Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Hope Springs Anew–OCU Responds to Opioid Crisis image

As the tragic effects of opioid addiction continue to grip the nation, in Ohio efforts to address them are well underway through initiatives by organizations such as Propel Ohio and Ohio Christian University.

On Nov. 17, Teacher Education Professors Valerie Jones and Angela Flowers, along with student majors Maddy McCain and Emily Morton, attended Propel Ohio’s Collegiate Leadership Conference on the effect of poverty and the opioid crisis on Ohio youth.  They joined some 600 attendees in the University of Akron’s historic Quaker Station conference center to hear Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman join keynote speaker activist author Marian Right Edelman in discussing how primary and secondary education can impact and alleviate this societal crisis.

Propel Ohio promotes civic engagement and inspires undergraduate students to grow into civic leaders.  The one-day statewide conference was one of five regional gatherings orchestrated to engage teacher education students and faculty on issues that affect childhood poverty, including food security, inequities in education, and homelessness, in addition to additive drug and substance abuse.

The speakers’ consensus is that proper education, beginning in early childhood with pupils three years of age, is a key to addressing these problems.  A typical scenario is economically distressed parents moving from using expensive prescribed pain-killers to taking heroin, acquired illegally at one fifth the cost.  Pregnant mothers pass the addiction to their children born addicted with irreversible brain damage that causes loss of impulse control, irrational behaviors, and learning disabilities.  The parents’ loss of employment during the Great Recession induced wide-spread depression and drove the opioid crisis.

The Propel Ohio conference attendees learned change comes through teachers educated to be ‘trauma-informed’ and trained in classroom practice of empathetic understanding, caring, and showing love to suffering pupils who witness parents using drugs, over-dosing, fighting, and divorcing.  Within OCU’s current teacher education curriculum students have been learning how to be aware of such devastating outside influences on pupils.  OCU-educated teachers learn how to identify situations that call for attention of professional counselors, nurses, and parent surrogates.

For Dr. Jones, OCU’s Teacher Education Department chair, “This event was enlightening and empowering.  Although the event was secular and solution approaches discussed apply in public schools, many participants were Christians who understood the importance and benefit of applying the Christian principles of empathy, compassion, and Godly love in classrooms.  Takeaways are that empathy, understanding, and discipline through love are powerful tools teachers can use to help their pupils overcome societal ills of which they are unwitting victims.”

Another outcome of this participation is that the Teacher Education Department will host Trauma Informed Care and Practice, a two-and-one-half day teacher training workshop for the Pickaway County Board of Development Disabilities.

Articles of Interest

OCU T.E. Group Observes Educators in Finland and Sweden image

OCU T.E. Group Observes Educators in Finland and Sweden

OCU T.E. Group Observes Educators in Finland and Sweden image

Published: June 6, 2019

During summer break, Dr. Valerie Jones, Teacher Education Chair and Dr. Jeanne Bruce, Associate Professor, traveled with five pre-service educators to Helsinki, Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden to study the top-two school systems in the world. The group was able to tour a Finnish grade school to observe their curriculum and instruction and speak with the students and teachers. In Sweden, the group visited a university and were able to learn about Swedish high schools and the transition to higher education. In addition to the focus on education, the group did some sightseeing and learned
During summer break, Dr. Valerie Jones, Teacher Education Chair and Dr. Jeanne Bruce, Associate Professor, traveled with five pre-service educators to Helsinki, Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden to study the top-two school systems in the world. The group was able to tour a Finnish grade school to observe their curriculum and instruction and speak with the students and teachers. In Sweden, the
During summer break, Dr. Valerie Jones, Teacher Education Chair and Dr. Jeanne Bruce, Associate Professor, traveled with five pre-service educators to Helsinki, Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden to

Archived Articles of Interest

Prof. Angela Flowers dances with Isabella Misita, her student at Pioneer Center in Chillocothe

New K-12 Needs Intervention Specialist Degree Program Open for Enrollment

Prof. Angela Flowers dances with Isabella Misita, her student at Pioneer Center in Chillocothe

Published: July 17, 2018

The Ohio Department of Education recently recognized that OCU’s Mild/Moderate Needs Intervention Specialist (K-12) bachelor’s program meets the Chancellor’s requirements and State Board of Education standards for bachelor degree programs that prepare graduates for Mild/Moderate Needs Intervention Specialist (K-12) licensure.  Enrollment into the new program is now open.    Dr. Valerie Jones, Teacher Education Department chair explains, “We train teachers who have a Christ-like calling to educate all children, including those with special needs.  With the opioid and poverty crises
The Ohio Department of Education recently recognized that OCU’s Mild/Moderate Needs Intervention Specialist (K-12) bachelor’s program meets the Chancellor’s requirements and State Board of Education standards for bachelor degree programs that prepare graduates for Mild/Moderate Needs Intervention Specialist (K-12) licensure.  Enrollment into the new program is now open.    Dr. Valerie Jones
The Ohio Department of Education recently recognized that OCU’s Mild/Moderate Needs Intervention Specialist (K-12) bachelor’s program meets the Chancellor’s requirements and State Board of
School of Business & Government Israel Tour Creates Lasting Impressions image

School of Business & Government Israel Tour Creates Lasting Impressions

School of Business & Government Israel Tour Creates Lasting Impressions image

Published: June 20, 2018

Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government traveled to Israel May 23 through June 3, 2018.    Thirteen students toured the Holy Land with Passages Israel, a program sponsored by Philos Project and the Museum of the Bible Foundation.  Passages specialize in providing Christian college students with leadership potential a fresh and innovative approach to experiencing the Holy Land. The OCU students encountered the historic landscape of their Christian faith and modern-day Israel.  Significant sites visited were Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, Nazareth,
Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government traveled to Israel May 23 through June 3, 2018.    Thirteen students toured the Holy Land with Passages Israel, a program sponsored by Philos Project and the Museum of the Bible Foundation.  Passages specialize in providing Christian college students with leadership potential a fresh and innovative approach to experiencing the
Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government traveled to Israel May 23 through June 3, 2018.    Thirteen students toured the Holy Land with Passages Israel, a program sponsored by
Trauma Informed Care Training Hits Needs Head-On image

Trauma Informed Care Training Hits Needs Head-On

Trauma Informed Care Training Hits Needs Head-On image

Published: June 20, 2018

On June 4 and 5, Ohio Christian University hosted over 150 participants attending the Southern Ohio Trauma Informed Care Training. OCU undergraduate and graduate teacher education students as well as area educators, pastors, administrators, and social workers listened to informative sessions covering topics ranging from classroom teaching to social work case management.  They engaged in dynamic discussions, break-out activities and tasks that raised questions and prompted fresh thinking by even the most inquisitive participants. Hosted by social workers Amanda Knotts and Bryston
On June 4 and 5, Ohio Christian University hosted over 150 participants attending the Southern Ohio Trauma Informed Care Training. OCU undergraduate and graduate teacher education students as well as area educators, pastors, administrators, and social workers listened to informative sessions covering topics ranging from classroom teaching to social work case management.  They engaged in
On June 4 and 5, Ohio Christian University hosted over 150 participants attending the Southern Ohio Trauma Informed Care Training. OCU undergraduate and graduate teacher education students as well
Students practice Christian leadership at summer camps

2018 Summer Camps Underway

Students practice Christian leadership at summer camps

Published: June 12, 2018

Twenty-two Ohio Christian University students are participating in the University’s 2018 summer camps counseling program. These students have completed over 50 hours of training over the course of their spring semester to prepare them to effectively and confidently serve at 16 camps for children in over five states this summer. Student team leader Hunter Petty shares the group’s excitement about becoming camp counselors, “As a kid, my life was impacted through OCU camp counselors. Now that I am a student, I have the chance to impact kid’s lives and it is an amazing opportunity! Being
Twenty-two Ohio Christian University students are participating in the University’s 2018 summer camps counseling program. These students have completed over 50 hours of training over the course of their spring semester to prepare them to effectively and confidently serve at 16 camps for children in over five states this summer. Student team leader Hunter Petty shares the group’s excitement
Twenty-two Ohio Christian University students are participating in the University’s 2018 summer camps counseling program. These students have completed over 50 hours of training over the course of
2019 Spring Trip to Learn Education Excellence in Finland and Sweden image

2019 Spring Trip to Learn Education Excellence in Finland and Sweden

2019 Spring Trip to Learn Education Excellence in Finland and Sweden image

Published: June 12, 2018

Learn how the Finnish and Swedish secondary school systems provide world-class education for their students.  These globally top-rated schools maintain their excellent quality of education without homework or standard tests.   Cultural experiences throughout this tour of Finland’s Helsinki and Sweden’s Stockholm give participants an enriching perspective on Scandinavia’s culture and progressive educational practices.  Registration is open now for this once-in-a-lifetime trip that begins in mid-May, 2019. According to OCU Teacher Education Department Chair, Dr. Valerie Jones, “Our aim
Learn how the Finnish and Swedish secondary school systems provide world-class education for their students.  These globally top-rated schools maintain their excellent quality of education without homework or standard tests.   Cultural experiences throughout this tour of Finland’s Helsinki and Sweden’s Stockholm give participants an enriching perspective on Scandinavia’s culture and
Learn how the Finnish and Swedish secondary school systems provide world-class education for their students.  These globally top-rated schools maintain their excellent quality of education without