Education Professor Named Chair of APLU’s Outreach Committee

Valerie Paton will lead the committee that provides information and resources to help universities be partners in their communities.

Valerie Paton

Valerie Paton

Valerie Paton, a professor of educational psychology at Texas Tech University, has been named chairwoman of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Council on Engagement and Outreach (CEO).

The CEO, which is composed of university administrators responsible for outreach, engagement and community development, supports member universities in developing plans, programs and policies related to outreach, engagement, community relationships, service learning, extension programs and other activities related to universities’ impact in communities.

“APLU places a high value on university efforts to be engaged with stakeholders so we can work in partnership to tackle societal challenges, create great places to work and live and advance economic growth and prosperity,” said Jim Woodell, the vice president for economic development and community engagement for APLU. “We are excited to have Valerie’s leadership on the Council on Engagement and Outreach, which plays a significant role in supporting effective community engagement by our member universities.”

Paton is the program coordinator for the doctorate in higher education research in the College of Education. Her research interests include higher education policy and law, online learning, engagement, and planning and assessment. In 2012 she was a fellow with the American Council of Education at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso.

Additionally, Paton leads a Hispanic Serving Institutions STEM grant with dean of architecture Andrew Vernooy, which has created a statewide model for community college to university transfer in architecture at Texas Tech’s El Paso campus. In 2011 Texas Tech recognized her as an integrated scholar.

“Texas Tech is recognized as a leader in partnerships with its communities, and this appointment recognizes that fact,” Paton said. “As chair, I have the opportunity to work with North American public universities partnering with their communities to address their most significant concerns: food, water, health, families, education, economic development and workforce, power, safety, culture and arts. I will work with other leaders in higher education to support these initiatives and learn from them to bring them back to Texas Tech and our communities.”

College of Education

The College of Education at Texas Tech University offers a full range of programs, including 9 doctoral degrees, 10 master's degrees, two bachelor's degrees and numerous specializations which can lead to careers in public or private education as teachers, professors, administrators, counselors and diagnosticians.

Programs in the college are housed in three departments.

The Department of Curriculum & Instruction offers advanced degrees that prepare leaders, researchers, and professors with the knowledge, skills, and practical application experience needed to analyze, construct, and evaluate curricula in ways that create optimal learning conditions for all learners. Language and literacy, bilingual education and STEM education are just a few of the specializations offered by C&I.

The Department of Educational Psychology & Leadership consists of a diverse group of academic programs that equip students with a comprehensive knowledge of learning, motivation, development, and educational foundations. The disciplines of counseling and school psychology are housed within the EP&L department as are programs to prepare future college administrators, primary and secondary school and district leaders, as well as practical and academic educational psychologists.

The Department of Teacher Education focuses solely on teacher preparation, ensuring that teacher candidates are ready for the classroom on day one. The Teacher Education Department is home to TechTeach, an innovative teacher preparation program that puts teacher candidates into public school classrooms for a full year and requires that students pass teacher certification tests prior to entering the classroom. Various paths to teaching careers, including fast-track distance programs statewide and alternative certification options, are also housed in this department.

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