The School of Education at the University of Redlands has evolved significantly in the past two years. Our overall enrollment has grown from 468 students in August of 2014, just after my arrival, to 792 this August. We have transformed our student advising and fieldwork. We have increased our capacity from 17 to 24 in our full-time faculty. New talent and perspective has been added to our adjunct faculty, including 12 new adjunct faculty this Fall Semester. We have increased our community partnerships with grant projects associated particularly with projects that enhance student math and science learning. It is without hesitation, then, that I affirm that the School of Education is on a roll.
This Fall the School of Education will focus on our vision for the future with strong enrollment and evolving programs. It is important that the substance of our success be centered upon students and the intellectual contribution that together we can make in education. Our substance will define us into the future, so our vision must clarify how we will contribute to the communities that we serve, be it the Inland Empire, the state of California or the national professional communities that our faculty and staff are active contributors to.
I will be advancing four broad points this year as we develop our vision more fully. There will be emphasis on how we provide (1) access for diverse learners (including pathways from high school to college to a career in education); (2) quality of student experience and faculty scholarship; (3) connection with communities we serve; (4) stewardship of our resources that allows us to contribute to the University and sustain the School’s vision long-term.
In the coming year we will be truly innovating in our programs and activities. Here are emerging concrete examples of our vision in action.
1. Three new grant applications have recently been submitted to partner with school districts in the Inland Empire to collaboratively work to enhance teacher professional skills and aid student learning.
2. We will diversify our program offerings to include a Master’s Degree in Human Services for Fall of 2017.
3. Under the leadership of Dr. Reynolds, we have been steadily advancing the extent to which technology is integrated into our teaching, and will further advance this work with our first fully online programs for Fall of 2017.
4. We will pilot delivery of our MALT program at the Riverside Regional Campus, providing another point of access for a Redlands education in the Inland Empire in January of 2017.
5. Our emphasis on quality is evident in the significant transformation of our teaching faculty to include seven new full-time faculty hires for 2016-2017 and four tenure track searches this Fall for the 2017-2018 academic year. We are truly committed to ensuring that each student in each program has the very best faculty resources with which to collaboratively learn.
6. 2016-2017 marks a recommitment to study abroad, with current student trips planned to China in April and Haiti in June.
It has been such a pleasure to see the evolution of the School of Education over the past few years, and I truly believe that our very best years are just ahead. Please stop by or send us a note and let us know how you are seeing the School in action in our shared community.