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UC Hosts School of Education Summer Retreat


Williamsburg, KY- University of the Cumberlands (UC) held its annual summer retreat for the Education Department on June 16th and 17th in the Hutton School of Business (HSB) building located on UC’s campus. Nearly 70 UC online educators from the Education department and administrators gathered in the Hal Rogers Auditorium to share ideas, discuss effective teaching methods, and to find ways to effectively create an educational, Christian atmosphere for students.

University of the Cumberlands’ President Dr. Jim Taylor welcomed all the instructors to the summer retreat and took a moment to show his gratitude for their hard work and endless dedication to the university.

“We believe that by bringing the faculty together for our ‘annual homecomings’ we renew their commitment and deepened responsibility toward our students,” said Ms. Debbie Daniels, Education professor at UC. “We want our entire faculty to know our campus and community first hand and believe that to experience the heart of the University of the Cumberlands happens by spending time on campus creating strong ties between the university, the faculty and our students. We go the extra mile to ensure student success; this is what the university’s 125 year history is built on.”

UC faculty member Dr. Tyrone Bynoe led the group in prayer and a brief devotion as they read together Proverbs 22:11 and Ephesians 2:4-10. Dr. Barbara Kennedy, UC’s Associate Academic Dean and Daniels spoke to the group, sharing PowerPoint presentations, relaying important information related to educational needs, and answering questions.

“Why are we here you asked?” said Daniels. “We are mainly here to create an opportunity for the UC Graduate School of Education faculty to develop collegial relationships between adjuncts, full-time faculty and the university. We also need to provide first-hand familiarity with the UC campus and administrators. We need to also provide an opportunity for faculty input, collaboration and development of consistent syllabi aligned to state and national standards for all courses, and further inform all faculty of the resources and information available, As a result, the UC instructors will be able to better serve our students and continuously improve the curriculum and field experiences across our programs.”

Daniels introduced PGES which stands for Professional Growth and Effectiveness System which is the new evaluation system. The PGES framework contains four domains; Instruction, Planning and Preparation, Classroom Environment, and Professional Responsibilities. Breaking this down into four parts allows the educator to focus solely on each piece of instruction, which helps them perfect it overall. All four parts must be present and exceptional for the lesson and instructor to be effective for the students.

“We want our candidates to hit the ground running,” said Dr. Lori Hollen. “When we say our students are accomplished, we want them to truly be accomplished! UC has nothing to worry about though. Praxis scores, KTIP feedback and many more sources have proven that UC’s education department and education instructors are on the right track and making a difference. We want to continue the excellence and pass it on.”

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees more than 40 major fields of study; ten pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information, visit