FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: DOUGLAS HEUER
In the past, students working toward a teaching degree could expect to wait as long as three years into their program before entering a classroom. That’s about to change at Cleveland State University. Helping to institute that change is Douglas G. Heuer, co-coordinator of the new C.R.E.A.T.E. program. Heuer worked to establish partnerships with school districts where the first C.R.E.A.T.E. cohorts will get field experience when the program begins in spring of 2016. “The goal of C.R.E.A.T.E. is to change the paradigm of the teacher preparation program,” explains Heuer, pronounced “Hugh-er.”
C.R.E.A.T.E. is an acronym for the following:
Through C.R.E.A.T.E., CSU’s teaching program is being restructured to improve teacher preparedness for entering the classroom and promote long careers in the teaching profession. Some graduating with education degrees, “weren’t ready to hit the ground running,” says Heuer. That is what he learned through his numerous interactions with superintendents in districts bordering Cleveland that make up the “First-Ring Consortium” and school leaders throughout Cuyahoga County. School districts have had to make up where new teachers fall short by providing professional development that he explains is “expensive and time consuming.”
There also is a concern with the high turnover of teachers who leave the profession after a few years. Heuer says the early field experience gives students the opportunity to stand before a classroom “looking at it through the eyes of a teacher.” As a result, they will be more committed to the teaching profession, he adds.
Heuer is a native of Youngstown, who is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in Urban Education Policy at CSU. He has worked in education for 40 years. He spent the first 10 years of his career as a high school math teacher, working in South Carolina and Columbus, OH. Another 20 years were spent either in building or central office administration at Ohio school districts in Athens, South West and the Columbus suburb of Dublin.
His last position in public schools was as superintendent for four years in the Cleveland Heights/University Heights School District. He says he has a good working relationship with the currently seated superintendents. As part of a C.R.E.A.T.E. pilot program last fall, Heuer has used his contacts to developed partnerships with school districts in Cleveland, Euclid, Richmond Heights and Cleveland Heights/University Heights.
Heuer anticipates there will be between 75 and 90 students studying under the C.R.E.A.T.E. program in the spring. Field Service and course work will be done in five rotations that can be completed in five semesters. Rotation 1 will include course work in social issues that affect education, understanding the teaching profession and field experience. Other rotations will include courses in making lesson plans related to the student’s content area, classroom management, a practicum and student teaching.
Five things about Douglas Heuer:
Favorite Movie: “Stand By Me”
Favorite Food: Dessert
Best Thing about CSU: “The great many dedicated people.”
Favorite Vacation Destination: Hilton Head, S.C.
One thing people don’t know about me: “I have three great kids.” His daughter is an art history professor at the State University of New York, New Paltz campus. One son works in medical research at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus and his youngest son is a junior majoring in psychology at the Ohio State University.