Collaborative Efforts Within the College of Education

Story of Selçuk Doğan

The University of Florida College of Education is much more than a place where students learn to be teachers. There are copious amounts of research, studies and publications underway but, more importantly, there are so many collaborative efforts that happen between students and faculty. While there are many different academic avenues that students who attend UF’s college of education take, there is always a faculty member willing to help or guide.

Selçuk Doğan, currently working on a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a minor in Research and Evaluation Methodology, has taken great advantage of the collaborative environment that COE has to offer. From Turkey, Doğan moved to Gainesville about four years ago, after doing his own extensive research on what school would be ideal for him, and UF being a research university, he found that it was the perfect fit.

“Because I would like to take a position in research in the future, I thought that maybe going to a research university is a good idea,” Doğan said “Then I tried to understand, ok it’s a research university but what are my opportunities?”

This is a question that a lot of students who are just coming to our school probably ask themselves and all it takes is a little digging and emailing to find the answers. Doğan had started a Ph.D. program in Turkey, which unfortunately didn’t fit his needs. So before coming to UF, he wanted to make sure that his choice was going to pay off. Doğan then realized that he can minor in REM which was a big selling point because those classes were not offered in Turkey. His research now focuses on finding out how to get increased achievement in students through helping teachers learn instruction strategy and assessment strategy.

Teachers are the most single factor that affect our student’s achievement

“Student achievement is of utmost importance because we have standardized testing, lots going on and everyone is a stakeholder in improving student achievement,” Doğan said.

Doğan now organizes professional trainings for teachers in Gainesville which helps them learn more about students, instruction, techniques and strategies. But before being helpful to his community through the knowledge he has gained at the college of education, Doğan had spent a lot of time looking up and communicating with professors, checking to see if it would be possible to collaborate on projects and what opportunities to gain hands-on experience were available to him.

“There are lots of professors having lots of grants which is a good thing but grants are not just about money, they also mean research,” Doğan said “For example, there are lots of professors in the college of education that I can email and get involved in their projects just so I can get experience in research.”

Along with his advisor, Doğan partnered with numerous professors throughout his UF career, and has put out a impressive number of publications, all because he wasn’t afraid to reach out.