School of Education & Human Development Helps Chart Course to Make CU Denver the “University for Life”Jun 10, 2022
Among the leaders of this campus-wide effort is CU Denver’s School of Education & Human Development (SEHD). SEHD is continuously innovating and expanding its programs to better support diverse students and the communities they serve. Below are just a few examples of how SEHD is collaborating with partners across Colorado and the country to meet learners where they are and make CU Denver the University for Life:
Place-based bachelor’s for early childhood educators
With this program, SEHD brings the pathway to a bachelor’s degree directly to the early learning centers where educators currently work. The place-based program also provides coaching and custom coursework that reflect each participant’s interests, competencies, and growth potential. Thanks to a grant from Early Milestones Colorado, funded by the Buell Foundation and Gary Community Investments, SEHD offers tuition assistance that brings degrees within reach for even more early educators.
Student spotlight: “The place-based program has been a life saver for me,” said Brenda Perry, who has worked in early childhood education for more than 30 years. “I’m able to work and go to school. This was impossible in the past. It definitely has been a longtime goal to get my BA, but because of financial reasons, family, and time, my goal seemed impossible to reach. I’m extremely excited to say the place-based program is helping me to reach that goal, and with support from those who are leading the program I am succeeding.”
The Partnership for Rural Educator Preparation (T-PREP)
The T-PREP program helps rural educators advance their careers without leaving the places they live and work. In partnership with Otero College (La Junta), Northeastern Junior College (Sterling), and Trinidad State College (Trinidad/Alamosa), T-PREP invites rural educators to move seamlessly from earning an associate degree at their local college to a bachelor’s from CU Denver, along with a teaching license. A $2.33 million grant from the Early Educator Investment Collaborative helped SEHD expand T-PREP’s early childhood pathway and provide students with nearly $200,000 in scholarships.
Student spotlight: “I wouldn’t have been able to graduate if it wasn’t for this program,” said Tracy Valdez, who earned her bachelor’s from CU Denver this spring through the Trinidad State College T-PREP partnership. “I was not your average college student. I am a 45-year-old mother of two adult sons. This program helped me along by being a support system and many other things. I highly recommend anyone who is unsure about going back to school to … look into programs that CU Denver offers.”
EdD in Leadership for Educational Equity
Designed for experienced educators who seek to be leaders of change in their schools and communities, the EdD in Leadership for Educational Equity adapts to the demanding schedules of full-time professionals. Courses take place in the late afternoon, evening, and online, and the cohort-based programs are offered on three- or five-year timelines to accommodate different paces.
Students in the Latin@ Learners and Communities cohort—one of eight concentrations within the EdD program—have received generous scholarship support from the Colorado Association of Latino/a Administration and Superintendents (CO-ALAS). Through their investment, CO-ALAS is cultivating the next generation of experts in educational equity.
Student spotlight: “CU Denver's EdD in Leadership for Educational Equity program has allowed me to further my passion for education and Latinx communities,” said Melinda Rossi, a CO-ALAS scholar in the Latin@ Learners and Communities cohort, who also earned a master’s in curriculum and instruction at CU Denver. “The program has created relevant content that I can incorporate into my classroom and community and has helped me more deeply connect with my students and families.”
“The program, especially the professors, provide support that is unmatched,” Melinda added. “I have gained access to resources, organizations, and professional research opportunities that I would not have known about otherwise. I know I chose the right program in CU Denver because they want to see me succeed and have built a confidence in me that I didn't know I had.”