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Also of Interest

Teaching Beyond the Classroom

Students from Dr. Nancy Murray's SPED 2880 course in New York

May 2012 - Students from Dr. Nancy Murray's course, SPED 2880: Science and Social Studies for Students with and without Disabilities, visited Ellis Island and Liberty Island in New York, following a lesson on Immigration that modeled best practices for teaching Social Studies to Elementary Students with and without Disabilities.
Above, students are standing in front of a Memorial for the individuals from New Jersey that lost their lives on 911.

Commencement Honoree - Dr. Elaine Francis

Dr. Elaine B. Francis
Dr. Elaine B. Francis

Dr. Elaine B. Francis, professor emerita, is a dedicated educator who has devoted more than three decades of her professional life to the Fitchburg State community.

A graduate of our Special Education Department, and a faculty member since 1978, Francis became the university's first dean of education in 2003. Throughout her career she insisted on high standards for the university's programs to ensure that graduates were highly qualified to become educators. Before working at the university she spent years as a teacher of children and adult students with moderate to severe special needs. She built on this work to co-author a textbook, Understanding and Implementing Inclusion: A Practical Guide for Classroom Teachers, published in 2003 and still in use today.

Her accomplishments at Fitchburg State include developing the curriculum for numerous programs. During her tenure as chairperson of the Special Education Department and chairperson of its moderate and severe disabilities graduate programs, Francis led a team of faculty in the development and implementation of two innovative clinical master's degree programs. These cohort model programs, implemented in 1992, integrated curriculum strands in assessment, content, instruction, and collaboration. This model was implemented in Fitchburg, Chelmsford, Wellesley, and Worcester and continues to influence Fitchburg State's graduate programs. She was also instrumental in the development of the university's Reading Specialist Graduate Program.

She played a leading role in bringing the university's programs recognition from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and worked with such third parties as extended campuses, school districts, the National Institute of School Leadership and Franklin Pierce University to develop articulation agreements and ensure program quality and integrity were extended to other university sites.

Francis took on additional responsibilities in 2010, becoming chairperson of the university's Curriculum and Teaching graduate program. She continues to be an active member of the Education Department Curriculum Committee and, despite her retirement, will return to the classroom this summer to teach a hybrid course in collaboration for graduate students in a variety of special education master's programs.

Special Olympics - April 27, 2012

Fitchburg State once again hosted the Special Olympics on April 27, 2012 at the Elliot Field athletic complex.

Special Olympics April 2012

The 5th annual Special Olympics North Central School Day Games celebrated the accomplishments of more than 450 talented athletes.

The program brought together athletes, local schools, community members, Fitchburg State students and faculty members. More than 450 athletes and 150 volunteers attended the events.

The local games are organized by the university's Education Department and its honor society, Kappa Delta Pi, along with Fitchburg State faculty members.