Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552




CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 11, 2003 - Several Southeast Missouri State University administrators attended The Renaissance Group conference April 2-4.

Southeast's Dr. Jane Stephens, provost; Dr. Shirley Stennis-Williams, dean of the College of Education; and Dr. Paul Watkins, field experiences director, attended the conference at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C. The conference was the Spring 2003 meeting of The Renaissance Group - a consortium of 36 universities across the nation that share information about their teacher education programs. Each year a member institution of The Renaissance Group hosts the spring conference. Southeast Missouri State University joined The Renaissance Group in 1993.

"Putting the Pieces Together" was the theme of the conference, which featured key speakers from national and regional education organizations. Joanne Cashman, project manager on the Policy-Makers Partnership of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, addressed aligning policy, preparation and practice with federal legislation, including No Child Left Behind and Individuals with Disabilities Education legislation, and Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium standards.

Dr. Gene Bottoms, director of the Southern Regional Education Board's (SREB) High Schools That Work initiative, spoke about practices that work. The Southern Regional Education Board, under the SREB-State Vocational Education Consortium, is working in partnership with 23 states and over 1,000 high schools toward the goals of improving the academic and technical achievement of high school youth who are not finishing the traditional college-preparatory program of study. On the last day of the conference, attendees heard motivational speaker Rich Ruffalo, top American blind athlete and member of the National Teachers Hall of Fame.

Formed in May 1989, The Renaissance Group is a national consortium of colleges and universities with a strong tradition of high-quality teacher education programs and a major commitment to teacher education. Its primary purpose is to address issues facing teacher education and to be a proactive force in the renewal and reform of education on a national level.

A unique feature of The Renaissance Group is the requirement that the president, academic vice president/provost, and the dean of each institution's college of education be an active participant in its programs and activities. The leadership of university presidents is seen as a critical component in any initiative aimed at affecting the quality of teacher preparation programs.

For a complete listing of member schools and for additional information about The Renaissance Group and its conference proceedings, visit their Web site at, or call Dr. Leo Pauls, executive director of The Renaissance Group, at (620) 341- 5372 or (888) 378-5433 toll free.


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