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Pacific Oaks College Opens Fall Semester with New Academic Leadership Team

The trio was brought together to build on Pacific Oaks' pioneering history and take the college to new frontiers

Published on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 | 6:51 am

Pacific Oaks College begins the fall semester with a new academic leadership team: Dr. Linda Clowers, the college’s new vice president of academic affairs; Dr. Carl Kalani Beyer, dean of the School of Education and School of Human Development and Family Studies; and Dr. Marcia Moody, the college’s inaugural dean of online education.

The trio was brought together to build on Pacific Oaks’ pioneering history and take the college to new frontiers with additional programs in teacher training and delivery models.

“This is an exciting time for us as we welcome our largest incoming class in years,” said Dr. Clowers, who was named the college’s academic leader in August 2011. “At a time when many institutions are struggling with their enrollment, we’re growing,” she added. “At a time when many institutions are closing programs and turning away students, we’re opening new programs and offering formats that enable individuals to take courses online or at remote sites, thereby increasing access to a PO education to a much broader audience.”

Upon arriving at Pacific Oaks in 2010, Dr. Clowers brought to the institution a diverse portfolio of experiences including serving as dean of curriculum, retention, and educational services for West Los Angeles College, as director of the Liberal Studies program at Loyola Marymount University, as an associate professor of clinical psychology at Azusa Pacific University, and as a mental health counselor and therapist.

She holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara. In her new role, Dr. Clowers will manage, among other areas, curriculum development, program assessment, faculty hiring and evaluation, and academic department budget oversight.

Overseeing the college’s new schools and teacher training programs is Dr. Beyer whose charge is to build on Pacific Oaks’ more than half-century history of transformative change, social justice, inclusion, and valuing the contributions of all people of all ages and all backgrounds. “The rapidly evolving needs of learners and learning communities requires interventions that go beyond just delivering more content,'” he said.

“Our approach is based upon the belief that once individuals feel respected for who they are and what they know, their own intrinsic motivation will lead them towards success and achievement in pre-school, elementary school, middle school, high school, and beyond. We have been doing this for 60 years and are known for this approach. Looking forward, we want to take our model to more students by offering broader career options for a Pacific Oaks education and more choices for program delivery.”

Dr. Beyer is now in his fifth decade as an education professional. Prior to his arrival in Pasadena, Dr. Beyer was the dean of the School of Education at National University with the rank of professor and full-time faculty and chair of the Teacher Education Department at Concordia University (Chicago).

He transitioned to higher education after a 34 year career in public education where he taught mathematics and social studies, coached football, and sponsored numerous extra-curricular clubs. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Curriculum Design.

As the college’s first dean of online education, Dr. Moody is leading Pacific Oaks’ work to further align its programs with new learning technologies while making them more accessible to students of all backgrounds and localities.

“We begin this new semester at Pacific Oaks with a progressive approach to online learning,” said Dr. Moody. “When you think about what’s happening today, everybody is connecting; it’s the new normal to create relationships in the online format. For us it’s about taking what made Pacific Oaks such a unique institution over the years and extending its model of education into the online classroom. All those enrolled in an online course are equal participants who contribute alongside a faculty mentor. Our online courses facilitate professional and personal exploration as a result of stimulating course materials and lively exchanges.  In fact, students actually help shape weekly discussions by posing questions and sharing supplemental materials.”

Dr. Moody’s academic career began with a faculty position at the State University of New York at Albany.  Her expertise and experience in online education stems from her work at Capella University and Walden University where she held positions as Assistant Dean of Curriculum Management, vice provost of faculty development, and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning. Dr. Moody holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Pacific Oaks College and the Children’s School have played a crucial role in the development of early childhood education in the United States for more than a half century. Founded in 1959 by a small group of Quaker families, Pacific Oaks College is dedicated to the fundamental Quaker principles of inclusion, social justice, and the valuing of every human being.

The College’s faculty has developed innovative curriculum and tools that are widely used in early childhood and teacher training programs—both in the U.S. and throughout the world. Pacific Oaks is well-known for its leadership in a learning-through-play curriculum, and for the ground-breaking anti-bias curriculum that has been implemented in schools throughout the country and is often required reading in early childhood teacher training courses.

An accredited nonprofit institution, Pacific Oaks College offers bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs in early childhood education, human development, counseling, and teaching credentialing.

Founded in 1945, the Children’s School is widely recognized today as one of the finest preschools in the nation.

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