little boy with mask looking out window
We have a plan!
It’s finally time — to the best of our ability because of the ever-changing COVID-19 situation — to outline what our plans are for the fall semester, which begins in less than a month on August 24. Our approach is one of maximum flexibility so we are prepared to respond to the local conditions due to the COVID-19. The information is a bit long, but our constituents said they would like to hear from us about all the details.

For the first week of classes, only a select few courses, such as research labs, medical courses, and fine arts and performing arts studios will be held in person. About 5,000 students are expected to resume in-person learning at that time. The College of Education does not have any courses that fit these categories, so we are not holding any in-person courses in the first week. All other courses will begin online on Aug. 24.

During the second week, in-person and flex in-person classes (descriptions of all formats are below) of up to 30 people will begin meeting on campus, while larger classes will continue online. About 14,000 people are expected to be on campus in week two.

Beginning Sept. 8, the day after Labor Day, larger in-person and flex-in person courses will resume on campus. About 50 percent of all fall courses will have some in-person component. At this point, between 25,000 and 30,000 people are expected to be on campus, which is less than half the number on campus during a regular semester.

Campus services, including dining services and outdoor recreation programs, will be available starting on the first day of classes on Aug. 24, and University Libraries will be open.

The staged approach to in-person instruction will not affect dorm move-in, which will take place as planned. All students planning to live on campus will be tested for COVID-19 with a rapid antigen test and must get a negative result before they are permitted to move in. Those who test positive will be moved into an isolation dorm for 10 days, and their regular dorm room will be held for them.

University leaders will continue to monitor public health conditions on and off campus and make adjustments to the reentry plan as necessary.

These are the class types — which are selected by the professor for each class — planned for the fall semester:

Offered in a classroom setting, modified for physical distancing and enhanced disinfectant routines. Students will be required to wear face coverings at all times when in the classroom. Students should be available during all scheduled class meetings. Students who are unable to come to class due to illness or a need to self-isolate during the semester will be able to stay current with class work via remote or online methods.

Structured to allow students to participate via a mix of in-person and online modes. The exact mix of in-person and online components will be determined by the instructor. Students should check the D2L course site for guidance from the instructor prior to attending the class in-person. Students should be available during all scheduled class meetings and follow all health and safety guidelines. Some components of this class will be offered in a classroom setting, modified for physical distancing and enhanced disinfectant routines. Students will be required to wear face coverings at all times when in the classroom. Students who are unable to come to class due to illness or a need to self-isolate for a period during the semester will be able to stay current with class work via remote or online methods.

Offered in a live online (synchronous) format. Students and instructors will meet simultaneously through an online platform. Students must be available during all scheduled class meetings, and will require sufficient internet bandwidth to join the classes via video link. Students who are unable to attend a class due to illness during the semester will be able to stay current with class work via remote methods.

Offered fully online and asynchronous (meaning not live). These courses are the same as they always have been.

Finally, at the end of the semester, all in-person and flex in-person classed will be entirely online (synchronous) after the Thanksgiving vacation through the end of the semester, including finals week.

For the most up-to-date fall semester details, continue to check the Office of the Registrar.

This story from AZPM also is helpful.

Summers are usually somewhat quiet, but this summer has been the exception. We have much more news to share.

kathy hoffman
Reopening schools? Now?
Let's TALK!

Our Education Policy Center invites you to a live interview with Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman on Thursday, August 13, at 2 p.m. for a conversation about the challenges of reopening schools during a pandemic.

Join us virtually for this much-needed conversation, which we will hold as a Zoom webinar plus we’ll be streaming it as a Facebook Live event. You will be able to submit questions via the Q&A panel during the webinar or you can ask questions (in the comments) on Facebook Live.

Hoffman will sit down with Professor Iliana Reyes, who, by the way, was just named our associate dean! (We have more on this news below.) The Education Policy Center’s Executive Director Robin Hiller will emcee the event.

Watch our Facebook for details, and get your questions ready!

We'll see you Thursday, August 13, at 2 p.m.

hispanic student wearing mask
COVID-19 research already underway

Because COVID-19 caused higher education institutions to move to online formats, unforeseen challenges and inequities became quite clear. For example, underrepresented and underserved students and instructors were disproportionately negatively impacted. Similar inequities are likely in the fall (e.g., limited internet, food insecurity, medical testing).

Institutions across the nation quickly coordinated access to resources, but how well did these practices work? Voices from these populations are critical for identifying beneficial versus harmful practices and supports. Assistant Vice Provost of Hispanic Serving Institution Initiatives Marla A. Franco, a faculty affiliate in the college, Assistant Professor Monica Erbacher, and Associate Professor Elizabeth Pope were awarded a COVID-19-related award from the National Science Foundation to lead a research endeavor that will benefit Hispanic Serving Institutions throughout Arizona, with implications for HSIs across the nation, as campuses plan for reentry.

The research will examine how findings differ for students and instructors from underrepresented and underserved communities (i.e., Latinx and Native American). Data collected will contribute knowledge regarding attitudes and coping processes during crises. Results seek to inform best practices for Hispanic Serving Institutions during recovery from this pandemic.

boy working with online teacher
Teaching during a pandemic

Our college wasted no time in assessing the impact of the pandemic on teachers and students. The Education Policy Center created a report, Remote Teacher Survey: Teaching during a Pandemic, by assessing the impact of remote learning on teachers and students. From April 12 until May 12, the survey was distributed to Arizona teachers throughout the state.

Canta y no llores
(sing and do not cry)

College of Education alumnus, good friend to the college, and New York City Chancellor of Schools Richard Carranza ’91 runs the largest school district in the nation. He’s been tapped by many news media outlets, including this story on MSNBC.

Carranza also was featured in this article in the Arizona Alumni magazine. Scroll down on that same page to catch an interview with this Tucson native.

panelists for wonder at home
The Changing Landscape of Education: The Digital Divide

Faculty members from the College of Education and the superintendent of the Sunnyside Unified School District were featured in the University of Arizona Foundation’s Wonder at Home series.

The panel discussed the future of education after COVID-19 and the digital divide, which is heavily interwoven with issues of race, education, and poverty.

Watch the recorded Wonder at Home webinar.
Getting excited about STEM
As part of the New Frontiers of Sound, a National Science Foundation-funded program, six University of Arizona undergraduates from populations underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math — women, first-generation college students, and racial and ethnic minorities — will spend the next year researching the behavior of sound waves and working with mentors as they prepare to pursue related careers and graduate degrees.

"One of the most important outcomes is keeping the students in school, making them excited about STEM research and education, and giving them the tools they need to be successful," said College of Education Assistant Dean Sara Chavarria, one of the program leads. "It's just so rewarding and amazing to see how confident they become and really believe in themselves because they're scientists, they're engineers, they're researchers — they're living it."
A sense of belonging in STEM
two students working on an equation at a chalkboard
Speaking of STEM, a $4.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation helps create a stronger path for Pima Community College students who transfer to the University of Arizona to pursue bachelor's degrees. The Pima-UAZ STEM Bridge Program still has 20 scholarships left to award. Scholarships are up to $8,000 per semester at PCC for the final year before transferring and $10,000 per semester for up to three years at the university.

The program also provides extensive mentorship and support from faculty, staff, and students. Students can be enrolled half time, and income eligibility has been expanded beyond just Pell grant eligibility.

Starting this fall, we have 20 more scholarships to award. Scholarships are up to $8,000 per semester at Pima for their final year before transfer and $10,000 per semester for up to three years at the University of Arizona after students transfer.

KGUN-9, our ABC news affiliate, featured this story on the program.

If you know any Pima Community College students who are transferring to the university and are interested in a STEM career, send them our way!

lessons learned graphic
Also on the STEM front

A new $500,000 grant will broaden STEM participation in the U.S. by pursuing common research questions and sharing resources. The National Science Foundation-funded collaborative includes the College of Education, Boston University, Saint Louis University, and UNC Greensboro. Funded for four years, the research project (Developing a Network to Coordinate Research on Equity Practices and Cultures in STEM Maker Education) will bring together scholars and practitioners working at the intersection of equity and interdisciplinary making education in STEM.

Associate Professor Jill Castek is the co-principal investigator, and the college's five Jewel Lewis Doctoral Fellows (Em Bowen, Elizabeth Gaxiola, Amanda Bermudez, Wen Wen, and Yousra Abourehab) also will work on this research collaboration network grant.
colorful letters spelling the word people
Dean's Office
Our industrious Associate Dean and Professor Francesca López left us at the end of June to become the newly named Waterbury Chair in Equity Pedagogy at Penn State’s College of Education. No doubt this is an excellent and exciting opportunity, but she will be missed.

And now … announcing our new associate dean! Congratulations to Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Professor Iliana Reyes who was just appointed to the position. She has been with the college for 18 years, having started as an assistant professor in 2002. She was promoted to full professor last year. Reyes received her master’s and doctoral degrees in developmental psychology from UC Berkeley.

Her expertise in biliteracy in schools and communities is widely recognized, as is her work on borderlands. She continues to carry the torch for Funds of Knowledge — based on the premise that people are competent and their life experiences have given them valuable knowledge — in the college, where the concept was born many years ago.

Dean Johnson adds, “We are very excited to welcome Professor Reyes to the college’s leadership team. She has great connections throughout the community and across the borderlands, strong scholarship in important education issues, and expertise in asset-based educator preparation with a focus on community involvement. These attributes position her well for this important new role.”

Disability & Psychoeducational Studies

We love to hear success stories about our alumni! Alumnus William During ’89 studied with the late Professor Candace Bos in 1980 as a graduate student in learning disabilities. After earning a master’s degree, he branched into bilingual special education, working with Professor Emeritus Arminda Fuentevilla, and earned a second master’s degree in educational administration. For more than 30 years, he has worked with ethnic language minority students and is an ESL teacher with Bridgeport Public Schools Adult Education in Connecticut. He writes, “I owe a considerable amount of my success to my work at the University of Arizona. Thank you, and keep up the good work.”
philip johnson
Assistant Professor of Practice Philip Johnson was awarded an Arizona Department of Economic Security grant to offer a one-year, five-course certificate program to AZDES vocational rehabilitation counselors to provide specialized, quality services to people with disabilities.

Associate Professor Michelle Perfect delivered a virtual presentation at the American Diabetes Association Conference about involving families to improve sleep habits in children with diabetes. The presentation led to this news story.

Educational Policy Studies & Practice

Doctoral student and alumna Lysette Davi ’15, assistant director of student engagement for the University of Arizona Honors College, was selected as one of the university’s HSI Fellows. Davi says she would like to focus on best practices to better serve Hispanic students online in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Jill Koyama has been appointed as the new director of the Education Policy Center. Created to inform the public and policymakers in Arizona, the Education Policy Center is the only university-based center in the state dedicated to policy issues of PK-20 education. Associate Dean Francesca López, who left the university to embark on a new journey at Penn State University, and Professor Koyama collaborated extensively over the years, and EPC is perhaps the most notable of their collaborations. In other words, the center is in good hands!

In addition, Professor Koyama has been named the new director of Educational Leadership & Policy and is the new Ernest W. McFarland Distinguished Professorship in Leadership for Education Policy and Reform. Attorney Ernest W. McFarland was an American politician and one of the co-authors of the GI Bill. He was a Democratic senator from Arizona from 1941 to 1953, serving as majority leader for two years, before becoming the governor in Arizona in 1955. He also sat as chief justice on the Arizona Supreme Court and is the only Arizonan to serve in the highest office in all three branches of Arizona government.

gary rhoades
After 19 years as the director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education and eight years as department head of Educational Policy Studies & Practice, Professor Gary Rhoades has returned to the faculty as a professor of higher education. According to Dean Bruce Johnson, “Gary is a master mentor of graduate students and faculty and a passionate advocate for students, staff, and faculty within our university, nationally, and internationally. We will miss Gary’s voice in our college leadership meetings, but we are glad that he will remain a highly contributing member of our college community.”

Rhoades also has been quoted widely in media stories about how the pandemic has affected graduate student workers and long-sought contracts.

EPSP remains in good hands because Professor Regina Deil-Amen is the new director of the center and also the department head. She received her doctorate in sociology from Northwestern University and has expertise in qualitative research methods with experience in partnering on mixed-methods projects. 

Arizona Wildcat Sam Thomas graduated in three years with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in special disabilities with a focus on deaf studies. But there’s good news for the college and for Wildcat fans: Thomas is coming back to play basketball and she’s enrolled in our educational leadership master's program in the fall! The basketball star was featured in this article in the Arizona Daily Star.

Dean Marx
Educational Psychology

Professor and Dean Emeritus Ron Marx was featured in WalletHub's recent piece about the most and least educated cities.

Alumna Sharon L. Nichols ’97 ’03 is the new vice president of the American Psychological Association’s Division 15, Educational Psychology. The division is an association of 2,000 scholars devoted to the science of teaching and learning. She will serve in the leadership role for four years, assuming the role of president in the third year.

Interim Department Head Paul Schutz recently published a Routledge book about the multifaceted processes of teacher development, Teachers’ Goals, Beliefs, Emotions, and Identity Development: Investigating Complexities in the Profession. The book was co-written with Professor Ji Hong of the University of Oklahoma and Associate Professor Dionne Cross Francis of Indiana University.

Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies

Associate Professor Jill Castek was named the Jewell M. Lewis Endowed Distinguished Professorship in Literacy. Lewis, for whom the professorship is named, devoted many years to supporting education in Arizona. She was especially passionate about reading, spending five years as the reading director of Coolidge Public Schools. She also was active in broadcast television, inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 1994, involved in organizations to support women, and as an alumni of the University of Arizona. We are grateful to the Lewis family for the establishment of this professorship.

In a recent interview with the Lumina Foundation, Assistant Professor JD Lopez and alumna and Arizona State University Assistant Professor Amanda Tachine ’06 ’15 discussed the importance of Native American voices in policy dialogues about affordability and student borrowing.

Alyce Sadongei, project coordinator for the American Indian Language Development Institute, recently spoke with Atlas Obscura, about how museums across the country and world have historically covered sacred cultural items in dangerous chemicals for the purpose of preservation. “The revelations about pesticide use were like ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ for many Indigenous communities. A lot of people were angry and upset because these aren’t just typical utilitarian objects, they were very, very significant objects,” said Sadongei in this story.

Professor Erin Turner and Department of Mathematics Associate Research Scientist Cynthia Anhalt were awarded a $600,000+ Discovery Research PreK-12 grant from the National Science Foundation for their project, Collaborative Research: Advancing Equity and Strengthening Teaching with Elementary Mathematical Modeling, a collaboration with the University of Washington — Tacoma, Montana State University, and George Mason University. The research will focus on equity-centered professional development designed to improve mathematics teaching and learning through mathematical modeling in grades K-5.
As things unfold, we will continue to be in touch. If you have anything you’d like to discuss with me about the College of Education and how we are continuing our work during these uncertain times, please contact me.

Bruce Johnson
Message from Development

Good news!
cactus border illustration
Some of our programs have received some very good news recently, in the shape of generous grants from impressive foundations.

The Cooper Center serves educational groups from across Southern Arizona, from preschool-aged children through university students and adults. For the past five years, support from the Marshall Foundation has been instrumental in stabilizing staffing and operations at Cooper Center. Now, thanks to a new 20-year agreement between TUSD and the university, we are launching a capital fundraising campaign that is essential for our continued growth and long-term success. A new $50,000 grant from the Marshall Foundation will support our operations so that we may focus our energies on this exciting challenge. We are also very grateful to the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona for a $25,000 CORE Grant and the Thomas R. Brown Foundation $20,000 grant. Director Colin Waite oversees the Cooper Center.

Talk It Out is a partnership between the College of Education counseling program and TUSD, which grew out of the need to provide mental health services to students and families in the community who might otherwise encounter barriers to access. The program provides free and timely mental health counseling services to TUSD students and families using a practicum training model. We are thrilled to announce an $87,000 grant the David and Lura Lovell Foundation (especially generous since they also provided Talk It Out with a $ 63,000 grant just last year, which allowed us to hire a program coordinator), a $50,000 grant from the Marshall Foundation, and a $14,000 grant from the Arizona Community Foundation. Assistant Professor Lia Falco oversees the partnership.

Our Education Policy Center will partner with TUSD and the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation, founded by Steven Van Zandt, to discover the effects of academic achievement and social behavioral wellness in a year-long implementation of the Teach Rock curriculum in middle school English and language arts and social studies classrooms. The $40,000 Teach Rock grant will allow our policy center to research how arts programs, or lack thereof, might affect adolescent student achievement by evaluating four schools. Even better, the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation is matching the award! Education Policy Center Executive Director Robin Hiller oversees the grant.

Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Stocker Foundation, we are developing and implementing a culturally responsive STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) educational program for young children called Story-based Early Childhood Robotics Education. The project features the integration of robotics practices, literacy, and cultural responsiveness. Assistant Professor of Practice Sung eun Jung oversees the project. Stay tuned for more on this exciting project!

Thank you to these foundations for their generous and continued support of the College of Education.

We also want to thank our individual donors. Many of our students could not complete their education without the generous support of our alumni and donors. Whether you have volunteered your time or made a gift, please know that our students, staff, and faculty appreciate you!

We look forward to the day students return to campus. Many will need more support than ever as they face additional financial constraints. If you are in a position to help our students, please learn how you can make a difference.

And, thank you to those of you who contributed to the Fuel the Response Emergency Fund for students. More than $500,000 has been raised to address the emergent financial needs of Wildcat students.

Thank you for your loyalty and support!
Director of Development & Alumni Relations
We want to hear from you! Send your news to
College of Education
1430 E. Second Street | P.O. Box 210069 | Tucson, Arizona 85721 | 520-621-1461