Education in 2023 has changed. Today, teachers are dealing with issues due to the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic and many other issues. Nearly 40% of students are not reading at grade level, and that has impacted their work in other content areas as well. Students are dealing with more mental health issues than ever before, and teachers are needed to help students get caught up academically and socially. University students in the College of Education are not only focusing their attention on subject area expertise and pedagogy, but they are also learning how to cope with the issues they will be facing in the classrooms, mostly due to circumstances that are completely out of their students’ control. The focus on this research lab is to see how to prepare pre-service teachers to know what the expectations will be for entering the teaching profession to allow them to be ready to deal with helping students overcome trauma and academic challenges they need to deal with to be successful in school and in life. One of the other elements of the research lab will be to learn how we can not only prepare students for entering the profession but also to see what support is available to retain these young teachers—many of whom leave the profession after only a few years.
Dr. Paul Danuser has been a full-time faculty member in GCU's College of Education for 11 years. He has been training future teachers here and at another institution for 22 years and has been in the K-20 classrooms for 41 years. Three years ago Dr. Danuser defended his dissertation and earned a PhD in Higher Education Administration. Dr. Danuser is currently teaching and facilitating courses in the Honors College, College of Doctoral Studies, and the College of Education. Danuser's research has focused on teacher self-efficacy and preparing teachers for traumatic situations both in and out of the classroom. Dr. Danuser is looking forward to working with his two dynamic students to focus on the current state of literacy in the K-12 system, often as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as continuing to prepare teachers for dealing with trauma in and out of the classroom. Along with his work in the GCU classrooms, Dr. Danuser has served for 10 years on the University Assessment Committee and the One Foundation and Mission Statement Committees. Dr. Danuser is also the public address announcer for GCU Athletics and has lent his voice to nearly 1,000 games and matches in his 11 years on the GCU campus. Dr. Danuser is married to Dr. Kellea Turley-Danuser, a women's health nurse practitioner and educator. Together they have three adult kids and three grandchildren.