Sue Rieg, faculty and dean’s associate, was selected to participate in a nationwide program that focuses on clinical practice and developing partnerships among schools.

A professor and dean’s associate at IUP has been selected as a clinical practice fellow with the Association of Teacher Education for the 2020 year.

Professor Sue Rieg, dean’s associate for educator preparation and director of PDS Partnerships, has been selected from IUP to be a Clinical Practice Fellow, a group of nationwide educators interested in using clinical practice, as well as developing partnerships between schools and universities and teacher education programs. 

Educators, preschool to grade 12 school personnel, clinical field coordinators and others who have an interest in clinical practice also make up the clinical practice program.

Rieg has been a part of the IUP family since 1977, when she began her freshman year as an elementary education major. She received her bachelor of science  in elementary education in 1981 and a master of education in elementary mathematics in 1982. 

Upon graduating, she spent 19 years teaching elementary school and serving as an elementary school principal in the Indiana Area School District.

“I feel as if I have come full circle,” Rieg said. “My only goal when I was an undergraduate at IUP was to become an elementary education teacher. IUP prepared me for that role and I was blessed with a long career in public education.”

Rieg credits a mathematics professor for helping her consider being a university professor. She attended Duquesne University and graduated in a few years with a principal certification and education doctorate degree in their Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program for Educational Leaders.

“IUP has gifted me with so many opportunities,” Rieg said. “I am a professor of education in the department of professional studies in education and have taught at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels.”

Rieg was also the department’s chairperson for four years and is the director of professional development school partnerships. She was invited by Dr. Lara Luetkehans, dean of the College of Education and Communications to be dean’s associated for educator preparation.

Rieg applied for the clinical practice fellow position in the summer and was notified of her selection in October.

 “I am thrilled and humbled to be selected as a 2020 clinical practice fellow,” said Rieg. “The application process was competitive. Once Fellows are selected, we are fellows for life.”

The challenging process consisted of writing a paper that explained the strengths, experiences and knowledge that applicants will bring to share with colleagues, a description of their successes and plans, hopes for learning and the takeaways from the Clinical Practice Symposium in February. 

At the symposium, Rieg will have the opportunity network with other fellows, share research and teaching interests, and hear from the top scholars in the field. They will also engage in a national dialogue, putting the clinical practice at the center of education preparation. 

They will also explore implicit perspectives on teaching and learning how to shape programs, ways to collaborate with school and community partners and the extent of the coursework and fieldwork required.

“Every opportunity I experience in some way is life-changing,” Rieg said. “I am hopeful that I can bring ideas back to IUP that will make our educator preparation programs and school to university partnerships even stronger. 

“If I can bring ideas back that will make a difference in the lives and learning experiences of our teacher candidates, students and professionals, it will be life-changing.”

With a national teacher shortage on the rise, if anyone is considering a teaching profession, Rieg said now is the time to do it and IUP is the place to start.

“In my opinion, teaching is the best profession on earth,” Rieg said. “Today’s children deserve highly qualified, passionate and compassionate teachers and educational professionals. It is my sincere pleasure to serve in the role of dean’s associate to help future educators meet their goals to become teachers and make an impact on students.

 “Thanks to the preparation, encouragement and support I received during my undergraduate and graduate years, and continue to receive at IUP, I am blessed with over 36 years of a rewarding career as an educator.” 

Rieg said she is committed to helping others have the same. 

“I love IUP and would never have had the opportunity to e selected as a clinical practice fellow without the strong educational background and plethora of experiences I have been awarded at this wonderful university.”

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