Faculty members, both full-time and part-time, are dedicated to providing high quality and robust initial and continuing preparation programs (undergraduate and graduate) for educators in various professional roles and settings (e.g., teachers, curriculum specialists, supervisors, other professional staff, and researchers). Such programs are designed to prepare reflective practitioners capable of providing effective leadership and service in classrooms, schools, colleges, universities, and non-school settings. Particularly in the 21st century, consistent efforts are made to integrate technology in meaningful ways to support the learning of students across programs and interests.
The professional preparation and development of students is central to the School’s mission and is of highest priority. If collaborative efforts by faculty to provide quality field-based programs are successful, students in the School will exit their respective programs not only with new knowledge and skills, but also with the ability and desire to be life-long learners who value social justice. Students will have developed the ability to think critically and to provide varying degrees of reflective, transformative leadership. Graduates will have matured professionally and personally to the point where they can differentiate effective practices. Research will be the basis from which they solve problems related to theory and practice.
A primary goal that School Faculty set for both students and themselves is to increase individual and collective understandings of cultural diversity in its many forms and to commit to the improvement of educational and related opportunities for those from diverse and mainstream populations. The School values the diverse identities of the School’s students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders. Graduates of the School’s programs need to be well prepared to teach, coordinate, and work within national and global settings so the School consciously works to initiate and support global connections within and beyond its programs. This preparation requires a deep knowledge of culturally diverse and equitable practices and an affirmation of individual and cultural differences.
School Faculty members recognize the value of diversity in the School’s undergraduate and graduate programs, among both Faculty and students. Such diversity stimulates learning and enhances the Faculty and students’ ability to work with others who are from backgrounds unlike their own. School Faculty must be vigilant in creating and maintaining the best possible environment for their own continued growth and development and for all students in the School. Thus, School Faculty members are dedicated to the identification, recruitment, and retention of students and faculty from under-represented populations, through all legal and appropriate practices. School Faculty members are committed to the creation of a learning community that is inclusive and respectful of diverse ideas and practices. Consistent with this stance is the Faculty’s commitment to provide students with high quality advising and mentoring. Accurate and comprehensive advising reduces the number of problems undergraduate and graduate students might face as they near graduation (and after graduation as well). Positive interactions between advisor and student also can help shape the student’s attitude toward the faculty in general, the program, the School, the College, and even the University. School Faculty members recognize that mentorship roles are particularly critical to advanced graduate students. The one-to-one sharing of experiences that takes place with them can be as important as the courses they take. Indeed, Faculty members consider effective, personalized advising and mentoring as essential elements to meeting this commitment to all undergraduate and graduate students.