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Standard 4 – Diversity

E. Standard 4. The unit designs, implements, and evaluates curriculum and provides experiences for candidates to acquire and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professional 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 P–12 school faculty, candidates, and students in P–12 schools.

E.1. How does the unit prepare candidates to work effectively with all students?

The unit is dedicated to creating and maintaining an environment where candidates learn about issues related to diversity through their program coursework and their field experiences. Faculty members integrate culturally responsive teaching standards in their courses, and demonstrate best practices in creating fair and just instructional settings for all students. Additionally, working with the local chapter of PDK has provided a rich assortment of professional development opportunities for faculty and students that have focused on multicultural education.

The NDE requires all teacher candidates to meet Rule 20: Training in Human Relations for initial certification. The standard includes demonstration that a candidate has a) an awareness and understanding of the values, lifestyles, contributions, and history of a pluralistic society; b) the ability to recognize and deal with dehumanizing biases, including, but not limited to, sexism, racism, prejudice, and discrimination, and an awareness of the impact such biases have on interpersonal relations; c) the ability to translate knowledge of human relations into attitudes, skills, and techniques which result in favorable experiences for students; d) the ability to recognize the ways in which dehumanizing biases may be reflected in instructional materials; e) respect for human dignity and individual rights; and f) the ability to relate effectively to other individuals and groups in a pluralistic society outside the applicant’s own. (See Electronic Exhibit E.3.1f)

TWS profiles are designed to help candidates understand each student’s uniqueness and that diversity’s multiple dimensions. The education program also expects candidates to have knowledge about, and experience with, diverse populations. Reflective essays and discussions across all programs are used as a way for candidates to think about their own biases and belief systems and to increase sensitivity to and understanding for all students regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, class, disability, and/or language. (See Electronic Exhibit E.3.3c)

Field experiences are a cornerstone of the unit’s program towards the development of knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions that support learning for all students. The NDE Rule 20 requires a minimum of 100 hours of field experience before candidates can student teach. Union College is in the College View neighborhood in Nebraska’s capital, and in 2008-2009, 90% of the unit’s candidates completed their field experiences in the Lincoln Public School District (LPS). LPS is a multilingual environment, with over 50 languages represented, and with increasingly diverse ethnic and racial demographics due to the fact that Lincoln
is a relocation center for refugees. In October 2009, for example, Caucasians represented approximately 72% of the student population; African Americans or Black 7%; American Indian 1.3%; Asian or Pacific Islander 4.5%; Hispanic 10.1% and Multi-Ethnic 5.2%. (See E.3.8)

For initial certificate, the NDE requires a minimum clinical experience of 14 weeks and it is the unit’s practice to place candidates in schools that reflect the overall ethnic diversity of the district demographics. Candidates are supervised by cooperating teacher who are members of the faculty and experienced successful teachers. Student teacher supervision includes weekly visits and a minimum of 5 formal evaluations by the College Supervisor as well. (See Electronic Exhibit E.3.3h) Thus, candidates have many opportunities to observe, teach, reflect on and discuss dispositions and practice related to successful teaching and learning for all students with their coordinating and supervising teachers. (See Electronic Exhibit E.3.3a)

Candidates in the program interact with faculty from diverse groups in field-based experiences and in general education, discipline-specific, and/or professional education course work. The standards exhibits show the diversity among our higher education and school-based faculty. (See Electronic Exhibit E.3.4a) All program areas provide course work from both male and female faculty members. Examples of intentional efforts in the initial program to ensure exposure to ethnically diverse P- 2 faculty include candidates participating in an ethnically diverse field experience setting in Native American schools in New Mexico or South Dakota and the support and planning of the PDK international P-12 faculty exchange dinner and round table presentations. (See Electronic Exhibit E.3.1f and F.3.7e-f)

Candidates have multiple opportunities to interact with each other, and the Unit has been proactive in supporting social activities. Outside the classroom context, the Education Club is supported with unit resources, including faculty and staff involvement. However, the most richly diverse experience occurs in candidate enrollment in courses both within the program and the general education. A typical class includes both male and female candidates, candidates from different socioeconomic groups, candidates with and without disabilities, and candidates from a variety of racial/ethnic groups including Caucasian, American Indian, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Black. In addition, there is considerable diversity in age, life stage, and life experience. Course assignments are utilized to facilitate interaction among diverse candidates. These include the use of discussion candidate- and faculty-led small and large group discussions, candidate debates, class presentations, and collaborative projects and papers. (See Electronic Exhibit E.3.6a)

In the education program, several assessments are used to determine a candidate proficiencies related to diversity. Key assessments and scoring guides regarding candidates’ proficiencies are displayed in the Electronic Exhibits E.3. The following is aggregated data related to a candidate’s view of their ability to enact with students of diversity. All candidates complete a Self-Improvement Survey their sophomore and junior year. The survey questions are based upon the conceptual frame work and has the students rate their proficiency on each item ranging from always to almost never.

(See Electronic Exhibit E.3.3f1) The responses are given a numeric value with always a five and almost never a one. Four questions are directly related to diversity. For the sophomores it is questions 3, 4, 26 and 27 and for the juniors it is questions 14, 15, 40 and 42. The average rating for the sophomores was 3.96 and the average rating for the juniors was 4.42. This increase shows that candidates are growing in their confidence in working with diverse students and the unit is providing greater opportunities to develop these confidences.

All candidates complete a program evaluation the last semester of their senior year. The survey questions are based upon the conceptual frame work and have the candidates rate the education program as being very helpful to not helpful on a five point scale. (See Electronic Exhibit E.3.3i2) Three questions on the survey relate to diversity. They are questions 6, 7, and 8. The senior candidates for the last three years rated the 4.08. This shows that candidates feel the unit has prepared them to work with diverse students. In the follow-up survey of new teachers, two areas are rated high by the new teacher; “develop awareness and appreciation of cultural and ethnic backgrounds” and “relate to others in ways which promote positive interaction.” (See Electronic Exhibit E.3.3k1) New teachers for the last three years have rated themselves at an average of 3.26 on a 4 point scale. This means that they feel they are “strong” in this area. The 5 year graduate follow-up study shows that graduates rate themselves as being strong when it comes to dealing with diverse students with an average rating of 3 on a 4 point scale. (See Electronic Exhibit E3.3m) The student’s ability to work with students of diversity is evaluation of college faculty, cooperating teachers and first year supervisors and the following. Depositions of all candidates are evaluated their sophomore and junior year. Three different faculty rate the students. (See Evaluation Exhibit E.3.3e) Questions 10 and 11 relate directly to diversity. The data shows that candidates had an overall rating of 4.68 on a 5 point scale for question 10 and an overall rating of 4.62 for question 11. (See Electronic Exhibit E.3.3e3)

During their clinical experience, all student teachers are evaluated using the progress report by cooperating teachers and college supervisors. (See Electronic Exhibit E.3.3h1) Outcome number 6 and 13 cover the area of diversity. All candidates received an average rating of 2.40 on a 3 point scale. (See Electronic Exhibit E.3.3h2a)

Cooperating teachers do a final evaluation of student teachers using the Cooperating Teacher Evaluation of Student Teacher form. The Cooperating teacher rates the candidate on seven questions based upon the conceptual frame work using a 5 point scale with 5 being very strong and 1 being very weak. Three questions, numbers 5, 6, and 7, on the form relate directly to diversity. The average for candidates over the last three years is 4.31. This indicates that Cooperating teachers feel our candidates are strong in the area of dealing with diverse students and families.

Lastly, supervisors gave an average rating of 4.72 on a 5 point scale to their new teachers in the area which covers diversity. In 2006, the new students received nearly a rating 5 with very favorable commits from the supervisors on their interaction with diverse students. (See Electronic Exhibit E.3.3l)

E.2. Please respond to
E.2a if this is the standard on which the unit is moving to the Target Level. If it is not the standard on which you are moving to the target level, respond to E.2b.

E.2a. Standard on which the unit is moving to the Target Level:Similarly, candidates in advanced programs and programs for other school professionals must demonstrate proficiencies related to diversity to successfully complete their programs. This is achieved through performance on position papers, quizzes, projects, portfolios and/or internship assessments related to diversity as shown in Standard 4A Exhibits 3 and 4. During 2005-08, 94% of Early Childhood Special Education candidates, for example, achieved a grade of ‘A’ on their position papers. Data also show that 33 students in the Counseling program during 2007-2009 achieved a rating of 4.90 out of 5.00 on “sensitive to cultural differences,” an indicator that is assessed during internship.

  • Describe work undertaken to move to the Target Level
  • Discuss plans for continuing to improve

E.2b. Continuous Improvement

  • Briefly summarize the most significant changes related to Standard 4 that have led to continuous improvement. (If no significant changes related to this standard have occurred since the previous visit, indicate “None” in this section.)


E.3. Exhibit Links

  1. Proficiencies related to diversity that candidates are expected to develop.
1j.   Student Teacher

Papers on Diversity

  1. Curriculum components that address diversity proficiencies
  1. Assessment instruments, scoring guides, and data related to diversity

3a. Lesson Plans

3c. Teacher Work Sample (TWS)

3d. Teacher Education Portfolio

3e.  Candidate Dispositions

3e1.  Disposition Survey Process

3e2.  Disposition Survey Form

3e3.  Disposition Survey Data (related to Diversity)

3f.  Self-Improvement Plan

3g.  Field Experiences

3h.  Progress Reports

3i.  Student Teacher Evaluations

3j.  Cooperating Teacher Evaluations

3k.  Professional Skill Check List Survey

3k1.  Survey Data

3l.  Teacher Evaluation by Supervisor

3l1.  Survey Data

3m.  Online Graduate Survey

3m1.  Survey Data

  1. Faculty
  1. Policies and practices for recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty
  1. Student Demographics
  1. Policies and practices for recruiting and retaining diverse candidates
  1. Data table on demographics of P-12 students in schools used for clinical practice
  1. Policies, practices, and/or procedures that facilitate candidate experiences with students from diverse groups

Additional documentation in response to Accreditation Team Observations

Ethnicity of Graduates

Ethnicity 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 Total
White 8 1 17 41
Black 0 1 1 2
Hispanic 1 0 0 1
American Indian 0 0 1 1
Other 2 0 0 2
Total 11 17 19 47

Standard 4 Committee Members:

  • Joseph R. Allison, Ed.D., Program Chair
  • Jeewa R.  Moses, Ph.D., Secondary Education
    & Placement Supervisor
  • Kathy Bollinger, M.Ed. Elementary Education