Diverse Experiences

The Center for Teacher Education holds Commitment to Diversity as one of the six commitments of the unit from which the knowledge, skill, and disposition statements are derived.  The Center is intentional in making sure that teacher candidates have field and clinical experiences in a variety of settings.  Diversity data collection forms and online resources are used to collect data related to the diverse composition at schools where candidates complete these experiences.  In the category of racial and ethnic diversity, ten percent is considered a diverse setting although larger percentages are desirable.  The Field Experience Placement Specialist maintains all information concerning each candidate's placements and diversity requirements met and remaining as described below.

As part of the quarter curriculum (through 2010-11), all candidates were required to complete a minimum of three diverse experiences.   It is a requirement that the EDUC 150 (EDUC 1501 on semesters) Five-Day Field Experience I be completed in a racially diverse setting.  This experience is completed after the EDUC 115 Culture and Schooling course (EDUC 1151 on semesters) and includes a pre-conference with the supervising faculty member, five consecutive full days of observing and participating in a racially diverse school, and a follow-up reflection paper and conference about the experience.  This follow-up paper is assessed by the faculty member and is a unit assessment completed by all candidates.  On quarters, two additional required diverse field experiences were met within any of the course-related field experiences completed by the candidate.  At least one of these was completed in a setting that included students with exceptionalities and at least once experience was be completed in a school that was otherwise diverse or different, that is, at least 10% of the population had differences based on socio-economic status (as measured by percent on free/reduced lunch), language, religion, or sexual orientation.  This requirement could also be met in a single-gender school, parochial school, or a school in a different region of the country.

The diverse field experience requirements were carefully reviewed as the department faculty developed the semester curriculum.  The Five-Day Field Experience I to be completed in racially diverse setting was maintained but the other required experiences were further defined.  During the semester when the candidate is taking EDUC 2101 Exceptional Learners (required in all programs), s/he will complete a field experience in a setting with special needs students (10-30 hours depending on program) and, more specifically, at least ten hours in a classroom with ELL student(s).  During the junior year, and attached to specific coursework, each candidate will complete an additional experience in a racially/ethnically diverse setting for a period of 30-60 hours (depending on program and other coursework).  Additional diverse experiences as listed above will be encouraged during remaining semesters and particularly during clinical experience.