Tag Archives: Cindi Chance

Confucius Institute to host Moon Festival



People in the Augusta area may share in a taste of Chinese culture as Georgia Regents University celebrates the Moon Festival and Confucius Institute Day on Oct. 1.

“The Moon Festival and Confucius Institute Day will be a fun family event where people can learn a new tradition,” Confucius Institute Director Dr. Cindi Chance said. “It’s a unique way of celebrating family, and it’s very much like our American Thanksgiving.”

The free event will feature traditional Chinese music and dance, including the lion dance. The lion is an important Chinese legend, a symbol of power, majesty and courage, capable of warding off evil spirits. A Chinese lantern parade will traverse the Summerville campus.

People are encouraged to bring homemade lanterns to the parade and enter them in the lantern competition. Lanterns should be illuminated, but no flames are allowed. Judges will give $100 awards for biggest lantern, most creative and most culturally relevant. The best lantern out of these three will earn its maker a cultural gift.

People will also have a chance to taste Chinese moon cakes, and moon pies will be served.

“We will have one table that will have moon cakes and hot tea and another that will have moon pies and lemonade,” Chance said.

The Moon Festival and Confucius Institute Day celebration will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, at the D. Doug Bernard Jr. Amphitheatre on the Summerville campus. In case of rain, the festival will be held in the JSAC ballroom.

To register for the lantern contest, please e-mail Yilin Lou at ylou@gru.edu. The first 100 people who register will receive a free lantern and light. The first 200 will receive a free light.

GRU Confucius Institute announces new leadership


Cindi chance
Dr. Cindi Chance, director of the Confucius Institute

Dr. Cindi Chance has been named director of the Georgia Regents University Confucius Institute. Chance previously served as the dean of the GRU College of Education for three years.

“I’m honored to represent this cultural centerpiece that brings GRU and the local Chinese community together,” Chance said. “Chinese heritage in the Augusta area is so rich, dating back to the late 1800s. I’m looking forward to continue honoring this heritage through the Confucius Institute and working side-by-side with the Chinese government to promote Chinese language and culture on our campus and in the CSRA.”

“In a world that is getting smaller and more interconnected, global awareness and cultural competency are essential skills to have,” GRU President Dr. Brooks Keel said. “The Confucius Institute is a great initiative that helps bring those skills to our students and to the Augusta area. We are confident that Dr. Chance will build upon the excellent work this institute has already done at our university and our community.”

Keel, who was named GRU president in July, also joins the Confucius Institute board.

Dr. Quincy Byrdsong, vice president for academic planning and strategic initiatives, will also oversee the institute’s academic programs and other initiatives. Byrdsong, who served as the associate vice president for health sciences strategic initiatives and engagement at Virginia Commonwealth University, joined GRU on Aug. 1.

Quincy Byrdsong_EdD_Associate Vice President for Health Sciences
Dr. Quincy Byrdsong, vice president for academic planning and strategic initiatives

“With China being such an important country politically and economically, studying the Chinese language and culture is of great benefit to our students and our community,” Byrdsong said. “I’m excited to help lead the Confucius Institute, enhancing multicultural awareness in our community as well as expanding GRU’s global presence.”

GRU is among 400 universities across the globe that has an institute that promotes the study of the Chinese language and culture. The GRU Confucius Institute, however, is the first to be affiliated with a comprehensive academic medical center and the first in the Western Hemisphere to focus on traditional Chinese medicine.

The nonprofit, public institute opened its doors on March 28, 2014, and is the result of a partnership between GRU and the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, one of the oldest and most notable universities in China for the study of TCM.

The unique partnership was announced in July 2013 with the authorization of the Office of Chinese Language Council International under the Ministry of Education of China.

Click here for coverage of Chinese artist LiHong Li’s donation of a landscape painting to the Confucius Institute.

Leadership invited to Scotland to present on innovative Ed.D. program

When the GRU College of Education launched its Educational Doctorate in Educational Innovation, international acclaim was not the first goal on the list of program objectives. But in July, to acclaim, members of the college’s leadership presented a session on redefining the education doctorate at the UK Council for Graduate Education’s Annual Conference 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Dr. Cindi Chance, recently retired dean of the college, and Dr. Wayne Lord, associate dean, represented Georgia Regents University and presented in conjunction with Dr. Jon Engelhardt from Baylor University and Dr. Tracy Elder from the University of Georgia. The presentation shared how three distinctly different universities were applying the work of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) to their respective programs.

CPED is an action-oriented initiative to institute a clear distinction between the professional practice doctorate in education and the education research doctorate. Only 87 institutions across the globe – including the GRU College of Education – were accepted to the prestigious Carnegie program.

The three universities each presented different perspectives on how to implement the Carnegie principles in a doctoral program.

“Post-grad programs are engaged in conversations in the U.K. about doctoral study and challenges of their tradition and what innovative practices are being tried in universities,” Lord said. “So they are looking to successful programs for ideas and guidance.”

One important aspect of a successful doctoral program in education is applicability of student research, Lord said. Sometimes doctoral students focus on how their study can impact their work in a university setting – rather than leading to possible solutions to real-world challenges.

“Our Ed.D. in Educational Innovation prepares educators to respond to persistent problems of practice. By emphasizing research capabilities ‘in context,’ Ed.D. students can advocate for innovations.”

More than 120 international leaders in the field of education attended the conference.

“The conference attendees expressed a lot of interest in the work we’re doing and commented that it should have been a keynote presentation. So we’re excited about representing the kind of work GRU and the College of Education are doing to innovate and discover new ways to have a positive impact,” Lord said.

Visit gru.edu/coe/edd to learn more about the Educational Doctorate in Educational Innovation at Georgia Regents University.

WATCH: COE Dean talks to WSAV about teacher-prep programs

Cindi chance
Dr. Cindi Chance, Dean of the College of Education at Georgia Regents University.

Cindi Chance, Dean of the College of Education, spoke with WSAV in Savannah about the new evaluation system universities in Georgia will begin using to measure the quality of Teacher-prep programs.

Click here to watch her interview.

Chance regarding the new evaluation system was featured in The Augusta Chronicle and the Athens Banner-Herald.

GRU alumni named Teachers of Year

Contributing writer:  Stacey Hudson, Coordinator of Communications, Planning, and External Relations for Georgia Regents University’s College of Education.


The Richmond County Board of Education released the list of Teacher of the Year winners for the county’s school system. Of the 56 schools in the county, more than half of the Teacher of the Year winners are graduates of Georgia Regents University.

“Our programs prepare teachers to be ready for the classroom from the first day, imparting practical knowledge along with theory,” said Dr. Cindi Chance, Dean of the College of Education. “In addition, these teachers’ successes highlight the need for continuing education, as most of these winners have advanced degrees.”

The 26 Georgia Regents University alumni who were named Teacher of the Year in Richmond County schools are:

  • Patricia Pinkston Nealey (MEd, 2004) – Sand Hills GNETS Program School
  • April Lyn Demsko (MEd, 2011; EdS, 2014) – Glenn Hills High School
  • Lynwood William Holmes (EdS, 2009) – A.R. Johnson Magnet School
  • Christopher James Nabahe (MAT, 2012) – T.W. Josey High School
  • Sherri L. Darden (EdS, 2014) – R.C. Technical Career Magnet School
  • Betty W. Bellamy (MAT, 2010) – Morgan Road Middle School
  • John E. Germany Jr. (EdS, 2011)  – Murphey Middle School
  • Michael Parsons (MAT, 2012; EdS, 2014) – Sego Middle School
  • Brian Joiner (MAT, 2010) – Spirit Creek Middle School
  • Mollie Silver (BSEd, 1991) – Garrett Elementary School
  • Cheryl Eldridge (BSEd, 1988; MEd, 1996) – Glenn Hills Elementary School
  • Dana Craft (BSEd, 2001) – Gracewood Elementary School
  • Jerome May A. (BSEd, 2011) – Dorothy Hains Elementary School
  • Jennifer Epps Harman (BSEd, 2006; EdS, 2010) – Hephzibah Elementary School
  • Leola Johnson (MEd, 1996) – Jamestown Elementary School
  • Catherine Douglas (EdS, 2012) – Lake Forest Hills Elementary School
  • Melanie Brown (BSEd, 1997; MEd, 2005; EdS, 2006) – McBean Elementary School
  • Tausha Kennedy (MAT, 2008; EdS, 2012) – Meadowbrook Elementary School
  • G. Denise Kendrick (BSEd, 2006; MEd, 2013) – A. Brian Merry Elementary School
  • Shera C. Reeves (BSEd, 1997) – Monte Sano Elementary School
  • Amelia Barnes (EdS, 2008) – National Hills Elementary School
  • Tiffany Dukes (BSEd, 2011) – Rollins Elementary School
  • Kim Wheadon (BSEd, 2001) – Warren Road Elementary School
  • Kourtney Hamilton – (MEd, currently enrolled) – Wheeless Road Elementary School
  • Lori Smith (BSEd, 2000) – Willis Foreman Elementary School
  • Christopher Tobat (BSEd, 2003; MSK, 2013) – Windsor Spring Elementary School


The College of Education’s response to teacher quality report

Producing high-quality teachers is the driving force behind the Teacher Education program at Georgia Regents University.

With a stringent curriculum and dedicated faculty, Dr. Cindi Chance, Dean of GRU’s College of Education, says the program produces highly trained, compassionate individuals who are leaders in their profession.

“GRU’s College of Education is committed to ensuring its teacher preparation programs meet and exceed the expectations of parents, the public, and businesses,” said Chance. “In our college, we are not just focused on the ‘correctness’ of our programs, but on the students our teachers teach and the success of those students.”

In an effort to continuously enhance the academic experience of GRU’s education majors, faculty seek out data and information that can be used to help improve the program.
On June 17, the National Council on Teacher Quality released a report assessing the quality of teacher education programs around the nation, including those in the University System of Georgia.
Chance says that although GRU respects the NCTQ’s report, the university’s College of Education uses performance-based assessments to ensure students have the skills to effectively integrate theory and content knowledge. She says the data collected from these assessments will help faculty to improve the program which will produce stronger educators.
“The college no longer only measures inputs such as texts, number of courses, and seat time. But, they measure the graduates’ effectiveness in the classroom,” said Chance. “This data gathered during the teacher preparation programs will be used to develop an individualized induction and professional development plan that will enhance the skills of new teachers.”

Established in 1968, GRU’s College of Education continues to be the largest producer of school administrators in the Augusta area, and about 60 percent of the local music teachers are graduates of the college. The university is also the second largest producer of minority teachers in the state.

Through the College of Education’s Partner School Network, GRU collaborates with 52 schools in seven different counties to provide our students with real-world school experience.

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education cited the college as a national model of excellence, and numerous Teacher of the Year awards have been given to alumni, many of whom teach in area schools.

To learn more about GRU’s College of Education, visit gru.edu/colleges/education/facts.php.

Brown Vs. Board: A look at integration 60 years later

The words ‘separate but equal’ defined American society for more than a century; but in the late 1960’s the American Civil Rights Movement would usher in new legislation that banned discrimination based on race, color, religion or national origin in employment practices and public accommodations.

What sparked the movement, and the subsequent overturning of the ‘separate but legal’ doctrine, was the 1954 Supreme Court case of Brown Vs. Board of Education,  which declared state laws mandating separate schools for blacks and whites unconstitutional.

But now, 60 years later, many educators question the progress that has been made in our nation’s schools with regard to integration.

Cindi Chance, Dean of the College of Education at Georgia Regents University, sat down with the hosts of National Public Radio’s ‘Morning Edition’ and ‘Here & Now’ last week, where she shared her personal experiences with segregation as a child in rural Tennessee and her thoughts on integration decades later.

“I graduated in 1964 from a totally segregated high school,” she says in one interview. “(Integration) had a profound effect on all children in the south because it clearly mandated to the states their responsibility to educate all children and educate all children together.”

Chance goes on to talk about the de facto school segregation that has resulted in modern times from blacks and whites living in separate neighborhoods.

“People tend to live in communities where they feel comfortable, with people like themselves,” she says. “We’ve proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that busing is not the answer to integrate schools.”

May 17 marked the 60th anniversary of the Brown Vs. Board of Education ruling.

Listen to the full audio of Here & Now and Morning Edition.

GRU ranked among the best in Georgia for teacher education

University Hall
University Hall

Georgia Regents University has been named one of the state’s top universities for teacher education by the Online College Database, the most current and comprehensive source for U.S. college and university data.

In the Online College Database’s new ranking, “Top Colleges in Georgia Shaping the Next Generation,” GRU’s College of Education was ranked among the top 15 post-secondary institutions in the state for graduating the most education and teaching professionals in 2012.

“Our faculty and staff truly work hard at making GRU one a top learning destinations for our nation’s educators,” said Cindi Chance, Dean of the College of Education. “We are very appreciative that the Online College Database has recognized us.”

The group’s top colleges must be a four-year and not-for-profit university in the U.S that is fully accredited with a minimum of 10 graduates from education or teaching programs.

For a complete list of The College Database’s top colleges in Georgia, click here


Chance selected to join Georgia’s Network for Transforming Educator Preparation

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission has selected Dr. Cindi Chance, Dean of the Georgia Regents University College of Education, to help lead a grant program focused on transforming the state’s educator preparation and entry systems to the profession.

For the next two years, Chance will work with other academic leaders in Georgia on the Council of Chief State School Officers. Through its Network for Transforming Educator Preparation Initiative, the group will identify key areas they can improve to ensure teachers and principals are prepared to help students meet raised expectations.

“We have a responsibility to ensure educators are prepared to help students have successful academic careers and become lifelong learners,” said Chance. “I look forward to working with educators, preparation programs, institutions of higher education, non-profit and for-profit education providers, and districts and individual schools to improve the way we prepare our educator workforce.”

Chance has been Dean of the GRU College of Education since 2012, having previously served as Dean of the College of Education at Georgia Southern University and the University of Louisiana, Lafayette.

Prior to her work in Louisiana, she served in leadership roles at the University of Memphis, including Assistant Dean, Director of Undergraduate Curriculum and Teacher Education, and Associate Dean. Chance also spent 10 years as a classroom teacher and eight years as a principal in Milan, Tenn.

Chance recently completed a three-year term on the board of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and presently serves as the Executive Director of the Georgia AACTE. Her research for the past 15 years has been in global education. She has researched countries whose P-12 students outscore American youth, and she completed a Fulbright Specialist experience in Wuhan, China.

Chance holds degrees from Lambuth College, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Memphis.

College of Education responds to teacher quality report

The College of Education at Georgia Regents University is joining others from around the country in responding to a recent report that indicates that the nation’s teacher-training programs do not adequately prepare would-be educators for the classroom.

The National Council on Teacher Quality published its assessment Tuesday of colleges’ education programs and their admission standards, training, and value.

“Since the council’s assessments focus on inputs rather than outcomes or performance-based measures, the report does not accurately predict future success in the classroom,” said College of Education Dean Cindi Chance. “Unlike the metrics used in the report, output-based measures allow colleges of education to more readily assess whether graduates are capable of meeting the challenges facing P-12 schools today and the impact they will have in classrooms tomorrow.”

Sandra Carraway, alumna of the college and incoming Superintendent for the Columbia County School System, spoke highly of the college and its graduates.

“Through the university’s Partner School Network, the Columbia County School System has a strong and longstanding working relationship with GRU’s College of Education. Every semester, student teachers from GRU impact student learning in our classrooms and the quality teacher preparation program provided to these students allows us to hire the very best teachers for our students and for this we are extremely thankful.”

Jim LeBrun, Superintendent for the McDuffie County School System, also complimented the program and its students.

“The McDuffie County School System believes Georgia Regent’s University graduate level educators to be extremely well prepared to face the depth and rigor of today’s P-12 curriculum while implementing current best practices blended with proven pedagogy,” said LeBrun. “We have found GRU graduates at all levels to possess the skill set, training, knowledge and dedication that effectively serve the needs of our students over the course of time. We will continue to hire the best and the brightest teachers available, including GRU graduates.”

The report has been criticized for its methodology, which has often changed, even during the course of review. This practice has prompted some to discredit the assessment and question its reliability.

“Having been a classroom teacher for 10 years and a school principal for eight, I know that success should be measured by the ability of a teacher to impact learning for all students, regardless of the challenges they bring with them to the classroom,” she said.

The goal of the university’s teacher education program is to produce high-quality educators who can clearly demonstrate the ability to impact student learning, she said.

“With a rigorous curriculum and dedicated faculty, the University System of Georgia and GRU are committed to making sure our programs meet and exceed the expectations of students, parents, school administrators, and the community,” Chance said. “Our students undergo a Content Performance-Based Assessment to ensure they can effectively integrate theory with content knowledge.”

Chaz Glick, a graduate of the program, provided an update on his experience as a first-year teacher and expressed his appreciation to the program’s faculty.

“Even with all of the ups and downs, I did enjoy my first year as a teacher and I know that it would not have been possible without my time in the education program,” he said. “I appreciate the faculty and the work they have done to create such an outstanding program.”

Established in 1968, the college continues to be the largest producer of teachers and school administrators in the CSRA and the second-largest producer of minority teachers in the state.

The National Council for Accreditation and Teacher Education (NCATE) has cited the college as a national model of excellence and several alumni, many of whom teach in area schools, are recipients of Teacher of the Year awards.

“We are committed to creating value for our students and to meeting the educational needs of our community,” Chance added. “The consolidation allows us to expand on the strengths of our faculty, our curriculum, and our programs, and to strive for better outcomes in classrooms across Augusta, our state and nation.”

About the College of Education
College of Education is comprised of three departments: the Department of Teacher Education, the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, and the Department of Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Special Education. The college has over 600 students enrolled in undergraduate programs and about 500 students in graduate programs. The college also offers free tutoring to the community at the university’s Literacy Center and continues to partner with 52 schools in 6 different counties in a Professional Development School Network to provide real-world, school experience to future teachers.

To watch a video message from Dean Cindi Chance, go to http://vimeo.com/68567252.

For more information on the college and its alumni, visit http://www.gru.edu/colleges/education/facts.php.