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College of Education

Teaching For Change

Our Mission

Students walking past spring trees

We strive to meet the educational challenges of the 21st century and beyond, working with the community, our practitioner colleagues, and students to develop responsive systems of educational leadership and challenging learning environments.

We seek to maximize the opportunities for all to achieve their full potential.

We embrace the diversity of the community we serve; building on its strengths, while addressing its needs.

We draw upon interdisciplinary traditions to seek new solutions in an environment of constant educational renewal.

Our students learn in a community-based environment developed through partnerships with the public colleges and other agencies. They apply their skills and knowledge using a variety of academic disciplines and community resources. They are prepared to provide for the needs of people in a diverse society.

Our faculty and students collaborate to develop a genuine community of scholars dedicated to ensuring access to the full range of opportunity afforded by this society. Programs use a multidisciplinary approach to reflect more completely the broad diversity within our society.

Program faculty teach each student cohort the appropriate counseling, administrative, developmental, and instructional skills necessary to respond to the professional challenges now and in the future.

Our college is dedicated to providing the intellectual leadership and energy necessary to analyze and adapt, where appropriate, college and community services in a time of increasingly rapid societal changes.

Our collaborative efforts aim at a process for this restructuring that is responsive to the dynamic society in which our students move.

Diversity, community, and collaboration are the values that mark the vision behind all of our educator preparation programs.

Our Vision

Close up of a compass pointing north

The College of Education faculty, staff and administrators continuously work to develop and maintain rigorous professional preparation in the pedagogical and clinical skills required of graduates to provide effective services to individuals and families, especially for those residing in ethnically, linguistically, and racially diverse communities. All programs are based on data driven decision- making and a commitment to excellence in teaching and clinical services, research and scholarship, focusing on the integration of services to schools and community agencies.

Much of the challenge of our work as educators of educational professionals stems from our understanding of the insufficiency of former and some current school practices in which the focus appears to be on the creation of a factory model. Children come in, are tracked into particular pathways, and moved forward on a schedule that fails to address their social, economic and educational needs, ultimately failing them and causing them to drop out or stop out. Because we expect our graduates to do more than manage large numbers of people in groups as they engage in low-level activities, our standards require our graduates to "engage, motivate, and inspire the people with whom they work" and to "understand the relationship among public and political power, social stratification, and assessment practices." We believe that schools and school personnel should foster the growth and development of thoughtful, self-sufficient citizens of a democracy and who are critically self and socially reflective members of our communities.

In order to instill in our candidates both the intellectual wherewithal and the moral stamina to sustain practice in a manner consistent with the principles that we aspire to, we have developed our programs to reflect a social-constructivist theoretical model of learning that posits a strong link between the kind of social activity in which learners engage and the quality and depth of their learning. From the perspective of a social-constructivist, children who spend their days in schools where activity is factory-like in quality do not have opportunities to develop the higher-order thinking skills, problem-solving capacities, and depth and breadth of knowledge needed to participate successfully in increasingly more complex learning communities and in our economy.