Inquiry Magazine Northwestern School of Education and Social Policy

FAll 2014

New Certificate Program Prepares Leadership Coaches

Ashley Boehm
Photo by: David Bacon

The field of executive and organizational coaching has exploded recently as human capital leaders seek to develop talent and strengthen their organizations. Singularly qualified to prepare professionals in this area, the Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change Program (MSLOC) has launched a new graduate certificate program in organizational and leadership coaching.

MSLOC director Kimberly Scott says, “Excellent coaching, as a process for developing individual competencies to achieve individual and organizational goals, inherently requires skills and knowledge in the areas in which MSLOC focuses: learning and change.”

In the new four-course MSLOC coaching program, graduates gain understanding of individual learning and performance, awareness of the influence of personal characteristics and supervised practice in coaching. A hybrid learning model, part online and part in-person, allows students from across the U.S. to earn a certificate.

Tutoring Plus Mentoring Reduces Achievement Gap

Tutoring Plus Mentoring Reduces Achievement Gap

Adolescence is not too late to catch up high-risk students who have fallen behind, a new study shows. A randomized controlled trial of 106 urban high school students found that high-dose academic tutoring and mentoring—a twopronged approach—closed nearly two-thirds of the average gap in mathematics test scores between white and black students.

That’s the equivalent of what the average American high school student learns in math over three years, according to associate professor Jonathan Guryan, one of nine authors of the study for the National Bureau of Economic Research. In addition, the six-month program improved grades, boosted school attendance and increased by one-half the likelihood of being on track to graduate.

“A strategy combining intensive tutoring and mentoring may be an effective intervention for students who are four to five years behind their grade level, particularly in math,” Guryan says.

Small Class Size Matters a Lot

Class size is an important determinant of student achievement, and within the range of typical class sizes, the smaller the class the more learning improves. That’s the conclusion of associate professor Diane Schanzenbach, based on her analysis of academic research for the National Education Policy Center.

Class size is important for many outcomes, from school achievement to college completion. Smaller classes are especially effective for boosting the achievement of low-income and minority children. “While lower class size has a demonstrable cost, it may prove the more cost-effective policy overall,” says Schanzenbach.

SESP Dedicates Learning Studio as Gift of Kothari Family

Dean PenelopePeterson, ShyamKothari and ArjunKothari (BS14).
Photo by: Jim Prisching

In recognition of their son’s education at SESP, Shyam and Nina Kothari decided to support a classroom in Annenberg Hall where their son attended classes. The high-tech Kothari Family Learning Studio was dedicated the day before Arjun Kothari (BS14) graduated.

“We’ve had such wonderful memories at Northwestern,” said Shyam Kothari at the dedication. The expansive wood-paneled classroom appealed to him because of its variety of advanced technological capabilities for students to use, including five large video screens.

“We like to create new learning spaces that allow us to make use of technology in new ways,” said Dean Penelope Peterson. Shyam Kothari is a Northwestern University trustee, and Nina Kothari is a member of the SESP advisory board.

Biotechnology to K–12 Classrooms
Photo by: Steve Drey

Teachers Take Cutting-Edge Biotechnology to K–12 Classrooms

A symposium and summer workshops showed Chicago teachers how biotechnology can play a starring role in their classrooms. High school and middle school science teachers discovered how the worldclass science of Northwestern research translates into an exciting realworld subject for the young scientists in their classes.

Talks, tours, hands-on activities and demonstrations highlighted the 2014 Biotechnology Symposium in May, co-sponsored by Northwestern’s Office of STEM Education Partnerships, Baxter International Inc., and Lindblom Math and Science Academy. A summer workshop series continued the professional development by offering teachers more resources for biotechnology teaching as well as hands-on research experiences.

MultidiscliplinaryProgram in EducationSciences fellows(clockwise fromtop left) ElizabethDebraggio, CarolynPichert Swen, RichardMorel, MeghanSalomon, RyanSvoboda and JakeSchauer.
Multidiscliplinary Program in Education Sciences fellows (clockwise from top left) Elizabeth Debraggio, Carolyn Pichert Swen, Richard Morel, Meghan Salomon, Ryan Svoboda and Jake Schauer.
Photo by Steve Drey

SESP Receives $4 Million Grant to Train Education Researchers

Developing excellent researchers to work on improving U.S. education in significant ways is an important goal for SESP. Now the School has received a $4 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences to train doctoral candidates as highly qualified education researchers through its Multidisciplinary Program in Education Sciences (MPES).

MPES will prepare young scholars from across Northwestern University to conduct and disseminate rigorous research in education. Over the five-year duration of the grant, the program will bring together 24 doctoral students from multiple disciplines, from economics to human development and social policy.

Each doctoral candidate will pursue a dissertation on an education topic and participate in course work, bimonthly seminars and research with a faculty member. This award is the third five-year training grant SESP has received, after similar grants in 2004 and 2009.