STANDARD 4

Std 4 Printable PDF File


DIVERSITY

The unit designs, implements, and evaluates curriculum and provides experiences for candidates to acquire and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Assessments indicate that candidates can demonstrate and apply proficiencies related to diversity. Experiences provided for candidates include working with diverse populations, including higher education and P-12 school faculty; candidates; and students in P-12 schools.

1. How does the unit prepare candidates to work effectively with all students?

Diversity is at the heart of the university’s mission and is expressed in its mission statement:

Spalding University is a diverse community of learners dedicated to the needs of the times in the tradition of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth through quality undergraduate and graduate liberal and professional studies, grounded in spiritual values, with emphasis on service and the promotion of peace and justice.

When the Day Law of the state was repealed, Spalding was the first university in Louisville to admit Black students. As an extension to the university’s commitment to diversity and diverse communities, the unit has ensured that diversity is one of three philosophical commitments that the COE has embraced within the conceptual framework. The unit’s expectations state, “candidate will develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and dispositions to differentiates instruction based on the needs of diverse student populations, as determined by learning styles and exceptionalities; and cultural, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds(see Conceptual Framework p. 12-13). As mainly a commuter institution, efforts to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of the candidates, particularly representatives of non-black historically disenfranchised groups, have continues to be a priority. Spalding University, however, boasts a student body that is diverse economically, ethnically, and chronologically.

The large number of non-white candidates can be traced to Spalding University’s origin and historical mission and diversity is explained to be both cultural and racial. The unit has a rich and diverse student population at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of the 196 candidates and pre-education majors enrolled in graduate programs in spring 2009, 49 self-reported diversity relative to ethnic backgrounds. An additional two international students were enrolled in the college in advanced programs bringing the ethnic-diversity total to 51. In addition, our faculty spends significant time in the P-12 schools where they have important contacts that facilitate recruitment of students to enroll in the university and to retain students from a broad range of diverse groups. Structurally and programmatically, Spalding as an urban campus has consistently provided educational access to both majority and minority students. Candidates preparing  for certification have regular opportunities to study, live, and interact with individuals who are different from them.

Opportunities to work with diverse candidates are provided through various community activities in the metro area. Specifically, diversity experiences are systematically gained in the early field experiences as students observe in classrooms in the metro Louisville area, and selected topics within the class work address diversity in content and discussions generated as a part of the course. Field experiences allow candidates to apply and reflect on their content, teaching strategies, and professional dispositions.

Candidates in both initial and advanced programs have numerous opportunities to interact with other candidates, unit faculty, and P-12 students from diverse backgrounds. Consistent to the conceptual framework, candidates are required to develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to enable them to teach and interact with diverse student populations and to enable all students to learn.

Through course work and clinical experiences the initial programs are designed to provide a foundation for the candidate’s understanding of diversity by having them complete a variety of field experiences. Candidates in initial and advanced programs are provided multiple experiences in P-12 and other community settings throughout the Louisville metropolitan communities to assist them in developing their knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to work in all types of educational settings. Candidate’s work in tutoring groups, special needs classes, summer institutes, special seminars and workshops. Candidates are provided with multiple assignments during the semesters in which they complete their methods or practice experiences. Given the diverse demographics of the Louisville Metro, consolidated city and county area, (33  percent African –American, 62.9  percent white, 1.9  percent Hispanic, 1.4 percent Asian, and 0.2  percent Native American and Alaskan Native), opportunities are available for faculty and candidates to attend and participate in activities that include racially, ethnically,and culturally different individuals.

Field experiences are another hallmark of our teacher education programs. Candidates participate in field experiences much earlier and more frequently, therefore, they have much greater exposure to diverse students in P-12 schools.  Documents in the unit’s exhibits’ site presents demographics of Clinical Sites for Initial and Advanced Programs reflects that the districts in which candidates are placed are racially/ethnically and socioeconomically diverse.  At the advanced level, candidates are often employed in the school districts of the Louisville Metro area. This employment in the area inherently provides a diverse professional context for them. At the initial level, all programs require candidates to complete at least 50 percent of all their field experiences in school settings identified as diverse. These placements are systematically coordinated by the director of field experiences and clinical practice and candidates are placed in grade levels appropriate to their program of preparation. Initial program candidates have multiple placements to ensure that they observe and participate with students from diverse racial, ethnic, social, cultural, geographic, linguistic, special needs, and economic backgrounds (more than the average percentage of free and reduced lunch price recipients).

Documented are examples of schools where candidates are placed and the racial make-up of each school. Almost all school guidance counselor program candidates are placed in urban schools because the program has an urban school focus. The principal preparation program ensure that their candidates have experiences to interact with faculty or mentors from diverse backgrounds. Overall, the unit’s faculty are knowledgeable about and sensitive to preparing candidates to work with diverse students, including students with exceptionalities.

Courses and experiences at the advanced level incorporate diversity issues in a variety of ways. For example, diversity issues, including those related to socioeconomic level, religion, culture/ethnicity, and sexual orientation are addressed throughout the course of the program in the school guidance counselor program. In the summer of 2010, Dr. Jacqueline Johnson coordinated her candidates in SGC 650 (Counseling Theory & Multicultural Settings) to host an elaborate evening with the theme “celebration of diversity” that sampled diversity in “thought and food.” Candidates in the school guidance counselor program developed poster boards, decorated the Mansion, the classroom building housing COE, with cultural artifacts and collectables from around the world, and many dressed in various cultural attire. In addition, the director of the school guidance counselor program, in collaboration with the director of field experiences and clinical practice, ensures that candidates complete their practicum course SGC 690 Program Development at a wide variety of settings. Placement of individual candidates is overseen by a director who considers client diversity, both in the selection of field sites for the program, and in placement of the individual candidate.

In the Teacher Leader M.Ed. program, candidates consider how curriculum, instruction, and assessment must all be informed by a solid understanding of the role of diversity in schooling. In the initial programs, Candidates are required to take courses to develop skills, knowledge and dispositions necessary to work with students in very diverse communities. Core courses required for all initial programs candidates include: EDU 213 / EDU 513 Foundations of Education, EDU 385 / EDU 585 Inclusive Classrooms; and EDU 377 / EDU 577 Learning & Development Through the Lifespan. Syllabi for these courses indicate that the themes of multicultural education, gender issues, social justice, and global perspectives are strongly emphasized.

The reading licensure program includes content related to individual and cultural differences in literacy development. Thus, questions of diversity are threaded throughout the licensure program. In EDR 430 and EDU 530 Children’s Literature, candidates are exposed and use culturally diverse books of myths, facts, fiction, and folklore to teach basic reading skills and to gain an appreciation of different cultures in literature. In EDR 315 Reading Theories and Practices in the Elementary School, (undergraduate course) a delineated central objective is described as:

“demonstration of (candidates’) understanding of the processes that characterize children’s literacy development in linguistically and culturally diverse home and school contexts as they observe, assess, and guide young children’s emergent and early literacy development in field based service learning opportunities.”

A unique strength of the unit is faculty knowledge and experience related to preparing candidates to work with students from diverse groups. Historically, the unit has been proactive in recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty base. The unit faculty base continues to have an increase in full-time faculty who are persons of color due to the hiring of several new faculty members over the past five years. Increased efforts in recruitment have aided in this effort. Our faculty demographic table for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 depicts that eight (57 percent) of the education faculty at the initial level is white, 6 (43 percent) percent is African American. The proportion of black/ non-Hispanic faculty campus-wide is approximately 16 percent, thus it is higher in the COE. The institution employs 66 percent female faculty. Female faculty total for initial and advanced programs is 79 percent. Other strategies that the unit has used to increase candidates’ exposure to and interaction with diverse faculty is through a deliberate hiring adjunct from diverse backgrounds.

The unit faculty presents both a collective and individual knowledge base and varied experiences in issues of diversity. Specific examples can be found within faculty vitae in the exhibit room. Faculty research projects and service in diverse classrooms and programs in the public school systems inform our curriculum, and thus leading to concrete, reality based examples during instruction. Some of our unit faculty have had numerous experiences in international settings, including research and presentations at international conferences. Most recently, our faculty has traveled to conferences and traveled for self-improvement to international locations including Taiwan, England, Italy, and Canada. One has taught in universities in Kenya.

Our faculty weaves such international experiences to into their course curricula information ranging from social issues such as poverty and human rights, global literacies, and ecological issues, among others. Candidates have opportunities to interact with higher education and school-based faculty from diverse groups. While completing course work, candidates receive feedback from course instructors and supervisors during the field experiences and student teaching related to their ability to teach all learners. Overall, the unit actively solicits, values, and promotes participation of candidates from diverse cultures and experiences in classes, field experiences, and clinical practices. The unit expects candidates to reflect on and analyze these experiences in ways that enhance their development and growth.

2.   Please respond to 2a if this is the standard on which the unit is moving to the Target Level

2a.       Standard on which the unit is moving to the Target Level

Unit has not selected Standard 4: Diversity as standard to move to Target Level in this cycle.

2b. Continuous Improvement

Since the last visit, the unit has continued to affirm the value of diversity through active recruitment and efforts to retain candidates from diverse groups. The unit supports the university’s policy and practice that recruitment of students is also a responsibility of the faculty members. The promotion of diversity is an important endeavor in the overall mission of Spalding. The Institutions Policy Manual makes clear that:

The University does not discriminate against otherwise qualified individuals on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, military status, veteran status or other protected status.(University Policy Manual – 2.1.1.2 Equal Opportunity Educational Policy)

The unit has increased the use of a variety of publications to advertise for positions, including but not limited to, the Chronicle of Higher Education. A successful model for minority teacher recruitment has been developed in Jefferson County Public Schools, one of our major school partners. As a part of the program, the Minority Teacher Recruitment Project, JCPS has committed a staff position primarily to minority recruitment. In addition, the unit faculty has continuously monitored the calendar of the JCPS Minority Teacher Recruitment project for fairs. Program representatives from the unit attend these fairs.

With the arrival of the current dean in Summer of 2008, the unit has made a concerted effort to establish a stronger relationship with the local school districts. These efforts have yielded opportunities to involve the school district in program development, implementation and reviews. For example, during the 2009-2010 the unit, in close collaboration with the school districts, collaborated in the development and implementation of the redesigned principal preparation program (PPP) by solicited a strong participation of the P-12 personnel to ensure the program offers quality in programming and identification of high quality candidates. Courses are jointly and collaboratively taught by university faculty and local school districts personnel. Coursework is interwoven with corresponding anchored laboratories which provide hands-on and place-based learning. Field-based experiences offer opportunities for the candidate to a) observe school and district leaders, b) participate in school and district leadership activities, and c) have access to aggregated school and district information and data.

In implementing the PPP, the unit jointly and collaboratively engages the school districts in recruitment efforts, screening, and the selection of students. Prospective candidates are recruited and accepted into the program based on selection criteria established collaboratively between the College of Education faculty and local school districts. Various structures in the recruitment efforts have already been implemented and in place. For example, throughout the fall 2009 and spring semesters 2010, unit faculty including the dean, associate dean, director of the principal preparation program, and the director of the school guidance counselor program participated in the monthly “Aspiring Leaders recruitment fairs” at Newburg Middle School and organized by JCPS. The unit has been successful in attracting candidates from diverse groups into the various programs. Acceptance consideration is contingent on district nomination and specific admission requirements. Participants are fully integrated into a program that is designed to provide school leadership experiences only available in a school context.


3.       Exhibit Links