The mission for Professional Education at Towson University is to inspire, educate, and prepare educators as facilitators of active learning for diverse and inclusive communities of learners in environments that are technologically advanced. In this process, faculty assume the responsibility for designing, developing, implementing, and assessing academic programs for:
- entering college freshmen
- community college transfer students
- post-baccalaureate students seeking certification (approved programs, MAT)
- master's degree students
- post-master's students seeking continuing professional development
- doctoral students acquiring expertise to shape the future of education.
The vision for Professional Education at Towson University is to build upon its rich heritage and excellent reputation and to position itself to enhance its leadership role in academic program planning and public policy formulation. Through its leadership, the Professional Education Unit can ensure that active learning occurs in diverse and inclusive educational environments where contemporary information resources are available. Thus, the unit can, in collaboration with other public/private agencies, assist in the readiness of all learners to succeed in a rapidly changing, diverse, and highly technical world. In order to achieve this vision, the unit at Towson University is committed to:
- ensuring the mastery of appropriate content and intellectual skills in the University’s general studies/Core Curriculum in the liberal arts and sciences as well as in specific academic disciplines and advanced fields of study
- reflecting upon and refining best practices -- professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills -- to develop a repertoire of instructional and assessment strategies
- preparing educators for diverse and inclusive communities of learners, including systematic exposure to heterogeneous populations
- utilizing appropriate technologies which reflect best practices in education
- helping develop, internalize, and display professional conscience (commitment to professional practice, caring for the success and well-being of all students, and collaboration with colleagues and stakeholders)
- developing collaborative partnerships with the public and private sectors
- providing leadership in professional education through scholarly endeavors
Goals & Objectives
A. Urban Education
1. Increase/emphasize multicultural and urban education content and practices in coursework and internship placements.
- Organize a group of faculty committed to developing a position statement and Plan of action for developing an Urban Education focus for COE.
- Clearly define and describe characteristics of Urban Education.
- Working collaboratively with CPP extend and develop partnerships with Baltimore City Public School System.
- Develop a cohort of students and faculty with interest in teaching experiences in BCPSS (Urban Academy).
2. The COE will be engaged in the state and region in urban education.
- Identify faculty leaders in COE to organize an Advisory Committee
- Organize Research groups to study and present effective partnerships in urban settings.
- Enhance and extend the activities of the student group UNITE: increase membership and visibility. The student activities would extend to items a) and b) of goal #2, whereas students would contribute to the advisory council and community outreach in developing future urban school partnerships and projects.
B. Excellence in faculty teaching and learning
COE faculty will incorporate and model effective pedagogical practices to address learner variability in all course work and internships.
- COE faculty will participate in activities to develop knowledge of policies related to preservice preparation and inservice professional development.
- COE faculty will participate in activities and/or Professional Learning Communities to develop knowledge of effective pedagogical practices, including principles of universal design for learning.
- COE faculty syllabi will include statements and practices related to pedagogical practices that address learner variability, incorporating the principles of Universal Design for Learning, which are implemented in courses/internships.
C. Technologies for Teaching and Learning
COE faculty will integrate and model the use of technology to support teaching and
learning in all coursework.
The COE will increase opportunities for students to explore and apply new technologies to support teaching and learning.
- Increase opportunities for scaffolded teaching and learning experiences through the use of virtual environments/simulations.
- Redesign and develop flexible learning spaces that promote student use of technology in teaching and learning.
- Develop a repository for sharing examples of effective technology integration as well as media created by faculty and students.
- Adopt and implement a comprehensive Assessment Management System (AMS) across all departments to support the collection, management, and use of assessment data from coursework and field experiences.
Provide opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to view themselves as leaders through intentional and purposeful course work, extra-curricular activities, and internship experiences.
- Emphasize in the curriculum the crucial role of advocacy for students in teaching and educational leadership.
- Promote leadership characteristics such as voice, preparedness, risk taking, perseverance
- Foster in COE students the capacities to critically analyze, adapt, and implement policies and standards that serve the interests and needs of children.
- Foster and distribute leadership in concrete ways among COE faculty and staff.
- Support students’ participation and presentations in campus and regional public scholarly conferences.
- Support—perhaps expand?—COE-based student organizations and provide resources.
E. Review and refresh Towson’s PDS Network
Identify strengths, needs, and areas to revise to promote and sustain responsive, flexible PDS models.
- Conduct program-by-program self-studies of PDS clusters using the MSDE PDS Standards.
- Analyze results of the self-studies in order to identify strengths and areas of need.
- Develop action plans to sustain strengths and address areas of need.
- Develop strategies for conducting research in PDS sites involving TU tenure-track faculty, TU PDS faculty and school district stakeholders.