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Welcome to the VCU School of Education’s Office of Strategic Engagement. Being a transformative educator who imagines possibilities and takes action can be a challenge. We want to help with that by being a resource and a partner. We collaborate with regional, national and international communities who seek research-informed practices to innovatively prepare educators to work effectively in urban and high needs schools that have been historically marginalized.
The Office of Strategic Engagement customizes professional learning opportunities focused on creating equity in schools and communities through culturally responsive best practices explicitly focused on educator and community implicit biases. Our professional learning opportunities reflect VCU’s I-cubed efforts of urban transformation through collaborations and partnerships with local schools and communities focused on topics of diversity, equity and inclusion for Black and LatinX school children. Training opportunities are designed for pre-service and current PreK-12 teachers and leaders with the intentional purpose of addressing the racial, socio-economic and cultural inequities within Virginia’s schools.
Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
Highlighted Professional Development learning experiences ready for customization:
Racial Equity: Power, Privilege, and Perspective: Engage in important conversations to include facilitated discussions about power, privilege and white fragility. Participants will utilize self-reflection to analyze how values, experiences, assumptions and environment influence student learning. Particular emphasis will be on understanding and valuing perspectives from a racial lens.
Culturally Responsive Practice: Relationships Matter: Participants engage in self-reflection to examine culture from a personal viewpoint after which cultural assumptions, stereotypes and attitudes will be explored to facilitate a deeper understanding and appreciation for those from diverse backgrounds.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Why DEI?: Reflection and analysis of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts will be examined; best practices will be shared to promote more equitable outcomes for all members of the organization.
The Office of Strategic Engagement is pleased to present the Becoming an Antiracist Educator series. This dynamic professional learning opportunity will intentionally develop skills to engage in practices to dismantle systems that perpetuate racial inequities.
We invite you to join us in an interactive and reflective virtual space to deepen our understanding of race, racism and systemic inequities. Collectively, we will challenge the underlying structures that uphold racism and will develop dispositions to demonstrate antiracist actions within our personal and professional environments.
Innovative Teacher Pipeline
A professional learning process for pre-service teachers to engage in co-curricular course work along with seminar trainings and career coaching focused on in-depth implicit bias training. Additionally, post-graduation support will be provided to ITP Alumni focused on rigorous content and critical reflection related to regional poverty, privilege, racism and historical marginalization to help support teacher effectiveness and retention in schools.
View and download the VCU SOE Innovative Teacher Pipeline Information Sheet [PDF]
Career Switcher Program
The VCU School of Education recognizes the importance of multiple pathways for entrance into the teaching profession and for attaining full licensure. This VCU Pathways to Teaching: Career Switcher Program alternative route program is created and designed specifically to meet the needs in urban and high needs school divisions, as well as the specific needs of prospective teachers who come from other careers and with considerable life experiences. This accelerated program will move prospective teachers into the classroom early, as a full-time teacher, earning a salary, while working with experienced teachers and university education faculty. Furthermore, the VCU program can meet the needs of a specific local setting, preparing teachers close to home, where they are likely to stay and consequently improve retention of fully licensed teachers in those school divisions.
Substitute Teaching the VCU Way
Program designed to address the shortage of substitute teachers in the Richmond region, specifically in high-turnover schools. The program trains VCU students from any discipline to substitute teach in area elementary and secondary schools.
View and download an Information Sheet on VCU SOE's New Programs, Pathways and Professional Learning Opportunities [PDF]
The School of Education works with school districts to strengthen low performing schools. Together, the School of Education and the school district mutually establish goals and a plan for meeting those goals. These collaborative agreements are supported by shared expertise and resources focused on capacity building for teachers and administrator in working with high need schools and students.
The School of Education partners with international universities to facilitate collaborations for faculty and students. Areas of collaboration include pipelines for international undergraduate students into graduate degree and certificate programs, faculty teaching and research collaborations, and summer programs for students.