University’s urban setting believed to be important factor in meeting future needs of classrooms and communities
By Jacque Montgomery | University Communications
DENVER – Undergraduate students seeking to major in education can now earn their bachelor’s at the University of Colorado Denver. The Colorado Board of Education unanimously approved the proposal by CU Denver’s School of Education & Human Development (SEHD) to offer a four-year, 126-credit-hour, interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Teaching, Learning and Development.
The program has three areas of study: early childhood education (birth through age 8), elementary education (ages 5 – 12) and special education (ages 5 – 21). Colorado Department of Education reviewers called the new degree plan “exemplary,” “extremely high-quality,” rich in field experiences, and “a robust knowledge base for all teachers that includes children’s thinking, statistics, diversity and cultural responsiveness, language acquisition and strategies for English-language learners, human development, literacy and technology.”
The new program will be offered in a hybrid format with both in-class and online courses. Its goal is to recruit talented students from all backgrounds, including non-traditional and underrepresented students. The program is expected to be immediately popular with students already attending the urban campus as their diverse backgrounds play an important role in meeting the needs of Colorado’s rapidly diversifying student population.
The SEHD will be recruiting incoming freshmen, current students, students transferring from community colleges or other four-year institutions, and individuals who are working as paraprofessionals, assistant teachers or developmental intervention assistants in preschools or elementary schools. SEHD will also recruit students who will work in community-based organizations serving diverse families and their children.
“Participants in this new BA will benefit from strong school and community partnerships that are unmatched in the state. U.S. News & World Report has ranked us among the top education schools in the country,” said Rebecca Kantor, dean of the School of Education & Human Development. “Our Urban Community Teacher Education program’s 20-year history of rich partnerships with schools, combined with classes taught by high-quality faculty who are well connected with schools, prepare our graduates for inclusive and culturally responsive careers. In a state and country that are becoming more and more diverse, the skills that we provide are extremely valued by employers.”
The BA of Teaching, Learning and Development is the first undergraduate degree at CU Denver’s School of Education & Human Development.
“This degree offers the opportunity to implement a new program that reflects our commitment to interdisciplinary and rigorous preparation of teachers,” said Associate Dean Honorine Nocon, who worked to see the program approved. “The new major promotes inclusive education. It combines applied linguistics, human development, and the ecological understanding of the contexts in which teachers teach and students learn with the content knowledge and skills needed to teach all children.”
The university anticipates enrollment in the new bachelor’s degree will be strong from the onset with a proposed first-semester enrollment of 40 students. It will be led by Barbara Seidl, the SEHD’s new associate dean for academic programs and undergraduate experiences.
Applications are now being accepted for Spring 2014 by emailing [email protected] for more information. We encourage students to take advantage of the scholarships and grants that are available in this major.