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. Additional information on admission into the program and areas of licensure offered by the UNC Asheville Department of Education can be found here on the Prospective Students webpage. Strategies, procedures and practices for the recruitment of teacher licensure candidates can be found below.
Strategies, Procedures & Practices for the Recruitment & Retention of Teacher Licensure Candidates
Prospective Student Outreach
- Maintain strong partnerships with the Office of Admissions and the Department of Education Outreach faculty members
- One-on-one appointments available to any prospective licensure candidate
- Attend recruitment fairs, the state and/or regional 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 then the benefits of the UNCA teacher licensure program. There was a concerted effort to partner with a diverse teacher cadet class in an urban area in order to attract such students to UNCA.
- Faculty members make career presentations to local schools, interview high school students seeking scholarships and teaching fellowships, and participate in Open House Information Sessions held by the Teacher Recruitment Office, along with events hosted by the Office of Admissions.
- Teaching Fellows students and Teacher Recruitment Representatives visit with high school students across the state, giving workshops on teaching, interview skills, and UNC Asheville, and then followed-up with personal letters and phone calls from current students.
- Education and Admissions literature is updated according to marketing information received at the UNC system wide meetings on recruitment.
- Luncheons with student-athletes in conjunction with Athletic Department programming.
- Increase awareness of new Health and P.E. licensure by offering presentations in all introductory health and wellness courses.
- Unit publications placed in every major department with clear route to teacher licensure.
- Annual contact with every NC guidance counselor, teacher cadet instructor, FTA clubs, etc. to facilitate either an on-campus visit or a visit at their school by the Teacher Recruiter.
- A new website has been developed including license information, scholarship and financial aid information, FAQS, video interviews with current students, and full contact information for each faculty advisor and the Teacher Recruitment Office. Reorganization and consistent review of unit’s website to be sure all information is updated and easily accessible to the public.
- Diverse Candidates Luncheon- multicultural students within the University that have indicated an interest in teaching were invited to meet education faculty and learn about pursuing teacher licensure, as well as the necessity of a diverse teaching workforce.
- Hold information sessions specific to transfer students during Transfer Embark Orientation.
- Connect with Multicultural Students on campus: The diversity outreach coordinator for the department of education linked with Multicultural Student Organization on campus such as the Black Student Association, Native American Student Association, and Hispanic Student Association to inform them of teaching licensure as a viable option and share the necessity of a diverse teaching workforce.
- Multicultural student Meet and Greet & Information Session: At the end of the year, the department held a university-wide meet and greet and information session on a career in teaching and 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 of 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 newsletter sent to all area contacts.
- Coordination with RALC Directors to create and 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.
- Community outreach: The department of education marketed teacher licensure to minority students via multicultural community organizations. Letters regarding the UNCA teacher licensure program and on campus visits for high school students were mailed to multicultural community organizations such as the local NAACP chapter and urban radio.
- Create a multicultural recruitment day to bring under-represented groups to introduce students to the University.
- 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.
- Continue presentations in introductory education courses held Asheville-Buncombe Tech each semester.
- Maintain formal articulation agreement and relationship with AB Tech.
- Spring and Fall attendance at Job and Career Fair on UNC Asheville campus.
- 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.
- AVID Bridge program, Upward Bound, GEAR-UP and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) college access visits.
- Visit Asheville city schools AVID students once per semester to discuss college access.
Climate and Inclusion
- Support University development efforts that prioritize resources for need and merit-based financial aid.
- Teacher Recruitment and Retention Coordinator is working with the Director of The Center for Diversity Education, the AVID Tutor Coordinator, Director of the Intercultural Center & Multicultural Student Programs, as well as staff from the University Office of Advancement to explore creating an AVID scholarship and initiating an AVID for Higher Education program on UNC Asheville’s campus.
- The Teacher Recruitment and Retention Coordinator works with the Office of Admissions during their annual training of student ambassadors to include information on the Teacher Education program at UNC Asheville.
- Creation of an alumni database with an emphasis on diverse alumni to include them in outreach and information dissemination about UNC Asheville and opportunities in Teacher Education in NC at large.
- Create an initiative to include a Spanish Language Website: Website of key information for the admission process and university information translated into Spanish.
- 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.
- The AVID program coordinator planned to repeat a study she had conducted during the fall and spring of 2011-12 in a mid-level, secondary licensure methods class, where students responded to a survey; studied articles addressing colorblindness and unconscious bias; and participated in service-learning twice per week as AVID tutors.
- Support of bridge residential summer programs for underrepresented students, focusing on preparation for college success.
- Increase the participation of underrepresented students in co-curricular programs that have been established to enhance student retention (i.e. SOAR).
- Support University development opportunities that prioritize resources for need and merit-based financial aid to attract and retain underrepresented students.
- Continue to offer student work-study opportunities for undergraduate teacher licensure candidates.
- Foster the growth of student clubs and organizations that promote campus diversity and/or offer diverse student populations avenues for social connectedness.
- 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.
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 and McDowell County Schools, 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.
- Unit admissions procedures and policies