To complete the scholarship application for the 2012-2013 academic year use the link below.


You will need the following items to complete a scholarship application:

* Narrative – to be typed or copy/pasted into the application form (Maximum 550 words).

* A name and OU email address from an OU faculty member to provide your faculty recommendation online.

* A copy of your unofficial OU Transcript in MS Word or PDF format.

* A copy of your OU-FAN (Financial Aid Award Notification) in MS Word or PDF format. [If you’d like to be considered for scholarships that require proof of financial need.] Available in Ozone <>.


If you have any problems using the application please let me know.

Chad Bailey,
Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education
The University of Oklahoma
820 Van Vleet Oval, Room 238
Norman, OK 73019
(405) 325-8445 ­ office

The beginning of the year provides each of us the opportunity to reflect on our lives and create goals for the coming year.  A perpetual list maker, my goals are always subdivided into categories such as physical fitness, health, financial, and philanthropy.  Inevitably, the personal goals are the easiest to determine.  As I look to the philanthropy, however, my decision becomes more difficult.

With so many worthwhile avenues, it can be easy to overlook the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education when contemplating giving.  I have had the opportunity to spend the last several months learning about the Rainbolt College, and I am increasingly in awe of all that has been achieved with the generosity of our donors.  In 2010, the College achieved the following:

·         The completion of the renovation and expansion of Collings Hall, which has added over 17,000 square feet of student and faculty space, including new classroomsand state-of-the-art equipment that supports learning, encourages collaboration, and fosters ingenuity for the teachers of tomorrow.

·         Increased scholarship funds; 10% increased dollar distribution from 2009, with the average student recipient receiving over $1,000 in assistance.

·         Expansion of the Puebla, Mexico, immersion and graduate certification program that allows students to become “global educators” through language mastery and a thorough understanding of the culture to further aid students from different nationalities in succeeding in the classroom.

·         The addition of scholarships for current teachers to attend the study abroad programs to increase the effectiveness of ESL programs.

·         A new location for the Counseling Psychology Clinic that includes therapy rooms, classrooms, and state-of-the-art teaching technology.

·         The expansion of graduate scholarships specific to Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and Educational Psychology.

Without the dedication of our education focused supporters, these accomplishments would have been insurmountable.  The common thread between all of these goals and accomplishments has been the idea of helping individuals and improving the stature of the College.  This idea of helping others is the calling of educators.

John Bunyon once said, “you have not lived todayuntil you have done something for someone who can never repay you.

As you reflect on your college years, what helped you get through?  Was it financial aid, scholarships, or a graduate assistantship?  Did you have a professor who taught you not only the ins and outs of the classroom, but how to maneuver life?  Were you drawn to the University of Oklahoma due to the cutting edge technology that the College provided?  When you think back on those years now, is it hard to ward off a smile?

In this time of economic strife, when education is continually catapulted into the political forefront, what legacy are you leaving?  To claim gifts to the College as important is an understatement.  Gifts to scholarship funds, memorial funds, study abroad programs, general operations and more are essential to the very fiber of the University.   In fact, many education students rely on scholarships and financial support to pay for their education.

It is not just the large gifts that are important.  Your gift of $50 or $100 could be the difference between famine and fortune for a student.  Bigger still, if each alumni and friend was able to part with just that small amount, it would make an enormous impact on the College as a whole.

As you plan for 2011, I hope you will consider supporting the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education.  For information concerning giving opportunities, please contact me at (405) 325-1266.  I would love the opportunity to show you around our beautiful new building, or sit down with you and hear your comments and visions for the future.  In the meantime, please accept my whole-hearted appreciation for all that you do for the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education.

Every parent wants the best for their little bundle of joy, but not all parents know where to look to find the highest caliber of early childhood education.  Luckily, the folks at the Institute of Child Development within the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education have created a solution.

Opened in 1935, the Institute of Child Development provides quality early childhood education experiences for children.  Housed within the Department of Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum (ILAC), as part of the Early Childhood Education program since the early 1980’s, the institute provides superior child care and unique hands-on learning for students.

Dubbed as the College’s “best kept secret”, the Institute prides itself on their ability to help children achieve autonomy, self-control, and understanding of the physical characteristics of objects in their world.  This is achieved by creating self-selected center learning experiences and projects; encouraging children to be responsible for their personal actions and behaviors; and by helping them examine the consequences of those actions.  If this description does not fill you with inspiration, a mere glance into the Institute’s building reveals a world created with children in mind.  The room houses a sand box, a child-size wardrobe complete with fancy hats, even a floor-to-ceiling tree to help the students understand the jungle—just to name a few features.

Following suit with the most current practices of the field, the teacher’s role at the Institute is to serve as a guide, a resource, and a facilitator for the child.  This means that the teacher creates a child-centered environment through developmentally appropriate activities for children that foster learning through self-selected play.  It has been proven time and time again that children learn best through doing.  This process of discovery enables them to build theories about how their world operates.  The teacher acts as a guide when she questions the child, and encourages him or her to think more deeply about a problem or situation.  The teacher is a resource for the children, offering suggestions as needed, yet encouraging them to develop ways to solve problems on their own.

The Institute bases all practices on the belief that peer interactions are critical in helping children develop socially, creatively, physically, emotionally, and cognitively.  It is through peer interactions that children construct cognitive and social knowledge, learn to be accepting of others, and formulate an appreciation of individual and cultural differences.

Children of all backgrounds and abilities are welcome at this marvelous school, as evidenced by the diverse population of children and families currently in attendance.  The teachers work tirelessly among themselves and with other professionals to ensure an appropriate environment to meet each individual child’s needs.

In addition to providing the best, most developmentally appropriate care and education for children,the Institutealso facilitates parent and student education.   Parent education and participationare encouraged through individual parent-teacher meetings as well as an observation booth.  This one-way vision mirror separates the observer from the classroom and provides the observer the opportunity to view the child without being seen.   Junior, senior, and masters level students majoring in early childhood education are able to receive practical, real life experience with the children.  Faculty and graduate students are able to conduct research related to the development and enhancement of young children’s growth.

To ensure consistency between students, the director and instructor serve as master teachers and supervisors of the children’s programs.  By working with the adult students, and conferring with parents at regular intervals, these two individuals make sure that the Institute remains a nationally accredited early childhood program and an Oklahoma 3 Star Program–the highest rating available. These teachers hold masters degrees in early childhood education.

With such an obviously superior education available at comparable rates, it is hard to believe that the Institute is not overflowing with students.  Pamela Giberti, executive director, simply smiles with confidence that the Institute will only continue to grow.

Interested in supporting this fabulous operation?  Contact me at 325-1266 for additional information.  Are you interested in enrolling your child in this top-of-the-line program?  Call Pamela at 325-1641 to learn more.

College of Education dean to retire after 16 years

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

College of Education Dean Joan K. Smith speaks during her weekly office meeting Monday morning. (Helen Grant/The Daily)

The first woman to hold the position of Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education dean has announced she will retire this summer.

Joan K. Smith is nearing her 16th year as dean and will return to teaching and research after she officially retires June 30.

“I think there is a point where you need to bring new energy into administration and into leadership,” Smith said. “It’s been a good 16 years for me and when I looked around after the dedication of the renovation in the new wing and I thought about where everything was at this point in time and I thought…this is a really good time to turn it over.”

Smith is an educational studies professor and will continue her work after stepping down from her administrative position. She is currently teaching a graduate course on qualitative research, she said.

“Dean Smith is a strong advocate for education and has worked diligently toward improving education and standards,” Julie Comer, Smith’s secretary for the past 13 years, said. “Not only is Dean Smith a dedicated educator, but she’s a lady of character.”

Smith arrived at the university in August of 1995.

Prior to being appointed dean of the Rainbolt College, she served as a graduate school associate dean and as a faculty member at Loyola University in Chicago for 14 years, she said.

Smith sees herself as a leader who involves the faculty and students as much as she can. She takes great pride in the quality of the students and faculty in the Rainbolt College, she said.

“I think that over the 16 years the caliber of our student body has increased tremendously and they are dedicated for what they’re doing and those who are going into teaching will make excellent teachers,” Smith said.

Smith has made her students’ experiences at OU as meaningful as they can be, university spokesman Chris Shilling said.

“She has been fantastic,” Shilling said. “Any time a student has expressed concerns with classes or courses I have been able to go to her and talk about the issues and she has gone above and beyond to help.”

Smith has overseen an increase in scholarship money available from the Rainbolt College in her time as dean. When Smith took her post, the college had under $20,000 of scholarship money available and now has over $100,000 available, she said.

“I think that will become more and more important because the costs of higher education don’t go down and it will be important to be able to continue to support students through scholarships,” Smith said.

Smith has participated in many national societies and professional associations, she said.

She served as Board of Examiners chair for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and is a past president of both the state’s Association of Colleges of Teacher Education and the Council of Academic Deans from Research Education Institutions, according to the Rainbolt College website.

Smith has been a great public servant to the university, Shilling said.

Smith said her successor will be chosen by OU President David Boren. An interim dean will likely be put in place for about a year and a national search will take place, Smith said.


CONTACT:  OU Public Affairs, 325-1701

NORMAN – In recognition of her commitment to education, Joan K. Smith, dean of the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education, was today awarded a Regents’ Professorship by the OU Board of Regents. Smith has announced her intention to return to teaching and research as she nears 16 years of service as dean, which she will conclude on June 30. Under her leadership, the college has consistently been ranked in the top tier of graduate schools of education by U.S. News and World Report.

“Joan Smith has not only helped create a stronger program for the Rainbolt College, she has helped to elevate standards and improve education for students throughout the state and region,” said OU President David L. Boren.

To qualify for a Regents’ Professorship, faculty members must render outstanding service to the academic community or to an academic or professional discipline through extraordinary achievement in academic administration or professional service. In recognition of the high level of achievement required to be selected as the recipient of one of these awards, individuals receive a one-time cash award of $7,000 and a permanent salary increase of 7 percent or $7,000 minimum starting in the subsequent fiscal year.

An educator for more than 30 years, Smith is nationally noted as a scholar in the area of educational foundations.  She has authored four books and more than 65 articles and chapters in books on a broad range of topics, including educational history, women’s history and biography, historical perspectives on the education of minorities, and the development of teacher education. Smith has edited two foundation journals and held offices in national societies and professional associations devoted to the foundations of education.

She also has served as chair and member of the Board of Examiners for the National Council for Accreditation for Teacher Education <>  and on the board of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. She is the past president of the state’s Association of Colleges for Teacher Education  <> and past president of the National Council of Academic Deans from Research Education Institutions <>  affiliated with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

Gregg Garn Named Interim Dean of OU’s Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education



CONTACT:  OU Public Affairs, 325-1701

NORMAN – Gregg A. Garn, a teacher and researcher who has worked to improve the quality of education in the state, has been selected to serve as interim dean of the University of Oklahoma Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education, effective July 1, pending approval of the OU Board of Regents. Joan Smith, who has served as dean of the college for almost 16 years, will step down as dean June 30 to return to teaching and research.

“Gregg Garn has a proven track record as an educator and as a leader,” said OU President David L. Boren. “We are very fortunate that he has agreed to serve as interim dean for the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education.  His appointment assures that the forward momentum in the college will proceed without interruption.”

Nancy Mergler, Norman campus senior vice president and provost, said, “I very much look forward to working with Dr. Garn in his new role as interim dean for the college. I and the other Norman campus deans have gotten to know him well during the time he has served as associate dean.

“I also am very pleased that Tom Landers, dean of the College of Engineering, has agreed to chair the search committee for seeking the permanent dean for the college. This signals the importance that the University of Oklahoma places on our mission to the state in growing excellence in all levels of education, from the pre-school level to graduate and professional degree programs.”

Garn, who also was appointed as interim head of the Division of Teacher Education and interim director of education personnel, currently serves as director of the K20 Center for Educational and Community Partnerships and associate dean for school and community partnerships in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education. He holds the Linda Clarke Anderson Presidential Professorship and serves as a professor of educational leadership and policy studies. He also has served as the program coordinator of the Educational Administration Curriculum and Supervision.

Garn is active in several national organizations, including the Politics of Education Association, the University Council for Educational Administration and the American Educational Research Association. He has worked with state-level policymakers and professional associations to improve the quality of education in Oklahoma.  Garn’s research focuses on school choice, policy development and implementation, and the politics of education, and he has been published in such scholarly journals as Educational Administration Quarterly, Education and Urban Society, Education Policy Analysis Archives and Educational Leadership.

Garn earned his bachelor’s degree in history and education from the University of Northern Iowa and his master’s and doctoral degrees, in social and philosophical foundations of education and educational leadership and policy studies, respectively, from Arizona State University.

2010 Celebration of Education in Oklahoma Award of Distinction

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