Connect with the College of Education at AERA 2018

Check out the full list of UNLV students and faculty presenting at the AERA Annual meeting in New York. Or download a PDF copy today.


Friday, April 13

Benefits and Challenges of Instructional Coaching and Mentoring for Teachers and School Leaders
Division Roundtable Session Park • 12:00pm
Park Central Hotel New York, Ballroom Level, Ballroom
Principal Transformative Learning Through Mentoring Aspiring Administrators
Presenting Authors: Dana L. Bickmore (UNLV) and Lydia Davenport (Alabama A&M) 

Argument-Based Approaches to Measure Validation Situated in Mathematics Education
Symposium • 12:00 to 1:30pm
Westin New York at Times Square, Ninth Floor, Palace Room
Examining the Arguments Surrounding the Argument-Based Approach to Validation: A Systematic Review of Validation Methodology
Presenting Authors: Matthew R. Lavery, Jonathan David Bostic (Bowling Green), Michele Carney (Boise State), Jeffrey C. Shih (UNLV), Erin Elizabeth Krupa (Montclair State), Mark R. Wilson (UC Berkeley) and Lance Kruse (Toledo) 

College Student Learning and Development
Roundtable Session • 2:15 to 3:45pm
NY Marriott Marquis, Fifth Floor, Westside Ballroom Salon 1
A Brief Writing Intervention for Graduate Students: Can Writing-Related Anxiety, Self-Efficacy, Self-Awareness, and Self-Management Improve?
Presenting Authors: Margarita Huerta (UNLV) and Patricia Goodson (Texas A&M – College Station) 

Learning to Build Inclusive Classrooms: Promising Preservice Practices
Paper Session • 2:15 to 3:45pm
NY Hilton Midtown, Concourse Level, Concourse D Room
Discussant: Christine Clark (UNLV) 

Supporting College Students of Color Within STEM & Cocurricular Spaces
Paper Session • 2:15 to 3:45pm
Park Central Hotel NY, Mezzanine Level, Manhattan A Room
Undergraduate Women of Color in STEM: An Updated Synthesis of the Literature
Presenting Authors: Blanca E. Rincón (UNLV) and Tonisha B. Lane (South Florida)

 Critical Analyses of Children’s & Young Adult Literature: Uncovering Discourses of Power & Representation About Latinx Communities
Symposium • 2:15 to 3:45pm
Millennium Broadway NY Times Square, 4th Floor, Rm 4.02-4.03
Chair: Denise Dávila (UNLV) 

Poster Session • 4:05 to 5:35pm
NY Hilton Midtown, Third Floor, Americas Hall 1-2 – Exhibit Hall
Using Critical Questions to Evaluate Arguments in an Undergraduate General Education Seminar: A Quasi-Experimental Study
Presenting Authors: Michael Nussbaum, Ian J. Dove, Nathan Slife, CarolAnne M. Kardash, Refika Turgut and David B. Vallett (UNLV) 

An Integrative and Comparative Analysis of Approaches to Developing Undergraduates’ Learning Skills
Symposium • 4:05 to 5:35pm
Crown Plaza Times Square, Times Square B Room
The Effects of Embedded Digital Learning Skills Training on Undergraduates’ Science and Math Achievement
Presenting Authors: Matthew L. Bernacki, Nicholas Voorhees, Carryn Bellomo-Warren (UNLV) 

Emergent Bilinguals’ Meaning-Making Across Languages & Modalities
Paper Session • 4:05 to 5:35pm
Sheraton NY Times Square, Lower Level, Sutton Place Room
Emergent Bilingual Children’s Multimodal Practices: Supporting Varying Purposes of Show-and-Tell
Presenting Authors: Sabrina Francesca Sembiante (Florida Atlantic), Alain Bengochea (UNLV) and Mileidis Gort (Colorado)


Saturday, April 14

Challenges & Issues in Addressing Social & Emotional Competence
Roundtable Session • 8:15 to 9:45am
Crown Plaza Times Square, Act III-IV Room
Measurement Difficulties Surrounding Social Emotional Learning Concepts
Presenting Authors: Kenneth Retzl, Kate Eugenis, Geordan Keller (Clark County School District), Ana Luisa Reyes and Kevin Worthy (UNLV) 

Dialogue, Discourse, & Language in Science Teaching & Learning
Roundtable Session • 8:15 to 9:45am
Millennium Broadway NY Times Square, Eighth Floor, Gallery 8
The Persistence of Science Instruction Within Treatment and Control Classrooms With English Learners
Presenting Authors: Tiberio Garza, Margarita Huerta (UNLV), Fuhui Tong, Rafael Lara-Alecio and Beverly J. Irby (Texas A&M) 

Hip-Hop Pedagogies Across K-12 Subject Matter
Paper Session • 8:15 to 9:45am
NY Marriott Marquis, Seventh Floor, Empire/Hudson Room
Hip-Hop Generation: Rethinking the Disconnect in K–12 Classrooms
Presenting Authors: Antonio Latrell Ellis, Jaquial D. Durham (Howard) and Malayka Neith Cornejo (UNLV) 

Students’ Self-Regulated Learning and Behavior
Paper Session • 10:35 to 12:05pm
Millennium Broadway NY Times Square, 7th Floor, Room 7.04
Chair: Matthew L. Bernacki (UNLV)

 Equity Across Multiple Disciplines and Contents
Paper Session • 10:35 to 12:05pm
NY Hilton Midtown, Concourse Level, Concourse C Room
Chair: Steven T. Bickmore (UNLV) 

Exploring Access Opportunities for Nontraditional Students in Higher Education
Paper Session • 10:35 to 12:05pm
New York Marriott Marquis, Seventh Floor, Harlem
Chair: Blanca E. Rincón (UNLV) 

Students of Color & Family Impact on Educational Experiences
Paper Session • 12:25 to 1:55pm
New York Marriott Marquis, Fourth Floor, Wilder
“I Want to Make Them Proud”: How Parents of Color Influence the STEM Pathways of Students of Color
Presenting Authors: Blanca E. Rincón (UNLV) and Erica Fernández (Connecticut)


Sunday, April 15

Pedagogical Models & Strategies for Teaching with Technology
Roundtable Session • 8:15 to 9:45am
NY Marriott Marquis, Fifth Floor, Westside Ballroom Salon 3
Tracing Undergraduate Science Learners’ Digital Cognitive Strategy Use and Effects on Achievement
Presenting Authors: Kyle Castro Mefferd (Touro Univ., Nevada) and Matthew L. Bernacki (UNLV) 

Collaboration, Decision Making, and Integration in STEM
Roundtable Session • 8:15 to 9:45am
Sheraton NY Times Square, Second Floor, Empire Ballroom East
Chair: Steven T. Bickmore (UNLV) 

School Partnerships in Urban Settings
Paper Session • 8:15 to 10:15am
Westin New York at Times Square, Fourth Floor, Imperial Room
Building Homes and Hopes Through YouthBuild Las Vegas
Presenting Authors: Kim Nehls (UNLV)

 Toward Justice: Centering Identities, Positionalities, & Community Knowledges in Teacher Educators’ Work & Learning
Paper Session • 8:15 to 10:15am
New York Hilton Midtown, Concourse Level, Concourse C Room
Chair: Christine Clark (UNLV) 

Meaningful Mentoring Practices: Preservice Teachers & Mentors
Paper Session • 10:35am to 12:05pm
Park Central Hotel New York, Mezzanine Level, Park I Room
Mentorship in Context: Exploring the Experiences of Mentee and Mentor Teachers
Presenting Authors: Chyllis Elayne Scott, Steve Hayden and Tara J. Plachowski (UNLV) 

Challenging Language (Im)Possibilities in Dual Language Programs: Capital, Context, and Hope
Roundtable Session • 10:35am to 12:05pm
Sheraton NY Times Square, 2nd Floor, Metropolitan East Room
Social and Cultural Capital of Teachers for the Success of a Dual-Language Program
Presenting Authors: Katrina Liu, Richard Miller (UNLV) and Jorge Luis Inzunza (Delavan Darien School District) 

Student Learning and Development in Higher Education
Poster Session • 10:35am to 12:05pm
NY Hilton Midtown, Third Floor, Americas Hall 1-2 – Exhibit Hall
Enriching Student Experiences and Strengthening Student Support Through Quality Academic Advising
Presenting Authors: Sandip Thanki, Richard Yao, Janice Le-Ngyuen, Tony Scinta (Nevada State College) and Qingmin Shi (UNLV) 

Learning in Diverse K-12 Settings: Exploring the Hidden Curriculum and Critical Disconnects
Paper Session • 2:45 to 4:15pm
Park Central Hotel New York, Carnegie
Beyond “Free” or “Reduced” Dreams and Possibilities: Understanding Disconnects in Culturally Relevant Education
Presenting Authors: Kenneth James Fasching-Varner, Sonya Diana Hayes, Michela Patricia Stone (LSU), Kerri Tobin, Hillary B. Eisworth (LSU – Baton Rouge), Stehanie Troutman (Arizona) and Christine Clark (UNLV) 

Emerging Resolutions for Classroom Management Issues
Roundtable Session • 2:45 to 4:15pm
Park Central Hotel New York, Ballroom Level, Ballroom
Whole-School Connected: A Bridge for Novice Teachers’ Communication
Presenting Authors: Cecilia A. Turman and Shaoan Zhang (UNLV) 

CTE SIG Business Meeting • 6:30 to 8:30pm
Sheraton NY Times Square, Third Floor, Riverside Ballroom
Journal Impact Factors: Implications for Career and Technical Educators and Related Professionals
Presenting Authors: Howard R.D. Gordon (UNLV), James E. Bartlett (North Carolina State), Johanna Lahja Lasonen, Victor M. Hernandez-Gantes (USF), Linda K. Martinez (Cal State-Long Beach) and Brenda A Martin (Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Portfolios and Reflection in Teaching and Teacher Education
SIG Business Meeting • 6:30 to 8:30pm
Sheraton NY Times Square, Lower Level, Gramercy Room
Chair: Katrina Liu (UNLV)


Monday, April 16

Poster Session 12 • 8:15 to 9:45am
NY Hilton Midtown, Third Floor, Americas Hall 1-2 – Exhibit Hall

  • Video Games as Performance Assessments: How Executive Functioning Influences the Learning Process
    Presenting Authors: Michael McCreery, Catherine Bacos, Jeffrey Robert Laferriere (UNLV) and S. Kathleen Krach (Florida State)
  • What’s in a Test? Video Games as a Model for Assessing Learning Behaviors
    Presenting Authors: Michael McCreery, Jeffrey Robert Laferriere, Catherine Bacos (UNLV) and S. Kathleen Krach (Florida State)
  • An Examination of Preservice Teachers’ Beliefs and Self-Efficacy: Are They Related to Their Teaching Performance?
    Presenting Authors: Peter Wiens (UNLV), Bong Gee Jang (Syracuse) and Annie Chou (Dawson School at Rainbow Mtn)

Transforming Schools through Community Driven Organizational Thinking
Paper Session • 8:15 to 9:45am
New York Hilton Midtown, Third Floor, Trianon Ballroom
Possibilities for Social Justice Leadership
Chair/Discussant: Christine Clark (UNLV) 

Research in Vocabulary Development
Roundtable Session • 8:15 to 9:45am
Millennium Broadway NY Times Square, Eighth Floor, Gallery 8
Chair: Sharolyn Pollard-Durodola (UNLV) 

Selected Factors and Indicators Impacting 21st-Century Growth of Career and Technical Education
Paper Session • 8:15 to 9:45am
Sheraton NY Times Square, Third Floor, Riverside Ballroom
Discussant: Howard R.D. Gordon (UNLV)

Narratives of Resistance and Resilience: The Experiences of Women-of Color Scholars in Predominantly White Colleges/Schools of Education
Symposium • 8:15 to 10:15am
New York Hilton Midtown, Second Floor, Gramercy Room West
(In)Visible Labor: Reflections from a Latina Faculty
Presenting Author: Norma A. Marrun (UNLV)

Pathways to Teacher Preparation: Conflict & Compatibility Between Alternative Pathways & University Pathways to Licensure
Invited Speaker Session • 10:35am to 12:05pm
New York Hilton Midtown, Concourse Level, Concourse A Room
Speaker: Steven T. Bickmore (UNLV)

Roundtable Session • 10:35am to 12:05pm
Sheraton NY Times Square, Second Floor, Empire Ballroom East
Teacher Recruitment & Retention Focused on Content Areas
Chair: Christine Clark (UNLV) 

Roundtable Session • 10:35am to 12:05pm
Sheraton NY Times Square, 2nd Floor, Metropolitan West Room
Gendered Bodies in Educational Spaces
Chair: Iesha Jackson (UNLV)

 Digital Innovations in Teacher Professional Development
Paper Session • 12:25 to 1:55pm
NY Hilton Midtown, Concourse Level, Concourse D Room
Teachers Supporting Teachers in Learning to Teach
Presenting Authors: Lois Paretti, Linda F. Quinn, Jane McCarthy, Karen J. Grove and Steve Hayden (UNLV) 

The Use of Technology in Special Education
Paper Session • 12:25 to 1:55pm
Park Central Hotel New York, Mezzanine Level, Park II Room
Using Mobile Technology to Increase the Math Achievement and Engagement of Students With Disabilities
Presenting Authors: Dominique Tetzlaff (Maine at Farmington), Joseph Morgan, Tracy Spies and Michael McCreery (UNLV)

Cultivating Effective Literacy Instruction and Assessment in Preservice Teachers
Roundtable Session • 2:15 to 3:45pm
Park Central Hotel New York, Mezzanine Level, Park II Room
Using Perezhivanie in Teaching: An International Faculty’s Lived Experiences of Teaching
Presenting Authors: Ching Hsu-Kim and Shaoan Zhang (UNLV)

 Poster Session • 2:15 to 3:45pm
NY Hilton Midtown, Third Floor, Americas Hall 1-2 – Exhibit Hall

  • Expectancies, Values, & Costs: Reciprocal-Effects Models
    Presenting Authors: Rachel Part, Harsha Perera, Matthew L. Bernacki and Gwen C. Marchand (UNLV)
  • The Effects of a Retrieval Practice Intervention on Undergraduates’ Monitoring and Control Using Performance Feedback
    Presenting Authors: Megan Cogliano and Matthew L. Bernacki (UNLV)

The Role of Constructivism in Teacher Education
Roundtable Session • 2:15 to 3:45pm
Sheraton NY Times Square, Second Floor, Empire Ballroom East
Teacher Grit, Maturity, and Risk-Taking: Developing Teacher Candidates’ Knowledge of Literacy Assessments and Interventions
Presenting Authors: Tracey S. Hodges (Alabama), Chyllis Elayne Scott, Sophie Marie Ladd (UNLV), Erin Kuhl Washburn (Binghampton-SUNY) and Sharon Diane Matthews (Texas A&M-College Station) 

Longitudinal Perspectives on College Access
Roundtable Session • 2:15 to 3:45pm
NY Marriott Marquis, Fifth Floor, Westside Ballroom Salon 2
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back? Math Misalignment and Mismatch in the Transition to College
Presenting Authors: Federick Ngo (UNLV) and David Velasquez (USC)

Disproportionality in School Discipline: Exploring Policies, Practices, Contexts, and Experiences
Roundtable Session • 2:15 to 3:45pm
Sheraton NY Times Square, 2nd Floor, Metropolitan West Room

  • Understanding and Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline: School Discipline and Juvenile Justice
    Chair: Christine Clark (UNLV)
  • Black Women and Girls in Pursuit of a Higher Education: A Critical Analysis
    Chair: Iesha Jackson (UNLV)

Roundtable Session • 2:15 to 3:45pm
Millennium Broadway NY Times Square, Eighth Floor, Gallery 8
Critical Professional Development and Social Justice: Developing Liberatory Praxis Through Critical Inquiry Teacher Action Groups
Presenting Authors: Tonya Evette Walls (Touro University, Nevada) and Malayka Neith Cornejo (UNLV)

Dreams, Hopes, and Concerns in Preparing Future Teachers
Roundtable Session • 2:15 to 3:45pm
Sheraton NY Times Square, 2nd Floor, Metropolitan East Room
Dreams and Hopes of Preservice Teachers Preparing to Work in Public Schools
Presenting Authors: Leilya Pitre (Southeastern Louisiana) and Steven T. Bickmore (UNLV) 

I Know I Can: Teacher Agency, Motivation, and Self-Efficacy
Paper Session • 4:05 to 5:35pm
NY Hilton Midtown, Concourse Level, Concourse D Room
Toward an Integrative Perspective on the Dimensionality of Teacher Self-Efficacy Data
Presenting Authors: Celeste Calkins, Harsha Perera (UNLV), Peter McIveen and Bradley McLennan (Southern Queensland)

Student Learning Across Contexts and Content Areas
Paper Session • 4:05 to 5:35pm
Sheraton NY Times Square, Second Floor, Empire Ballroom East
Diversity and Discipline in the Classroom: Perceptions of Prospective Teachers
Presenting Authors: Katrina Liu and Sandra Candel (UNLV)

Doctoral Student Supervision, Development, and the Professoriate
Paper Session • 4:05 to 6:05pm
New York Hilton Midtown, Second Floor, Regent Parlor
Multiple Case Studies of International Doctoral Students’ Resilience and Identity Construction
Presenting Authors: Shaoan Zhang, Lina DeVaul, Ching Hsu-Kim, Chengcheng Li (UNLV) and Guoxiang Wang (Texas Tech) 

Radical Dreaming: Paulo Freire’s Transformative Pedagogy
Paper Session • 4:05 to 6:05pm
Millennium Broadway NY Times Square, Fifth Floor, Room 5.08
Discussant: Christine Clark (UNLV)

Special Journal Issues Focused on Mixed Methods
Mixed Methods Research SIG Business Meeting • 6:15 to 7:45pm
Westin New York at Times Square, Ninth Floor, Palace Room
Presenting Authors: Gwen Marchand (UNLV) and others


Tuesday, April 17

Roundtable Session • 8:15 to 9:45am
Sheraton NY Times Square, 2nd Floor, Metropolitan East Room
Critical Examinations of Whiteness in Education
Chair: Christine Clark (UNLV)

Learning/Development with Community Engagement/Group Learning
Paper Session • 8:15 to 9:45am
Sheraton New York Times Square, Second Floor, Metropolitan East Room
A Model for Language-Minority Student Persistence in the Community College
Authors: Margarita Huerta, Tiberio Garza (UNLV) and Hugo Alberto Garcia (Texas Tech)

Learning/Development with Community Engagement/Group Learning
Paper Session • 12:25 to 1:55pm
New York Marriott Marquis, Fourth Floor, Brecht
Longitudinal, Linguistic Analysis of Critical Thinking, Inquiry, and Communication Skills Development Among Second-Year Seminar Students
Presenting Authors: Yana S. Ryjova, Matthew L. Bernacki and Nathan Slife (UNLV) 

Beliefs and Reasoning in Biology Learning
Paper Session • 12:25 to 1:55pm
Millennium Broadway NY Times Square, 7th Floor, Room 7.02-7.03
Investigating Science Teachers’ Causal Schemas in the Context of Evolutionary Theory
Presenting Authors: Ezgi Yesilyurt and Hasan Deniz (UNLV)

Recruitment and Retention for Specific Teacher Populations
Paper Session • 12:25 to 1:55pm
New York Hilton Midtown, Concourse Level, Concourse F Room
Preservice Teacher Commitment: A Conceptual Model
Presenting Authors: Guoxiang Wang (Texas Tech), Shaoan Zhang and Katrina Liu (UNLV) 

Pursuing Our Mothers’ Dreams: Experiencing Disillusionment and Empowerment on the Journey to Academia
Symposium • 12:25 to 1:55pm
New York Hilton Midtown, Second Floor, Sutton Center
Familial Resilience: Persistence in Higher Education Through Culture and Family Values
Presenting Authors: Malayka Neith Cornejo (UNLV)

Loving Our Teacher Selves: Reflection, Engagement, & Growth
Roundtable Session • 12:25 to 1:55pm
Sheraton NY Times Square, Second Floor, Empire Ballroom East
The Satisfaction of Teachers at Work: Effects of Teacher Self-Efficacy and Engagement
Presenting Authors: Helena Granziera (New South Wales) and Harsha Perera (UNLV)

Critically Examining the Education of Black/Latino Boys/Young Adults
Roundtable Session • 12:25 to 1:55pmSheraton NY Times Square, 2nd Floor, Metropolitan West Room
The End of Fear: Spoken Word, Life Lessons, and Educating Black and Latino Young Men
Presenting Authors: Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz (Columbia), Wanda Watson (Mills College) and Iesha Jackson (UNLV)

Second Annual Doctoral Colloquium

Join the College of Education for an evening of scholarship featuring faculty and student research. Registration is free and required. Dinner will be served.

Friday, February 23, 2018
5:00 -7:30 pm
Thomas & Mack Center Board Room and Meeting Rooms A-C


Are you interested in presenting your research at the Colloquium? Register to present a poster here.

The Future of Teaching in Clark County — and the Nation

As the rest of the country becomes as diverse as Las Vegas, UNLV is creating better-than-best practices for our next generation of kids.

BY KIM K. METCALF • Read this article at the UNLV News Center

Rebel Science Camp
March 17, 2017
(Josh Hawkins/UNLV Creative Services)

From the earliest days of our republic, we have believed that education was critical to our democracy. Our founders knew that the health of our country, the wellbeing of the citizenry­ — and particularly the strength of the democracy — would be built on a well-educated population. Though disagreements have been fierce regarding who is to be educated, how much education they need, and whether to measure its value in economic growth, individual growth, or societal growth, fundamentally, we have always agreed that educating our citizens is important.

With this belief in mind, in 1917 our country began a unique experiment: We required education to be available to all of our citizens for free. Now, after a century of well-intended effort and research by countless experts, 17 presidents and their respective agendas, and 50 congresses armed with the education reform du jour, frankly, we’re still experimenting. We still haven’t figured out how to make our educational system work consistently for all children.

How can this be? The past several decades have been filled with announcements that THE new idea — the unequivocal “fix” — for public education has been discovered. “If only we allow parents more choice in selecting their child’s school,” or “find better ways to hold teachers and schools accountable,” or “develop better tests,” or “standardize curriculum,” or “integrate more technology,” or “expand states’ authority.” The list of efforts is long.

Yet, there is very little evidence that these initiatives, individually or collectively, have done much to improve educational outcomes or equity.  Why have these efforts been so fruitless?

Let’s look back for a moment.

Nearly all of these reform approaches are grounded on concepts codified in a single policy document: A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Education Reform. Often credited as the catalyst for a pivotal shift in public education policy, the genuinely innovative concepts in A Nation at Risk changed the way our country, and much of the western world, thought about and approached educating its citizenry.

This genuinely groundbreaking set of ideas was released in — 1983. The same year Motorola unveiled the first hand-held mobile telephone, aptly named “The Brick” for its weight, shape, and size. In the years since, future-focused innovators have pushed the boundaries of technology and engineering in ways that were only vaguely imagined, if imagined at all, by those who clamored to get their cutting edge “Brick.”

Over that same period, the education and policy communities have intensely focused on refining the original concepts presented in A Nation at Risk. From America 2000 in 1991 to No Child Left Behind in 2001 to our most current iteration, Every Student Succeeds, each plan promised to overhaul education from bottom to top.  And, fundamental to these reforms, was the perpetual quest to identify best practices.For 35 years, literally billions of dollars have been invested in massive efforts to find teachers, schools, and states that seemed to be performing better than others, determine what it was they were doing that might explain this, and then implement (or impose) these best practices more broadly.

The problem with best practices is that, by nature, they’re always out of date.

They represent the “best” of what was being done in some place and at some time in the past. At most, they improve achievement of yesterday’s goals; at worst, they actively promote the status quo by continually looking backward rather than forward.

To meet the needs of students in our rapidly evolving world, we must set our sights beyond settling for the best we once knew or even know now. The problems, issues, and needs of yesterday may no longer be relevant, so even the best strategies known to address them may have little consequence to the world of tomorrow. To achieve tomorrow’s outcomes, we must set our sights on developing the next practicesnecessary to serve the future generations and the issues they will face.

The Future Is Here

Since the College of Education’s inception in the very early days of UNLV’s history, one of its major objectives has been to educate and prepare high-quality teachers to serve in Nevada’s schools. But educating our state’s educators is far from the college’s only purpose.

Our faculty have always been engaged in future-focused research to inform policymaking and validate new professional approaches for a new era of students. Notably, research and methods stemming from the Silver State today have intrinsic benefits for far more than just Nevadans.

Many have noted what the a June 22 New York Times piece recently featured: Las Vegas is the future. The population of Southern Nevada today — in terms of race, ethnicity, gender and age — is nearly identical to projections of U.S. demographics in 40 years. In essence, Nevada’s present is America’s future.

For the College of Education, our community provides a “living laboratory” in which to create, research, evaluate, and cultivate the newest strategies — the next practices — that will educate future generations… Made in Nevada, shared from coast to coast and beyond.

Challenging the status quo, our faculty and students have accepted the task to usher in change. Pioneering new research and testing new methods to achieve our nation’s grand promise of equitable education for all citizens is our mission. From studying the benefits of rigorous early childhood education in a fully-inclusive setting, like the Lynn Bennett Early Childhood Development Center, to developing more effective ways to use virtual reality in educator preparation, as in our Interaction and Media Sciences Lab, or improving the use of real-time data to adapt and improve instruction and learning, as in our Metacognition and Motivation in Advanced Learning Technologies Lab, our faculty’s research and findings are shifting the way we, and our peers, approach education and educator preparation.

This focus is bringing UNLV national acclaim as a leader in developing practical solutions to future educational challenges. The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) recently featured UNLV as one of four colleges of education leading innovative research partnership programs with their community’s preK-12 schools. The Abriendo Caminos/Opening Pathways program—a UNLV initiative to add more teachers of color to the pipeline—was chosen by the U.S. Department of Education from more than 90 applicants as a focus project for the 2016 Teach to Lead Summit. As a result, we are creating actionable plans for school districts to begin implementing the program in their own, increasingly diverse, schools.

UNLV’s role as education innovators is anchored in being unanchored … We politely refuse to be tied down by what has been established as“the best.” Exactly where this takes us remains to be seen, but knowing there is always more to research, more to study, and new answers to be found, will be what drives us into the future. We will always strive for what’s better than the world’s presumed “best.”