MONMOUTH — Mark Girod has been named the permanent dean of Western Oregon University’s College of Education. He has held the position on an interim basis since fall 2012. “Serving as interim dean, my job was to proceed with excellent work already occurring at Western Oregon University,” Girod said. “As dean, my job is to partner with my colleagues within and beyond WOU to identify new opportunities, respond to the challenges at hand, and serve Oregon through excellence in university programs and services.” Those challenges include the changes happening in preschool through 12th grade and the way teachers need to be trained to handle those challenges. “University-based teacher preparation is becoming more tightly focused on proficiency-based teaching and learning, integration of Common Core state standards, and high impact strategies to most effectively serve students whose language is not English, at-risk students and an increasingly diverse population of Oregon children,” Girod said. Another thing that presents a challenge for today’s teachers is the state’s 40-40-20 goal, that states that all Oregonians will have a high school diploma or equivalent by 2025; 40 percent will have a two-year associate degree or meaningful postsecondary certificate, and 40 percent will have a bachelor’s or higher degree. “We believe strongly in achieving Oregon’s 40-40-20 goals,” Girod said. The university works closely with districts and area schools to prepare the most highly effective teachers, increase opportunities for dual enrollment, and build a college-going culture, he said. “In particular, our work with Central School District and Salem-Keizer School District in these areas is particularly innovative and exciting,” Girod said. Students in Western’s College of Education work with other departments, including community health education, special education, American Sign Language and interpreting to help Oregonians maximize their abilities to pursue healthy lifestyles and productive careers, Girod said. The Monmouth native had worked as a science teacher in Eastern Oregon before joining WOU as an assistant professor in 2001. He has held the position of chairman for the Division of Teacher Education, coordinator of the Master of Arts in Teaching Program and president of the Faculty Senate. In 2010, Girod received the Mario and Alma Pastega Award for Excellence in Scholarship at WOU. He served as director of the Forgotten People Foundation, supporting disabilities advocacy in rural, northern Vietnam. He earned his doctorate in educational psychology at Michigan State University.