WKU Dean, Alumnus Appointed to Education Professional Standards Council

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Governor Andy Beshear recently issued an executive order appointing the Dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences (CEBS), Dr. Corinne Murphy and WKU Education alumnus and current teacher, Justin Mitchell, at the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB). Dr. Murphy is the post-secondary institutions representative and Mitchell will represent Kentucky middle school teachers for a second term.

The EPSB sets performance standards for both preparatory programs and practitioners; accredits educator preparation providers and approves educator preparation programs at colleges, universities, local school districts, and private contractors; selects assessments for teachers and administrators; oversees internship programs for new teachers and principals; administers certification from the Kentucky National Board of Professional Education Standards; and issues, renews, suspends, and revokes Kentucky certificates for professional school personnel. The Board’s mission is to “…promote[s] high levels of student achievement by establishing and enforcing rigorous professional standards for the preparation, certification, and responsible and ethical behavior of all professional educators in Kentucky. They meet every two months. Their website has more information and resources for future and current teachers and school administrators.

Recently, the EPSB addressed the teacher shortage plaguing Kentucky and across the country. There were 567,000 fewer teachers in US classrooms this year compared to 2019, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. With just weeks to go until the 2022-23 school year begins, the Kentucky Educator Placement Service has approximately 4,000 current openings. Commission Jason Glass recorded the comments in the Interim Joint Committee on Education in June advocating for a targeted teacher recruitment and retention program, including additional support for university programs leading to initial teacher certification.

CEBS is the national leader in addressing the teacher shortage with the WKU Grow Your Own and WKU GameChangers scholarship programs. WKU partners with school districts to enable undergraduate students and school district personnel to earn teaching credentials that will lead to employment in their home district.

Dr. Murphy has served as Dean of CEBS since 2018. During her tenure, CEBS achieved a 10-point gain in first-grade retention metrics, increased enrollment of K-12 staff in graduate coursework, instituted a graduation program in partnership with multiple divisions (Strategy, Operations and Finance and Student Enrollment and Experiences), marked enrollment growth milestones, and established pipeline programs supporting enrollment of students from diverse backgrounds. She is also a special education teacher. Dr. Murphy will serve on the EPSB until June 30, 2024.

Mitchell is a social studies teacher and gifts and talents coordinator at Franklin-Simpson Middle School in Franklin, KY. It also sponsors several student organizations. He was named Kentucky History Teacher of the Year in 2021. Mitchell received his bachelor’s degree in social studies and history, then a master’s degree in education from WKU, and he is currently a doctoral candidate in education. Mitchell will serve on the EPSB until June 30, 2025.

For more information on the WKU Teacher Training School, please visit their website.

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