Dean Michael E. Spagna, Michael D. Eisner College of Education
Greatness by Design is the title of a recent report by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson’s Task Force on Educator Excellence. Essentially, the document outlines some thoughtful suggestions for improving public education in California through the recruitment, support, and retention of high-quality educators.
In reviewing the report and thinking about its recommendations, I was struck by how the title, Greatness by Design, can be applied to our collective work in the Michael D. Eisner College of Education: we explore, design, implement, and evaluate professional development programs with an eye towards producing the best teachers, counselors, therapists, and administrators in the region (and beyond!).
Our efforts are intentional and reflect an internal value system that includes commitments to achieving academic excellence, using evidence to inform our programs, preparing ethical and caring professionals, fostering collaborative partnerships, understanding the needs of and promoting the success of communities of diverse learners, and encouraging creative and reflective thinking and practice.
In this issue of InnovatED, you will find multiple illustrations of Greatness by Design—whether it be through the coordination of the Berke Assessment Clinic by Dr. Laija-Rodriguez; the amazing community-based services provided by the Valley Trauma Center and the Mitchell Family Counseling Clinic; the featured profile of Dr. Nancy Burstein; or the innovative TeachLivE program, currently being piloted by faculty in the Department of Special Education.
You will also meet some new members of our professional community, including Dr. Mónica Garcia in the Department of Secondary Education, Dr. Dimpal Jain in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and Dr. William Garrow in the Department of Deaf Studies. Congratulations are also in order for 21 newly-minted doctors of education who have completed our Ed.D. Program under the stewardship of Director Richard Gregory.
There is much to celebrate…and much, much more to do. On behalf of the entire College, welcome to a new academic year!