The UNC Asheville Department of Education seeks to attract, recruit and retain diverse teacher licensure candidates reflective of community needs while also addressing the call to increase access to higher education for historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students. Using open, fair, and objective recruitment practices, we encourage applicants through in-house diversity initiatives, college access work, and community partnerships to enhance the work of our department and support an overall inclusive campus climate. The department envisions an integrated, culturally-relevant curriculum that fosters the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to teach effectively and responsively in a culturally, economically and ethnically diverse nation.
Students interested in obtaining teacher licensure are encouraged to contact the Office of Teacher Recruitment at 828-251-6304 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prospective Student Outreach
- Maintain strong partnerships with the Office of Admissions.
- One-on-one appointments available to any prospective licensure candidate.
- Hold a biannual Future Teachers Conference for prospective high school and community college transfer students.
- Attend recruitment fairs, the state Teacher Cadet conference, regional high schools and community colleges, and foster relationships with existing Teacher Cadet partner classes while developing new partnerships. These consist of UNC Asheville faculty providing face-to-face presentations on a contemporary educational issue and the benefits of the UNCA teacher licensure program.
- The Teacher Recruiter visits with high school students across the state, giving workshops on teaching, culturally sustaining pedagogy, and UNC Asheville.
- Teacher Ambassadors, current teacher licensure students, give presentations to classes in their previous high school during winter, spring, and summer break.
- Increase awareness of new Special Education licensure program by visiting psychology classes and offering informational sessions with local special education teachers about this field.
- Hold information sessions on campus for current UNC Asheville students.
- Hold information sessions on campus for prospective post-baccalaureate students. Use local news publications and social media to promote the events.
- Unit publications placed in every major department with clear route to teacher licensure.
- Annual contact with NC guidance counselors, AVID instructors, and teacher cadet instructors to facilitate either an on-campus visit or a visit at their school by the Teacher Recruiter.
- Reorganization and consistent review of unit’s website to be sure all information is updated and easily accessible to the public.
- Email every incoming transfer student to ensure they understand the process to adding a teaching license. The Teacher Recruiter also participates in the biannual Transfer Embark Orientation.
- Connect with Multicultural Students on campus to inform them of teaching licensure as a viable option and share the necessity of a diverse teaching workforce.
- Coordinating updated materials with Office of Admissions representatives to reach students through their travel schedule.
- Fall and Spring retreats with area educators and superintendents within five partner public school districts held on campus each semester and increase awareness of UNC Asheville’s teacher licensure program, as well as disseminate information on professional development opportunities, etc. to region.
- Departmental quarterly e-newsletter sent to all area contacts, alumni, and state legislators.
- Coordination with RALC Directors and Human Resource Directors and Special Education Directors of school systems to facilitate the dissemination of lateral entry program information to entire state.
- Promote programs which bring residents from the Asheville and surrounding communities to campus. Attention to community outreach, with particular emphasis on underrepresented populations.
- Continue annual presence at local festivals celebrating diversity in our region including: Fiesta Latina, Goombay Afro-Caribbean Festival, Very Special Arts Festival, WNC Autism Race, etc.
- Recruit community college students and other transfer students. A sizeable number of underrepresented and low-income students are enrolled at community colleges. Forming partnerships with these institutions is a strategy for recruiting underrepresented students.
- Enhance and support bridge program to develop a smooth pipeline from K-12 to college, with particular emphasis on underrepresented groups. These programs must include components that reach out to potential students, families of potential students, guidance counselors, K-12 school administrators, and community organizations. The intent is to better inform and better prepare potential students for pursuing a college education.
- Participate in AVID, Vamos, GEAR-UP, and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) college access visits.
- Department of Education faculty and staff provide workshops for middle school students coming to campus through the Junior Bulldogs program.
Climate and Inclusion
- The department’s quarterly e-newsletter features a different student to spotlight each quarter, taking special care to spotlight students from different educational backgrounds (traditional undergraduate, transfer, and post-baccalaureate students), ethnicities, genders, and licensure areas.
- Ensure that images and messages in publications, office buildings, webpages, etc. indicate a welcoming environment.
- Service Learning opportunities for current students, while simultaneously building relationships and reputation among various diverse communities in our area, including through AVID, GEAR-UP and on the Qualla Boundary.
- As a requirement for graduation, all students must take a “Diversity Intensive” (DI) course. Ideally, culturally responsive practices would be utilized in all courses, but realistically, teaching philosophies and methods are not adapting at a fast enough pace to meet the needs of the 21st century; therefore, the university utilizes the DI courses to partially fulfill their commitment to diversity as a central aspect of a liberal arts education and offer students the opportunity to examine their own experiences and values alongside those of others.
- The unit’s Diversity Committee identified that the department’s Diversity Goal needed to be revised and the curriculum needed to more intentionally integrate and model culturally relevant pedagogy throughout the program. A sub-committee revised the introductory-level Education class by creating Modules that address teaching diverse learners, becoming culturally responsive teachers, and understanding the social construction of difference.
- In 2017 the Department of Education created ED POP (Education Department Peer Outreach Program) which matches mentors of color with students of color who are just starting the teacher licensure program. In addition to the one-on-one mentorship component, the students participate as a group in professional development and social activities and offer input as to how the department can better support students of color. Furthermore, ED POP mentors hold weekly office hours to be another line of support for all teacher licensure students.
- Continue to offer employment opportunities for teacher licensure candidates including the Teacher Ambassadors program, the ED POP program, and through hiring students to assist at events for prospective students.
- Multicultural Student Organizations
- Center for Diversity Education provides diversity education, orientation and training for students, faculty and staff
- Train faculty, staff, and students to offer support and referral information for LBGTQIA community using the Safe Zone program. The purpose of the Safe Zone Program is to create an affirming and supportive campus climate through identifying and educating members of our campus community who are opened to and supportive of all individuals regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. http://msp.unca.edu/safe-zone-program
- Set up processes to provide quick, effective responses to incidents of intolerance.
- Use of inclusive language in all print and electronic documents.
- The Teacher Recruiter attends state conferences for Hispanic high school students and their families.
Teaching and Classroom Practices
- Integrate research, service, and teaching to allow students and faculty engagement with underrepresented and underserved groups in a diverse community.
- Offer programs and courses which encourage international study and understanding.
- Provide service learning projects and research in diverse environments.
- Encourage participation in courses which are designed to enhance multicultural understanding.
- Encourage community involvement through collaborative efforts with community organizations and volunteer service.
- Continued collaboration with the academic unit’s diversity committees to provide leadership in meeting diversity goals and to encourage a supportive environment for diversity.
Accessibility of Information and Admissions Procedures
- Information is made available at all presentations, college fairs, Open Houses, through online venues such as the website and networking sites, through the formal University-School Teacher Education Partnership with Asheville City Schools, Buncombe County Schools, Henderson County Schools, Madison County Schools, McDowell County Schools, Transylvania County Schools, Art Space Charter School, Evergreen Charter School, and Francine Delany Charter School as well as on various sites across campus and also sent in response to phone and e-mail inquiries and through the Regional Alternative Licensing Centers.
- University admissions procedures and policies are available on the Admissions website.