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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
b. Faculty 

4b. Experiences Working with Diverse faculty


1. What opportunities do candidates (including candidates at off-campus sites and /or in distance learning programs) have to interact with higher education and/or school-based faculty from diverse groups?

For enhancing classroom learning, candidates are given opportunities to interact in diverse field experiences at area school districts.  Table 8 lists the diversity among school-based faculty with whom candidates have an opportunity to interact. This profile assures that our candidates have an opportunity to interact with, learn from, and experience the curriculum created by various perspectives, which will help the candidates understand the diversity they will experience as teachers.  Because of our conceptual framework’s commitment to developing educational leaders committed to diverse communities, we work proactively to assure that candidates have opportunities to experience diversity among school-based faculty.

2. What knowledge and experiences do unit and clinical faculty have related to preparing candidates to work with students from diverse groups?

All of the full-time faculty members in the unit have knowledge and experiences in preparing candidates to work with students from diverse backgrounds and/or students with exceptionalities.

Ngozi Onuora, Felicity Williams, Marilyn Yokel, and Connie Newtson all worked in the Decatur Public School District (DPS-61) as regular classroom teachers, principals, special education teachers, and/or technology coordinators. Decatur is diverse, and these professors bring these experiences to their university classrooms.  They prepare our teacher candidates to use strategies for discerning the learning needs of a diverse student population.

Ray Boehmer (Dominican Republic), Nan Gaylen (China/Taiwan & Dominican Republic), Christie (Ferguson) Magoulias (China/Taiwan & Dominican Republic), and Ngozi Onuora (China/Taiwan) have all traveled and taught abroad with teacher candidates. Courses taught internationally relate to each of the countries travelled in, and have prepared teacher candidates to teach English as a second language to schools in the various countries.

Georgette Page worked at various Headstarts in New York City, as a site reviewer and training personnel in how to work with young children from a variety of multicultural and international populations. She has also worked with Headstart in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, as well as Generations of Hope in Rantoul, Illinois. Both of these organizations serve a diverse population of children. Page effectively helps teacher candidates understand learning theory as it pertains to the physical and cognitive development of a diverse population of children.

Ray Boehmer has taught internationally and in Los Angeles. Boehmer’s fluency in the Spanish language reaches students that are linguistically diverse. He helps teacher candidates understand the unique learning challenges and possibilities of teaching linguistically diverse students ESL.   

Nan Gaylen taught in two different high-risk, low socio-economic, tri-ethnic neighborhoods of Miami, Florida. Gaylen’s teaching experience is used to help teacher candidates understand the unique needs of diverse student populations located in large urban centers, and how teaching strategies must be culturally relevant and applicable to each child’s experiences.

In large part, the clinical faculty in school-based sites, adjunct faculty and unit faculty who work with our teacher candidates in the various internship sites, are all familiar with working among diverse populations. Many have spent professional teaching careers working in the Decatur Public Schools. They offer real-life experiences, a trained eye at observing strengths and weaknesses among candidates, and outstanding strategies for meeting the needs of all students.

The unit engages in a variety of professional development opportunities related to  diversity. Not all faculty attend all workshops, but full-time, as well as adjunct, clinical faculty, and school faculty, are invited to as many opportunities as possible. Faculty have had the opportunity to been trained in using Ruby Payne materials, attended Gender sensitivity workshops, Touchpoints training, Hawaii Early Learning Profile, Reggio Emilia methods, and Response to Intervention (RtI) processes. The strategies and information learned from the professional development opportunities enhance the learning of our teacher candidates. The instruction that candidates receive from their professors includes the best practices and most current research of nationally accepted programs.

3. Please complete the following table (Table 8 Faculty Demographics) to identify the gender, ethnic, and racial diversity of professional education faculty members using the U.S. Census categories.

Table 8

Faculty Demographics

Source:  2008 Illinois Professional Education Data System (IPEDS) Report

 

 

 

Prof. Ed. Faculty Who Teach Only in Initial Teacher Preparation Programs

n (%)

 

Prof. Ed. Faculty Who Teach Only in Advanced Programs

n (%)

Prof. Ed. Faculty Who Teach in Both Initial Teacher

Preparation & Advanced

Programs

n (%)

 

All Faculty in the Institution

n (%)

 

School- based faculty

n (%)

American Indian or Alaska Native

0

NA

NA

0

0

Asian

1       (2%)

NA

NA

4          (1.4%)

0

Black or African American, non-

Hispanic

1       (2%)

NA

NA

8          (2.8%)

1       (2%)

Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific

Islander

0

NA

NA

0

0

Hispanic or Latino

1        (2%)

NA

NA

3           (1.1%)

0

White, non-Hispanic

45      (94%)

NA

NA

256       (90.1%)

46     (98%)

Two or more races

0

NA

NA

0

0

Other

0

NA

NA

0

0

Race/ethnicity unknown

0

NA

NA

13          (4.6%)

0

Total

48

284       (100%)

47  (100%)

Female

37        (77%)

NA

NA

150       (52.8%)

32     (68%)

Male

11        (23%)

NA

NA

134       (47.2%)

15     (32%)

Total

48

284

47


 

4. What effort does the unit make to recruit and retain a diverse faculty?

Millikin University and the School of Education have made efforts to increase the number of diverse faculty members who are well-qualified to teach in our academic programs.

The School of Education, as of 2009-10, has nine full-time faculty members, of which one is from an identified ethnic minority group and two are male. The rest of the faculty represent a range of ages, academic backgrounds, and educational experiences. In national searches to fill tenure track positions, the unit has worked diligently to attract candidates to expand the diversity of our faculty within our unit by advertising in national publications such as the Chronicle of Higher Education as well as regional newspapers in Springfield, Bloomington/Normal, and Champaign-Urbana. We have either diverse faculty or students on every search committee, and have offered financial incentives to minority applicants.

Over the past 6 years, we have interviewed diverse candidates for faculty positions. Each candidate was very impressed with Millikin University, and could feel the culture of a strong, open, and supportive academic environment, but none have accepted the positions. Reasons given for accepting a position at other institutions instead of at Millikin have varied: from being offered a reduced teaching load, large research grants, substantially larger salary, being unable to move geographically, not being able to take the substantial pay reduction from what they may be making at a public school district.

The faculty that have left the unit over the past 6 years have been 5 white females, two white males, and one Korean-American female. Two white females left for administrative positions with another higher education institution or school district. Two white females left to be semi-retired and work part time as consultants and writers. One white female left to be fully retired. One male faculty left to move his family to a more rural environment. One male faculty resigned from higher education. The one female Korean-American moved to pursue her doctorate.


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