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Walden Magazine // Jul 01, 2010

Faculty Q&A

By Deirdre Schwiesow

The recipients of the 2010 Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence answer four questions about the top issues in their fields.

 Peter Hoffman Kipp


 Stacee Heicherzer


What is the most exciting advancement in your field right now?

There have been very big developments in teacher education, curriculum, and instruction. We’re beginning to see schools where teachers are really acknowledging that they can connect with students more effectively with technology, and that their students of all ages are learning through new media. There’s a lot of effort to engage professional development in other countries so there will be local people who have the skills to meet the needs of the population. Walden’s professional reputation is growing internationally, and our program can really parallel the National Board for Certified Counselors International effort to certify people for disaster training overseas.

What are the benefits of an advanced degree in your profession/field?

In the case of both K–12 teachers and administrators, the immediate benefit is that they have an opportunity for greater influence in their school and school district. They begin to realize that their constituency is larger than their immediate classroom. And, in any PhD program, we help students realize that their degree will give them the tools to be knowledge-makers. The PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision degree is designed to give students the skills to not only identify what a community needs, but to create change. A PhD. gives students the opportunity to teach in academe and the training to conduct research, supervise master’s-level counselors, and shape the profession.

What is the main thing you hope students take away from your classes?

Self-efficacy: a belief in their own ability to conduct original research. My number one goal is to give students the belief that they can do it.
My number one goal is to give students the belief that they can do it.
A broader perspective about the world around them. I want students to have the skills to engage the world critically and to articulate and tackle problems in society. Teaching students how to have a social impact on the world around them is one of the greatest gifts we can give them.

What is the greatest lesson your students have taught you?

They’ve taught me that they have the ability to make the transformation into a researcher. I am a guide, but I am not the source of either the information or the courage to make that transformation. They’ve taught me that each person’s unique experience is really a treasure chest, and we just need to learn how to engage it appropriately to help them deliver on their own professional goals.