Sacramento State’s College of Education has restructured its organization, improving service to students, consolidating programs and centralizing operations – all without sacrificing classes or other educational needs.
The college’s six departments have been combined into three program areas: Undergraduate Studies in Education, chaired by Ana Garcia-Nevarez; Teaching Credentials, chaired by Pia Wong; and Graduate and Professional Studies, chaired by Sue Heredia. The three programs now encompass all courses and classes previously overseen by the six departments.
“We haven’t canceled any programs,” says Dean Vanessa Sheared of the College of Education. “In fact, our goals are to deliver innovative pedagogical models and practices, and to increase opportunities for faculty, students and staff to collaborate and build learning communities.”
With that in mind, work began in earnest three years ago to examine where the college was in light of reduced funding, personnel and resources, and how these impacted the college’s ability to deliver essential programs and curriculum. “We had to come up with a process to address the fiscal realities while at the same time provide the best curriculum and services our students deserved,” says Sheared.
Administrators, faculty and staff actively pursued and engaged in a process to determine a direction for the college, and together, they mapped out a plan to get there.
Organizational changes allowed them to collaborate on curriculum and services in new and more creative ways. Degrees, credentials and majors that once were spread across six departments now focus on where the student is based in his or her degree or credential area. Professors are collaborating across program areas and participating in team teaching where possible.
Other services to students, such as counseling and advising, have also been consolidated and streamlined. Previously, students might have to run between Brighton and Eureka halls, then visit three different floors to touch bases with everyone. Now they can just head to Eureka Hall 401 to learn more about their programs, schedule faculty appointments and receive other services. “Our primary intent for this project is to serve our students better and provide them with the information they need sooner rather than later,” says Sheared.
For the first three weeks of the semester, programmatic services will be augmented by a welcome table in the lobby on the second floor of Eureka Hall. Students are being notified about the changes through the SacSend campus email system. Messages are also going out to college faculty, updating them on the status of the changes.
Sheared notes that this is a “soft opening” for the new arrangement. Technical changes and approval processes are still required for some of the changes, and revisions will be made as needed. A more formal “grand opening” will be held in Fall 2013.
“This is about serving and educating our students and region,” Sheared says. “Our mission is to prepare students to serve, teach, and create educational and economic opportunities that will transform the lives of children and families. Statewide fiscal constraints should not prevent us from meeting these goals.”
For more information about the College of Education, visit http://edweb.csus.edu/ or call (916) 278-5883. For media assistance, call the University’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.
– Craig Koscho