Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Trauma Informed Care Training Hits Needs Head-On image

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 McKnight of The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services, the training’s main theme was how to best help traumatized children enrolled in public school classrooms. The presenters hit head-on with force and passion the need for teachers and service providers to not only become informed but also transformed and compelled to take action.

Trauma is caused to anyone impacted by an event, or series of events, through physical, emotional, or social actions or behaviors that cause harmful, sometimes life-threatening, effects on mental, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being.  Explaining that the majority of children, teens, and young adults have experienced traumas and are presenting one or more symptoms, the expert instructors presented best practices to help the workshop participants gauge pupils’ circumstances that impact their learning ability.  “Showing an understanding of their organic situations,” participant Carrie Kerr explains, “can make all the difference in showing pupils that you really care about their well-being.”

To get the most from this training, participants recalled specific techniques for avoiding re-traumatization while administering self-efficacy of resiliency.  For example, if a teacher suspects a pupil has been abused, the teacher should not ask questions that prod the pupil. However, if the child is willing to talk, then first carefully listening followed by speaking with a guidance counselor about completing an ACE Score assessment for that pupil will help gauge their exposure to and degree of abuse.

Understanding these scores, Knotts and McKnight explain will not necessarily solve the pupils’ problems, but it certainly is helpful as the teacher seeks to build trust and decrease fear, emotional injury, and physical injury, and to preserve the relationship in the classroom. “If a child acts reserved in class, but you know they play basketball, make an effort to show and support that,” explains McKnight.  “You wouldn’t believe how open-doors conversation can bring to healing trauma.”

ACE scores, self-efficacy, and avoiding re-traumatization are key techniques educators can use to produce successful student skills in the classroom that will carry over into traumatized children’s adulthood.  Participants discovered the science behind traumatized children’s decisions, patterns, and maladaptive behaviors.  The presenters busted common myths.  In turn, participants asked questions that tested assumptions through hands-on activities, questioning, and commentary.

Creating a warm and open atmosphere through group activities, participants learned not only how to approach children authentically, but how to predict, practice, and plan while reflecting, honoring, and connecting with those in whom they make contact.

As a former teacher and now department chair of Education, Valerie Jones encouraged participants to “use your connections to make connections.”  For educators, social workers, or professionals who work with those going through traumatizing situations, learning to help others through distressed circumstances is imperative to our identity and character as servants of Christ’s body.

“We provide these trainings because we want to help educators be armed with all the tools necessary to be an excellent teacher today, as well as give our OCU Teacher Education students professional development activities to help them prepare for the classroom and connect with educators and administrators,” concludes Jones.

Articles of Interest

On-Campus College or Online College: Which Fits You? image

On-Campus College or Online College: Which Fits You?

On-Campus College or Online College: Which Fits You? image

Published: April 26, 2019

by Dr. Lynn Lease, Director of OCUOnline Plus Long gone are the days of being limited to simply deciding which college to attend. Today’s incoming college freshmen have the choice of an on-campus program, an online program, or a combination of the two. But which option best fits you? In order to choose what fits you best, there are important considerations for each option. Location and Setting When you consider going away to college, it is important to not only consider the qualities of the school but also the location and the setting. How far away from home is optimal? Do you want
by Dr. Lynn Lease, Director of OCUOnline Plus Long gone are the days of being limited to simply deciding which college to attend. Today’s incoming college freshmen have the choice of an on-campus program, an online program, or a combination of the two. But which option best fits you? In order to choose what fits you best, there are important considerations for each option. Location and
by Dr. Lynn Lease, Director of OCUOnline Plus Long gone are the days of being limited to simply deciding which college to attend. Today’s incoming college freshmen have the choice of an on-campus
OCU Kappa Delta Pi Chapter Inducts 28 New Members image

OCU Kappa Delta Pi Chapter Inducts 28 New Members

OCU Kappa Delta Pi Chapter Inducts 28 New Members image

Published: April 26, 2019

CIRCLEVILLE, OHIO—Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, is pleased to announce that 28 preservice educators have been invited and inducted into its membership through the Alpha Iota Sigma Chapter of Ohio Christian University. The initiation ceremony took place on April 9, 2019 at The Ministry and Performing Arts Center. The ceremony opened with Dr. Hank Kelly, Provost at Ohio Christian University, giving the welcome and prayer. Dr. Ann Shelly, of Kappa Delta Pi, installed the new members, the Alpha Iota Sigma Chapter and the officers. Mr. Jonathan Davis,
CIRCLEVILLE, OHIO—Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, is pleased to announce that 28 preservice educators have been invited and inducted into its membership through the Alpha Iota Sigma Chapter of Ohio Christian University. The initiation ceremony took place on April 9, 2019 at The Ministry and Performing Arts Center. The ceremony opened with Dr. Hank Kelly, Provost at
CIRCLEVILLE, OHIO—Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, is pleased to announce that 28 preservice educators have been invited and inducted into its membership through the Alpha
2019 Georgia Commencement image

2019 Georgia Commencement

2019 Georgia Commencement image

Published: April 11, 2019

On Saturday, April 6th, Ohio Christian University held its fourth commencement ceremony in Jonesboro, Georgia at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center. This is the first year at this location. OCU President, Dr. Jon Kulaga welcomed the record crowd of nearly 1,300 students, family and honored guests declaring, “We are living in a time where Christians have never been more needed-to be out there in society being salt and light.” He further challenged them stating that “your community needs you, your city needs you and your country needs you”.    Terence Chatmon was the commencement
On Saturday, April 6th, Ohio Christian University held its fourth commencement ceremony in Jonesboro, Georgia at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center. This is the first year at this location. OCU President, Dr. Jon Kulaga welcomed the record crowd of nearly 1,300 students, family and honored guests declaring, “We are living in a time where Christians have never been more needed-to be
On Saturday, April 6th, Ohio Christian University held its fourth commencement ceremony in Jonesboro, Georgia at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center. This is the first year at this location
Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus image

Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus

Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus image

Published: April 10, 2019

On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith
On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith
On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith

Archived Articles of Interest

Academic Presentation: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Chronic Headache Pain image

Academic Presentation: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Chronic Headache Pain

Academic Presentation: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Chronic Headache Pain image

Published: March 1, 2013

On February 20, OCU Assistant Professor of Psychology Matthew Decker provided an academic presentation on “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Chronic Headache Pain.” The presentation was attended by OCU faculty, students and members of the community. The ACT treatment involves being in the moment and making sure your actions match your values.“For me, ACT and other ‘third wave’ treatments are improvements on the older treatments, but many of them are still being validated for various problems and disorders,” Decker said.Professor Decker led a study in which participants who
On February 20, OCU Assistant Professor of Psychology Matthew Decker provided an academic presentation on “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Chronic Headache Pain.” The presentation was attended by OCU faculty, students and members of the community. The ACT treatment involves being in the moment and making sure your actions match your values.“For me, ACT and other ‘third wave’
On February 20, OCU Assistant Professor of Psychology Matthew Decker provided an academic presentation on “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Chronic Headache Pain.” The presentation was
OCU Faculty Provide Monthly Academic Presentations image

OCU Faculty Provide Monthly Academic Presentations

OCU Faculty Provide Monthly Academic Presentations image

Published: December 3, 2012

Ohio Christian University faculty have begun monthly presentations to enhance the academic quality and engagement of faculty, students, and community members. These events are also being made available live through video conferencing so that faculty and students in online programs are able to participate.On December 5th, Prof. Thad Hicks will present on the topic of Managing Compassion Fatigue. Prof. Hicks serves as Assistant Professor of Disaster Management and is working on a Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies. Compassion Fatigue, or secondary traumatic stress disorder, is a condition
Ohio Christian University faculty have begun monthly presentations to enhance the academic quality and engagement of faculty, students, and community members. These events are also being made available live through video conferencing so that faculty and students in online programs are able to participate.On December 5th, Prof. Thad Hicks will present on the topic of Managing Compassion
Ohio Christian University faculty have begun monthly presentations to enhance the academic quality and engagement of faculty, students, and community members. These events are also being made
Ohio Christian University to Celebrate a Record Number of Graduates on May 5, 2012 image

Ohio Christian University to Celebrate a Record Number of Graduates on May 5, 2012

Ohio Christian University to Celebrate a Record Number of Graduates on May 5, 2012 image

Published: April 30, 2012

President Mark A. Smith will preside over the largest graduation ceremony in the history of Ohio Christian University this coming Saturday, May 5, 2012, with 386 graduates.This year's graduation includes the conference of 141 associate's degrees and 235 bachelor's degrees. OCU also celebrates its first conference of master's degrees with 10 students earning the Master of Arts in Ministry.Graduation practice (required for all graduating students) begins a 1 p.m. on Friday, May 4. The graduation ceremony begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 5 in the OCU Maxwell Center. 
President Mark A. Smith will preside over the largest graduation ceremony in the history of Ohio Christian University this coming Saturday, May 5, 2012, with 386 graduates.This year's graduation includes the conference of 141 associate's degrees and 235 bachelor's degrees. OCU also celebrates its first conference of master's degrees with 10 students earning the Master of Arts in Ministry.
President Mark A. Smith will preside over the largest graduation ceremony in the history of Ohio Christian University this coming Saturday, May 5, 2012, with 386 graduates.This year's graduation
Dr. Jim Smith

OCU Professor is Published

Dr. Jim Smith

Published: November 30, 2010

Ohio Christian University Professor of Substance Abuse Counseling Dr. Jim Smith contributed two chapters for the recently published collaborative work Nelson's Church Leader's Manual for Congregational Care, available from Thomas Nelson Publishers. The two chapters are on lay ministry care for those with substance abuse issues and mental disorders.  Smith is well qualified to write on these topics as he holds three graduate degrees and is a licensed counselor as well as an ordained minister.  Smith states, "The connection to be part of this collaboration was brought about by God." OCU
Ohio Christian University Professor of Substance Abuse Counseling Dr. Jim Smith contributed two chapters for the recently published collaborative work Nelson's Church Leader's Manual for Congregational Care, available from Thomas Nelson Publishers. The two chapters are on lay ministry care for those with substance abuse issues and mental disorders.  Smith is well qualified to write on these
Ohio Christian University Professor of Substance Abuse Counseling Dr. Jim Smith contributed two chapters for the recently published collaborative work Nelson's Church Leader's Manual for