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Conversation with

Janna Oakes

Janna Oakes, Ph.D., is dean of the School of Education in Regis’ College for Professional Studies. She spoke with Regis Magazine about how the school’s new and updated programs prepare the next generation of teacher-leaders to change the world.

How does Regis prepare teachers to meet the needs of today’s students?

Our programs, almost all of which are either new or completely updated in the past year, are designed to produce teachers who exhibit 21st century skills in professional practice, are data literate, make evidence-based educational decisions and create effective learning environments for all students.

As an example, instructional technology isn’t just one class students take; rather, it is a required, integrated part of every class. In this model, teachers become courageous seekers, learners and users of technology. Thus, they are uniquely prepared to meet the needs of the digital natives in today’s classrooms.

How are Jesuit values built into the curriculum?

We aspire to help our teacher candidates become thoughtful, caring, reflective practitioners committed to social justice. Our learners mindfully pursue the answer to the question, "How ought we to live and lead as educators?" so that they can transform society one child, one classroom, one school, one district at a time.

The school offers both online and on-campus classes. What are the benefits of each?

For many adults, online courses allow them the ability to access the learning environment at a time and place that is convenient. These learners have to be self-motivated and disciplined. For other learners, the person-to-person interaction of a traditional classroom environment is both motivational and necessary. As with beauty, the advantage – or disadvantage – is in the eye of the beholder.