- Multiple Subject
- Reading/ Language Arts
- Agricultural Specialist
- Masters in Teaching
- Single Subject
- School Social Work
- Deaf Education
- Educational Leadership and Administration
- Education Specialist
- School Counseling
- School Nursing Services
- Early Childhood Education
- School Psychologist
- Speech-Language Pathology
In CI 171: Understanding the Learner, Instructional Design, and Assessment, they are introduced to principles of assessment as well as the importance of observation in classroom settings [See CI 171 syllabus: Design for Instruction and Case Study Assignments]. Candidates are given multiple opportunities to refine their observation skills and recognition of students with special needs through different structured observation tasks in EHD 50: Introduction to Education; EHD 174: Field Study A: Grades 4-8; EHD 178: Field Study B: Grades K-3; SPED 179: Differentiated Instruction and Classroom Management; and, EHD 170: Final Student Teaching.
Candidates are presented information with the tenant that all students can learn. In order to learn students must have access to quality instruction and materials. The responsibility of the classroom teacher to assess for understanding and to intervene to ensure maximum academic achievement are taught through examination of assessment procedures and learning/ instructional styles in CI 171: Understanding the Learner, Instructional Design, and Assessment and in SPED 179: Differentiated Instruction and Classroom Management curriculum and further explored as applied to lesson planning in LEE 172: Cultural and Language Contexts of the Classroom. A wide variety of literacy assessments are taught and practiced in LEE 177: Teaching Reading and the Arts in Grades K-3, and LEE 173: Teaching Reading and Social Studies in Grades 4-8. In each of the reading classes, candidates are required to complete a battery of literacy assessments on an individual student and then to prepare an instructional plan for that student, based upon assessment results. [See course syllabi.]
The assignments in SPED 179: Differentiated Instruction and Classroom Management and EHD 170: Final Student Teaching require that candidates observe, assess, prescribe and implement lessons incorporating proven instructional strategies to meet the needs of individual students in their class. The process for utilizing RtI and for submitting students’ names to the school’s ‘Student Study Team’ and/or recommending students for special education consideration is examined in CI 171: Understanding the Learner, Instructional Design, and Assessment, SPED 179: Differentiated Instruction and Classroom Management [See SPED 179 syllabus.], and during the Final Student Teaching ( EHD 170) semester. The Multiple Subject credential program at Fresno State is committed to producing teacher candidates who recognize the need to plan for all students and to differentiate instruction when needed. They must also possess the tools to identify individual student needs and provide effective instruction for all students.
The cultural diversity of the population in the San Joaquin Valley service area of Fresno State is an ever-present consideration in the Multiple Subject Credential program. Cultural traditions are formally studied in several Social Science, Chicano Latin Studies, Humanities, Language, and Ethnic Studies courses, which satisfy general education requirements, and in LEE 172: Cultural and Language Contexts in the Classroom, an education course required of all candidates. [See LEE 172: Primary Learning Outcomes.] In addition, this course addresses the cultural history of different student populations, the inclusion of cultural, traditional, and community values in the instructional program. Candidates study language acquisition as a part of LEE 172: Cultural and Language Contexts in the Classroom and, again, as it applies to beginning reading in LEE 177: Teaching Reading and the Arts in K-3. Strategies for making core curriculum accessible to all students are studied in each on the content-specific pedagogy classes (CI 175: Science Instruction and Applied Technology; CI 176: Mathematics Instruction and Applied Assessment; LEE 173: Teaching Reading and Social Studies in Grades 4-8; LEE 177: Teaching Reading and the Arts in Grades K-3; and SPED 179: Differentiated Instruction and Classroom Management). [See course syllabi.]
Each candidate in the Multiple Subject Credential program participates in field assignments, which by design include diverse placements. For example, candidates experience children with different ethnic backgrounds, culture, language, socioeconomic conditions, grade and instructional levels different from their own. Beginning with undergraduate coursework, the candidates have a field assignment linked to elementary classrooms. This is done in EHD 50: Introduction to Teaching. The candidates have an early fieldwork experience ( EHD 174: Field Study A: Grades 4-8) in a diverse placement. In addition EHD 178: Field Study B and EHD 170: Field Study C: Final Student Teaching provide opportunities for experiences to effectively teach diverse students.
All candidates in the Multiple Subject credential program participate in a multicultural field assignment while enrolled in EHD 174: Field Study A: Grades 4-8; EHD 178: Field Study B: Grades K-3; and EHD 170: Field Study C: Final Student Teaching assignments provide additional opportunities including experience with cultural diverse populations. Cultural traditions are formally studied in several Social Science, Chicano Latin Studies, Humanities, Language, and Ethnic Studies courses, which satisfy general education requirements, and further explored in relation to school populations and teaching responsibilities in LEE 172: Cultural and Language Contexts of the Classroom, an education course required of all candidates. [See LEE 172 syllabus.]
In addition, teacher candidates are enrolled in CI 171: Understanding the Learner, Instructional Design and Assessment and LEE 172: Cultural and Language Contexts of the Classroom, which address the inclusion of cultural, traditional, and community values in the instructional program. SPED 179: Differentiated Instruction and Classroom Management examines family structures and cultural beliefs as they relate to students with learning differences and the IEP process. [See SPED 179 syllabus.] In EHD 170, Final Student Teaching, candidates are required to design a Teaching Project with lesson plans in which cultural and community values and resources are explored. [See EHD 170 syllabus.] All lesson plans are required to contain multicultural considerations as well as adaptations of instruction necessary to make curriculum accessible to English learners.
Readings and discussion in LEE 172: Cultural and Language Contexts in the Classroom directly address the classroom considerations necessary to ensure the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual safety of all students. Through planned experiences in class activities and interview reflections, SPED 179: Differentiated Instruction and Classroom Management develops these further when meeting needs through differentiated instruction and in discussions of the concepts of equal versus fair. [See SPED 179 syllabus.]
Requirements of EHD 170: Final Student Teaching provide candidates the opportunity to further explore their attitudes and abilities to build and maintain a healthy classroom environment and climate as they demonstrate the implementation of the California Standards for the Teaching Profession. [See EHD 170 syllabus.] Both FAST assessments completed in final student teaching — the Teaching Sample Project and the Holistic Proficiency Project — require students to consider their own biases when planning, teaching, and assessing students. [See FAST Manual.]
Gender-bias is explored in several places in the Multiple Subject credential program. Readings and discussions related to the fair treatment regarding gender are a part of the assignments and class activities in LEE 172: Cultural and Language Contexts of the Classroom. Strategies for providing fair treatment to all students are addressed in several ways in CI 171: Understanding the Learner, Instructional Design and Assessment as a part of classroom routines and management demonstrations and activities. Issues related to gender, special needs, and differentiation are addressed in SPED 179: Differentiated Instruction and Classroom Management. [See SPED 179 syllabus.] All field experience and student teaching assignments (EHD 174: Field Study A: Grades 4-8, EHD 178: Field Study B: Grades K-3; and EHD 170: Final Student Teaching requires candidates to reflect on their classroom practices. University supervisors conduct periodic seminars during the field experience and student teaching semesters. The discussion of gender bias, fair and effective classroom management approaches, and access to core curriculum are among the seminar topics explored.
One of the first assignments in the Multiple Subject credential program requires candidates to examine their beliefs about education in the form of a philosophy statement that is written in LEE 172: Cultural and Language Contexts of the Classroom. This assignment gives candidates an opportunity to formally examine their thoughts about the values and beliefs necessary to meet the needs of all students. Their written statements are then used as a starting-point in examining their own beliefs and values. [See LEE 172 syllabus.] High expectations and appropriate instructional strategies for all students are discussed and practiced through activities and assignments in SPED 179: Differentiated Instruction and Classroom Management. [See SPED 179 syllabus.] The approach is used again at the end of the final student teaching placement when they are required to prepare their “official statement of educational philosophy” as a part of their placement file.
Candidates in the Multiple Subject credential program are required to complete a series of coursework in which they acquire knowledge about teaching strategies related to specific curricular areas. In all classes, strategies for teaching English learners and the adaptation of curriculum materials for students whose primary language is other than English is explicitly addressed (CI 171, 175, 176; LEE 172, 173, 177; & SPED 179). Structured practice in the courses requires candidates to apply language acquisition principles as they teach public school children. Each candidate has an opportunity in the program to examine and evaluate his/her own attitude towards people of different cultural and socioeconomic groups.
In CI 151 Social Foundations of Education, the role of American schools in reducing social and economic inequalities and promoting a socially just and equitable society is one of the central issues treated. In CI 152 Psychological Foundations of Education, research findings regarding the impact of various socioeconomic and cultural variables on school achievement are reviewed. In LEE 159 Methods and Materials and LEE 154 Content Area Language and Literacy Instruction, classroom practices for promoting high achievement for diverse learners are studied and practiced. In the two semesters of student teaching, EHD 155A and EHD 155B Student Teaching in the Secondary Schools, students are evaluated with regard to their ability to effectively instruct a diverse student population. [See syllabi for CI 151, CI152, and 159.]
The methods courses, including the general and subject specific methods courses ( CI 159 and 161) as well as LEE 154 Content Area Language and Literacy Instruction and SPED 121 Teaching Students with Special Needs in the Secondary General Education Setting all prepare students for applying pedagogical practices in student teaching that promote high academic performance for all students.
The psychological foundations course (CI 152) sets the stage for diverse and appropriate teaching by introducing the concept of learning styles, as well as similarities and differences in cognitive, emotional and physical development. The general and specialized methods courses, however, are the primary courses in which students learn to diversify instructional strategies, activities, and materials to accommodate student differences. In the general methods course (CI 159) students read about, observe, discuss and practice various teaching models and strategies including cooperative learning, direct instruction, concept development, open-ended discussion, and inquiry. Diagnosis of students’ prior learning plays a part in each of these models or strategies. Candidates learn to select methods, activities, and materials that maximize the learning of diverse students in a heterogeneous classroom. For example, are they encouraging independent problem-solving for girls to the same degree as for boys, are they giving low achievers as much “wait time” as high achievers, and are they providing comprehensible “input” for language minority students?
In the special methods courses, CI 161 Methods and Materials in Secondary Teaching, teaching techniques and activities that appeal to diverse learners are also stressed; for example, hands-on activities in the science methods course, peer editing in the English methods course, and use of manipulatives in the mathematics methods course. Multicultural materials are also surveyed in the methods classes.
In LEE 154 Content Area Language and Literacy Instruction, special attention is given to identifying, adapting, and developing materials to meet the needs of linguistically diverse learners. This course also teaches students to diagnose student interests (for example, to distribute an interest inventory) and to select reading materials that appeal to those interests. In the special education course (SPED 121), students learn to differentiate instruction for students with various types of exceptionalities. [See CI 159, CI 161, and LEE 154 syllabi.]
In CI 151 Social Foundations of Education, students learn about the background experiences of several prominent cultural groups in California. They also study the ways in which teachers can learn more about the background experiences of any segment of their student population (e.g., home visits, participating in community celebrations, reading newspaper articles about the community life of various ethnic groups).
In both CI 151 Social Foundations of Education and CI 152 Psychological Foundations of Education, students study recent research findings on the impact of culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender on student learning. In the general and specialized methods classes, students learn to use varied teaching techniques and strategies to appeal to a diverse student population. They also focus on ways to make the curriculum in their teaching field more multicultural in content and perspective. In LEE 154 Content Area Language and Literacy Instruction candidates develop an understanding of theoretical issues related to the language and literacy development of second language learners. In addition, in this course, candidates learn to develop instructional activities and strategies that will help these students develop language skills while increasing their ability to comprehend content area concepts. In both this course and CI 159 Curriculum and Instruction in Secondary Schools, special attention is given to identifying, adapting, and developing materials to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse learners. [See CI 151, CI 152, LEE, 154, and CI 159 syllabi.] In both initial and final student teaching (EHD 155A and EHD 155B), students are evaluated on their ability to effectively instruct diverse learners. [See FAST assessments in the FAST Manual.]
In CI 159, the general methods class, candidates study classroom practices that promote equity. For example, candidates learn techniques for making sure that the quantity and quality of feedback that they give to males and females are equitable. They come to understand the special value of cooperative learning for students from cultures that place a high value on group membership and contributions to the common good. They learn to supply life experiences, when possible, which low income children may need to be successful learners (e.g., attending a performance of a play to better understand plays in a literary anthology). In LEE 154 Content Area Language and Literacy Instruction, students study a variety of techniques for ensuring that English learners have equal access to the curriculum. In observing classrooms during their various field experiences, candidates are asked to note how teachers recognize and affirm diversity of various types. This, of course, would direct their attention to any bias that they have observed as well. [See syllabi for CI 159 and LEE 154.]
One of the first assignments in the Education Specialist credential program requires candidates to examine their beliefs about education in the form of a philosophy statement that is written in LEE 172: Cultural and Language Contexts of the Classroom. This assignment gives candidates an opportunity to formally examine their thoughts about the values and beliefs necessary to meet the needs of all students. Their written statements are then used as a starting-point in examining their own beliefs and values. High expectations and appropriate instructional strategies for all students are discussed and practiced through activities and assignments throughout the program.
Each candidate in the Education Specialist credential program participates in field assignments, which by design include diverse placements. For example, candidates experience children with different ethnic backgrounds, culture, language, socioeconomic conditions, grade and instructional levels different from their own. Starting with undergraduate coursework, the candidates have a field assignment linked to elementary classrooms. This begins in EHD 50: Introduction to Teaching. Then, in their first semester, candidates have an early fieldwork experience (EHD 174: Field Study A: Grades 4-8) in a diverse placement. In addition SPED 171/172: Initial Practicum in SPED and SPED 175/176: Final Practicum in SPED, provide opportunities for experiences to effectively teach diverse students. Placements afford candidates the opportunity to prepare and use instructional strategies, activities, and materials that are appropriate for students with diverse needs, interests, and developmental levels.
Secondly, this standard is the focus in several courses. In both the M/M and M/S Credential programs, candidates are required to take SPED 120: Introduction to Special Education, which provides an introduction to the terminology, identification, and issues commonly encountered when addressing the needs of diverse students with disabilities. Emphasis is placed on inclusion, diversity issues, federal and state legislative mandates pertinent to nondiscriminatory assessments, parental involvement and individualized educational plans, and professional practice and foundations in special education. This course incorporates an observational fieldwork component, which allows candidates to reflect on evidence-based content of the course in the context of a real classroom experience through the completion of the School-based Observation and Interview Report/Reflection assignment.
In SPED 125: Positive Behavior and Social Supports, candidates learn that many culturally-influenced factors affect a student's classroom behavior, and that in order to be effective in diverse educational settings, teachers must give consideration to these factors when they interact with students. Candidates complete an IRIS Module: Understanding Cultural Influences on Behavior to learn about culturally responsive instruction.
Coursework throughout the program focuses on response to instruction, universal design for learning, evidence-based curricula, and effective instructional methods for students with diverse learning needs. Candidates are encouraged to integrate the strategies learned in SPED 130, 136, 137, 146, and 147 in their practicum experiences (SPED 171/175 [MM] & 172/176 [MS]). In addition, candidates learn to accommodate classroom instruction based on individual learner characteristics. Specific content related to curricular adaptations and an adaptation decision-making model is introduced in SPED 120: Introduction to Special Education and further enhanced in SPED 130: Assessing Students with Special Needs, and SPED 145: Designing Effective Environments for Students with Disabilities, to support the candidates' abilities to provide classroom accommodations based on learner characteristics for students with high and low incidence disabilities.
In SPED 130: Assessing Students with Special Needs, teacher candidates complete formal and informal assessment projects to identify needs of diverse learners. In their core curriculum coursework, students complete projects that require them to plan instruction for children with diverse learning needs. In SPED 136: Assessment, Curriculum, & Instruction for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities, students identify barriers to accessing instruction, curriculum, and assessment; then they plan a unit in mathematics, science, or social studies that incorporates elements of universal design and differentiated instruction. In SPED 137: Specialized Academic Instruction for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities, students plan an intervention in reading or mathematics and evaluate their instruction based on student response. In SPED 146: Assessment and Instruction for Students with Moderate-Severe Disabilities students use the ecological assessment process to identify learning goals and/or skills in need of instruction for students with moderate-severe disabilities. This multi-faceted assessment process is then used to guide teacher candidates to the developing of plans of systematic instruction, IEP goals, and participation plans, which articulate individual student participation, curricular adaptations, and supports. These same skills and processes are applied to instruction of communication skills and development of individualized augmented communication systems in SPED 147: Advanced Environmental Design and Instruction for Students with Moderate-Severe Disabilities.
Guest speakers are used throughout SPED 156: Effective Communication and Collaborative Partnerships in order to support candidates' acceptance of and reflection on a range of student and family differences. Because these guest speakers come from the local community, they represent the tremendous race, ethnicity, SES, and disability diversity that exists in area school. Additionally, one component of the Student Project in SPED 156: Effective Communication and Collaborative Partnerships require candidates to interview parents and/or family members from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
Initial and final practicum experiences in both the MM and MS credentials focus on the implementation of the knowledge and skills related to the education of diverse learners addressed in core methods courses. The concurrent fieldwork experiences in both credentials have multiple, structured opportunities for candidates to receive formative and summative feedback about their ability to apply a range of methodologies and strategies to classroom settings and other school environments. Program standards 15 & 16 address the structure of fieldwork and formative and summative evaluation processes for candidates in both the MM and MS credentials. During the last practicum experience of the Preliminary credential program, candidates are evaluated in each area of this standard related to their instructional delivery and student learning during supervisor visits, observations, and meetings.
SPED 233: The Special Educator as Researcher addresses the knowledge, skills, and abilities to implement evidence-based, multifaceted methodologies and strategies to teach and engage students with disabilities through assignments that require the demonstration of the knowledge of and ability to interpret, apply, and disseminate current and emerging research in educating diverse learners. Teacher candidates write a literature review on a topic in the field that reflects current findings, and through critical thinking, analysis, and reflection, candidates share their findings and conclusions. Through a research design project (Single Subject or Action Research), teacher candidates also investigate and intervene on an issue in their teaching setting that requires the ability to assess the authenticity, reliability and bias of the data gathered, and share their findings/results.
In Field Work in ECE (LEE 241), students build individual evaluative portfolios that document their application of ECE practices in "real world" p-K settings and demonstrate their understandings of advanced ECE teaching principles in order to provide leadership for the profession.
Throughout the courses and especially in Diversity and Inclusion in ECE (LEE 271), students develop new understandings about how educators, young children and families gain knowledge, attitudes and dispositions about learning, schooling, prejudices and stereotypes and how to plan, implement and evaluate culturally responsive and inclusive curriculum. The graduate courses provide valuable opportunities for students to share their personal and professional experiences regarding living and teaching in a diverse community. Under the guidance of the faculty, ECE graduate students gain skills for becoming leaders and advocates who make a difference at local, state and national levels to promote culturally responsive programs for young children and their families. Research-based practices for early learning and literacy are emphasized in ECE graduate courses as well as information on educational reforms that address diversity, learning style and the cultural dimension of schooling.
LEE 215 Language Issues in Reading, the third foundational course focuses on current research on the elements of an effective culture of literacy specifically for the English language learner. It revolves around specific research-based instructional strategies for developing reading, writing, listening, and speaking for the culturally and linguistic diverse learner. It also is designed to explore the major issues related to language acquisition and literacy development. In addition, the historical trends, theoretical models and instructional implications for English as a second language reading are considered in terms of online and offline resources; approaches, models, curriculum, and research for teaching culturally and linguistically diverse learners in K-12 settings. This focus is accomplished through lecture, group analysis, student-led presentations, and class discussions. The two primary texts, English Learners: Reaching the High Level of English Literacy and 99 Ideas and Activities for Teaching English Learners, provide candidates with many models of research- and standards-based instructional strategies, which help develop fluent readers. Specific course activities which focus on these goals include:
- Participating in classroom simulation activities supporting a culture of literacy for the diverse learner
- Discussing and analyzing past and current second language acquisition theories
- Viewing, analyzing and discussing a classroom video on the Architectural Approach
- Reviewing online and offline sources for culturally and linguistically diverse learners
- Participating in collaborative readings and classroom brainstorming sessions focusing on the use of oral language development; word analysis; fluency; vocabulary development; listening and reading comprehension; and written language development strategies.
- Identifying and connecting language acquisition theory to effective teaching strategies.
Candidates demonstrate their ability to document the literacy development of English learners using appropriate assessment tools such as anecdotal records, portfolios with summaries of growth, and checklists identifying benchmarks in language, concept and literacy development. Candidates also submit an Assessment Fieldwork Log to document their observations of one English learners performance every week. These observations focus on the student's language, concept, and literacy growth. In addition, candidates complete an assessment checklist during one teaching strategy implementation, which documents specific benchmarks in relationship to their observations of the student's development.
Students also engage in a minimum of ten hours of unsupervised fieldwork, but in this course the fieldwork experiences must be done in conjunction with English learners. First, candidates are expected to implement a teaching strategy presented in class and keep a Teaching Strategy Implementation Journal containing a lesson plan and/or written reflection of each of the strategies implemented. Second, candidates maintain an Assessment Fieldwork Log to document their observations and analyses of one English Learner’s language, concept and literacy growth.
Candidates demonstrate their competence for developing a plan of action to strengthen the culture so that it better supports literacy learning is through the identification of a research-based strategies that support the literacy learning of an English learner through the maintenance of a Strategy Journal.
SWrk 213, Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Diversity and Oppression, is a 3 unit course taken in the second semester of the four-semester, full-time program. The catalog description of the course states: Theoretical knowledge-based implications for advanced social work practice with culturally diverse and oppressed populations.
SWrk 137, Principles in Cross-Cultural Competence, is a 3 unit course offered as part of the Cultural Competence Certificate and provides the theoretical framework for skill-based cultural competence in education, business, and public/private human service settings.
The diversity dimension that permeates all courses in the PPS program exposes counseling candidates to cultural differences, diversity, and life style issues. This exposure is designed to examine useful strategies for the needs of a culturally, socially, and economically diverse American population. To address this important set of issues, each student is asked to complete a course in Coun 201, Seminar in Multicultural Aspects of Counseling. In this setting, students have opportunities to explore self-awareness along racial, cultural, and ethnic lines. They are helped to explore attitudes, values, behaviors, and communication styles that could impede or facilitate a cross-cultural relationship. The student is asked to identify, provide, and implement strategies for culturally responsive practices.
Psychology 274S - Multicultural psychology. This is a service learning course that incorporates texts on culture and psychology along with a placement in a local agency serving children and adolescents from diverse backgrounds. Psychology 284 - Cognitive Assessment. The course includes information on culturally competent assessment, including assessment of English language learners. The candidates also learn and practice non-verbal assessment measures to ensure fairness. Psychology 200T - Developmental Psychopathology. This course includes information on individual differences. Psychology 287 - Practicum in School Psychology. Candidates are placed in diverse sites and write reflections on their experiences. All courses on intervention, consultation, assessment, and internship include readings and discussion of techniques for working with children and families from various backgrounds.
The major courses taken by candidates that focus on diversity are SPED 121, Teaching Students with Special Needs in the Secondary Schools (required for all Single Subject Candidates) and LEE 154, Content Area Language and Literacy Instruction (required for all Single Subject Candidates). This course emphasizes instruction for English Learners. Diversity is also covered in AGED 135, Introduction to Agricultural Education. Agricultural Education majors are provided instruction on accommodating special needs students enrolled in secondary agricultural education courses in AGED 135.
Introduction to children with disabilities - CDDS 114, Deaf Culture CDDS 139, and Counseling in Communicative Disorders and Deaf Studies CDDS 201. Differentiated instruction in graduate seminar classes: CDDS 262 Seminar in Speech, CDDS 263 Seminar in Language, CDDS 264 Seminar in School Subjects.
In NURS 184, Introduction to School Nursing (seminar) candidates are made aware of socio- cultural issues in the community and in the school population, examples are seen in the following weeks questions: Coordinated school health programs that meet the needs of the school population; Role of the school nurse in understanding for cultural competence, issues associated with children of migrant and refugee families; issues related to poverty and homelessness, children of dysfunctional families, transcultural differences; serving students in special education ; meeting the needs of foster children in the system and the role of the school nurse. Candidates in NURS 184 are asked to choose one of two assignments that relates specifically to understanding cultural differences.
In NURS 185, School Nurse Seminar, socio-cultural issues are covered in weekly questions in the following areas: Special education population in the secondary population; substance abuse issues in the adolescent population ; Coordinated school health programs, adolescent and family involvement ; teen pregnancy trends among the Hispanic populations or another ethnic group in your area; mental health issues that tend to affect specific populations; gang activity and violence, motivation to join gangs, hate motivated behavior, racial and ethnic issues and the role of the school nurse.
In NURS 187, School Nurse Practicum II, (secondary), candidates are asked to answer a journal question that involves finding out the percentage of the student population that falls into specific ethnic groups and to link specific health issues and health problems found to be associated with each of these groups, comparing their findings with the general population.
Candidates are also required to spend 8 to 10 hours each semester out in the community becoming acquainted with community resources and visiting community agencies and programs to gain insight into community health issues and how health needs are being met.
In didactic courses (NURS 184 and NURS 185) candidates learn about socio-cultural issues, socioeconomic issues facing families in the community, as well as issues relevant to students with special needs, gender issues, etc., the knowledge of which candidates bring with them into their practicum experiences. Candidates learn about and develop a keener awareness and sensitivity for cultural and ethnic difference which candidates can use in meeting the needs of children and families. Candidates gain insight into socioeconomic issues that may impact a child’s ability to stay focused and learn, i.e., hunger, i.e. children who may be kept out of school to work in the fields to support the family; candidates learn about free or reduced school nutrition programs and qualifying factors., issues related to poverty, homelessness, concerns for migrant and refugee families and children; and about caring for students with special needs, issues related to gender confusion and identity. Candidates in the program are reminded that the school nurse must reach outside of the building and become involved in the community in order to understand the socio-cultural, socioeconomic, and health related issues that affect the children they serve in their schools. As was previously mentioned, candidates coming into the program are required to take community health coursework as a prerequisite to entering the program which has given them an initial awareness of community public health issues.
Exposure to diversity represented in the community in practicum courses (NURS 186 and NURS 187). Candidates are required to take two (3U) practicum courses, a total of 270 hours. (Note: Fifteen hours each course is set aside for candidate participation in class discussion and conferences with clinical instructors.) In each practicum course, under the supervision of a qualified school nurse preceptor, candidates spend 120 hours interacting with students at school sites, families, community agencies and programs.
In practicum courses, candidates have the opportunity to assist students in schools that reflect the surrounding community of which they are a part. Candidates in NURS 186, School Nurse Practicum I, are expected to complete a case study on a school age child of a culture other than their own. In doing the case study, candidates are expected to make a home visit to gain first-hand insight into a family situation and becoming acquainted with practices, beliefs and values.
In practicum courses, candidates learn to recognize indicators of the socioeconomic condition of the general community that are reflected in the school population. For example, the percentage of students in school who qualify for the free or reduced breakfast and lunch programs, the percentage of students without health insurance coverage, those in need of dental care, children whose parents can’t afford glasses, parents who come to the school nurse requesting sources of free food, shelter, and clothing, and the percentage of students in school who are English as a second language learners and whose parents need help to overcome language barriers to access community services. Candidates soon become aware that the role of the school nurse extends beyond meeting the immediate healthcare needs of student, to becoming a resource person who must be knowledgeable about community resources to meet the health and basic survival needs of students and their families.
The program assists candidates to adapt their approach in order to meet the needs of English learner students and their families. In NURS 184, Introduction to School Nursing Practice, candidates learn about the need for cultural sensitivity, referring to an attitude towards a culture or ethnic background different from one’s own, and cultural competence, the process of understanding and respecting the cultural values and practices of clients.
Candidates are also expected to make arrangements with an appropriate interpreter who will accompany the candidate on a home visit, or be present during an office visit, to break down the communication barriers and bring understanding to both parties.
Candidates are expected to demonstrate cultural competence throughout their interaction with a client or group from another culture, i.e., through an awareness of one’s own values and attitudes so as not to influence one’s attitudes toward others; through demonstrating awareness of the client’s culture, health-related needs, and understanding of health and illness; and through demonstrating the ability to adapt care to be congruent with the client’s culture.
Candidates also learn the importance of being sure that information sent home to parents can be understood, i.e., written notices to parents in their own language, simplifying/adapting lessons for English learners and/or enlisting the help of the classroom teacher in interpreting and explaining, and posting notices in the health office in other languages, etc.
The program has incorporated diversity issues into each academic course. For example, diversity issues regarding language abilities are taught in CDDS 214. Likewise, diversity issues regarding articulation deficits are taught in CDDS 215. The major courses taken by candidates that focus on diversity are SPED 121, Teaching Students with Special Needs in the Secondary Schools (required for all Single Subject Candidates) and LEE 154, Content Area Language and Literacy Instruction (required for all Single Subject Candidates). This course emphasizes instruction for English Learners.
Candidates are engaged in critically reflective assignments and posts, problem-based papers, and mixed methods research modules in CI240 and ERA243 (Cohort 7, fall) and critically reflective case studies, problem-based video critiques and production, and action research critiques and projects in CI246, CI260 and CI298 (Cohort 6, fall); critically reflective assignments and posts, case study and video critiques, and action research critiques in CI241 and action research mini-study in CI245 (Cohort 7, spring) and critically reflective case studies, problem-based video critiques and production, and action research critiques and projects in CI246, CI260 and CI298 (Cohort 6, fall); critically reflective assignments and posts, case study and video critiques, and action research critiques in CI240, CI241, and action research mini-study in CI245 (Cohort 7, spring) and critically reflective case studies, problem-based video critiques and production, and action research critiques and projects in CI246, CI260 and CI298 (Cohort 6, fall).
From the two beginning courses in the program, candidates are exposed to and participate in discussions and activities centered on the diversity of our students; the need for equity for all students; and “elephant in the room” topics, including latent racism and lowered expectations for students of color, those from different cultures, or those with different learning styles or needs. For example, in EAD 261 Introduction to Education Administration, candidates write a paper addressing questions regarding their own attitudes toward persons of different races, socio-economic status, cultures, religions and ethnic backgrounds as well as their attitudes toward sexual orientation and individuals with disabilities and how these attitudes and actions support or diminish the goal to ensure that all students receive equitable access to education (261 Signature Assignment 2)
EAD 272 requires students to gather and utilize data to inform instruction and guide lesson planning. Protocols are introduced to help the candidate learn to observe and understand the teaching and learning environment in our diverse valley (272 Signature Assignment 2, 272 Embedded Fieldwork Assignment 2 and 272 Signature Assignment 3). The cultural richness of the Central Valley provides many opportunities to examine the diverse cultures and their many contributions. In EAD 261 Introduction to Education Administration, candidates are involved in discussions focusing on issues of equity, how our society arrived where it is and how we must make changes to move to a truly equitable educational system. Candidates are given reflective activities in which to examine their own views, attitudes and expectations. They are also provided with access to research, notably that of the Education Trust, which has demonstrated that all students and all schools can succeed when expectations for success are in place, along with appropriate instruction (261 Signature Assignment 2). Specifically, in EAD 261 Introduction to Education Administration candidates will identify the means to shape a school culture where high expectations for all students and for all subgroups of students are the core purpose. In the same course, the candidate will identify barriers to accomplishing an organizational vision and will present a plan to overcome the major barriers and in which promotes equity, fairness, and respect among all members of the school community (261 Signature Assignment 5).
In EAD 262 Educational Leadership, a course taken in the second semester of the program, candidates refine their reflections from the first semester through various activities, discussions, and readings and participate in a thorough 360 degree assessment of their own leadership potential (262 Signature Assignment 1a and 1b). Candidates present to their cohort members on aspects of leadership, especially with regard to building a school vision; communicating to inspire action, problem solving and conflict resolution, team building, using distributive leadership, and collaborating with all school-site staff to build the cultural proficiency of all staff members (262 Signature Assignment 2). Candidates must also utilize a 12-step decision-making process for a relevant school issue and must also present (using Powerpoint) to the class (262 Signature Assignment 3a and 3b). Current case studies and leadership activities are an integral part of this course.
All courses contain elements related to the diversity that candidates will encounter as leaders, but a new course has been designed to ensure deeper learning. EAD 274 Instructional Systems and Leadership for Equity helps candidates learn to build systems that support equity. This course has a number of activities that help candidates learn about and form views about diversity. One activity, for example, involves the school administrator shadowing a minority student for a day to learn about the learning that this student encounters (274 Signature Assignment 3). Candidates will also examine the school site Tier 1, 2, and 3 responses to intervention and develop desired outcomes and next steps (274 Signature Assignment 1) and will conduct an equity audit utilizing data from the school site (274 Signature Assignment 2).
In ERA 288 Measurement and Program Evaluation, candidates will locate and disaggregate school data into subgroups for three different sites and prepare a statement about the achievement needs encountered (288 Signature Assignment 1).
The program is designed to develop each candidate‘s capacity to recognize students‘ specific learning needs; develop policy and practices at the school site to ascertain student needs and place students in appropriate learning contexts; collaborate with teachers in developing instructional practices that guarantee full access to the curriculum; and identify and provide resources for all students to have full access to the curriculum and opportunities to engage in extracurricular and co-curricular activities.
In EAD 272 Seminar in Advanced Curriculum Development and Evaluation, students will spend the entire semester understanding how curricular and instructional decisions affect individual learning needs and will learn how to develop instructional practices that guarantee full access to the curriculum. In addition, culturally responsive instruction is identified and studied throughout this course. Three assignments are particularly designed with this standard in mind: Create an academic scrapbook for one grade level of English Language Arts Content Standards (272 Signature Assignment 1), perform a classroom learning walk to gather data about curriculum and instruction at the site (272 Signature Assignment 2 and Embedded Fieldwork Assignment 2), and Interview a site leader interview regarding guaranteed and viable curriculum (272 Embedded Fieldwork Assignment 1).
In ERA 288 Measurement and Program Evaluation, candidates learn to evaluate different programs and instructional strategies, and are introduced to ways to develop a best match for individual student needs. In one activity, candidates compare and analyze data from 3 schools to determine learning needs (288 Signature Assignment 1). In EAD 274 Instructional Systems and Leadership for Equity, the primary focus is on bringing all systems resources to bear in providing an equitable learning environment, including carrying out an equity audit (274 Signature Assignment 2). In EAD 263 Seminar in Instructional Supervision, candidates regularly revisit the values of collaborating with others, especially with regard to developing instructional practices that provide access for all learners (263 Signature Assignment 1). EAD 269 Site-Based Leadership, the final course in the program, explores the use of resources for the school program, including extracurricular and co-curricular activities (269 Signature Assignment 4).