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Standard 4: Diversity

STANDARD 4.  DIVERSITY

The unit designs, implements, and evaluates curriculum and provides experiences for candidates to acquire and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and 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 school faculty, diverse candidates, and diverse students in P-12 schools.

4.1 Diversity

How does the unit prepare candidates to work effectively with all students, including individuals of different ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, exceptionalities, language, religion, sexual orientation, and/or geographical area?

The unit shares NCATE's definition of diversity as differences among groups of people and individuals based on ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, exceptionalities, language, religion, sexual orientation, and geographical area. 

Diversity Proficiencies

In an effort to address the candidates' need for diversity awareness and its impact on future classrooms, the unit identified the following proficiencies for education candidates.

• Candidates demonstrate the importance of diversity through awareness and knowledge of global perspectives and categories of diversity by collecting and analyzing demographic data and that would help them plan appropriate activities.

• Candidates possess an awareness of diversity and teach lessons that meet the needs of English language learners (ELL) and students with exceptionalities.

• Candidates research and teach lessons that address diversity and reflect the conceptual framework by adapting instructional materials and teaching strategies to match student needs.

• Candidates encourage positive classroom climates that value diversity by developing classroom management plans and activities that promote equity and tolerance.

• Candidates teach students from diverse backgrounds and design instruction for ELL.

• Candidates display dispositions to exhibit fairness and the belief that all students can learn.

• Advanced candidate proficiencies are addressed through NBPTS core propositions 1, 2, and 3, EDUC 657 field experience, and the unit's Diversity Core Value.

Coursework and Field Experience

Coursework and field experiences for candidates in initial and advanced programs help learners develop awareness of the importance of diversity in teaching and learning the knowledge, skills and dispositions to adapt instruction for diverse populations. Three required courses (EDUC 240-Educating Exceptional Students; EDUC 283-Understanding Cultural Diversity; EDUC 352-Cultural Diversity Practicum) provide candidates with opportunities to develop and demonstrate proficiencies in how to adapt instruction to meet the needs of all students and connect instruction to students' experiences and cultures. Candidates teach lessons that incorporate diversity and plan lessons that meet the needs of all students in the Teaching for Learning Capstone (TLC).

Advanced program candidates examine the importance of diversity in teaching and learning as well as the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to adapt instruction for diverse populations in the core course EDUC 657 Exceptionality, Diversity, and Differences. The core courses offer additional opportunities for advanced candidates to develop proficiencies related to diversity

Assessments that Provide Evidence of Proficiencies

Self-evaluations, expert observations and evaluations provide data for knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to diversity. Cooperating teachers evaluate candidate dispositions on fairness and the belief that all students can learn. Cooperating teachers rate candidates on how well they adapt instruction for individual needs of learners, inquire about students as individuals with diverse personal and family backgrounds, and exhibit fairness and a belief that all students can learn. The unit data suggest that candidates are able to work with diverse populations of learners by having the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to incorporate diverse learning experiences and are able to create a classroom climate that values diversity.

Experiences Working with Diverse Faculty

The unit is dedicated to providing candidates opportunities to interact with faculty whose experiences, culture and backgrounds represent diverse groups. Faculty demographics in the unit reflect a commitment to diversity within a state and region that is predominantly homogeneous. Despite working in a state that is ethnically homogenous, the unit's faculty members have encountered a myriad of diverse experiences that go beyond race and ethnicity. The majority have lived and worked with students affected by poverty. Faculty have worked in such varied locations as Papua New Guinea; Guatemala; Costa Rica; Honduras; North Dakota Indian Reservations; Peru; Iraq; France; Las Vegas, NV; Houston, TX; Hemet, CA; Mexico; and United Tribes College in Bismarck, North Dakota. Unit faculty members have knowledge and experiences necessary to help candidates work with students from diverse groups.

Seventy-two percent of the professional education faculty members were educated or received advanced degrees outside of North Dakota, and 13% self-identified as non-native speakers of English. Thirty-four percent of the faculty have lived or worked in a foreign country. Seventy-four percent of the faculty members have worked with culturally diverse students in P-12 classrooms. Females comprise 65% of the professional education faculty, and 12% of unit faculty members identify themselves as being from a culturally diverse background.

The unit has made a conscious effort to recruit diverse faculty and has been successful at hiring and retaining diverse faculty. The unit will continue to make a concerted effort to seek and hire more faculty members from diverse backgrounds. Five of the last six faculty members hired by the unit have had extensive experience working with culturally diverse students in P-12 settings.

Candidates also have opportunities to interact with cultural diverse faculty during their cultural diversity practicum. Field experience demographic data indicates that over 10% percent of the school-based faculty members are from diverse backgrounds.

Experiences Working with Diverse Candidates

Data indicate that candidate demographics in the initial program are 8.6% diverse and advanced candidate data indicate 6.5% are diverse as compared to 5.6% diversity for the Valley City area. The data reveals a higher percent of diversity among teacher education candidates than the Valley City area. Entry survey data of candidates in Introduction to Education courses over the past three years indicate that 44.3% of candidates came from a home where the father had less than a college degree, while 42.4% of candidates came from a home where the mother had less than a college degree. These candidates provide an element of diversity to the campus since they have the potential to be the first in their families to complete a college degree.

VCSU recruits diverse candidates through offering minority scholarships and cultural diversity waivers. The Diversity and Student Success Office works closely with the unit to increase candidate diversity through good faith efforts. The office also supports and provides cultural and educational programs that promote and foster a unified campus of tolerance, collaboration, academic excellence and inclusion. The Campus Diversity Committee and the International/Multicultural Task Force meet to analyze current statistics, brainstorm ideas, and act on suggestions to recruit and retain diverse candidates. The unit has diverse faculty representatives on both committees.

The expansion of distance learning is another avenue used to recruit and retain candidates in diverse geographic areas, socio-economic groups, racial and ethnic groups, and high needs areas including ELL. By working with educators, principals, and state departments of education, the unit's programs reach a wide variety of learners at both initial and advanced levels thus enhancing the learning experience for all candidates in the programs. Candidates self-reflect, research, and analyze their own culture and its importance in the cross-cultural learning process to increase global awareness and develop a baseline for making effective comparisons about cultural differences.

Experiences Working with Diverse Students in P-12 schools

The unit ensures that candidates have opportunities to interact with students from various ethnic backgrounds, as well as English language learners, students with exceptionalities, and students from different socioeconomic groups. All candidates in initial programs complete four field experiences, including a 25-hour culturally diverse practicum that allows them to interact with diverse P-12 students. Candidates have a choice of completing their diverse field experience in an inner city school in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota area or in a Native American school in North Dakota, Minnesota, or Wyoming. All advanced candidates have opportunities to work with diverse students in their own school or in another setting coordinated with the EDUC 657 instructor.

Candidates practice knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to diversity through case studies, planning differentiated instruction, reflective journals and other activities required in their field experiences. The unit ensures that candidates meet the proficiencies related to diversity by gathering and analyzing data in the candidates' field experience evaluations.

Advanced candidates develop and practice their knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions related to diversity during their course projects, action research and field experiences. Faculty portfolio evaluations, candidate self-assessments and employer survey data indicate that candidates feel confident in their ability to teach students with diverse backgrounds, needs, and exceptionalities.

Feedback

The unit ensures that candidates use feedback from peers and supervisors to reflect on their skills in working with students from diverse groups. Cooperating teachers and university supervisors provide candidates with formative assessment feedback while working with diverse learners during their clinical practice. Candidates in advanced programs have opportunities to reflect on their skills in working with students from diverse groups in their capstone portfolio, coursework, and diversity field experience.

Summarize activities and changes based on data that have led to continuous improvement of candidate performance and program quality.

The unit works continuously to gather, summarize, analyze, and use dispositions and field experience data to make improvements so all candidates acquire the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Candidates have multiple opportunities to work with diverse populations, including unit and P-12 faculty, candidates and students.

In EDUC 352, Culturally Diverse Practicum, candidates are required to complete a 25-hour field experience in a cultural diverse setting. Candidates learn and experience the importance of respecting families' beliefs, norms and expectations. Data from the pre- and post-surveys indicate considerable growth in the candidates' perceptions of how to adapt instructional materials to match students' needs, how to manage their classroom to promote equity and tolerance, and their ability to exhibit an attitude of fairness and respect toward all learners. The confidence level of the candidates increases substantially after the 25-hour cultural diversity practicum. The field experience allows candidates to gain valuable experience working in a cultural diversity classroom and provides opportunities to interact with diverse P-12 students and classroom teachers in a setting that is different from their own. 

The university's exchange program with a university in Mexico provides further opportunities for interaction with diverse cultures and potential candidates. VCSU has sent students on exchange experiences in Mexico since 1995 (study abroad is a requirement for the unit's Spanish B.S. in Ed.). In the same period, VCSU has hosted many students from Mexico through the exchange scholarship program with our Mexican sister university. In March 2013, a collaboration agreement between VCSU and Colegio Nacional De Educacion facilitated a faculty and candidate exchange and gave unit candidates the opportunity to complete their diversity practicum and/or student teaching in La Paz, Mexico. Over the past two years, over a dozen candidates have also completed their diversity practicum experience at P-12 schools in London, Ireland and Scotland. The unit also has candidates that spend a semester studying or student teaching in various parts of the world. 

The unit made a data driven decision to increase its emphasis on ELL strategies, differentiated instruction, gifted and talented students, and students with special needs. Data sharing work sessions with P-12 faculty as well as multiple assessments provided evidence that the unit needed to initiate curriculum changes to help candidates meet the needs of all students. P-12 classroom teachers worked closely with unit faculty to develop a booklet of strategies that incorporated best practices in working with ELL students and differentiated instruction. The Teaching for Learning Capstone (TLC) is another major change that has affected candidates' ability to teach for learning and meet the needs of all students. The TLC requires all candidates to plan, implement and assess student work samples while considering specific needs of learners: such as those of an ELL student, a student with an IEP, or a student identified as gifted and talented.

Data gathered through demographic surveys from the culturally diverse practicum indicate candidates have opportunities to interact with English language learners and students with exceptionalities. Data indicate that candidates in diversity practicums work with P-12 students who are culturally diverse (74% are non-white), and over 30% are ELL. Over 10% of the students that candidates work with have an IEP. Data from candidates at the initial and advanced levels indicate candidates have gained confidence in working with diverse students through their experiences in the program.

Advanced candidates have opportunities to work with diverse students and to learn strategies for teaching ELL students. Data confirms continuous improvement of candidate performance and program quality that meets the unit's proficiencies related to the Diversity/Global Awareness Core Value at the advanced level. Candidates in the capstone portfolio course rate their confidence levels, identify a project from a course, and write a reflective statement on what they learned about diversity and global awareness in the program.

Advanced program candidates rate themselves on a scale from "not at all confident" to "extremely confident" on many criteria involving diversity issues in the capstone assessment. Data indicate that 45% of candidates rate their current teaching setting as diverse. Candidates show growth in their confidence levels at working with diverse students and over 90% of alumni express favorable ratings regarding their growth related to the Diversity/Global Awareness Core Value.

All candidates in initial, advanced, off-campus and distance programs have courses and requirements for demonstrating proficiencies. Disaggregated data from student teacher evaluations indicate no significant differences exist for off-campus programs related to diversity proficiencies.

Candidates, including those at off-campus sites and/or in distance learning programs, have opportunities to interact with higher education and school-based faculty from diverse groups. For example, the unit's 100+ candidates at North Dakota State University have opportunities to interact with a diverse campus population and a wide variety of cultural activities that expose candidates to many diverse groups. VCSU on-campus activities include weekly diversity and inclusion events that give candidates the opportunity to interact with diverse candidates and to be exposed to a broad range of diversity activities such as Native American Heritage, Hanukkah Celebration, Black History, diversity essay competitions, and LGBTQA presentations.

VCSU hired a Director of Diversity and Student Success in 2013. The position supports and provides cultural and educational programs that promote and foster a unified campus of tolerance, collaboration, academic excellence and inclusion. The office facilitates intentional interaction and engagement by serving as an advocate as well as promoting awareness, education, and understanding of diversity and multiculturalism on campus and the community. The director works collaboratively with the unit to promote the cultural diversity tuition waiver and promotes scholarships for minorities. The director also monitors retention to remove potential barriers or impediments to student success.

The unit collaborates with 13 partner institutions in the Teacher Effectiveness Initiative (TEI) supported by the Bush Foundation. The unit has embarked on a strategic plan to increase the recruitment and retention of minority student populations including persons of color, the economically challenged, non-traditional students and those changing career fields. A subgroup is working to address concerns and develop a strategic plan for diversity recruitment for the unit and the other 13 partner institutions. The plan of action provides direction to each partner teacher education program in developing its own strategies and activities for recruitment based on individual program needs and area population indicators. The strategic plan will be a template for developing goals and outcomes supported by data and evaluated for achievement.

Discuss plans for sustaining and enhancing performance through continuous improvement as articulated in this standard.

The unit continues to help candidates gain experience working with diversity populations including faculty, candidates, and diverse students in P-12 classrooms. The unit plans to continue to share assessment data with P-12 faculty and stakeholders in order to gather ideas to revise and improve the curriculum. Data based discussions have led the unit to an increased emphasis on teaching strategies for differentiated instruction and working with English language learners.

An area of strength in the unit's program involves the opportunities candidates have to work with diverse students in P-12 classrooms. The unit plans to continue the diversity field experiences at the initial and advanced levels as well as expand opportunities for study and field experiences abroad.

The unit plans to continue to actively seek, recruit and retain diverse faculty members and/or faculty with diverse teaching experiences in P-12 schools. The unit is aware of the changing demographics in schools and is prepared to meet the challenges of ensuring candidates are prepared to teach to all learners. The unit is collaborating with EPP partners through the Bush Grant initiative to recruit and retain diverse candidates. The Bush Grant has also permitted the unit to provide funding for an individual to work in the recruitment of minorities and teacher shortage areas. One unit member recently attended the National Association for Multicultural Education workshop with the primary goal to improve the recruitment and retention of students of color in teacher education programs. The unit recognizes the critical shortage of diverse educators in classrooms throughout the United States and is working to increase its number of diverse candidates and faculty.

Exhibits for Standard 4

4.4.a

Aggregate data on proficiencies related to diversity that candidates are expected to demonstrate through working with students from diverse groups in classrooms and schools, including impact on student learning.

exhibit 4.4.a.1 Culturally Diverse Field Experience Pre- and Post-Trip Data on Proficiencies

exhibit 4.4.a.2 Candidates consider P-12 Student Backgrounds in Planning

exhibit 4.4.a.3 Global Awareness in Senior Portfolio

exhibit 4.4.a.4 ELL and Diversity Data from Key Assessments

exhibit 4.4.a.5 Teaching Lessons While Adapting Instruction and  Implementing Conceptual Framework

exhibit 4.4.a.6 Classroom Management and Climate

exhibit 4.4.a.7 Designing ELL Instruction and TLC Sample

exhibit 4.4.a.8 Disposition Data Related to Fairness and Belief that All Students Can Learn

exhibit 4.4.a.9   Diversity Practicum Field Experience Demographic Data EDUC 352

exhibit 4.4.a.10 Advanced Program Disposition Data

exhibit 4.4.a.11 Advanced Program Data from Portfolios and Alumni

exhibit 4.4.a.12 Advanced Program NBPTS 1 Data

exhibit 4.4.a.13 Advanced Program Capstone Assessment Assignment Samples for Diversity/Global Awareness

exhibit 4.4.a.14 Advanced Program Portfolio Rationale Statement Samples

4.4.b

Curriculum components and experiences that address diversity proficiencies (matrix showing diversity components in all required courses)

exhibit 4.4.b.1 State Report Section on Human Relations and Diversity Curriculum

exhibit 4.4.b.2 Diversity Field Experience Pre- and Post-Trip Survey Data

exhibit 4.4.b.3 Human Relations and Cultural Diversity

exhibit 4.4.b.4 Initial Program Diversity Proficiencies by Course

exhibit 4.4.b.5 Advanced Program Diversity Proficiencies by Course

4.4.c

Assessment instruments and scoring guides related to candidates meeting proficiencies, including impact on student learning

exhibit 4.4.c.1 Diversity Field Experience Form

exhibit 4.4.c.2 Diversity Practicum Pre- and Post-Trip Survey Form

exhibit 4.4.c.3 Advanced Program Portfolio Instrument

exhibit 4.4.c.4 Advanced Program Self-Assessment Instrument

exhibit 4.4.c.5 Advanced Program Capstone Assessment Assignment

exhibit 4.4.c.6 Advanced Program Field Experience Handbook

4.4.d

Data table on faculty demographics (Appendix A)

exhibit 4.4.d.1 Faculty Demographics Appendix A

exhibit 4.4.d.2 Diversity of Faculty Education and Experiences

exhibit 4.4.d.3 Demographics of School-Based Educators for Diversity Practicum

4.4.e

Data table on candidates demographics (appendix B)

exhibit 4.4.e.1 Candidate Demographics Appendix B

exhibit 4.4.e.2 State of Birth Demographic Exhibit from Entry Survey

exhibit 4.4.e.3 Educational Background of Candidates' Parents

exhibit 4.4.e.4 Classroom Demographic Data for Advanced Program Alumni

exhibit 4.4.e.5 Demographic Data on Candidates of Color Accepted into Program

4.4.f

Data table on demographics on P-12 students in schools used for clinical practice (appendix C)

exhibit 4.4.f.1 Diversity of P-12 Students in Clinical Practice for Initial Program Appendix C

exhibit 4.4.f.2 Diversity Practicum Field Experience Demographics Data EDUC 352

4.4.g

Policies, including good faith efforts, for recruiting and retaining diverse faculty

exhibit 4.4.g.1 SEGS ELL Vacancy Notice

exhibit 4.4.g.2 Recruitment of Diverse Faculty

exhibit 4.4.g.3 Equal Opportunity Employer

exhibit 4.4.g.4 Recruitment of a Faculty Candidate from Ethiopia

4.4.h

Policies and practices for recruiting and retaining diverse candidates

exhibit 4.4.h.1 VCSU Diversity Services

exhibit 4.4.h.2 National Association for Multicultural Education Recruitment Workshop

exhibit 4.4.h.3 Bush Grant Diversity Recruitment Activities

exhibit 4.4.h.4 VCSU Academic Agreements in Mexico

exhibit 4.4.h.5 Diversity Services End of Year Report 2012-2013

exhibit 4.4.h.6 Diversity Services Annual Report 2013-2014

exhibit 4.4.h.7 Good Faith Efforts to Add Diversity Waivers

exhibit 4.4.h.8 Diversity Essay Competition at VCSU

4.4.i

Policies, procedures and practices that support candidates working with P-12 students from diverse groups.

exhibit 4.4.i.1 Human Relations and Cultural Diversity

exhibit 4.4.i.2 Example of Candidate Response After Diversity Practicum

exhibit 4.4.i.3 Example of Candidate Reflective Paper After Diversity Practicum

exhibit 4.4.i.4 Diversity Essay Contest won by Education Major

exhibit 4.4.i.5 Minnesota-Morris MOU to Support Diverse P-12 Opportunities

 

 

 

 

Culturally Diverse Practicum

A culturally diverse practicum is required for all education majors

Campus Life

VCSU Students in front of Rhoades Science Center

4.4.h.1 Diversity Services at VCSU

4.4.h.2 National Association for Multicultural Education Workshop

4.4.h.3 Bush Grant Diversity Recruitment Activities

4.4.h.4 VCSU Academic Agreements in Mexico

2012 to 2013 Diversity Services Annual Report

4.4.h.6 Diversity Services Report 2013-2014

4.4.h.7 Diversity Waiver Efforts for Candidates

4.4.h.8 Diversity Essay Competition

4.4.b.3 and 4.4.i.1 Human Relations and Diversity

4.4.i.2 - Comments from Diversity Practicum Experience

4.4.i.3 Example of Diversity Practicum Reflective Paper

4.4.i.4 Diversity Essay Contest Won by Education Major

4.4.i.5 MOU to increase Diverse Field Experience Opportunities

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