Las Vegas, N.M. – Accreditation, online education degrees and increasing enrollment are among the top priorities for Highlands University’s new School of Education dean.
“My very top priority is to regain national accreditation for the university’s education programs,” said Lora Bailey, School of Education dean.
The School of Education is currently accredited through the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, which transitioned into the Council for Accreditation Education Preparation – the new accrediting body for educator preparation.
“The national higher education community has recognized the growing trend towards meeting prospective education students’ needs through convenient online degree programs that include student teaching components offered through partnerships with school systems and master teachers,” Bailey said.
She added that online education degree programs would also help increase enrollment.
Bailey’s previous higher education administration experience includes serving as dean of the College of Education at both Indiana University Northwest in Gary, Indiana, and Brenau University in Gainsville, Georgia. She was interim vice president of academic affairs and provost at Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee.
Bailey, who earned her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, was also an early childhood education associate professor at Auburn University and University of Louisville, and an assistant professor at University of South Carolina.
“Dr. Bailey is an accomplished educator, researcher, administrator and grant writer,” said Teresita Aguilar, Highlands University vice president of academic affairs and provost. “She has engaged in scholarship and service that has significantly impacted early childhood school readiness for children from economically disadvantaged families, early mathematics literacy, family engagement, and university-school partnerships.”
Aguilar said Bailey distinguished herself as a faculty member when she was named as the Provost’s Outstanding Teacher at the University of Louisville.
“In addition, Dr. Bailey has extensive experience in educational leadership positions on a national level such as her current appointment to the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation’s Research Committee and the CAEP Board of Examiners,” Aguilar said.
Bailey also chaired both the American Association of College of Teachers Education Global Diversity Committee and the Association for Childhood Education International Research Committee, among other leadership positions.
Bailey said she also sees international educational opportunities as another priority for the School of Education
“I’d like to see the School of Education expand its reach globally through study abroad and exchange programs,” Bailey said.
Bailey’s primary research focus is early childhood education and mathematics. She is widely published in scholarly publications such as Childhood Education, Early Childhood Education and Dimensions of Early Childhood Journal.
“We’re teaching these young children to be mathematicians through engaging their families and teachers in their learning. I see an opportunity for our Highlands early childhood education curriculum to be redesigned to include family development as a strategy that increases school readiness for young children,” Bailey said.
Another research focus for Bailey is Common Core state standards in early childhood education. Springer Publishing Company accepted her 2014 book, Implementing the Common Core State Standards Across the Early Childhood Curriculum, for publication.
Bailey earned her M.A. in early childhood education from Auburn University, where she also completed her B.S. in business finance.
The Huntsboro, Alabama native taught for seven years as a kindergarten, first grade and third grade teacher for Montgomery Public Schools in Montgomery, Alabama. The school district named her Teacher of the Year twice.
“My experience as a classroom teacher and ongoing engagement in professional development school systems help me understand the needs of teachers in the field,” Bailey said.