Three at UMPI achieve scholarly distinction

Wednesday, 04 November 2009

VPAA article on published
UMPI Vice President of Academic Affairs Michael Sonntag has had an article he co-authored about the website published in the most recent issue of the peer-reviewed journal Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education.

The article, An empirical test of the validity of student evaluations of teaching made on, was co-authored with Jonathan F. Bassett and Timothy Snyder. Their article presented findings from a study that examined just how valid the instructor ratings on actually are.
Their study compared the ratings on for 126 professors at Lander University in South Carolina with the institutional evaluation forms students fill out at the end of each course as well as their actual assigned GPA's.
According to the study findings, "easiness" and "quality" ratings for professors on were very often in line with students' actual assigned grades and with the institutional evaluation forms that they completed.
The article reports that the results of the study offer preliminary support for the validity of the evaluations found at, though it indicated that more research should be done using wider sample groups.

Breton to present paper at national conference in Chicago
Dr. Bill Breton, UMPI Assistant Professor of Special Education, will give a presentation on a peer-reviewed paper at a national conference in Chicago next spring after learning this summer that it was accepted by the Association of Teacher Educators.
Dr. Breton will deliver his presentation on the paper Paraprofessionals Perceptions of Supervisory Practices of Maine Teachers: Implications for Teacher Education Programs during the Association of Teacher Educators 90th Annual Meeting in Chicago, to be held Feb. 13-17. The theme of this year's annual meeting is "Owning the Future through ACTION: An Inclusive Vision for Teacher Education."
The Association of Teacher Educators was founded in 1920 and is the only national, individual membership organization devoted solely to the improvement of teacher education for both school and campus-based teacher educators, according to the organization's website. ATE members represent over 650 colleges and universities, 500 major school systems, and the majority of the state departments of education. The ATE office is located in the Washington, D.C. area, where it represents its members' interests before governmental agencies and educational organizations. In addition, ATE has two voting seats on the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and has representation on the ERIC Clearinghouse on Teacher Education.

Nnazor participates in summit on Nigerian education
Dr. Reginald Nnazor, Chair of the University's College of Education, recently participated as a speaker and moderator in the Summit on Closing the Education Gaps in Nigeria, held in Washington, D.C. The summit was sponsored by the Coalition of Concerned Nigerian Educators-USA [CCNE-USA], the American University School of International Service, and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education.
Dr. Nnazor, who is co-chairman of the CCNE-USA, served as a speaker in the panel discussion "Taking Advantage of the Global Knowledge on Education Reform" and as a moderator for the closing plenary "Finalizing a Blueprint for Action and the Steps Beyond" during the summit held last spring.
Dr. Nnazor brought with him to the summit his experience as a member of Maine 21st Century Advisory Council and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Central Aroostook Council on Education.
The CCNE-USA is an organization comprised of Nigerian-born educators living in the U.S. and other like-minded professionals committed to the transformation of Nigeria's education system in facilitation of the nation's development. Its members are deeply committed to a structured process, through public-private partnerships, that bring U.S.-based Nigerian educators together with Nigerian education policy makers and other Nigerian-based stakeholders for conversations and action aimed at finding solutions to the current crisis.