Strengths Related to Diversity

The Commitment to Diversity is the first of six commitments which are derived from the ONU Teacher Education Program’s conceptual framework and a focus which the faculty takes seriously.  The very first course taken by teacher education candidates (and now possibly others on campus who want to meet a general education requirement) is the course EDUC 1151 Culture and Schooling as described above.  As part of the course, the faculty member has been intentional in taking incremental steps to collaborate with the Director of Multicultural Development for selected course content and activities.  Immediately after the course, every candidate participates in a full-time Five-Day Field Experience I in a diverse classroom setting with directed assignments to be completed and a follow-up paper to be submitted.  Every teacher candidate later completes EDUC 2101 Exceptional Learners which focuses on the special needs student including ELL.  In addition, extended content related to special needs students and ELL has been added to the EDUC 3421 or EDUC 3451 Literacy Across the Content Areas courses, one of which is required of all candidates.  An additional diverse classroom experience has been added for all candidates during the junior year.  Finally, all methods courses include a component dealing with content and instructional planning for special needs students with candidates encouraged to build this thought process into daily routines.  Lesson plans document candidates’ planning and reflection on accommodations for students with diverse needs or backgrounds.

In addition to the emphasis on diversity in the professional education coursework, content courses such as children’s or adolescent literature, have been developed with a multicultural theme.  Candidates are offered additional experiences in diverse settings through such projects as the tutoring and mentoring partnership with Lima Senior High School or the Partnership South Africa project.  Although Ohio Northern University is not located in a particularly diverse setting, the faculty in the Center for Teacher Education have continually and conscientiously worked to present candidates with appropriate content and experiences to develop the ability to work successfully with all students.