Dr. Jori Beck and Colleagues Receive Funding

Dr. Jori Beck, Principal Investigator and Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, secured $218,323 in funding from the State of Nevada to help reform how the State evaluates educator effectiveness.


Co-Principal Investigators include Drs. Michael McCreery and David Vallett, Assistant Professors in the same department. By securing this grant, Beck and her team hope to improve teaching and learning for teachers and students in Nevada, and yield findings that can help address teacher accountability at the national level.

Of the $2 million appropriated by the State of Nevada for SB 474- referred to as the Great Teaching and Leading Fund (SB 474), $1 million was dedicated specifically to the Next Generation Performance Framework (NEPF). The Great Teaching and Leading Fund was created to incentivize professional development and improvements to the educator pipeline; the NEPF, as one initiative supported by SB 474, is a statewide evaluation system that uses student achievement data to inform teacher and building level administrator effectiveness. The Nevada Department of Education website outlines goals of the NEPF as follows:

  • Foster student learning and growth;
  • Improve educator’s instructional practice;
  • Inform human capital decisions based on a professional growth system; and
  • Engage stakeholders in the continuous improvement and monitoring of a professional growth system.

The grant, entitled “Creation of the Nevada Educator Performance Framework (NEPF) Online Training System,” involves the research team creating a system to facilitate NEPF implementation. This process will include initial training of approximately 260 teachers, administrators, and other education professionals- along with concurrent validation procedures for an evaluation instrument. Beck would like to help ensure that the NEPF is used reliably to help teachers and students make accurate high-stakes decisions. She adds, “all teachers should be constantly reflecting [on their teaching] to ensure that they are improving their practice; that’s good teaching.”

Learn more about about Dr. Jori Beck, Dr. Michael McCreery, or Dr. David Vallett

Dean Kim Metcalf elected to AACTE’s Board of Directors

Metcalf will begin a 3-year term beginning March 1, 2016 to the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).


The Board of Directors determines the policies that guide the program of activities of AACTE and ranges in size from 18 to 25 members, 14 of whom are selected through national elections.

The Board of Directors ranges in size from 18 to 25 members, 14 of whom are selected through national elections. Affiliated groups submit nominations for some seats, while others are at-large positions. Presidents and provosts are appointed, rather than elected, to the Board, and three directors are selected by the Advisory Council of State Representatives. In addition, the president/CEO serves on the Board in an ex-officio capacity.

The Board of Directors determines the policies that guide the program of activities of AACTE. It meets at least twice per year, as mandated in the bylaws, to carry out its many functions in connection with the operation and evaluation of the organization’s national program.

More information on the AACTE Board of Directors can be found at: http://aacte.org/about-aacte/governance

The Doctoral Student-Advisor Relationship

Dr. Holly Schneider, a recent alumna in Higher Education, believes that doctoral student graduation rates matter.


Dr. Holly Schneider, a recent alumna in Higher Education, believes that doctoral student graduation rates matter. In her dissertation entitled, “Perceptions of mattering in the doctoral student and advisor relationship,” she examined psychosocial factors that contributed to doctoral student persistence and completion. According to Dr. Schneider, “preliminary research found that faculty-student relationships and collegial support contributed significantly to doctoral completion more so than individual factors including motivation, career goals, procrastination, financial security, and external demands such as family.” In addition she identified three components of mattering: attention, importance and dependence.

Dr. Schneider is currently the Conference Coordinator for the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). She hopes to advance in her professional career and continue to work with non-profit organizations in the future.

For additional information about ASHE, visit http://www.ashe.ws

The Changing Human Experience in a Digital World

Dr. Tettegah co-authored a book humans in an increasingly online and digital world.


Dr. Sharon Tettegah recently co-authored a textbook that is certain to increase the dialogue around how humans are evolving in an increasingly online and digital world. The text, published by Elsevier’s Academic Psychology Press, is geared towards educators, psychologists and practitioners who want to understand the role of technology in human emotions and behaviors. Specifically, the text covers topics such as the intersection between emotional contagion and emotional socialization theory in virtual interactions, cross-cultural communicative feedback, the multi-dimensions of trust in technology, and more specialized topics such as cyberbullying. This volume is one of seven in the ongoing series on Emotions and Technology: Communication of feelings for, with and through digital media.

Dr. Tettegah is a Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning. Prior to joining UNLV she was the Program Chair of Digital Environments for Learning, Teaching and Agency in the College of Education, at the University of Illinois, at Urbana Champaign. She maintains her appointment in the Cognitive Neuroscience in Bio-Intelligence at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. In addition, she is a Research Scientist and affiliate at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Tettegah’s research centers on the intersection of STEM learning, Emotions, Equity and Social justice. She was also a Program Director in 2010-2012 at the National Science Foundation where she managed five programs in the Directorates of Education and Human Resources, Computer and Information Science and Engineering and including a NSF cross-cutting program on Science, Engineering, Education for Sustainability (SEES).