Areas of Improvement

4.3 Areas for Improvement Cited in the Action Report from the Previous Accreditation Review Summarize activities, processes, and outcomes in addressing each of the AFIs cited for the initial and/or advanced program levels under this standard.

 

Standard 4, Area 1: The unit does not ensure that candidates in all advanced programs have an opportunity to complete field or clinical experiences in diverse settings. (Adv).

 

Standard 4 Area 1 was a concern for the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential. The Preliminary Administrative Services Credential now includes a requirement in EDAD 609 for all candidates to work in a diverse setting for clinical placement and/or work with diverse populations through course embedded field assignments and activities (4.4.k). In communication with the Field Mentor and University Supervisor/Advisor, candidates arrange to visit a school, other than their own, that serves a diverse population of students. Often these visits occur in collaboration with program graduates who are currently placed in site or district leadership roles serving diverse student populations.  Candidates arrange to be released from regular duties at their current employment in order to visit the diverse site(s).  Candidates complete the pre- and post- visit reflection, share their written reflection(s) with the Field Supervisor, and include their written reflection in their portfolios.

 

In order to enhance learning in diversity, candidates have been provided the opportunity to attend “Diversity Field Trips” such as a visit to the Butte County Court School. Prior to each Diversity Field Trip, candidates identify their own assumptions and espoused theories of action about the learning potential of the context of the visit. Following the experience, candidates reflect on and revise their espoused theories and discuss ways to integrate their new perspectives into school leadership roles.

 

 

Standard 4, Area 2: Candidates have limited opportunities to interact with faculty from diverse groups. (ITP, ADV).

 

Standard 4 Area 1 was a concern for both initial and advanced programs. Although faculty diversity continues be a challenge, candidates in prerequisite and program courses are required to interact with faculty from diverse groups in a variety of ways, including presentations, webinars, panel discussions, and workshops. In EDTE 302, Access and Equity in Education, a prerequisite credential course taken by all initial program applicants, students engage with guest speakers/faculty who represent experiences that may be different than their own, such as blackness, gayness, transgender identity, and religion behind “the veil.” Additionally, students in the course are required to attend cultural events on campus presented by faculty and others from diverse groups and then complete assignments that require them to reflect on these experiences relative to their own background and experiences.  Sponsored by the Department of International Languages, Literatures and Cultures (ILLC), the International Forum presents a speaker every week throughout each semester who shares his/her knowledge and views of countries from the five continents. Through programs sponsored by the Office of International Education (OIE), visiting international teachers and administrators from countries around the world have the opportunity to present their cultural perspectives on education to initial credential candidates in courses such as EDTE 532 Literacy Development.

Faculty representing diverse backgrounds are brought to campus to present their work and engage with candidates. For example, Dr. Yvette Jackson came to Chico for a professional development day in March of 2014 (4.4.n, p.8). Dr. Jackson is the former Director of Gifted Education for New York City public schools, and currently she is the author of The Pedagogy of Confidence and is the chief executive officer of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education. This event was attended by over 200 people, including preservice teachers from across all programs in the School of Education, administrators and teachers from local districts. Also in attendance was a group of 18 international teachers representing 16 different countries who about shared the educational experiences of students in those countries. This dynamic group, representing a variety of perspectives on education, engaged in lively dialogue about how to best meet the needs of both the high-need students in our region and the teachers who serve those children.

 

To increase candidates’ exposure to diverse perspectives, instructors in advanced programs invited school professionals and community members from diverse groups to engage in dialog with candidates. For example, in EDMA 600, Critical Perspectives in Education, a panel of administrators, teachers, and social workers and other members from Native American local tribes provided a presentation to candidates followed by an intense three-hour group discussion. The MA in Education, Option in Curriculum and Instruction also includes a Peace Corps International Advising Option. The experience gives students the opportunity to integrate their teaching and research with Peace Corps service. They are encouraged to engage with approximately twenty faculty on campus who have international Peace Corps experiences.

 

Across the university there is recognition for the need to diversify faculty. To that end, CSU Chico has initiated a faculty and staff Diversity Certificate Program. The Diversity Certificate Program is a year-long program designed to help participants develop the necessary tools and resources to better serve the diverse members of our campus. Speakers/presenters include a diverse group of faculty, staff, and administrators from Chico State, representing many years of successful experience in diversity and/or human relations. Unit faculty who participated in the first year of the program not only learned about how to develop best practices for synthesizing diversity in curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular activities, they have built a network of diverse faculty across the campus who can provide education candidates opportunities to interact with faculty from diverse groups.