In 2008, the university enrolled 1,899 students, of whom 185 or 9.74% were minority. Of the 1,899 enrollees, 191 students were declared education majors. Of those 191 education majors, 15, or 7.4 %, were minority. This figure reflects an increase of 100% over the previous year, thereby increasing the opportunity for teacher candidates to interact with peers from diverse groups.
To support opportunities for interaction with candidates from diverse groups, the unit’s
Department of Education initiated a Diversity Initiative with Chicago State University (CSU) whose goal is to build professional community among educators from diverse backgrounds. To that end, the CSU-USF Diversity Initiative promotes dialogue among teacher education candidates from diverse cultural backgrounds. The Initiative’s first steps began in fall 2009 with hard-copy letter communication between candidates in Introduction to Education in Inclusive Settings, EDUC 140 and CSU’s teacher education candidates. In February 2010, seven USF teacher education candidates met in Chicago with CSU teacher candidates to explore possible “next steps” in the Diversity Initiative.
The following table demonstrates the diversity of candidates in the unit’s programs. Table 9
Efforts to recruit candidates from diverse groups include two Campus Visit Days, sponsored by the Admissions Office, and Education Career Day, hosted by the unit’s Department of Education. The 2008 Education Career Day hosted upperclassmen from North Side High School and Northrop High School, both of which have significant diverse student populations. Also, the unit’s recruiting efforts include collaboration with Ivy Tech Community College through an articulation agreement, whereby Ivy Tech’s associate degree program graduates are eligible to transfer courses into the baccalaureate initial licensure programs. The articulation agreement provides an opportunity to recruit candidates from diverse backgrounds
The personalized attention afforded candidates by unit faculty is its primary resource for encouraging candidate retention. Coupled with small class sizes, accessibility to faculty promotes candidate retention and academic success.
Assistance from Student Academic Support Services (SASS) is available to unit candidates. SASS supports the retention of candidates through provision of accommodations for candidates with learning challenges and documented disabilities. SASS serves candidates with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, vision/hearing impairments, chronic or short term medical conditions, neurological impairments, psychological disabilities, communication disorders, and
ADD/ADHD. SASS Services are provided at no cost to the student. Services include extended time for testing, testing in a reduced distraction environment, alternative texts (large print, electronic format), assistive technology, and oral exams.