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(Feb. 17, 2011, Washington, D.C.) – William Paterson University's (WPU) College of Education will receive the Best Practice Award in Support of Global Diversity from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). The award honors the integration of diversity awareness into educator preparation and will be presented to representatives of the program at AACTE's 63rd Annual Meeting & Exhibits in San Diego.
AACTE's Committee on Global Diversity, which reviewed submissions for the award, selected WPU because of its organic approach to embedding cross-cultural diversity and global awareness themes throughout its teacher education programs that are faculty-initiated, widely spread in their application and sustainable beyond its many initiatives.
"I am thrilled that William Paterson University's College of Education has received AACTE's Best Practice Award in Support of Global Diversity for 2011," said Candace Burns, dean of WPU's College of Education. "Global initiatives are a focus, not only in the college but also throughout the university. This sort of intellectual climate fosters the best in faculty, administrators, teacher candidates and the students that they teach. Global perspectives and respect for diversity are not options; instead, they are part of the fabric of the university."
WPU's approach to promoting meaningful dialogue about diversity demonstrates that mid-sized state universities can pioneer outstanding efforts to disseminate such ideals. Initiatives such as its Professor-in-Residence program, in which the university partners with and within urban school districts, and Skype interactions among public school students, teachers, prospective teachers and a WPU professor in Rwanda, offer education students an abundant variety of thoughtful and deliberate curricular experiences leading to preparing better teachers for culturally, linguistically and socio-economically diverse schools.
"The College of Education and faculty in other colleges, administration within the college and university, and many local professional development school colleagues share the responsibility of teacher preparation," Burns continued. "These individuals, and the teacher candidates whom they prepare, form a diverse and collaborative community, which is dedicated to preparation for a diverse, global society."
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