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Dean's Welcome

Shari Tarver Behring

Greetings and welcome back to the 2019-20 academic year! The Michael D. Eisner College of Education (COE) has much to be proud of as a nationally recognized leader in the field of education and related fields with a record of academic excellence and achievement. As a testament to this academic excellence, the COE has been recognized many times over for our outstanding and well-prepared graduates. As examples, CSUN received more LAUSD 2019 Teacher of the Year awards than any other area teacher preparation program with ten graduate recipients, CSUN alumni received the 2017 and 2018 State Teacher of the Year award, CSUN alumnus Bradley Upshaw was selected for the 2018 National Teachers Hall of Fame, one of only five teachers were chosen for this national recognition, and nine of eighteen Los Angeles County 2018 stipends were awarded to Marriage and Family Therapy students to work with low-income and diverse families to support their personal and educational success.

Our students and alumni shine because of our outstanding programs and partners, including our Accelerated Collaborative Teacher (ACT) Preparation Program, Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP)and STEM educational initiatives identified as outstanding academic models by the CSU Chancellor’s Office, our exemplary CHIME Charter School for inclusion of students with special education needs in general education, our Ed.D. programs in K-12 and Community College, our Deaf Studies Department, which is recognized as one of the best in the country in part due to their fierce commitment to educational equity and social justice, and our outstanding centers, such as our Center for Teaching and Learning, which provides exceptional professional development for hundreds of area schools. Because of our excellent programs, we are very proud to have achieved in March 2019 successful reaccreditation from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) for all of our 27 credential pathways, including the Elementary, Secondary, and Special Education Teacher Credentials, the Administrative Credential, the School Psychology and School Counseling Credentials.

With so much success, it is little wonder that our faculty are some of the best, with many holding leadership roles and receiving accolades for their pioneering contributions to the field. As examples, Ivor Weiner, Department of Special Education, has been appointed by Assemblywoman Christy Smith to her Education Advisory Committee for the 38th District. Dr. Susan Belgrad, Department of Elementary Education, is one of 16 statewide faculty selected to serve on the UC-CSU Environmental and Climate Change Literacy Project’s Program Subcommittee. For the second year in a row, another faculty from this department, Dr. MinSung Kwon, has been selected as a fellow for the joint Bechtel-CSU TeachingWorks program. Dr. Lissa Stapleton, Department of Deaf Studies, received a grant from the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) and took students, in June 2019, to an Africa Study Abroad Trip entitled “From Apartheid to Today: Black Deaf Activism, Culture & Education in South Africa.” Drs. Jennifer Pemberton and Kim Goldberg-Roth, faculty in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling and at our Strength United Center, are leading the way in addressing the unique needs of men of color through Project Father and have developed the first LGBTQIA Sexual Assault Response Team in the state. Dr. Justine Su, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, hosted 29 Chinese K-12 educators and 31 Chinese community college instructors in a series of workshops/conferences at CSUN, last spring. Dr. Cat Gaspard, Department of Secondary Education, was awarded approximately $50,000 by LAUSD to fund the Mindset Math summer classes for incoming freshman at our partner school, Northridge Academy High School.

In the coming year, we look forward to renewing and expanding our goals in support of student success in our college. These include, engaging in student success efforts to maintain college target goals for undergraduate retention and graduation rates, eliminating student opportunity gaps, increasing enrollment in our teacher credential programs through enhanced recruitment efforts, maintaining a balanced college budget, expanding the college’s assessment-data infrastructure and strategic data use, and supporting the college culture, focusing on equity, access, inclusion, and social justice.

As we continue our commitment to excellence in the Michael D. Eisner College of Education, we celebrate the phenomenal work of faculty, staff, and community partners but most of all, our students, who become exceptional leaders, making a difference in a world that never needed it more than now. So why not come join us in our exciting and rewarding work and see how you can make a difference, too!

Shari Tarver Behring, Interim Dean of the Michael D. Eisner College of Education