Implementation of a Community: University Partnership that Implements Diversity
The Urban Initiative at the Graduate School of Education and Psychology at Pepperdine University builds the capacity to commit to and to serve urban communities. Our faculty recognized the need to provide students with specialized support for their work in urban environments with highly diverse communities. Previously students working in high stress urban environments expressed the need for more support and for a better understanding of the challenges faced by the clients they serve in these environments. Complex issues cut across traditional training boundaries in the fields of education and psychology and must be addressed if our students are to be well prepared to work in these urban communities. Community partners, alumni and faculty recognized the need to meet together to begin to address the issues that cross boundaries in urban environments. IT was felt that this collaborative was critical to designing a training program that begins to address the complex issues. The program is conceived as: A year-long support structure; An orientation piece to prepare students to enter urban sites; An introduction for students to the specific contexts of urban projects; An on-going self-reflective component; Cross discipline as well as discipline-specific training; Team-taught by faculty, alums and urban partners. The collaborative project that partners community entities with university faculty is developing this program for future professionals.
Keywords: Collaboration, Diverse Community Participants, University Educational Programs
Dr. Margaret Weber
Dean, Graduate School of Education and Psychology, Pepperdine University
Dr. Henrietta Kralovec
Faculty, Education Department, University of Arizona