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Daniel L. Goodwin College of Education Dean Sandra Beyda-Lorie

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Education meets innovation

When Sandra Beyda-Lorie was appointed dean of Northeastern Illinois University’s Daniel L. Goodwin College of Education in January 2017, one of the first things she did was look outside of the college.

Beyda-Lorie’s goal: innovation through collaboration.

“New information and cutting-edge strategies are constantly being revealed in the field of education and beyond,” she said. “We will be a part of these conversations.”

Beyda-Lorie points to Northeastern’s partnership with Amundsen High School in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago as a prime example of success. Since 2012, members of the Goodwin College faculty have worked closely with the school to vastly improve test scores, dropout rates and attendance. In return, Amundsen has provided opportunities for Northeastern faculty members to get hands-on interaction in an urban high school and preferred placement for student teachers.

The Goodwin College also has been a key contributor to the Chicago Cancer Health Equity Collaborative (ChicagoCHEC), a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer partnership led by Northeastern, the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The goal of ChicagoCHEC is to work closely with the city’s underserved communities to foster meaningful cancer research, education, training and outreach.

“In this fast-changing landscape, it is more important than ever to foster formal and informal partnerships that will ensure the Goodwin College remains current and creative,” Beyda-Lorie said. “Without a doubt, over time our collaborative efforts will cause us to re-examine, expand and transform our knowledge, our curriculum, our practice and our assumptions.”

More recently, the Goodwin College this year launched the Goodwin Field Experience Advisory Board made up of 30 education professionals from throughout the Chicago area who share ideas for improving teacher preparation.

Naturally, innovation also will occur organically within the Goodwin College.

“Northeastern is known for its diversity among students, faculty and staff,” Beyda-Lorie said. “This collage of ideas and perspectives gives the Goodwin College a noted advantage as we plot our course forward.”

Additionally, all of Northeastern’s colleges intend to work together to find opportunities for cross-college and cross-discipline initiatives where subject matter intersects.

“These reimagined courses could encourage the sorts of conversations that clarify what it means to be a Northeastern student and a Goodwin candidate in particular,” Beyda-Lorie said.

Before her appointment as dean, Beyda-Lorie served as interim dean of the Goodwin College since July 2016, and was chair of the Department of Special Education for the preceding eight years.

Among her notable accomplishments, Beyda-Lorie gained national recognition and approval of the Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts in Special Education programs by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Additionally, she was instrumental in the development and approval by the Illinois Board of Higher Education and Illinois State Board of Education of the Master of Science in Special Education-Learning Behavior Specialist II program. She has also played a key role in institutionalizing the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) initiative for the Daniel L. Goodwin College of Education.

“It is a great honor to serve as dean of the Daniel L. Goodwin College of Education,” said Beyda-Lorie, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education, English and Speech, from Indiana University-Bloomington, and master’s and doctoral degrees in Special Education from Purdue University-West Lafayette. “Northeastern Illinois University has a 150-year history of training some of Chicago’s best-prepared teachers and leaders, and I am focused on ensuring our continued commitment to our students and the communities they go on to serve.”

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