Dr. Bonnie Wilcoxen Beach
Photo Credit: USI Photography Services
A college administrator and educator who was dean of the Division of Education and professor at Ohio Dominican University (ODU) is the associate dean for Teacher Education in the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education at the University of Southern Indiana. Dr. Bonnie Wilcoxen Beach began work on July 1. The announcement is being made by Dr. Scott Gordon, dean of the Pott College.
Beach became interested in the USI position when she learned Teacher Education was housed in a college with Science and Engineering. A mathematics and science teacher in P-12 schools before entering the higher education arena, Beach has a passion for the teaching of mathematics and other STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) areas.
“USI’s alignment of Teacher Education with Science and Engineering is unusual,” said Beach. “America’s economy and global positioning is dependent upon our ability to innovate – an ability we typically attribute to our strength in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Crucial to our progress are university programs that prepare teachers candidates to orchestrate learning for all children using inquiry, problem solving, collaboration and critical thinking. It is intriguing to find teacher education at USI housed with other disciplines with similar conceptual frameworks.”
Beach has 22 years of experience in higher education. Prior to serving as dean of Education for Ohio Dominican University, she also served as a faculty member at Ohio University, teaching mathematics education and curriculum change courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and serving as associate dean for Ohio University’s College of Education. Additionally, Beach has 16 years of P-12 school experience, serving as the supervisor of mathematics in West Virginia and as a mathematics and science teacher in public schools in Ohio.
During her time at ODU, the Division developed a comprehensive assessment system for teacher preparation programs and implemented an electronic database for assessment data (TK20). Additionally online and off-site programs were established that helped expand the graduate offerings.
“Online education makes sense especially for people who work full time,” she said. “The challenge is to design online courses that facilitate meaningfully instructor/student and student/student interactions. With the appropriate use of technology, I think we can make online learning a social process just as we do in traditional classrooms. “
Beach has been the recipient of several grants during her career. Her most recent grant-supported efforts included developing professional development for P-12 and higher education faculty in project-based learning.
Her professional activities include serving on the Board of Examiners for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Other examples of her past professional association activities include serving as member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and past chair of the Advisory Council of State Representatives of AACTE. She is also a past president of the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics (OCTM) and the Ohio Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (OACTE). Beach was the 2010 recipient of the OCTM’s prestigious Christofferson-Fawcett Award for lifetime contributions to the mathematics education community.
Beach holds a Ph.D. and a M.Ed. in Mathematics Education from Ohio University and a B.S. in Mathematics and Science Education from The Ohio State University.
At USI she will be responsible for the overall administration of undergraduate and graduate teacher education programs including budgets, curriculum planning, recruitment, strategic plan initiatives, teacher education accreditation and assessment, and program development, assisting the dean of the Pott College in all matters related to teacher education and training.