Building Bridges from Campus to Community
Given the current demographic realities, students who come from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds are the fastest growing student populations in the United States (U.S. Department of Education). These students are at risk for not realizing their full potential because they often underachieve in general education due to the dual challenge of learning English while learning academics. Moreover these students are frequently taught by teachers who are not qualified to meet the academic and language needs of this population.
Since better preparation and accountability are the hallmarks of reform and restructuring in teacher preparation programs, they also support the retention of a well prepared education workforce. According to data cited in No Dream Denied: A Pledge to America’s Children by The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (2003), 46 percent of all new teachers leave the profession by the fifth year of teaching. New special educators were 2 1/2 times more likely to leave than new general educators (Smith & Ingersoll, 2004). According to Billingsley (2005), novice special education teachers indicate that they are often not prepared for many aspects of their roles, including working with diverse student groups. In an effort to address the need to prepare teachers for the growing diverse student population, this paper will discuss three universities’ pre-service teacher licensure programs and how they meet the unique needs of the student populations that their university serves.
Kaufman, R. C., Rosas, C. & Westland, C.A. (2013). Building Bridges from Campus to Community. In M. Chitiyo, G. Prater, L. Aylward, G. Chitiyo, E. Dalton, & A. Hughes (Eds.), The Bridge from Segregation to Inclusion….A Long Journey: Proceedings for the 13th Biennial Conference of the International Association of Special Education. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.