’

Scott McConnell
Scott McConnell

Scott McConnell, professor in the Department of Educational Psychology’s special education program, was recently quoted in the MinnPost article, “Boosting early language learning, one recording session at a time.”

The article defines the “word gap” as the “30 million word-exposure gulf that exists between children born into low-income families and their more affluent peers by the age of three.” It goes on to explain how one new early childhood education class at Northstar Mona Moede Early Childhood Center in North Minneapolis is attempting to lessen this gap, using a recording device and course materials that are part of a program called LENA StartTM. Parents participating in the program record a day’s worth of their child’s speech patterns, and a coach analyzes the results and offers advice.

Dr. McConnell, who is working to help implement and evaluate the LENA Start program in the Twin Cities, told MinnPost, “It’s really common for families to say, ‘I had no idea I was a teacher.’ Our experience with LENA so far is that parents are overwhelmed, in a positive way, by seeing their own data.”

 Read the full article.

circle training restorative justice

C&I Faculty Cynthia Zwicky Fosters Restorative Practices in Schools

Cynthia Zwicky, a lecturer in the elementary education program in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, is presenting an Advanced Circle Keeper’s Training  as part of the annual Restorative Practices in Schools trainings. The trainings are a collaboration between the Legal Rights Center and the Minnesota Department of Education School Safety Technical Assistance Center.

A restorative school is centered on relationships, building community and repairing harm. Multiple practices provide multi-tiered levels of support for students, staff and family. The Advanced Circle Keeper training is designed for people who already practice restorative justice, typically in a school setting. ”I have found the practice to be a key component of interrupting the school to prison pipeline and in reducing racial disproportionality in suspension,” says Zwicky.

Zwicky and her co-presenter, Michael Stanefski, were two of the first people in Minnesota (and in the United States) to adopt the circle process in their work as a teacher and a social worker in the schools, respectively.  They developed the Advanced Circle Keeper’s Training as an opportunity for circle keepers to observe each other’s practice in repairing harm.

Read more about restorative justice and the elementary education program in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction.

 

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Professor Lori Helman Publishes Book on “Inclusive Literacy Teaching”

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Lori Helman, associate professor of Literacy Education

Responding to the need to prepare elementary teachers for the increasing linguistic diversity in schools, associate professor in Literacy Education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction and the director of the Minnesota Center for Reading Research, Lori Helman, co-authored Inclusive Literacy Teaching: Differentiating Approaches in Multilingual Elementary Classrooms, just out from the Teachers College Press. The book presents key foundational principles in language and literacy development for linguistically diverse students, providing access to a broad range of research-based approaches in teacher-friendly language.

Readers see these ideas enacted through the journeys of real students as they progress from 1st through 6th grade. What emerges is both a “big picture” and an “up-close and personal” look at the successes, obstacles, and developmental nuances for students learning to read and write in a new language in inclusive classrooms. Throughout, the authors provide crucial guidance to educators that will support them in taking conscious steps toward creating educational equity for linguistically diverse students.

To read the book visit tcpress.com. Find out more about the Department of Curriculum & Instruction’s programs in Literacy Education.

Professor Lesa Clarkson receives award for inspiring women in STEM education

lesa clarkson
Lesa Clarkson, associate professor in mathematics education

Lesa Clarkson, associate professor of mathematics education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, was honored with the INSIGHT into Diversity 2016 Inspiring Women in STEM Award and will be featured in the September issue of INSIGHT into Diversity magazine. The award honors “remarkable women in STEM professions who continue to make a significant difference through mentoring and teaching, research, successful programs and initiatives, and other efforts worthy of national recognition.”

Clarkson’s research agenda focuses on mathematics in the urban classroom, specifically identifying successful strategies that increase student achievement primarily among underrepresented student groups. She focuses on African-American students, specifically, because this group of students historically has the lowest scores on the national and state assessments. Clarkson believes, “The color of a student’s skin is not correlated to their achievement in mathematics.”

Clarkson’s research aims to find best practices that will provide all students with engaging mathematics experiences in addition to the basic “tools” that are essential for students.

CEHD praised for work in educational technology at national Teacher Preparation Innovation Summit

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Jean Quam and Cassie Scharber

The College of Education and Human Development was recently recognized for its leadership in the innovative use of technology to support learning of pre-service teachers by the U.S. Department of Education and ASCD at the Teacher Preparation Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C.

Dean Jean Quam and Cassie Scharber, associate professor of learning technologies, represented the University of Minnesota and CEHD at the event, where Joseph South, director of the U.S. Office of Educational Technology, praised CEHD’s ongoing work to improve teaching with educational technology.

“America’s pre-service teachers must be prepared to use technology effectively in the classroom,” he said. “We are excited by the innovations we’re seeing at CEHD to ensure their pre-service teachers have opportunities to actively use technology to support learning and teaching through creation, collaboration, and problem solving.”

The summit brought together researchers, schools of education, district leaders, accreditors, and support organizations to advance four goals for educational technology in teacher preparation programs outlined in the 2016 National Education Technology Plan, Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education.

“We are excited about the future of educational technology as a tool to enhance student success in a variety of teaching and learning environments,” said Quam. “It’s part of our core mission in CEHD to prepare all of our graduates to develop and use new technologies.”

Learn more about educational technology research and applications in CEHD’s Learning Technologies Media Lab and in the Office of Digital Education & Innovation.

The summit cosponsor, ASCD, is a global community of 125,000 members— including superintendents, principals, teachers, and advocates from more than 128 countries—dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading.

J.B. Mayo, Jr. Receives Research Award for “Uncovering Queer Spaces in the Harlem Renaissance”

Jazz singer, Ethel Waters
Jazz singer, Ethel Waters

Each year, the  Institute on Diversity, Equity and Advocacy grants Multicultural Research Awards that “transform the University by enhancing the visibility and advancing the productivity of an interdisciplinary group of faculty and community scholars whose expertise in equity, diversity, and underrepresented populations will lead to innovative scholarship and teaching that addresses urgent social issues.”  Associate Professor in Curriculum & Instruction, J.B. Mayo, Jr., received one of the prestigious grants for his proposal to integrate LGBTQ history into the social studies curriculum that covers the Harlem Renaissance.

The research project entitled “Uncovering Queer Spaces During the Harlem Renaissance” is aimed at breaking the silence within social studies education about LGBT people, themes, and histories. Mayo plans to engage intersectional realities that include race, gender, and sexual orientation while helping teachers to be more inclusive of LGBT people, themes, and histories within their social studies classes.

Another goal of Mayo’s research is to allow LGBT students, and particularly queer students of color, to see themselves positively represented. He plans to conduct intensive archival research this summer in Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Black Culture to find the stories of gay artists of color working during the Harlem Renaissance. He will then co-create an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum with local social studies teachers that center on the chosen artists’ work and identities. The finished curriculum will be field tested in area social studies classes. Mayo plans to observe the lessons as they are taught and follow-up with interviews with the participating teachers and selected students to discuss their impressions and to gather their perceptions of the impact of these lessons, which are aimed at not only changing young people’s views of history, but diminishing homophobia within communities of color and in society more generally.

Find out more about the Department of Curriculum & Instruction’s commitment to diversity and social justice and the research degree in social studies education.

 

 

 

 

Second Language Education Student Receives Graduate School Summer Research Internship Grant

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Corinne Mathieu, Ph.D. candiate in Second Language Education.

Corinne Mathieu, an MA/Ph.D. student in Second Language Education has been awarded the Graduate School Summer Research Internship Grant for summer 2016. 

Congratulations on your Graduate School Summer Research Internship Grant. Tell me a little about what you’ll be doing.
I’ll be working with an organization called add.a.lingua, a social impact education organization based in Holland, MI. They work with school districts to develop immersion programs. I’m helping them develop assessments on students’ language proficiency. With the internship grant, I’ll also be doing the study of my own, interviewing middle school immersion teachers to find out more about the materials they use in their classrooms.

How did you become interested in the field of Second Language Education?
Spanish was always my favorite class. I became very interested in linguistics and how languages are learned during my undergraduate education. But, I didn’t realize I wanted to be a teacher at that point.  I had wanted to be a bilingual librarian, initially. I went to the Peruvian Amazon during a summer break in college. I saw people who spoke indigenous language learning Spanish and English and was very interested in how they learned languages. Then, a job to teach English at a Quaker boarding school in Ohio came up and I decided to take it and put off my graduate studies for awhile. That’s when I became interested in teaching.

What do you hope to do after finishing your Ph.D. in Second Language Education?
I’m hoping to work in curriculum development with content-based instruction in immersion and foreign language programs. I don’t know if I want to be an education specialist or consultant with a school district. It’s just my first year in the program. I am very interested in how materials can reinforce positive pedagogy versus. one textbook for all.

How has your experience in the Ph.D. program in Second Language Education shaped your views on teaching?
After learning more about teaching in the program, there is definitely a lot I wish I could’ve done differently, but it’s also confirmed that I was on the right track in terms of content-based instruction. It’s very easy to get in one pattern as a teacher, but there are so many more nuances to teaching languages.

Read more about the Second Language Education program.

Literacy Ph.D. Student Wins Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle award

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Anne Crampton, Ph.D. candidate in Curriculum & Instruction wins WPLC award.

Anne Crampton, a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Literacy Education received the Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle (WPLC) award for graduate students. The award is for women graduate students to recognize their achievements and successes in their field of interest. The criteria for the award includes academic achievements, community involvement, leadership, and passion for the academic and professional career of choice. 

Crampton’s research focus is in secondary critical literacy where she is currently looking at the student experience in both a large, urban high school and a small, urban charter school. “I think it is significant that we have such different experiences in schools, within and certainly across districts. I’m not comparing them, just trying to notice some of the plurality of schooling. Also, there can be negative stereotypes assigned to large, urban schools because people often don’t see the strengths of the students,” Crampton says.

After 15 years as a classroom teacher, Crampton pursued her Ph.D. in Literacy Education to have a better understanding of what shapes the education system and the root of inequity in the classroom. “Certain things kept me awake at night about what I didn’t think was fair or right. I wanted to understand it and be a part of the conversation in order to change it,” she noted.

Crampton’s Ph.D. studies have helped her make more sense of some of the arguments in public education and the urgency around them. She feels there are very positive and effective education techniques that offer the chance for a transformative learning experience. “I’d like other people to know that effective education does happen and it’s possible. People want to hear about successful education techniques in three words, but it’s complicated. Implementing new techniques takes support, an excellent teacher, flexibility, and the support of the school district.“

Crampton is particularly focused on the value of “aesthetic experiences” in the classroom, referring to big projects that students have a creative stake in that allow an aspect of performance, be it a podcast or a play. Citing the need for opportunities to engage emotionally and critically with ideas: “I think you can do all those things in many different disciplines,” Crampton believes these types of experiences in the classroom support the growth of the students as humans and honors their abilities.

Crampton plans to use her award to disseminate ideas and learn from her peers through conference travel and potentially support the purchase of additional Garage Band apps for classrooms in her research.

Kendeou, McMaster and Christ featured in FABBS article for their research on reading comprehension

The work of three Department of Educational Psychology faculty members – Panayiota Kendeou, associate professor in the psychological foundations of education program; Kristen McMaster, professor in the special education program; and Theodore J. Christ, professor in the school psychology program – was recently featured in an article by the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences (FABBS). The article examines the group’s research on how students come to understand what they read.

Dr. Kendeou was interviewed for the article and told FABBS, “The factor that carries the largest variability in reading comprehension is reader’s knowledge.” She recommended that children be encouraged to make inferences from a very early age. According to Kendeou, their ability to make inferences and connections assists them in everything from identifying words to extracting meaning from written text.

Read the full article.  

Kohli, Duranczyk on team awarded NSF grant to study algebra instruction at community colleges

Nidhi Kohli, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology’s quantitative methods in education program, and Irene Duranczyk, associate professor in Post Secondary Teaching and Learning are part of a team of researchers who were recently awarded a three-year, $1.5 million grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study algebra instruction at community colleges. The project investigates the conditions under which algebra courses can be associated with improvements in student learning and performance. It involves six community colleges from three states and focuses on three key algebra topics: linear equations, rational equations, and exponential equations. The results will be used to design programs to improve instruction and to support student success in algebra.

The National Science Foundation invests in evidence-based and evidence-generating approaches to understanding STEM learning; to designing, testing, and studying instruction and curricular change; to wide dissemination and implementation of best practices; and to broadening participation of individuals and institutions in STEM fields. The goals of these investments include: increasing the number and diversity of STEM students, preparing students well to participate in science for tomorrow, and improving students’ STEM learning outcomes.

Johnson receives WPLC Rising Star Faculty Award

LeAnne Johnson head shot
Dr. LeAnne Johnson

LeAnne Johnson, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology’s special education program, recently was awarded the Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle (WPLC) “Rising Star Faculty Award.”

Dr. Johnson was nominated by her colleague, professor and special education program coordinator, Kristen McMaster. In her nomination letter, Dr. McMaster recognized Dr. Johnson for her work to “improve the quality of service delivery to children at risk of long-term behavioral problems – which can have tremendous social, emotional, and academic consequences.” According to Dr. McMaster, Dr. Johnson’s work “seamlessly links research and practice to ensure that critical knowledge is translated successfully into action.”

The WPLC Rising Star Faculty Award recognizes a pre-tenure women faculty member in the College of Education and Human Development who has demonstrated leadership and creativity in an academic area as shown by research, teaching, and service. The recipient receives a $1,000 award for professional development.

CEHD ranks among top 20 graduate schools of education

U.S. News and World Report has released its annual rankings of graduate schools, placing the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) No. 20 overall and No. 12 among all public professional schools of education. It ranked No. 6 among the schools of education of the 15 peer institutions in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC).

Areas within education that ranked in the top 10 of their specialty areas were special education (No. 8) and educational psychology (No. 10).

“We are pleased that our college continues to move up in the rankings and that the excellence in our graduate teaching, research and outreach is recognized,” said Dean Jean K. Quam. “We are particularly excited about the new pathways to teaching we are developing within the college that are meeting the needs of the diverse student body in our state and nation.”

U.S. News surveyed 376 schools granting education doctoral degrees. It calculates its rankings based on quality assessments from peer institutions and school superintendents nationwide; student selectivity; and faculty resources, which include student–faculty ratio and faculty awards; as well as support for research.

CEHD also includes developmental psychology, a program surveyed in another report, which was last ranked in 2013 (No. 1).

 

Recently published ebook examines how digital stories enhance teaching and learning

The_Changing_Story_Book-Jacket-CoverThe Changing Story: Digital Stories that Participate in Transforming Teaching and Learning is available for download now. Developed by PsTL’s Linda Buturian over the last three years with CEHD’s Susan Andre and Thomas Nechodomu, the ebook examines how digital story assignments encourage students to deeply engage with subjects, and create a stronger sense of ownership of their academic work.

The Changing Story provides educators with assignments, resources, and examples to use in teaching and learning. It also assists educators in examining ways digital stories can be used in current teaching practices to help students harness the power of visual storytelling.

Access a downloadable, free copy of the ebook here: The Changing Story.

The Open Textbook Experience: A national presentation on open educational resources

DuranczykI-2012Irene Duranczyk, associate professor in PsTL, made an “ignite” presentation at the American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges (AMATYC) annual conference in New Orleans on Friday, Nov. 20 on the research and need for open educational resources and creative commons text. This is an equity issue. At the conference,  Duranczyk was also the State Delegate to the Annual Delegate Assembly of AMATYC held on Saturday. As the central region coordinator for the Research in Mathematics Education for Two Year Colleges (RMETYC), she attended the executive committee meeting and was present for the committee sponsored research presentations.

Serving as a peer study group facilitator: Catalyst for vocation exploration of a teaching career.

David Arendale, associate professor in PsTL, and Amanada Hane, his former graduate assistant, had another manuscript published from their qualitative study of UMN peer study group facilitators. It will be featured in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Developmental Education published by the National Center for Developmental Education. While there have been previous reports that some former study group leaders considered careers in education as a result of their experience, this is the first article that linked the behavior with vocational choice theory to help explain this outcome. Ms. Hane has an MS in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MA in Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She currently works at Wilder Research in Saint Paul, Minnesota and conducts community-based research and evaluation in the human services field.