College of Education and Human Sciences

Math science grant

Math and Science Partnership receives over $1 million in grant renewal

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education and Human Sciences, Community, Faculty/Staff, Office of Institutional Grants | No Comments

The Math and Science Partnership Program (MSP) at Delta State University was recently selected by the State Board of Education for a new round of grant support to continue its mathematics teacher-training platform.

The major grant funding will come over a three-year period, totaling over $1.1 million. This marks the second three-year grant for the program, which began in 2013. The most recent installment will focus on K-8 mathematics teachers.

MSP, a federal program backed by the U.S. Department of Education, strives to improve teacher quality through partnerships between state education agencies, institutions of higher education and high-need local education agencies and schools in order to increase the academic achievement of students in mathematics and science.

The size of each state’s grant is awarded based on student population and poverty rates. With the funding provided to Mississippi, the MSP is responsible for improving the content knowledge and teaching skills of K-8 mathematics teachers.

The grant provides professional development training through a two-week intensive summer institute at Delta State, three Saturday sessions throughout the school year, a monthly online discussion, and tri-annual observations during the school year.

MSP Project Director, Kathleen Lott, was thrilled with the grant renewal.

“Acceptance to the Math and Science Partnership grant for 2016-2019 is significant and essential to the Delta, as it provides another option to K-8 math teachers for professional learning,” said Lott. “In providing professional development for teachers, the content knowledge of our K-8 students should be boosted. Due to the continued need in the Delta for professional learning in mathematics education, and the desire to improve student mathematics comprehension, the new grant will continue to strive for a successful program and wise use of the grant allocations.”

Robin Boyles, director of the Office of Institutional Grants at Delta State, was an essential figure in developing the most recent grant proposal.

“This is one of several programs that we have here at Delta State in which we utilize grant funds to address community and regional needs,” said Boyles. “By providing professional development opportunities for middle school math teachers, we hope to be able to impact math scores and improve educational outcomes for students in our school systems. It is through projects such as this that we further our commitment to community and regional stewardship in the Mississippi Delta.”

Boyles said others involved in developing the proposal were Lott, Elizabeth Belenchia, Dr. Liza Cope, Dr. David Hebert, Dr. Clifton Wingard, as well as leadership from Dr. Leslie Griffin, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences, and Dr. David Breaux, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Their leadership will be utilized as a collaborative partnership between the COEHS and the CAS.

“We have a shortage of qualified math and science teachers in the Delta,” said Griffin. “Not a week goes by that we don’t hear from a school district searching to fill such a position. The grant is Delta State’s effort, with support from the Mississippi Department of Education, to prepare teachers who are highly qualified to teach mathematics and science.

“This will be our second three-year award, which speaks to the sustainability of the program and to the outstanding job that the program faculty have done in providing planning and instruction. We are very pleased that the program has achieved this level of sustainability.”

Cope, an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at Delta State, said the renewal confirms the serious need for the MSP program.

“In the past, students in Mississippi and particularly the Delta, have earned the lowest scores in the country on these tests,” said Cope. “Therefore, there is a critical need for the work we do with this grant. The fact that this is our second award suggests that our first project was a success.”


Online elementary education ranks in Top 20 nationally

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Ranked alongside some of the nation’s largest and most recognizable institutions, Delta State University was recently included in‘s list of Top 20 Online Master’s of Elementary Education Degree Programs.

Online Schools Center strives to seek out the best university programs in order to guide potential students toward a unique and fulfilling college experience, and Delta State University’s program stood out among many.

Methodology for the list included program standouts, accreditation, tuition rates, financial aid availability, acceptance rate, admission requirements, program options, degree outcomes, and 100 percent online availability. In developing the list, chose not to list the schools in an ordered way, but instead highlighted 20 of the best programs, all of which have their own unique strengths.

Curricula for this degree stems from many disciplines, including but not limited to: teaching a curriculum, child psychology, elementary school ethics, current events, and more. According to Online Schools Center, Bureau of Labor statistics predict the job outlook for elementary school teachers at 12 percent over the next six years.

Learn more about Delta State’s distinguished College of Education and Human Sciences at

Dr. Brian S. Canfield, 2015 speaker at the annual Kent Wyatt Distinguished Lecture.

COEHS hosts second annual Kent Wyatt Distinguished Lecture

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The College of Education and Human Sciences recently hosted the second annual Kent Wyatt Distinguished Lecture at Delta State University. This year’s guest lecturer was Dr. Brian S. Canfield, professor of counseling in the Adrian Dominican School of Education at Barry University in Miami, Florida. Canfield’s speech was titled “Building Our Professional Community.”

The lecture series honors Dr. Forest Kent Wyatt, president emeritus of Delta State, whose distinguished career has served as a beacon for generations of educators, both in secondary and higher education.

Canfield shared his expertise on systems theories by providing practical applications of value driven change. In his research article, “The Dyadic Complexity Formula,” Canfield wrote about the dyadic relationship as the basic relationship of all social structure — from the couple, to the family, to the largest of corporate entities.

Canfield’s career in higher education has included professorships at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Southeastern Louisiana University and the University of San Diego. Additionally, he has held academic administrative roles as a clinical director, department chair, associate dean and vice president for academic affairs.

Throughout his 30-year career, he has been active in professional service and leadership in the field of counseling. He is a fellow and former president of the American Counseling Association and a past president of the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors.

Additionally, Canfield is an active speaker and workshop facilitator and has presented to universities and professional associations throughout the United States and abroad.

After the lecture, the COEHS recognized five outstanding alumni from the Division of Counselor Education and Psychology. The award recipients were Aretha Hargrove-Edwards, Virginia Tardy, Jonathan Grantham, Kelcey Steinriede and Jessica Willis.

Dr. Lisa Moon, second from left, and students Jerri Clemons and Claire Griffin at the Alabama/Mississippi Social Work Education Conference.

Dr. Lisa Moon, second from left, and students Jerri Clemons and Claire Griffin at the Alabama/Mississippi Social Work Education Conference.

In other faculty recognition news, Dr. Lisa Moon, chair of Delta State’s Department of Social Work, was recently named Social Work Educator of the Year at the Alabama/Mississippi Social Work Education Conference held in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in November.

The social work faculty also accompanied 23 students at the event. Two senior students, Jerri Clemons and Claire Griffin, competed and won the student poster competition for their research on the virtual dementia tour.

Delta State’s College of Education and Human Sciences will host the 3rd annual Janie Allen-Bradley Literacy Endowment Event Nov. 12 from 3-5 p.m. in the Jacob Conference Center, to honor the retired educator Dr. Janie Allen-Bradley.

COEHS to host annual literacy event

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Delta State’s College of Education and Human Sciences invites the public to an event celebrating the efforts of retired educator Dr. Janie Allen-Bradley.

From 3-5 p.m. on Nov. 12 at the Jacob Conference Center in Ewing Hall, the college will host the 3rd annual Janie Allen-Bradley Literacy Endowment Event, with a theme of “A Legacy of Literacy.”

Allen-Bradley was a dedicated promoter of literacy during her time at Delta State and now has The Janie Allen-Bradley Literacy Endowment established in her name.

“As an undergraduate student, Dr. Allen-Bradley taught me an infinite amount of knowledge and pedagogy related to literacy,” said Dr. Merideth Van Namen, assistant professor of teacher education. “It is an incredible feeling to come full circle and honor her and her passion for literacy.”

This year’s featured speaker is Kelly Butler, director of Program Strategy for Barksdale Reading Institute. In her role, she is responsible for leadership and instructional support, teacher evaluations, data collection and analysis, planning professional development programs for BRI and school staff, and serves as a liaison to literacy-related projects linked to the institute.

Prior to joining BRI, Butler served as a teacher in Greenwich, Conn. public schools, and has worked extensively with a variety of non-profit organizations in social service, health care and education in the areas of program development, support and evaluation.

She holds a bachelor’s in special education from the University of Alabama and a master’s in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University.

“Please join us in honoring an esteemed former professor from Delta State University, Dr. Janie Allen-Bradley, by taking part in an afternoon devoted to the discussion of literacy featuring Kelly Butler, a wonderful speaker with the Barksdale Reading Institute,” said Dr. Tom Brady, chair of the Division of Teacher Education, Leadership and Research.

Classroom teachers, parents, pre-service teachers and librarians are encouraged to benefit from this event. RSVP the College of Education and Human Sciences at 662-846-4412. Refreshments will be served.

The COEHS operates collaboratively with the other colleges of the university, the university staff, and outside agencies to produce professional graduates who will be effective in the field of human learning and services. The college strives for a stimulating, positive environment and provides its students with professional faculty who emulate and model the profession competencies, skills and affects expected of Delta State graduates.

For more information on the COEHS or its degree programs, visit or call 662-845-4400.

Delta State completed its 11th Literacy Across the Curriculum: Institute for Teachers of Grades 6-12 on June 26.

Literacy Across the Curriculum hosted on campus

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Delta State University’s College of Education and Human Sciences completed its 11th Literacy Across the Curriculum: Institute for Teachers of Grades 6-12 (LACI) on June 26.

LACI is provided through the support of the No Child Left Behind Act: Improving Teacher Quality State Grant. In total, 17 content area teachers from across Mississippi attended the 20-day institute. The intensive training included a variety of topics, lectures, activities and presentations on a wealth of relevant topics for today’s educators.

Mississippi Department of Education representative, Vincent Segalini, presented on College and Career Readiness Standards and planning appropriate instruction. The teachers also attended sessions related to literacy and college readiness skills in order for the participants to better prepare their students for not only major assessments, but also for their futures.

The most heavily embedded topics of the institute included word recognition, vocabulary, comprehension skills and how to actively incorporate them in their content areas. The goal of LACI was to enhance the participants’ repertoire of literacy knowledge, skills and dispositions to not only improve their students’ academic performance, but also to act as change agents within their schools and districts.

Upon completing the Institute, the teachers will provide staff development for their schools on their newly learned literacy skills in addition to completing an extensive Teacher Work Sample and collecting evidence of student learning in their classrooms. The teachers will reconvene for two additional follow-up sessions in the fall and spring to continue evaluating their planning, instruction and assessment, as well as to continue learning valuable literacy practices.

The administrative staff for 2015-16 included Dr. Merideth Van Namen as LACI director and Dr. Levenia Barnes and Pat Kirkpatrick as instructors. For more information on LACI, contact Van Namen at or 662-846-4412.