EDUC 605: Education in a Diverse Society

Course Assignment: Scholarly Personal Narrative-Identity and Leadership/Activism and Performance

In this assignment, MA students undertake a scholarly personal narrative, also known as an autoethnography that is introduced with this prompt: Please tell the story of your educational journey from a diversity, equity and inclusion perspective. In other words, write the story of you being in school as a human being—whatever that means to you as a student who has experienced p-20 education. Over the course of the semester, students will each take a turn telling some part of their story through the medium of their choosing: performing a song, poetry, speech, or video. In addition, students are invited to work in any language, beyond English, to which they have access, to communicate their personal narrative.

EDUC 615: Principles of Educational Research

Course Assignment: Article Analysis

During this course, MA students analyze critically peer reviewed research to comprehend different concepts related to educational scholarship. The course focuses on research that centers around serving multicultural, diverse, and underserved public-school communities. The topics/foci of the research articles include (dis)abilities, minority representations, students of color, homeless youth, immigrant youth, English Language Learners, LGBTQ populations and others. MA students use the articles to begin developing research questions around an education-related problem of practice for which they will conduct a literature search, write a literature review, and propose a study.

EDUC 623: Understanding and Influencing Organizations in Diverse Communities

Course Assignment: Case Study

The class begins with these focusing questions: “What is social justice in organizations? What does it look like?” The questions guide the course and are revisited as MA students progress through the course. The signature assignment is an analysis of a case study organization’s problem of practice, using structural, human resource (psychological), political and cultural frames. The underlying premise for the analysis is to examine the case study issue from broader macro social justice perspectives in dimensions such as equity, access, diversity, political voice, inclusion. Students develop a plan and goals to help the case study organization move closer to social justice in the four frames.

MA in Education

EDCI 600: Curriculum: History and Analysis

Course Assignment: Historical overview/personal pedagogical autobiography

For this assignment, MA students construct an historical overview of their personal pedagogy by answering questions such as: Where have you been in terms of your development as a practitioner? What influenced your decision to become an educator or other type of practitioner? Were there specific incidents that influenced this decision? MA students are asked to connect to influences of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, language, culture, religion, and/or ability, explicitly incorporating issues of access, equity, and opportunity in their narrative. They craft the story of their experiences in school as a human being becoming an educator in and for today’s classrooms and schools.

EDCI 605: Assessment in the Classroom

Course Policies: Creating a Higher Education Classroom Climate of Respect and Inclusion

In this course, the lived lives of MA students connect with issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in course policies that specifically address the various life circumstances and events in students' lives that might impede with or impact their studies. One example is the policy on quality work, wherein students self-reflect on the competency of their completed assignments. This policy recognizes that not all learning and understanding takes place by specific dates. To allow students to truly present their best work, the policy builds flexibility in the presentation of their work by enabling them to negotiate collectively or individually the timing and/or dates for turning in their best work.

EDCI 610: Research on Teaching

Course Assignment: Research Summary: Social and Cultural Contexts

In this course, MA students choose one article from a suggested reading list and find another of their own related to the topics of Social and Cultural Contexts and Schooling. Learning is a social activity, involving individuals’ shared language, tools, norms and practices in interaction within a social context. The social context is often culturally embedded, as individuals develop in culturally specific educational contexts. MA students draft a 5–8-page summary that compares and analyzes the salient points and connections across the two readings regarding these contexts, utilizing diversity, equity, and inclusion frames/perspectives.

SPED 641: Advanced Perspectives in Disability Studies

Course Assignment: Signature Assignment-Executive Summary

For this project, MA students examine disability legislation, case law, and policies from a theoretical/conceptual framework and analyze the values and assumptions that underlie different policy designs. Students explore critically how institutions have responded to demands for access and participation from individuals with different types of disabilities, including persons with diverse cultural, ethnic, linguistic, sexual orientation, and gender backgrounds. In crafting the paper, students consider how the policy is framed and how its framing has changed. They apply at least one framework to analyze the policy and its impact on people with disabilities and interrogate how ideas become policy.

SPED 690: Advanced Topics in Disability Studies

Course Assignment: Article Analysis

In this course, students analyze current topics in disability studies to evaluate best practices/policies for teachers, students, schools, families, and agencies and advocates working to educate people with disabilities inclusively and equitably. For this assignment, students conduct a comprehensive literature review and analyze a current topic in disability studies from two or more different perspectives. Students choose a topic from class, or another topic related to disability studies and consider impacts, pros, and cons they find in these varied perspectives. Students present their comparative analyses to the class to engage peers in discussions of their arguments, theses, and claims.

EDCI 645, 650, 655: Elective Courses

Course Activity: Creating a Higher Education Classroom Respectful of Diversity

In these courses, MA students work on developing, sustaining and actively protecting class environments where respect is shown to everyone to facilitate and encourage the expression, testing, understanding and creation of a variety of ideas and opinions. Students work individually and collaboratively to create an atmosphere that is safe, valuing one another, and open to diverse perspectives. Together, instructor and CI students continuously work to improve how to show courtesy, civility, and respect for one another, and to feel safe in recognizing/addressing intentional and unintentional comments that degrade or ridicule another, whether based on individual or cultural difference.

MA in Educational Leadership

EDPL 610: Assessment and Accountability

Course Assignment: Equity Gap Analysis

Future school administrators are responsible for working with teacher leaders to ensure systems are equitable. In this course, MA students identify potential causal factors of inequity (institutional and/or structural), draft a problem statement, and define a specific area of educational need related to equity. The goal is to develop potential strategies for equitable school improvement based on the problem statement. Students gather feedback from a key stakeholder(s) about the feasibility proposed strategies, reflect on their leadership capacity to analyze multiple sources of data, conduct an equity gap analysis, and craft proposals to inform school improvement around equity for all students.

EDPL 620: Assessment and Accountability Leadership

Course Activity: Creating a Classroom Respectful of Diversity

In this course, MA students explore and practice what it means to collaborate with all constituents to clearly articulate standards-aligned and equity-based academic, civic, and social-emotional outcomes for all students. MA students implement effective and equitable data systems that attend to the emotional impact of data on the stakeholders-staff, students, and community members- with whom they interact. MA students conduct an educational program evaluation that focuses on the equitable provision of educational services and results in stakeholder-shared expectations of learning outcomes for the academic success of all learners.

EDPL 626: Introduction to Higher Education

Course Activity: Creating a Higher Education Classroom Climate of Respect and Inclusion

In this course, MA students focus on historically inequitable policies, programs, practices, and human experiences in higher education. Mainstream institutions of higher education have a distinctive moral responsibility to promote corrective racial justice. This course traces this moral responsibility to the fact that these institutions have historically been complacent actors in the perpetuation of racial injustice. This course critically deconstructs this history through a power-centered examination of foundational legislation, as well as discussions guided by critical readings about Hispanic-serving Institutions. Students are invited to include work in any language to which they have access.

EDPL 627: Elective: The American College Student

Course Assignment: Emergent Student Development Theories

In this course, MA students write a paper centered on emergent student development theories that contextualize inclusive/equitable student development in the larger social, political and economic contexts of educational institutions and beyond. This paper requires that they identify a community of university students whose experiences are of interest. Students in the course use one of two qualitative methodologies to collect data about that community. They may conduct an interview or write a scholarly personal narrative about their own experiences as a student member of the diverse communities at university. Students are invited to include work in any language to which they have access.

EDPL 633: The Social, Political, Economic and Legal Context of Schooling

Course Activity: Diversity and Equity Legislation

In this course, MA students read, discuss, and analyze major US legislation regarding access, diversity, and equity in schools across the p-20 continuum. MA students explore the political, social, economic, legal, and cultural contexts in which schools function and the important role education policy plays in shaping the learning experiences of students, staff, families, and the larger school community. The important role that administrators play as spokespersons for the schools accomplishments and needs is explored as MA students craft reflective papers on past and current experiences in public school contexts.

EDPL 634: Management of Resources and Learning Environments

Course Activities: Equity and Budgets

This course focuses on managing school organizations that embody safe, productive, and equitable learning/working environments. Equity and social justice principles are embedded in across the course by focusing on reducing relative positional power among employees. In the Fiscal Resources section of the course, CI students examine methods for equitable budget allocation and complete a discussion board on these practices. In the human resources sections, students engage with the principles of positive psychology, conflict resolution, restorative justice, and staff coaching then respond to discussion prompts and a performance assessment to determine acquisition of these concepts and skills.

EDPL 635: Change and Coherence Leadership

Course Assignment: Change and Coherence Case Study Report and Presentation

MA students observe and/or participate in a change and coherence effort going on in an organization and conduct a case study of the effort to improve processes and outcomes within an equity lens/frame. They analyze and report on the change effort and their case study analysis identifies the coherence progression of the change effort employed, identifying the focusing direction, the cultivation of a collaborative culture, the deepening of learning, and the securing of accountability efforts by change leaders. Their written report and oral/visual presentation describe the change and coherence effort, analyze the factors specified above, and provide recommendations for improvement.

EDPL 636: Leadership Presence, Attitude, Identity, and Relationships

Course Assignment: Written Introduction

In this course, students are given this scenario: You are seeking a position as an assistant principal or principal in a diverse school. Write a letter of introduction to the selection committee, school staff, and community members. In the letter, the MA students must describe their core values, vision, beliefs, identity, emotional intelligence, interpersonal strengths, areas of growth, and working style; how they intend to lead a diverse school, including navigating power and privilege to include integrating conversations about race, class, and equity in the school culture; and how they intend to form and deepen personal and productive relationships with staff members, students, and families.

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