The highest priority for the Graduate School of Education (GSE) in 2012-2013 was to develop a comprehensive enrollment strategy focused on identifying areas of potential growth in master’s degrees and certification programs at Lincoln Center and Westchester, and to meet enrollment targets in all doctoral programs. An admissions taskforce was established, and it met throughout the year. New programs in special education were implemented, as were newly registered certificate programs. The outcome of these efforts yielded a 6 percent increase in the number of credits attempted in the fiscal year.
A second major goal was to redesign the GSE website to enhance its user friendliness and effectiveness. In the early spring, the GSE website was completely rebuilt and now serves as the school’s primary communication platform. The social media links are very active, the blog is updated almost daily, the events calendar is accessible, and program updates are made and posted readily.
The third major goal was to enhance the reputation and visibility of GSE in the region and nationally. Several efforts were undertaken to increase the number of partnerships with city and regional school systems, both to enhance GSE’s reputation and to increase enrollment. The school sponsored three major conferences and hosted a meeting called by the chancellor of the Board of Regents to discuss new regulations for teacher and administrator certification. The school also worked with the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators on a grant application and hosted its summer leadership institute. The dean of GSE, James Hennessy, Ph.D., served as president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Education Conference, playing an instrumental role in the statement released by the conference regarding the National Council on Teacher Quality report.
Partnerships for Excellence
Through the Center for Educational Partnerships, GSE was successful in its application to continue to serve as a Partnership Support Organization (PSO) for the New York City Department of Education (DOE), the only education school in the city that was awarded a contract. The Fordham PSO network comprises 35 city K-12 schools distributed across four boroughs, with the greatest concentration in the South Bronx. The Regional Bilingual/English language learners Educational Resource Network, funded by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) through June 2014, serves more than 200,000 English language learners (ELL) across the five boroughs, giving Fordham the preeminent position in ELL education in the city. GSE continued its partnership with Teach For America, one of only four education schools in the region to have that designation. GSE is also one of four schools participating in the DOE Pipeline to Leadership program, through which DOE helps recruit teachers into the School Building Leaders program.
As a result of these activities, GSE is the “go-to” education school in the region for the NYC DOE, NYSED, and the regents, and it is regarded as the partner of first choice by city, regional, and state agencies and associations.
Other Academic and Programmatic Accomplishments
GSE’s standing in the world of Catholic education continues to rise. The GSE Center for Catholic School Leadership and Faith-based Education entered into a formal agreement with Kirchliche Padägogische Hochschule Wien/Krems (KPH) to provide leadership preparation for Christian school teachers in Europe. GSE will provide the curriculum and half of the instructors for the week-long courses to be offered in late spring in Vienna and London.
Three new GSE programs— Contemporary Learning and Interdisciplinary Research, Accelerated Master’s Program in Educational Leadership, and School District Leader— enrolled their first classes of students. The new and modified Master of Science in Education and advanced certificate programs addressing the needs of childhood, early childhood, and adolescent special education students received state approval; most of the programs were implemented by the beginning of the spring 2013 semester. GSE has also addressed the current trend in national and local school districts in which most teacher-education students are seeking dual certification (additional 15 credits). In response to needs expressed by professionals who participated in the Bilingual Education Teacher Leadership Academy (BETLA), the master’s degree program in school building leadership was expanded in Westchester and on Long Island. Twenty former BETLA participants matriculated during 2012-2013.
The Division of Educational Leadership, Administration, and Policy (ELAP) faculty continued participation in the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED). The doctor of education programs in the division are being redesigned as “doctor of practice” programs, incorporating design elements provided by CPED. The eventual goal is that these programs will be recognized by CPED as “programs of excellence.” In cooperation with the Center for Educational Partnerships, ELAP also participated in three funded-projects grants.
Project Rigor, Equity, and Access through Collaboration in Higher Education (REACH), a $1.5 million grant funded by the U.S. Office of Special Education, brought in numerous consultants to work with individuals, programs, and the division as a whole throughout the year.
GSE’s short-term and long-term planning includes initiatives to support areas that are redesigning their curricula and degree requirements to create state-of-the-art, nationally prominent programs; to increase enrollment across the school; to attain national recognition in all 21 program areas for which Specialty Professional Association self-studies are being submitted; to obtain unconditional reaccreditation of the counseling psychology program; and to advance cross-divisional and interdisciplinary collaboration.