Introducing TREE: Teaching and Research in Environmental Education

Catamount Center and the Colorado College Education Department are proud to announce a new stage in their partnership: the TREE Semester.

TREE SemesterTeaching & Research in Environmental Education is a 16-week residential semester program that mirrors the traditional study abroad experience. During blocks 1 through 4 (August through December) in the fall of 2015, undergraduate students will live and learn in community at the Catamount Center near Woodland Park, CO.

The TREE Semester is for students interested in exploring both environmental and educational fields, to become inspired and to in turn inspire their students’ environmental stewardship and love for the natural world.


Photos courtesy of Catamount Center:

Where the block or traditional semester program provides only limited interaction time, the TREE Semester allows undergraduates to monitor their K-12 students’ development through almost 100 hours of experiential teaching.  In keeping with the learner-centered model driving the CC Education Department’s curriculum redesign, undergraduate students will learn about learning by simultaneously teaching and researching how K-12 students learn.

TREE participants working with 5th grade students

TREE participants working with 5th grade students

Along with opportunities for current undergraduates, the Catamount Center is also looking to hire recent alums and other qualified individuals with a Bachelor’s degree for a four-month residential TREE Fellowship Program. TREE Fellows will provide support to  undergraduate students enrolled in the TREE Semester and play a vital role in the sustainable TREE Community. TREE Fellows should have experience and enthusiasm for environmental science and outdoor education. As part of the fellowship, TREE Fellows will work towards certification as a Colorado Environmental Educator (pending CAEE portfolio completion). Applications for the TREE Fellowship are due no later than March 31. Fellows will be selected by April 15.

For more information on the TREE program, please contact Jared Mazurek, Catamount Center Program Director:

Student Research on Visual Literacy to be Presented at International Science Education Conference

Education Department Chair Mike Taber is excited to be presenting a research paper he co-authored with two education majors, Elizabeth Benedict and Elizabeth Waterman.

Dr. Taber will present “The Cognitive Development of Visual Literacy for Scientific Symbolic Problem Solving” at the New Perspectives in Science Education Conference in Florence, Italy in March, 2015.

The paper examines the extent to which novice scientists (i.e. students just learning science) are able to holistically interpret data. Where is the science learner’s level of visual literacy in terms of spatial thinking, recreating visual representations of information in visual format(s), and communication of complex patterns?

The preliminary study examined how well participants employed visual literacy skills in solving a symbolically driven problem.  Results showed that participants who possessed greater linguistic skills as well as spatial observation and reasoning skills were more likely to correctly identify all seven elements on the unknown cube face.

Elizabeth Benedict

Elizabeth Benedict

Liz Waterman

Liz Waterman









Congratulations, Elizabeth and Liz!

Tina Valtierra Joins Education Department

The Colorado College Education Department extends a warm welcome to Dr. Kristina (Tina) Valtierra.

Tina Valtierra, Assistant Professor in Literacy Development

Tina Valtierra, Assistant Professor in Literacy Development

Dr. Valtierra came to the CC Education Department in the fall of 2014 as a visiting assistant professor. More recently, she was hired into the tenure track position of Assistant Professor of Education.

A graduate of the University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education, Valtierra’s doctoral dissertation is entitled “Beyond Survival to Thrival: A Narrative Study of One Teacher’s Career Journey.” Her research explored the characteristics that distinguished an outstanding and thriving middle school teacher from her peers across numerous school districts in the Denver area.

In a new topics course entitled Critical Perspectives in Public School Innovation, Valtierra introduced education students to innovative schools in the Denver area. The class examined public school innovation through a critical socio-cultural lens of income, gender and race.

As part of the Education Department curriculum redesign, Valtierra will teach three new education courses in 2015-16: ED425 Innovations & Social Justice in Public Education, ED477 Culturally Responsive Teaching and Disciplinary Literacy Methods, and ED478 Advanced Methods: Critical Pedagogies in Literacy, Curriculum and Instruction.

Catamount Institute 2014 Fall Symposium

The Colorado College Education Department maintains a longstanding partnership with the Catamount Institute. Every year, the ED Department helps to cultivate young minds by hosting Catamount Institute’s Young Environmental Stewards for their Fall and Spring Symposia. Below are photos from the Symposium on December 13, 2014, held at Bemis Great Hall on the Colorado College campus. Photos courtesy of Catamount Institute.

DSC_0147  DSC_0119 DSC_0120 DSC_0121 DSC_0146  DSC_0150 DSC_0154


Physics Teacher Position at Air Academy High School


Dr. Mark Hatchell, Superintendent of Schools
Education & Administration Center
1110 Chapel Hills Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Phone 719-234-1200 * Fax 719-234-1257


Physics Teacher (INR)

Posting Date: August 15, 2014

Last Day to Submit an Application or Transfer Request: Three business days from posting date or until filled.

Organization: Air Academy High School

Location: Air Academy HS

Will be teaching physics and honors physics


Teacher: Science:

  • Valid Colorado Teaching license
  • Demonstrated expertise in subject area
  • Excellent organizational and academic skills
  • Effective student management skills
  • Student centered; Demonstrated success in working with students
  • Inquiry-based approach to learning
  • Excellent collaborative/teaming skills
  • Energetic, creative, innovative, flexible
  • Ability to use data/technology to improve instruction and learning, and to interpret test data
  • Working knowledge of and success in applying state standards in subject area
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; skillful communicator with students, staff and parents
  • Highly qualified per Colorado Department of Education and per district requirements, if applicable Continue reading