Dean's Welcome Message
I am very pleased to extend a personal welcome on behalf of our students, faculty and staff to the College of Education at the University of Texas at Brownsville. I am also honored to welcome the team of external reviewers representing The National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE/CAEP). The team will visit our campus on April 6-9, 2014.
Since 1954, NCATE/CAEP has been devoted to advancing excellence in educator preparation through evidence-based accreditation that assures quality and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 student learning. Seeking NCATE accreditation demonstrates our commitment to:
- Provide all CoE students access to high quality programs that meet national standards.
- Offer transparency to the diverse communities with which we collaborate.
- Prepare ethical, caring, and highly skilled teachers and other educational professionals.
Toward these ends, unit programs for the preparation of teachers and other professionals are approved by TEA and have been recognized by Specialized Professional Organizations such as ACEI, AECT, ACTFL, CEC, CCREP, ELCC, NASPE, NASM, NCTE, and NCTM, each representing the gold standard for excellence in their respective educational specialties.
The aims of education include building in each student strong theoretical foundations to help future teachers to be educated rather than trained and to be capable of understanding the complexities of the organic society rather than just the reduction of people to human material. While I appreciate their need to develop and to learn specific applied skills and methodologies, we must always remember the dependent relationship between theory and practice; both should be interrelated. There is no applied scientific discipline if there is no discipline to apply. Further, oftentimes, very little learning is related to the dimensions that require understanding of ourselves, of others and of the world in which we live. In teacher education programs, for instance, we must combine the learning of methodologies, content information, educational technology, competencies and skills with the core of education, which is learning to be.
Besides these important social, technological and cultural factors, we need to evolve towards a society for learning based on the idea that all members are constantly learning, each being helped by the other. Learning is a lifelong process that does not end when a class is over or a degree conferred, particularly for future teachers or educational practitioners. We do our best to motivate them towards such a goal.
Our College of Education is committed to allowing our learning community to develop an atmosphere in which students learn from the professor, the professor from the student, and everyone from each other. Our teacher preparation programs, as well as our graduate programs, not only emphasize specific methodologies and techniques, but we also place equal efforts to the development of cognitive and affective domains, which intrinsically relate education to science, psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, health, environment, history and philosophy, among others. In addition to mastering knowledge, thinking critically and being problem-solvers, our education students learn tolerance, ethical behavior and aesthetic sensitivity.
Reflecting the diversity of the UTB student make-up, the faculty of the College of Education comes from prestigious universities across the country and throughout the world. Our faculty teaching, research and service reflects the focus areas of the College including international/intercultural, bilingual studies, math/science technology, human development, educational technology and innovation. The College’s teaching, service and research efforts of our faculty attracted in the last three years fifteen million dollars in external funding from different state and federal agencies.
Our goals are ambitious, but the success of our alumni suggests that our determination has been worthwhile: our students continue to pass the state certification examination by more than 95 percent and our graduates have a full recognition in employment and professional development.
This is a high quality College of Education, and it’s getting better all the time. I encourage you to join a community of scholars that will help you to become a new educator or dedicated to improving your skills and predispositions as a researcher, practitioner and leader.
I invite you to explore our website and look forward to welcoming you to the College of Education.
Terry Overton, Ph.D.