The College of Education’s longstanding commitment to diversity can be seen throughout the collective work of its departments, centers, and programs since the early 1990s.
With the leadership and support of Dean Debbie Mercer, the College of Education has built upon this legacy with new innovative programs and augmentations to existing programs that enhance diversity—within the college, the university, the state, and the region.
Guiding these initiatives is the vision statement for the college: "Preparing educators to be knowledgeable, ethical, caring decision makers, in a diverse and changing world." While there are numerous noteworthy programs and initiatives going on in the college, we encourage you to read about some of our key efforts below.
Professional Development Opportunities
The COE has a proud history of providing professional development opportunities – in the form of summer institutes, book studies, guest lectures, and workshops – for faculty, staff, graduate teaching assistants, and students.
Diversity for Community Committee
The College of Education furthers its commitment to diversity and inclusion through the work of the Diversity for Community Committee. This committee, comprised of faculty, staff, and graduate assistants in the College of Education, is tasked with setting diversity-related priorities and making recommendations to the college. Among these efforts, the DCC traditionally invites speakers and hosts college-wide Diversity Brown Bags on various topics. These opportunities focus on topics of current interest that are important to the University, College, or community.
The DCC also welcomes proposals for funding from COE faculty, staff, and students for projects that enhance our knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions, directly related to issues of diversity. Most recently, the DCC has provided funding for events like conference attendance and presentations, mental health aid workshops, and students’ access to the College’s Social Justice Book Study series.
Another type of college-wide professional development is the Diversity Highlights.These are monthly bulletins that are prepared and distributed by the college’s Diversity Coordinator via email to all faculty, staff, graduate students, and College of Education affiliates. These Highlights draw attention to diversity-related current events going on locally, nationally, and internationally, and are usually centered around topics regarding education.
Documentaries Produced by the College
The college has produced a number of documentary video projects with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. For example, A Walk in My Shoes, is a collaborative documentary series that has covered various topics regarding diverse populations in education. Started by Dr. Kay Ann Taylor in 2012, the first series, titled “International Students,” provided a unique glimpse into the lives of international students here at K-State from five different countries: Angola, China, India, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea. Since then, a number of other documentaries have been produced by the college, including, “A Long Road: 150 Years of Collective Experience from Five African-American K-State Alumni” and “Humanity Looks Good on Everyone.”
Please visit the Documentaries web page to learn about and view all of the college-produced documentaries.
Resources for Current and Future Teachers
As the College of Education continues in its vision statement of “Preparing educators to be knowledgeable, ethical, caring decision makers, in a diverse and changing world," we recognize that even teachers are life-long students. To aid our current and future teachers in becoming the most effective educators they can be, the Diversity Coordinator has compiled an ever-growing list of diversity-related resources that covers a number of different topics. This list is comprised of websites, articles, books and podcasts, and more!
Do you have any resources that have been especially helpful in your development as a teacher? If so, please feel free to contact the Diversity Coordinator (Nick Gallivan, email@example.com) to have them added to the list!
Recruitment and Retention of Diverse Students and Faculty
Center for Intercultural and Multilingual Advocacy (CIMA)
The college’s continued commitment to the recruitment, retention, and graduation of underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students can be seen in many new and existing programs. The Center for Intercultural and Multilingual Advocacy (CIMA) oversees a number of these programs.
- One of the newest and biggest projects in CIMA is the KHBRAT Program. Formally known as “Building Leadership for Change Through Immersion,” this initiative is an ambitious, long-term endeavor of the Ministry of Education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. K-State began participating in this program to help transform the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of Saudi education professionals through university-guided immersion in successful K-12 schools. Currently, 6 host countries (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Finland) are hosting cohorts of students, typically for 12-month periods.
- The Go Teacher Program, which began during the summer of 2012, is an international partnership between the KSU College of Education, Division of Continuing Education, English Language Program, the Ecuadorian Ministry of Education, and SENESCYT, the governing body of higher education in Ecuador. This program began by providing English language development and ESL/EFL coursework to teachers from Ecuador, and it has since served over 1,000 teachers with great success here at K-State.
- Project KANCO is a College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) with sites at Kansas State University, Garden City Community College, and Colorado State University, Pueblo. CAMP provides students from migrant and seasonal farm work backgrounds assistance in completing their freshman year of college and continuing to graduation. The project is a 5 year grant funded by the Office of Migrant Education, a division of the U.S. Department of Education.
- The Marilyn and Bill Taylor International Field Trip Program provides study abroad opportunities to K-State students. Through the program, students have the opportunity to collaborate with students and teachers in various locations in order to advance English education and to inform the perspectives and practices of the U.S. educational community.
Center for Student Success and Professional Services
While providing culturally competent advising through its group of professional student advisors, the Center for Student Success and Professional Services (CSSPS) continues to innovate its methods of recruitment of students from underrepresented backgrounds. For example, the Call Me MISTER (“Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models”) Initiative was established in 2015 to attract some of the most needed students, men of color, to the teaching profession. Its student members are offered both peer and professional mentorship, as well as professional development opportunities throughout each school year.
Working with Developmentally Disabled Adults
In partnership with the UFM, K-State Salina, Big Lakes and Twin Valley Developmental Disabilities Centers, and the Wamego, Geary County, and Manhattan/Ogden school districts, the college-initiated Project EXCELL in 2010. The project, “Extending College Education for Lifelong Learning,” brings adults with mild development disabilities to the K-State campus for supplemental transition services. Examples of classes offered are sign language, music, dance, vocational exploration, and money management. Classes are offered in two five-week sessions per semester with around 60 participants each session. In addition, Project EXCELL engages College of Education students as volunteers to assist with classes and serve as peer models.
Preparation of Teacher Candidates
As an NCATE-accredited program, the College of Education and its partner Professional Development Schools are held to the highest level of standards in the preparation of teacher candidates. The Professional Development School Network (PDS) includes the College of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences, and hundreds of teachers and administrators from schools in nine diverse districts across Kansas; furthermore, partner districts represent inner city, small-town, and rural learning environments ranging from elementary, middle, and high schools. These PDS partners have been engaged in collaborative and simultaneous K-16 reform, including efforts to address social justice and educational equity, since 1989.
The college's Military Initiatives began in 2012 to merge departmental and programmatic activities into a college-wide framework to facilitate preparation of educators to serve military personnel, veterans and their families in educational settings. This initiative includes plans to:
- provide professional development for faculty and graduate students
- develop courses and/or pedagogical adaptations to address military/veteran/family issues; and
- develop a research agenda to contribute to the knowledge base related to working with military personnel, veterans, and K-12 students and their families.
This is a critical need, as military students and families tend to be highly diverse, transient, and from lower SES backgrounds, which historically create unique challenges in schools. The college is committed to preparing educators and administrators to understand and address these challenges effectively. For example, 3 of the 4 schools on the nearby Ft. Riley military base are involved in the PDS partnership. Therefore, College of Education pre-service students have the opportunity to participate in field practicums on post, gaining rich experiences working with military connected students.
The college is also excited to report the Troops to Teachers – Kansas (TTTK) Program. In partnership with the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) and the university’s Office of Military Affairs, TTTK will utilize the college’s Bachelor of Science (BS) and Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) online programs to recruit military veterans to the teaching profession. In accordance with College and University, this program seeks to provide veteran students with extensive academic, financial, and professional support. Given that both programs are 100% online, TTTK hopes to recruit and retain veteran students with diverse backgrounds from all across Kansas, the U.S., and eventually the world.
Graduate Diversity Coordinator
Diversity Point Person
Important Dates and Events
Exciting and educational events regarding diversity and inclusion are happening all around us! Visit the Diversity Calendar to see all of the important dates and events that are happening here at K-State, locally, nationally, and internationally!
Do you know of an important date or event that should be added to the calendar? If so, please feel free to contact Diversity Coordinator Nick Gallivan at firstname.lastname@example.org to have them added to the list!
This guide and the resources provided with it exist to help K-State faculty engage in difficult and necessary conversations, to serve all of our students and to fully realize our Principles of Community.