4c. Experiences Working with Diverse Candidates
4c.1. Describe proposed opportunities candidates (including candidates at off-campus sites and/or in distance learning preparation programs) will have to interact with candidates from diverse groups.
We anticipate we will have a diverse pool of candidates in our proposed Curriculum and Instruction and Teacher Leader Program. Our current efforts to recruit advanced degree candidates has resulted in the creation of satellite campuses across the state of Georgia, enrolling candidates from urban, suburban, and rural areas. In additional to our main campus location, current satellite campuses are located in the following counties/areas: DeKalb, Gwinnett, Lanier and Macon. Spring 2015 recruiting efforts include the school districts of Atlanta/Fulton, Cobb, Columbus, and S.W. Georgia This effort represents our commitment to recruiting and admitting candidates that reflect the diverse demographic characteristics of Georgia's K-12 student population. Fall 2014 advanced degree enrollment in education programs included 61candidates who are 87% female and 13% male and 69% white, 18% black, and 13% undeclared. Within the coursework for advanced degree programs, including the proposed Teacher Leader and Curriculum and Instruction programs, candidates frequently work in teams so that they have an opportunity to communicate and collaborate with peers from diverse groups.
4c.2. Describe institution/agency and unit efforts to recruit and retain diverse candidates.
The University and the Division of Education is committed to the recruitment and retention of a diverse student population as is called for in our Thomas University Diversity Statement.
In recent years, TU has made significant strides in addressing diversity. Attention is being directed to the climate of the campus, the composition of the constituency, and the nature of the global society in which graduates will live. Recruitment efforts include a reduced tuition rate (20%) for advanced degree candidates and increased efforts to provide scholarship support. We currently have a funding source that allows us to fully support all Hispanic candidates in our program.
One of the unique characteristics of TU is its nontraditional student population (average age of undergraduate – 29; graduate – 36). In addition to nontraditional aged students many of our candidates represent the first member in their family to attend college. In order to recruit and retain these nontraditional students’ academic support is available through the following student services: Academic Resource Center (ARC) which provides group and individual tutoring on-campus and online via email and web-conferencing; primarily for math, writing, and research support for all TU students; and Student Support Services (SSS) which provides academic tutoring services and mentoring through the federally-funded TRiO grant for first-generation, low-income, and/or disabled students. Accommodations for students with disabilities are provided by the Office of Disabilities Service and information about receiving disabilities services is included on all university syllabi; this includes accommodations for access as well as for learning support. Thomas University provides free counseling services for students by referral in coordination with the Archbold Medical Center Student Assistance Program. Thomas University has one of the highest retention rates in the country and has been nationally recognized for the accomplishment of this goal.
Additionally, our partnership with KTA provides a dedicated staff to recruit and support candidates throughout their academic progression.