Dr. Lynne Long
Bowie State Department Chairperson, Director of Field Experiences Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development (TLPD)
How did you get interested in including computer science in your education program?
A colleague in Computer Science, Dr. El-Sayed, and I crossed paths in the hall one day and she mentioned her interest in collaborating with someone in the Education Department about how to start a CS education degree program. That sparked a conversation that has continued over a couple of years. We shared ideas and we have a strong connection with our local school system expert, including an expert Adjunct Faculty member who facilitates professional development for local teachers. Dr. El-Sayad and I continue to make connections within our Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development Program with computing and computational thinking as well as building a website of resources for our students and faculty.
Describe an interesting project you have participated in.
Exploring various computer science projects and activities continue to spark my interest. I often reflect on the potential models and ways to generate enthusiasm. It is motivating to work together with a diverse group. We can do this with our faculty and our students.
What do you wish that others knew about your education program at Bowie?
We offer a myriad of opportunities and scholarships. We also invest a lot of time and energy into writing grants including early childhood, STEM, elementary education, and two-year grants for para-professionals, in efforts to provide funding to support students. We emphasize culturally relevant pedagogy and we look at students as part of a learning community where everyone works together. There is a family atmosphere where people support each other. We also provide lots of internship opportunities. Foreign travel opportunities are available to students annually and will continue after the pandemic. Another interesting connection available to our students is with the Smithsonian Museum Education Departments. The professional development schools are excellent, and our network is very strong. In addition, we have a new program for athletic directors. We offer Scholarships for jr and sr years of $24K with internships in freshman and sophomore year to allow students to see if it’s what they want to do. We also provide tutorial experiences. Pandemic numbers for enrollment have been up in the College of Education.
How do we reach the broader education faculty?
As department chair, I use in-person meeting time to bring people together to share how to do things in classes, model best practices and invite speakers. We think about problem-solving in computational thinking and how this applies to other areas. We have had many meetings on computational thinking that the Bowie students, faculty, and local teachers attended together. Also the early childhood special ed program is coming on board. Being able to work with coordinators, faculty, supervisors, intern specialists, in service teachers, CS and Education faculty together on our CS Education project was unanticipated but it was a wonderful result. Participating in the MCCE summer program created a lasting benefit with a website and a list of next steps. Having people with technical expertise was very helpful.