Chair of Delaware Valley College’s Education Department completes an education policy fellowship

Jun 07, 2012


Katie Kennedy-Reilly, chair of Delaware Valley College’s Education Department, completed the Education Policy and Leadership Center’s 10-month fellowship program, which allowed her to explore state and federal education policy and network.

The Education Policy and Leadership Center works to improve student learning through policy, programs to make schools more effective, and educational opportunities for people of all ages.

A variety of stakeholders in education are involved in the program. Participants meet monthly in Harrisburg and take part in two leadership seminars, one regional and one national. The fellowship allows educators to develop their communication, leadership, and decision-making skills.

The program selects educators who have an ability to lead and who demonstrate a concern for issues that affect students and educators.

“The program would bring in the leaders working on different policy topics each month who would present firsthand knowledge and experiences. It would then be opened to a discussion of the policy and involvement,” said Kennedy-Reilly. “It was a strong professional and personal development program and it has allowed me to be more engaged in public policy.”

She said the program helped her get a foot in the policy agenda in Pennsylvania and will help her have a voice in that and stay active in her role. She plans to continue to work with the group on policy change.

Through the program, she helped with a recommendation and presented it the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The proposal deals with teacher preparation and the competencies they would be expected to have upon exiting a program.

It recommends changing the language to more explicitly express skills that would be required for students today, such as creativity and problem solving, so that teachers would enter classrooms more in alignment with those expectations.

Delaware Valley College sponsored Kennedy-Reilly’s fellowship.

“I’m greatly appreciative that the college was a sponsor and allowed me to do this,” said Kennedy-Reilly. “The college is supportive and encourages faculty to participate in various professional development opportunities.”

The relationships she built through the program are already allowing her to provide new learning opportunities for DelVal’s education students.

“The Education Department is already benefitting from the relationships that were built through the networking opportunities this fellowship provided,” said Kennedy-Reilly. “I have a few people that I met through the program coming to campus as guest speakers for the Education Department and our Education Club.”

Kennedy-Reilly said that as a result of participating in this program, she is also investigating and developing a new course for students that will focus on virtual teaching.

She wants students who go through DelVal’s Education Department to come away with a strong foundation in all the different components of education to be able to meet the needs of the students they’ve been entrusted with in their classrooms.

“I want to prepare our graduates to be able to think in new, creative ways to meet the needs of all learners,” said Kennedy-Reilly.