2019-2020 Annual Report


Dean’s Welcome

Dear Friends and Supporters of BU Wheelock College of Education & Human Development,

This fall, our students returned to campus for a semester unlike any other. Despite the challenges we face as a result of COVID-19, our faculty and staff remain very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and our commitment to growing and learning together.

One of our primary goals during the 2019– 2020 Academic Year was to develop our new Guide Star—a shared vision that captures our aspirations as a college. We invited 39 leaders spanning diverse industries and disciplines to help us answer the question: “What should a college of education and human development look like and do today as part of a comprehensive research university?”

Based on these discussions, our faculty and staff developed and adopted the following statement:

BU Wheelock College of Education & Human Development is dedicated to transforming the systems that impact learning and human development for a thriving, sustainable, and just future in Boston and beyond.

As the name suggests, the Guide Star will help BU Wheelock define a path forward, from the type of impact we want to have in the world to the characteristics of the faculty and students we hope to recruit. We are currently working on a strategic plan and public dashboard that will provide a roadmap for the work we must do to achieve these aspirations.

In the meantime, in this annual report you will find that:

  • Our alumni and friends continue to generously support BU Wheelock student scholarships and faculty research grants;
  • Our faculty and academic programs are growing in exciting ways, including attracting funding for research that is making a difference;
  • Our entire community is promoting equity and justice both within the college and through our partnerships;
  • We are attracting high-quality scholars and leaders through our newly launched PhD program in Educational Studies and a new EdD program in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies;
  • We are strengthening our partnership with our local communities by establishing a firm commitment to the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools, and other nonprofit partners to improve professional preparation and enhance the impact of our research;
  • We redoubled our commitment to learning and growing together by working closely with our community partners, faculty, staff, alumni, and students to host professional development events throughout the academic year.


On behalf of the staff and faculty of BU Wheelock, we hope that this annual report provides a window into the exceptional work that is happening in our college and the promise it holds for a bright future.


David J. Chard, PhD
Dean ad interim and Professor of Special Education
Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development

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Faculty Affairs

Amie Grills, PhD
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs & Research

New Faculty

Andrew Bacher-Hicks, Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
Andrew Bacher-Hicks’ research uses experimental and quasi-experimental techniques to estimate the educational and social impacts of public policies. His work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, such as Economics of Education Review, Education Finance and Policy, and Educational Researcher. Dr. Bacher-Hicks earned his PhD in Public Policy from Harvard University in May 2020.

Olivia Chi, Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
Olivia Chi’s research uses quantitative methods to study the economics of education, with a focus on teacher labor markets, measures of teacher quality, and policies that reduce educational inequality. She holds a PhD in Education with a concentration in Education Policy and Program Evaluation from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to her graduate studies, Dr. Chi taught elementary grades in New Haven, Connecticut.

Johny Daniel, Lecturer, Special Education
Johny Daniel received his PhD in Special Education from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to graduation, he worked for over six years as an English language instructor in Thailand and at a university preparatory program in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Daniel’s current research interests include developing evidence-based reading interventions for students with learning disabilities in grades K-12, and using extant data to analyze variables that influence academic outcomes for students with disabilities.

Edson Filho, Associate Professor, Counseling Psychology & Applied Human Development
Edson Filho received a PhD in Sport Psychology from Florida State University and completed a postdoc in Neuroscience and Psychophysiology at the University of Chieti-Pescara (Italy). His research focuses on peak performance experiences and high performing teams in sport, exercise, and the performance arts. Dr. Filho is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology and a member of the Sport Psychology registry of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

Joshua Goodman, Associate Professor, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
Joshua Goodman conducts applied microeconomic research focused on evaluating the impacts of various education policies, particularly those affecting STEM coursework and college choice. Prior to joining BU, Dr. Goodman was a faculty member at Brandeis University and Harvard University. Before that, he was a public high school math teacher in Watertown, Massachusetts.

Kathy Kim, Clinical Assistant Professor, TESOL
Kathy Kim is a pedagogy-focused psycholinguist. She is interested in applying second language acquisition research (informed by cognitive psychology) to pedagogy. Dr. Kim earned her MA in TESOL at Boston University and her PhD in Second Language Studies and Cognitive Science at Michigan State University.

Meghan Shaughnessy, Assistant Professor, Math Education
Meghan Shaughnessy’s program of research focuses on the design and study of practice intensive approaches to the professional training of teachers as well as approaches to assessing developing skills with teaching practice. Dr. Shaughnessy received her PhD in Education at UC Berkeley. She designs, uses, and studies teaching simulations in preservice teacher preparation. Dr. Shaughnessy also designs and studies innovative professional development structures for elementary mathematics teachers that focus on leading discussions.

Promoted Faculty

Laura Jiménez, Senior Lecturer, Language & Literacy
Laura Jiménez was promoted to Senior Lecturer. She received her PhD in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology from Michigan State in 2013 and has been a member of the BU Wheelock faculty for the past seven years. Dr. Jiménez has served as Department Chair of Language and Literacy Education for the past year and has been an important member of the leadership team of BU Wheelock.

Dr. Jiménez is an expert on children’s literature and its impact on the development of young children. She teaches courses and leads workshops that aim to help teachers understand how literature is often used to convey cultural values. She is a critical advocate and activist for literature that reflects accurately on the lives of marginalized individuals and groups, and promotes a positive depiction of people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and individuals whose first language is not English.

Dr. Jiménez has published in peer-reviewed journals and contributed to numerous national organization conferences. In addition, she actively engages in public scholarship, for example, through monthly posts on her blog (https://bookstoss.blog/), podcasts, and Twitter chats. She has served as chair of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee for several years and created and led the college’s Social Justice Book Group for faculty and staff.

Rebecca Shangraw, Senior Lecturer, Applied Human Development
Rebecca Shangraw was promoted to Senior Lecturer. She received her EdM and EdD from BU (Wheelock Classes of 2005 and 2013, respectively) and has been a dedicated member of our faculty for the past five years. Dr. Shangraw is a committed and effective teacher who is consistently described as demonstrating a deep level of expertise and passion for health and
physical education, and great compassion for her students.

Dr. Shangraw’s scholarship has focused on investigating recommended teaching practices to use when instructing physical education students or athletes with learning disabilities, ADHD, or Autism Spectrum Disorders. She has published curricula, assessments, and teaching/coaching guides aimed at improving the way that professionals work with children and youth who are traditionally marginalized due to disability or sexual identity.

In addition to being an exemplary teacher, advisee, and scholar, Dr. Shangraw has served as the Program Director for the Applied Human Development program within BU Wheelock. She also served as the Associate Dean for Student Affairs during the merger between BU and Wheelock College.

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Development & Alumni Relations

Maureen Mollahan, Assistant Dean for Development & Alumni Relations

BU Wheelock raised over $27 million in support of scholarship, faculty research, and program support as part of the Campaign for Boston University. By every measure, it was a great success, made possible by the generous support of our alumni, foundations, and friends.

As the year started, our Alumni Events calendar was filled with thought-provoking seminars, renowned speakers, book clubs, and networking events. Collaborations on campus and partnerships in Boston and beyond created opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students alike to participate.

Despite the impact of COVID-19 as the year progressed, we continued to engage alumni at high numbers through webinars, Zoom meetings, and other virtual methods, in lieu of travel and face-to-face meetings. Alumni also continued to give at every level. The year closed at over $5.7 million, a total amount higher than the year before. That generosity secured vital support, particularly for students, research, and our literacy, math, and science programs. Alumni support of these programs continues to be a strong endorsement for the difference a BU Wheelock education makes.














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Doctoral Studies

Cathy O’Connor, PhD, Associate Dean for Doctoral Studies

BU Wheelock’s reputation in doctoral education is critical to our success in recruiting and retaining outstanding research faculty who can advance knowledge in our field and foster educational and social change.

Last fall, we received approval from the university to open and recruit students for two new programs: a PhD in Educational Studies and an EdD in Educational Leadership. The PhD program is conceptualized as a research-intensive five-year program, and the EdD program is conceptualized as a three-year doctorate of the practice, relying on the work of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate.

The PhD in Educational Studies prepares researchers and university faculty, and provides full tuition and stipends for students across five years of study. It includes specializations in Language and Literacy Education, Math and Science Education, Special Education, and Educational Policy. Each student receives intensive training in research methods, including participation in grant-funded research by our faculty. They also receive opportunities to participate in university classroom teaching.

For this program, we successfully recruited a diverse and highly talented cohort. Due to the work of Dr. Liz Bettini, a faculty member in Special Education, we were able to recruit an additional five students in that sector. Dr. Bettini received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support leadership development in Special Education, which will support these students through their program.

Dr. Robert Weintraub, himself a former school leader, also received approval for the EdD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Early Childhood-Grade 12. He worked with Dr. Pipier Smith-Mumford, a K–12 leader in the Brookline Public Schools, to recruit 26 outstanding school professionals from a diverse group of communities and schools who seek the EdD to facilitate their pathway to high-profile leadership positions in Early Childhood Education, K-12 schools and districts, education nonprofits, and state government.

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Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Raul Fernandez, EdD, Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

It’s undeniable that this year will be remembered for two events. The first is the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced us to rethink how we educate, learn from, and engage with one another. The other was the racial justice crisis in the United States, which has awakened the nation to the injustices of systemic racism and brought a renewed urgency into the movement to dismantle it.

At BU Wheelock, we learned a lot about ourselves as a community while navigating these traumas. When racist attacks were leveled against our Asian community and attempts were made to prevent our international students from returning to campus, we spoke out and redoubled our efforts to support those communities. We also came together to examine anti-Black racism and how those with privilege can become allies in the fight for racial justice.

What members of our community made clear this year is that BU Wheelock is committed to partner with others to address underlying systemic issues that are caused or exacerbated by racism, xenophobia, and other forms of oppression. As a community, we engaged deeply in that work this year, focusing on an anti-racist, anti-oppressive approach to education and human development.

We furthered our commitment to learning and community development through our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee. We brought members of the BU Wheelock community together to engage in anti-oppressive dialogue and hosted two events with Dr. Beverly Tatum, author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? We also launched a new Equity and Social Justice Webinar Series, which has included events focused on anti-bias classrooms, equity in family engagement, and criminal justice reform.

We continue to make strides in ensuring that diversity and inclusion are centered in our hiring, particularly of faculty. We engaged deeply with faculty through learning sessions focused on equity and inclusion, including a two-part training led by members of our Deaf community. We also dug deeper into the work as part of the Wheelock Faculty Social Justice Study Group, exploring white privilege and other critical topics. And we developed professional standards for faculty and staff to ensure that we all provide an equitable and inclusive environment in the classroom, fieldwork, extracurriculars, and elsewhere.

All of this work fits within a tremendous effort by BU to make ours a more just and inclusive campus, from expanding the scope and scale of the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground to establishing a Center for First-Generation Student Success to hiring Dr. Ibram X. Kendi to create a new Center for Antiracist Research. Through all of the challenges that this year has brought, we remain poised and committed to working for social justice.

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Student Affairs

Ellen Faszewski, PhD, Associate Dean for Student Affairs

Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, the Student Affairs Office continued to provide support and resources to students across all of BU Wheelock’s academic programs. We were able to quickly adjust the focus of our work to respond to the changing needs of students. Highlights of this academic year include the following:

Community Cares Food and Essentials Pantry
In response to the growing issue of food insecurity among students, the Student Services Office opened Community Cares in December 2019. This much-needed food and essentials pantry was created with funding from the BU Wellbeing Project and with BU Wheelock’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee as a founding sponsor. Community Cares distributed over 1,500 items before in-person activities on campus were discontinued in late March 2020.

Advising Resource Group
In fall 2019, the Advising Resource Group was formed to onboard, train, and provide ongoing support to faculty advisors in all academic programs. The first phase of this new initiative was to establish a taskforce of faculty advisors to identify best practices, poll students about their advising experience, and create an advising handbook. Although the work has been on hold since the start of COVID-19, the plan is to resume the work in fall 2020.

Academic Review Committee
Last spring, BU Wheelock Faculty Assembly voted to establish the Academic Review Committee, which is focused on conducting comprehensive and equitable reviews of students’ academic performance. The committee will examine students’ petitions and apply existing policies to issue decisions and identify supports to help students complete their degree programs. It is composed of faculty, Student Services staff, the Director of Professional Preparation, and the Associate Deans of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs.

The Wheelock Wellness Program
In summer 2019, Student Services offered a series of on-campus interactive events and social media campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of wellness and highlight wellness-related activities and resources available across BU.

Whee Inspire Program
In spring 2020, Student Services offered a series of on-campus and social media events that created opportunities for students to share their interests and showcase creative ways in which their passions inform and shape professional endeavors and aspirations.

Grad EDGE First-Year Graduate Seminar Pilot Program
Grad EDGE (Engage, Develop, Grow, Empower), a first-year graduate student seminar, was piloted with funding from the BU Wheelock Strategic Seed Fund. The seven-week class was designed to support first-year Black and Latinx Teach for America students to increase their engagement in and ownership of educational experiences, create a community of supportive peers, and facilitate connections with BU support staff and services. Student Services worked in collaboration with BU Wheelock’s CERES (Community-Engaged Research and Evaluation Sciences) to develop and evaluate the pilot.

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Amie Grills, PhD, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Research

BU Wheelock continued to demonstrate growth in the pursuit of external funding, with our total award amount its highest yet. We have over 70 ongoing projects and received funding from all major federal agencies supporting our field and numerous prominent foundations. In addition, we have built on previous work to establish a comprehensive program to support faculty and student research.

This year, seven new scholars joined our vibrant research community. Leaders in their fields, our faculty serve prominent roles in national and international professional organizations, as journal editors and editorial board members, and as content experts on research reports and grant review panels.

Student research also continued to thrive, with students presenting at regional and national conferences, publishing their work in journals and books, and gaining valuable experience working on grants and collaborative projects with their faculty mentors.








Foundations Supporting Faculty Research in FY20

  • William T. Grant Foundation
  • Helios Education Foundation
  • The Tower Foundation
  • Smith Richardson Foundation
  • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
  • Walton Family Foundation
  • Hearst Foundation
  • Kern Community Foundation
  • The Spencer Foundation
  • Laura and John Arnold Foundation
  • John Templeton Foundation
  • Brady Education Foundation
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • James S. McDonnell Foundation
  • Foundation for Child Development








New Awards

This year, our faculty received 26 new awards, totaling nearly $6.5 million. The following is a partial list of our new awards.

Counseling Psychology and Applied Human Development

Kathleen Corriveau, Associate Professor
Developing Belief: The Development and Diversity of Religious Cognition and
Behavior: Phase 1
$2,723,128, funded by the Templeton Foundation (subcontract via UC-Riverside)

Kimberly Howard, Associate Professor
Collaborative Research: Network Science for All: Positioning Underserved
Youth for Success in Pursuing STEM Pathways
$1,060,474, funded by the National Science Foundation

Jonathan Zaff, Research Professor
Debate Inspired Classrooms
$155,027, funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (with Boston Debate League)

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Stephanie Curenton, Associate Professor
Researchers Investigating Sociocultural Equity and Race (RISER): Network for Research, Policy, and Practice on Black Child Development and Learning
$307,000, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Ariel Tichnor-Wagner, Lecturer
Research Civics Education and Evaluation of Civics Programming in Massachusetts K-12 Schools
$410,463, funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts/Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Marcus Winters, Associate Professor
Evaluating the Charter School Sector in Newark, NJ
$300,511, funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation

Language and Literacy

Naomi Caselli, Assistant Professor
Effects of Input Quality on ASL Vocabulary Acquisition in Deaf Children
$2,241,592,NIH/National Institute on Deafness and Communication

Amy Lieberman, Assistant Professor
Personnel Preparation for Teachers of the Deaf (ASL/Total Communication)
$180,000, Commonwealth of Massachusetts/Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Eli Tucker-Raymond, Research Associate Professor
STEM Literacies, Learning, and Identities through Cascading Models of Near-Peer Mentorship
$757,388, National Science Foundation

Teaching and Learning

Gregory Benoit, Lecturer
Innovative New Spaces for Practice and Rehearsal in Teacher Education-Mathematics
$66,298, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (subcontract via MIT)

Elizabeth Bettini, Assistant Professor
Project PS-LINC: Preparing Scholar Leaders to Study Interventions and Complex Systems Shaping the Lives and Outcomes of Students with Disabilities: A Special Education Leadership Preparation Program
$2,500,000, Department of Education

Nathan Jones, Associate Professor
Collaborative Research: Leveraging Simulations in Preservice Preparation to Improve Mathematics Teaching for Students with Disabilities
$1,644,087, National Science Foundation

Internal Awards

Comprehensive Faculty Research Support Program
More than $125,000 in support was allocated during the first year of a new comprehensive initiative to support faculty research development. The initiative includes three broad domains: faculty professional development, pilot research investment, and research expenditure.

Five full-time faculty members were honored with the following awards:
Faculty Large Research Award
PI: Melissa Holt, Pilot Testing a Novel Online Recruitment Strategy for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Adolescents

Gordon L. Marshall Fellows
PI: Laura Jiménez, Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy with and through #Own-Voices Children’s Literature
PI: Tina Durand, Worlds Collide: School Contextual Experiences of Ethnic-Racially Diverse Adolescents in a Predominantly White Middle School

Seed Grant
PI: Elena Forzani, What Do We Mean By Online Evaluation?: A Critical Review of Research Across Disciplinary Contexts and Age Groups

Faculty Proposal Writing Awards

Jerry Whitmore, ELPS: Innovating Dynamic STEM Pedagogy: The Engineering-Education Collaborative Laboratory (NSF, submitted Feb 2020)

Elena Forzani, L&L: Critical Positioning within Online Science Inquiry (NSF, submitted November 2019)

Detris Adelabu, CPAHD: REU in Education and Human Development at Boston University: The Emerging Scholars Program (NSF, submitted August 2020)

Zach Rossetti, T&L: Examination of an Innovative Engagement Program for Parents of Children with Intellectual and Development

Student Research
Graduate students at BU Wheelock are actively engaged in research projects with faculty mentors and continue to receive support for their endeavors through conference travel awards and the Graduate Research and Scholarship Award (GRASA). This year, we were pleased to provide GRASA awards to two students from Counseling Psychology and Applied Human Development: Max Margolius and Jessica Koslouski.

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Strategic Initiatives

Mary Churchill, PhD, Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives & Community Engagement

Mariana Stoyancheva, Assistant Dean for Strategic & Executive Affairs

The main strategic focus in Academic Year 2019–2020 was the development of the BU Wheelock Guide Star and the launch of the process to create the college’s strategic plan for the next decade.

BU Wheelock Guide Star
In Fall 2019, faculty and administrators engaged in a semester-long process around BU Wheelock’s identity. Over the course of three months, community partners and national leaders from higher education, PreK–12 education, and professional associations, as well as social innovators, researchers, research funders, foundation, and corporate heads, and national and local nonprofit organizations discussed the question: “What should a college of education and human development look like as part of a research-intensive, comprehensive university?”

The end result of these discussions was the development of the GuideStar, a statement that will define us as an institution for years to come:

“Transforming the systems that impact learning and human development for a thriving, sustainable, and just future in Boston and beyond.”

2020-2030 Strategic Plan Development
In January 2020, we embarked on a strategic planning process to develop the pathway for the next decade to establishing the college as an innovative, engaged institution that is actively reshaping the systems that foster human potential locally, nationally, and internationally.

Twenty-nine faculty and college administrators representing all four departments and functions across the college joined the Strategic Planning Committee. The committee identified five strategic focus areas, which are closely aligned with the Guide Star:

  • Equity, diversity, and belonging
  • Research
  • Teaching, knowledge sharing, and learning
  • Partnerships
  • Allyship, activism, and advocacy

The Committee also identified a set of seven core values to guide this work: diversity and belonging; advocacy and agency; integrity; humility; innovation and transformation; curiosity and inquiry; and sustainability.

The strategic planning work will wrap up in fall 2020 with town hall meetings with BU Wheelock alumni, community partners, students, faculty, and staff contributing final feedback before the plan is released publicly. The college plans to develop a data dashboard to measure progress against 5- and 10-year implementation targets.

Community Engagement

Aspire Institute
The Aspire Institute is an innovation hub at BU Wheelock that engages in cross-disciplinary, cross-sector collaboration to provide the best models for addressing issues related to educational practice and policy-making. The Institute provides professional development and programming to engage all communities around educational issues such as pedagogical and school leadership training, building civic capacity, and teacher mentorship.

Aspire Institute accomplishments for this year included:

  • Entering into a partnership with Boston Public Schools to provide professional development, mentoring, and leadership support.
  • Fifteen mentors provided over 500 hours of teacher support to 18 teachers in 15 BPS schools
  • Holding the forum “Culturally Responsive Teaching and Student Voices”
  • Hosting a 10-day professional development series on early childhood leadership, with an emphasis on special education
  • Hosting a webinar with the Teacher Collaborative on Remote Learning, considering issues of engagement and equity
  • Partnering with Higher Ground for its inaugural summer program to offer teacher support

NIC Project with AACTE
BU Wheelock joined a team of 11 peer colleges and universities collaborating on the Reducing the Shortage of Special Education Teachers Networked Improvement Community (NIC). This project, led by the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE), examines ways of helping school districts address the critical need for recruiting and retaining special education teachers.

Three teams of BU Wheelock faculty and staff, as well as staff from Boston Public Schools (BPS), are involved in the NIC. Their work includes:

  • An analysis of the recruitment and enrollment of prospective students into our special education teacher preparation program and analysis of program coursework and completion, student placements, and longer-term special education teacher retention.
  • Developing ways to encourage self-disclosure of disability among teacher candidates to support diminishing the stigma associated with self-disclosure.

The project is aiming for a 20% increase in overall enrollment of teacher candidates in special education teacher preparation programs; a 30% increase in the enrollment of teacher candidates of color into those programs; and a 15% increase in the enrollment of teacher candidates with a disability.

Boston Public Schools
BU Wheelock launched an important new partnership with BPS to provide Master’s-Level Training for BPS teachers and employees, who will receive a guaranteed scholarship equivalent to 33% of their tuition when pursuing a Master’s degree, Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study, or Graduate Certificate at BU Wheelock. The partnership is an important step toward making graduate education and teacher licensure accessible to all BPS employees.

Ruth Batson Impact and Equity Scholarship Fund
BU Wheelock is the recipient of a $500,000 gift that will fund a new scholarship to be awarded to Black and Latinx students earning graduate degrees in our teacher preparation programs. The first recipients of awards from the Ruth Batson Impact and Equity Scholarship Fund are members of the fall 2020 entering cohort of BU Wheelock graduate students. The college plans to award several scholarships to incoming fulltime graduate students and several more to graduate students entering Wheelock via our partnership with BPS.

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Academic Affairs

Linda Banks-Santilli, EdD, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Academic Affairs is focused on ensuring that BU Wheelock students receive the high-quality academic experience that is the hallmark of Boston University’s individual courses and academic programs. We also support faculty on topics such as advising, graduate enrollment strategies, and grading and registration policies. When COVID-19 became a serious concern, we supported faculty and staff in teaching and working remotely. We also aided students by removing them from clinical and field-based sites and supporting them as they transitioned to remote teaching and learning through augmented reality, telehealth, and other forms of technology.

Over the last year, we have been developing a new undergraduate major in Education and Human Development, which is scheduled to open in Fall 2021. This transdisciplinary major immerses students in a broad foundation that will include courses in human and child development, education, design-based thinking, and deaf education. Students will be prepared to understand complex issues such as global interdependence, immigration, and racism.

Rotating field-based experiences begin in the first year, and all undergraduate students will be required to conduct social science research within Boston and the surrounding communities. In their junior and senior years, they will select one of four professional pathways: Youth Justice and Mental Health, Teaching and Learning, Educational Design for Transformative Futures, or Deaf Education. Master’s degree programs pathways are being designed for students that wish to advance their knowledge and earn professional licenses in education, counseling, or child life.

Over the course of this year, we also partnered with BU’s Global Programs and Center for English Language Learning in supporting their Building Leadership through Change Program. Twenty-one students from Saudi Arabia studied at BU through this program. They completed placements at nearby schools and a research/capstone project.

Professional Preparation
BU Wheelock’s Professional Preparation Office has continued to provide leadership and coordination in support of BU Wheelock’s academic programs and students through the centralization of systems and processes related to field education and educator licensure. It coordinated over 700 field placements in neighboring communities, including Boston, Chelsea, Brookline, Newton, Quincy, and Cambridge. Placements ranged from childcare centers and schools to hospitals, nonprofits, community organizations, and government agencies. In addition, we endorsed 276 education students for licensure in Massachusetts.

In response to the challenges stemming from COVID-19 and the resulting closures of field sites, we collaborated with faculty to manage students’ transition to completing their field-based requirements remotely. We are taking a more active role in placing students, prioritizing placements in Boston and other high-need communities, and we developed protocols for students beginning their field experience this fall that are consistent with BU’s Learn from Anywhere model.

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College Access & Student Success

Michael Dennehy, Executive Director, College Access & Student Success

The College Access and Student Success Programs (CASS) offer direct service and applied research to improve educational outcomes for students traditionally underserved by U.S. higher education, including pre-college, undergraduate, and graduate students. CASS develops and applies evidence-based approaches to ensuring that college access and success activities are effective, efficient, and student-centered.

Highlights for Academic Year 2019–2020

  • CASS worked with Dr. Detris Adelabu to promote internships with TERC to CASS undergraduate students, and four CASS students were accepted to the program: Harry Dam (a Menino Scholar); Anya Carbonell (a Hayden Scholar); La’Reya Brown (a Posse Scholar) and Katie Yao (a BPS Community Scholar).
  • Nine CASS undergraduates worked at Boston City Hall as BUCity Scholars Summer Fellows. The fellowships, which are funded by BU’s Office of Government and Community Affairs, are open to any BU sophomore or junior Menino Scholar or Boston Community Service Scholar enrolled full-time at the University.
  • A panel for undergraduates was held to encourage CASS Scholars to take advantage of BU’s 100+ study abroad programs.
    CASS partnered with Boston Education, Advising, and Mentoring in STEM (BEAMS) to connect undergraduates interested in health careers with faculty members and graduate students on the BU Medical Campus.
  • CASS worked with Undergraduate Admissions to host virtual information sessions for each individual CASS Program during
    the month of April. Prospective students in the IDEA, Impact, Philadelphia Futures, and Chicago Scholars programs were able to meet faculty and staff who could serve as their BU mentors.
  • In June 2020, Mr. Michael Dennehy assumed the role of Boston University Posse Liaison. Dr. Nicole Sjoblom was hired as Upward Bound Math Science Project Manager in September 2019. Mr. Albert Jimenez, Jr., joined as Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math Science Academic Resource Counselor.

Outcomes for Individual CASS Programs

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE): Three Holmes Master’s students and two Postdoctoral Fellows participated in the programs in 2019-20. Dr. Detris Adelabu, Mr. Michael Dennehy, Dr. Shana Rochester, and Dr. Jeanna Morrison presented at the 2020 AACTE Annual Meeting in February on the Boston University inaugural Holmes Postdoctoral Program. In addition, Shea Martin, Wheelock Holmes Master’s participant, was elected as the Master’s representative to the Holmes National Council.

Boston Public Schools (BPS) Community Service Scholars: This year, the program served 224 undergraduates and 93 mentors. The six-year graduation rate is 92% for Class of 2018. Community Scholars performed 5,065 hours of community service.

Boston University Initiative for Literacy Development (BUILD): BU Wheelock graduate students partnered with the BU Student Employment Office to hire, train, and supervise 164 BU work-study literacy tutors who served an estimated 1,090 children at 13 elementary school sites in Boston. BUILD ended services for the 2019-2020 school year in March 2020.

Chicago Scholars: Twelve scholars and two mentors participated in this program designed to help students enroll in and complete college.

Hayden Foundation Scholars: Twelve students and three mentors participated in this program, which promotes the mental, moral, and physical development of children and youth ages 5 to 18 in New York City and Boston. The program is a collaboration between BU, NYC high schools, and the Charles Hayden Foundation.

IDEA Scholars: Boston University partners with IDEA Public Schools in Texas (San Antonio, Austin, the Rio Grande Valley, El Paso) and Southern Louisiana, a program dedicated to preparing students for college. The 2019–2020 Academic Year was the first year of this partnership, with eight scholars and two mentors.

Menino Scholars are graduates of the Boston Public Schools awarded full-tuition merit scholarships to BU. Currently, there are 100 Menino Scholars. The BU Class of 2024 will include 34 incoming Menino Scholars (with one of 34 deferring enrollment until September 2021).

Philadelphia Futures: BU has collaborated with select Philadelphia high schools to support high-achieving students. Once matriculated, Philly Scholars receive support from a faculty or staff mentor. The 2019-2020 Academic Year was the first year of this partnership, with two Philly Scholars and one mentor.

Posse: BU partners with Posse Atlanta and Posse Bay Area to bring 10 students from each metropolitan area to BU each year. BU provides full-tuition scholarships to all Posse Scholars and assigns them a faculty/staff mentor, overseen by CASS. This year, there were 67 POSSE Scholars and seven mentors.

Upward Bound: BU Wheelock’s Upward Bound grant (a Federal TRIOprogram) served 82 students, providing them with afterschool academic support, test preparation, and college application and financial aid support. In April 2020, the program transitioned to “Upward Bound from Home.” The program reported meeting four of its six performance measures, including secondary school completion with a rigorous curriculum and postsecondary enrollment.

Upward Bound Math Science (UBMS): BU Wheelock’s Upward Bound Math Science served 50 students, providing them with STEM enrichment during school vacation weeks, afterschool academic support, test preparation, and college application and financial aid support. In April 2020, the program transitioned to “Upward Bound from Home.” This program reported meeting five of its six performance measures in its most recent report, including secondary school completion with a rigorous curriculum and postsecondary enrollment.

Yes Prep-Impact: High-achieving students from this public charter school system in Houston, Texas, which serves primarily first generation students from underrepresented backgrounds, attend BU as IMPACT scholars. They receive full financial aid and are assigned a faculty/staff mentor, overseen by CASS. This year, there were 18 scholars and four mentors.

Trotter Pen Pals: Thirty-five BU students and thirty-eight Trotter students were involved in this pen-pal program, a collaboration between BU Wheelock and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Trotter student visits to BU in March and the BU student visit to the Trotter in May were canceled.

Campus Visits to Promote College Awareness: Through the work of a graduate assistant, CASS hosted or ran workshops at the Josiah Quincy Upper School (60 students), the Healey School (20 students), and Borough of Manhattan Community College Upward Bound program (38 students).

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