The policies, practices and procedures that facilitate candidate experiences from diverse groups.
Candidate experience with students from diverse groups is facilitated through their coursework and through field placements. One of the goals of coursework is to familiarize students to the rich diversity in our nation’s schools. One of the goals of fieldwork is to provide opportunities for candidates to hone their skills working in diverse school settings. According to the California Department of Education, the California student population is
32.5% white, 8.1% African American, 46.0% Hispanic, 2.5% Filipino, and 8.6% Asian or Pacific Islander. In addition, 25.4% of the students are English Learners and 10.7% are in special education. Exhibit 8 provides more detail regarding the cultural diversity of the schools in San Diego County.
There are diversity requirements for all teachingcredential candidates. All candidates must successfully complete EDSP 389/589, Healthy Environments and Inclusive Education, a course that focuses on teaching special needs students.
In California, all credential candidates are required to have specific authorization in the teaching of English Learners. At USD, all candidates must successfully complete a course on strategies and pedagogy for teaching English Learners (EDUC 384/584C Methods of Teaching English Language and Academic Development). In addition, teacher credential candidates in all areas are required to have at least one extended field experience (i.e., student teaching) in a school where at least 50% of the population is ethnically/culturally different from the candidate. It is also a state requirement that at least one extended field experience be at a public school.
To promote candidate development in the diversity element of their professional dispositions, all teacher education candidates receive faculty feedback on assessments of course assignments. They are assessed at the end of their practicum experience, including assessment of their effectiveness in knowledge, skills and dispositions toward working with diverse students. University supervisors evaluate candidates’ effectiveness
using practicum fieldwork evaluations and student teaching evaluations. Student teachers are evaluated at the midpointand the end of their student teaching placements.
Student Teaching Evaluation Forms:
- Midterm Multiple Subject Student Teacher Evaluation Form
- Midterm Single-Subject Student Teacher Evaluation Form
- Final Multiple Subject Student Teacher Evaluation Form
- Final Single Subject Student Teacher Evaluation Form
Student teaching evaluations specifically address TPE#7 – Teaching English Language Learners. Candidates participating in practica, internships, and student teaching are debriefed individually in a conference with their cooperating teachers and university supervisors at two points in the semester.
Elementary Teacher Credential
At USD, teacher candidates are purposefully placed in practicum and student teaching sites that provide the opportunity to work with diverse students under the mentorship of a master teacher and university supervisor. The elementary (multiple-subject) credential candidate is required to have at least one introductory field experience within foundations courses and, two practicum placements of 50 hours each within methods courses. Candidates complete at least one of the introductory experiences and one of the practicum experiences at a regional elementary school that has at least 50% minority students.
Secondary Teacher Credential
The secondary (single-subject) credential candidates complete at least two introductory field experiences within foundations courses and two practicum placements of 50 hours each within methods courses. Candidates complete at least one of the introductory experiences and one of the practicum experiences at a regional middle school (grades 6-9) or high school (grades 10-12) that has at least 50% minority students.
M.Ed. in Special Education and Special Education Teacher Credential
Candidates in the M.Ed. Special Education program (mild moderate disabilities education specialist credential) and the M.Ed. Special Education program (deaf and hard of hearing credential) are mandated by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to provide evidence of a broad scope of field experience and course content related to individuals with diverse backgrounds. Each candidate for the mild/moderate or the deaf and hard of hearing credential works with the program advisor to plan each field
experience and student teaching placement.
The documentation required to petition for enrollment in student teaching requires specific delineation of the cross section of social-economic, diversity, grade/ages and breadth of experiences with students classified within a specific education specialist authorization. Alignment of course content, field experience and student assignments are carefully crafted to ensure evidence based and practice differentiated instruction, social
justice equity and learning strategies align with the diverse composition of K-12 settings. Rubrics designed to evaluate candidate knowledge and skills as an education specialist include specific measurement criteria related to meeting the needs of the broad spectrum of differences included under the diversity umbrella.
M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction, Montessori Specialization
Because candidates in this program will be working with very young children, they must complete a course geared toward teaching young children who have special needs, EDSP 595, Leadership and Management Skills in Early Childhood Special Education.
Counseling, M.A. School Counseling Specialization (PPS credential)
Counselors must respond appropriately to the needs of students from diverse backgrounds. Culminating projects are specifically used for this purpose.
Prior to field placements, school counseling candidates examine the underlying cross-cultural concerns associated with using various techniques within courses. Candidates participate in role -play situations and receive targeted feedback from course instructors. COUN 502, Practicum in Counseling Techniques, facilitates candidate development of key foundational counseling skills, including counseling culturally diverse students and their families. Supervisors provide feedback on how those skills might be appropriately used with a diverse body of clients. All counseling internship placements involve diverse regional school settings and candidates are evaluated on their ability to work effectively with diverse students (see intern evaluation).
Administrative Services Credential
The preliminary and professional administrative services program provides experiences for their principal candidates that include school visits and apprenticeships working with a diverse population of K-12 students. The programs require on-site P-12 experiences that target a specific culture in the San Diego region. An example is the 2008 experience administrator candidates had at Marshall Elementary School in San Diego. Marshall has a large Somali population. Preliminary administrative services candidates spent a full day the day at Marshall. They interacted with students, staff, administrators and parents. Following the site visit, candidates were assigned to write a reflection that included these questions:
- How/Why did the Somalis come to San Diego?
- What kinds of issues/concerns do the Somali parents have about schools and schooling in the US?
- Which school policies (if any) caused cultural conflict? How did the school rectify the conflict?
- Which school policies or structures have encouraged parent participation?
- How would you describe home/school relations?
- How does the school make accommodations for the students’ language/learning needs?
- What resources might these students and their families need to help them with life in the US?
- What recommendations can you make to the school to bridge the cultural gap?
- What did you learn from this experience that will affect your work as a future school administrator?
Each administrator candidate is required to complete a 20-day apprenticeship with a mentor principal each year of the program; over the two-year program, each candidate has completed a 40-day apprenticeship. Because most of the schools in San Diego County have students primarily from diverse cultures and/or languages, the apprentice develops cultural understanding through the real-life situations the mentor principal encounters. Candidates must help plan teacher professional development opportunities, design instructional experiences in the classroom, and facilitate parent meetings and student conferences within the diverse community assignments.
All M.Ed. and M.A. Programs
Diversity policies and procedures for master’s candidates expand the boundaries of what is typically thought of as a diverse learning community. Because SOLES faculty expect our masters graduates to be prepared to be part of a global learning community, all master’s candidates in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences must complete an internationalization requirement (Fall 2008).
A majority of the master’s candidates meet this requirement through a study abroad course, in which they compare curriculum, pedagogy, and classroom management in the United States with that of another country. Examples of some recent courses in which candidates learned in other countries or participated in some sessions abroad are:
- COUN 510 Career Counseling Across the Lifespan
- COUN 515 Multicultural Counseling
- EDUC 500 Research Design and Methodology
- EDSP 589 Healthy Environments and Inclusive Education
Study abroad courses are coordinated by SOLES Global Center. All master’s candidates who take a study abroad course complete a pre-travel survey and a post-travel survey. The survey was developed by the Director of Assessment Support and the Director of SOLES Global Center. Although there are items unique to USD, many items were taken from reliable and valid instruments proven at other institutions (used by permission). We now have data for courses offered in Spring 2010, Summer 2010, Fall 2010, Intersession 2011, and Spring 2011. These have been examined individually and are being aggregated to provide more systemic feedback to programs and to SOLES Global Center in Summer 2011.
Initially, the internationalization experiences that did not involve study abroad were assessed within the courses where the experience took place. Some were full courses (e.g., COUN 515 Multicultural Counseling and EDUC Faulty also wanted a way to look at the impact of the full program on candidates’ cultural competence. Beginning in Fall 2010,
a pre- program internationalization assessment has taken by all entering master’s
candidates. The assessment includes items used by permission from several well established, valid and reliable instruments and is built on a framework established by
Martin and Vaughn (2007). Candidates are assessed on four dimensions of cultural competence:
- awareness of one’s own cultural worldview;
- attitude toward cultural differences;
- knowledge of different cultural practices and worldviews; and
- cross-cultural skills.
M.Ed. inTESOL, Literacy and Culture
Candidates in this master’s program may be more like those in initial teaching programs than in a typical M.Ed. program. The program of study is very specifically oriented to the teaching of culturally diverse students for whom English is not their first language. Required courses in this program prepare candidates to work with children and adult English learners.
Core courses include:
- EDUC 540Introduction to Language and Linguistic Analysis
- EDUC 541Second Language Acquisition and Development
- EDUC 543Methods for Teaching Literacy in ESL
In addition the M.Ed., in TESOL, Literacy and Culture has a field experience requirement of 50 hours in the capstone course, EDUC 549F.
(Mercedes Martin & Billy Vaughn (2007). Strategic Diversity & Inclusion Management Magazine, pp. 31-36. Diversity Training University International (DTUI) Publications Division: San Francisco, CA.)