Faculty Spotlight

Larsen, Rojas present update on teacher preparation at CEEDAR Project conference

September 19, 2016 by Brandman University
Lynn Larsen and Letty Rojas are faculty members at Brandman University.

Lynn Larsen and Letty Rojas are faculty members at Brandman University.

In June, Dr. Lynn Larsen and Dr. Letty Rojas presented a poster about the work Brandman University has done in association with the CEEDAR grant, a multi-year project for technical assistance from the University Florida involving the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the California Department of Education, the CSU system, Loyola Marymount University and Brandman University. The work for this project aims to improve outcomes for students with disabilities through teacher and administrator preparation.

Dr. Larsen said, “The three main goals for our work at Brandman have been to develop a mission/vision statement for inclusion, infuse our administrator preparation program with appropriate content related to students with disabilities, and to begin work on a merged general education/special education credential program.” While the first two goals have been successfully accomplished, work is continuing on the third goal. Dr. Rojas and Dr. Larsen were asked to share their progress and collaborative successes with the participants at the national state convening, held in Reston, Virginia, in June. This meeting included representatives from the 20 current CEEDAR state leadership teams receiving intensive technical assistance.  California was selected as part of the first group of five states to receive this assistance.

Dr. Marty Hougen, Teacher Education Professional Development leader for the CEEDAR Center said, “Brandman faculty members, Dr. Lynn Larsen and Dr. Letty Rojas, representing special and general education, were active participants at the CEEDAR Convening in June.  Dr. Larsen, one of the original members of the California CEEDAR State Leadership Team, has been instrumental in creating a cross-departmental collaborative team at Brandman University.  In addition, her efforts have contributed to the creation of a state-wide cross-IHE collaborative team, involving six California universities. Together they have worked to enhance the preparation of special and general education teachers and leadership candidates resulting in improved programs and the creation of new approaches to educator preparation.”

Dr. Leticia Rojas, secondary education faculty from the Ontario campus said of her experience, “I’m glad that Brandman is at the forefront of a national push to provide quality education for all students, especially those who need the most advocacy and support.  I appreciated the opportunity to work and learn with other teacher educators across the country in order to build a program that fully prepares teachers working with students with special needs.  As schools move into more inclusive (and equitable) classroom settings we all need to ensure that we are effectively preparing teachers to serve all students to the best of their ability.  As a general education teacher, this conference was a great reminder of the importance of working with special education teachers to reach this goal. The conference was confirmation that we are doing great work at Brandman and across the state.  I’m looking forward to continuing to work with other institutions to push this agenda forward, as well as our own goals of developing a merged credential program.”

The collaborative efforts of Brandman faculty to meet these three goals has garnered attention from across the United States. Through presentations at conferences and in through meetings with other CEEDAR participating state leadership teams, Brandman is seen as a leader in faculty collaboration best practices.

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