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College of Education program to benefit K-12 graders, grad students

Math Endeavors program benefits K-12 graders, grad students

Math Endeavors - getty

The School Psychology Laboratory at Governors State Univeristy is launching a program that aims to help K-12 students improve their math skills while also providing GSU  graduate students enhanced training opportunities. 

The Math Endeavors program, which will intially target 3rd and 4th graders, will touch on ways to improve student’s math problem-solving skills while refining how they conceptualize fractions and decimals. The sessions will run for six weeks from February 8 to March 17 and will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays of each week from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Each session costs a maximum of $5.

Dr. Shaalein Lopez, Assistant Professor of School Psychology, said the program is part of a larger effort to expand the School Psychology Laboratory housed in  GSU’s Literacy Zone. The laboratory is a training and research clinic for school-aged students that also provides meaningful learning opportunities ofr GSU students who wish to become school psychologists. 

“Our goal is to put in place a number of initiatives to help to advance learning and mental health for students who live in the area,” Lopez said, noting the Math Endeavors program will be one of many to come out of that push.

But that means the program won’t just be a learning experience for the 3rd and 4th graders taking the sessions, Lopez explained. It’ll also be an enriching experience for the graduate students leading the sessions, who will be coached by Psychology professors.

“For those who can participate, it will really be an enhancement to what the graduate students will be experiencing as part of our Ed.S in School Psychology program, allowing them real-world experience beyond the practicum and intership to use more of those skills they're learning about in their classes,” Lopez added.

The graduate students and their teachers will also be collecting data on the interventions they use to show whether students have improved, whether they are meeting certain benchmarks and if they need continued support. The data will also help show whether the interventions used in the classroom are effective and where improvements could be made to make them better in future sessions.

Lopez believes the program and GSU’s other school psychology programming will fill a needed gap in the surrounding area, noting “we’re the only school psychology program south of Chicago, not counting downstate.”

“Just being able to offer that in this area is going to be a huge benefit to a community that just simply doesn’t have a university nearby doing this sort of thing,” she said.

Lopez said she and her colleagues also wants GSU and the School Psychology Laboratory “to become well known in the area as a place for student, school and parent partnerships.” Down the line, a part of that may include working to have GSU graduate students bring the interventions to nearby schools.

“We hope to develop relationship with students, parents and schools in this area so that we can work together to improve learning outcomes for our students,” she said. “And of course, that will help to improve the training efforts we put forth in our graduate program, so our students will come out having had really rich opportunities that will help them become much better school psychologists.”

To register or learn more, please contact Dr. Shaalein Lopez at