Center for Urban Schools Goals
The Center for Urban Schools works to help the School of Education meet its commitment to teaching for social justice.We also work to help them establish a presence in those schools where student poverty rates are the highest, student diversity is the norm not the exception, educational resources are extremely scarce, and where student achievement as well as teacher availability are the lowest; namely New York State urban schools.
Our goals align with others on campus such as the School of Education Diversity Committee; Project SMART Professional Development efforts; and the campus Admissions offices.
Our Goals Include:
Increasing the number of education graduates who take positions in urban schools.
Increasing urban placements for pre-teachers.
Supporting urban teachers via partnership arrangments.
Maintaining partnerships with other urban educators (schools, universities and agencies).
Supporting faculty, pre-teachers and graduate students in their study and/or urban education partnership work.
Increasing the number of urban students in the education programs.
Seeking funds to support a variety of urban education initiatives.
In order to reach these goals the Center for Urban Schools serves as a resource center on campus (and beyond the campus) for communication between prospective students (and their parents), undergraduate and graduate students, staff, faculty and representatives from agencies who are interested in urban education issues, or engaged in urban education activities.
Specifically, the Center for Urban Schools is a :
Prospective urban students and their parents can feel welcomed and find
information about our urban field placement opportunities
Undergraduate and graduate students interested in urban education can meet
with other students and faculty to get information about urban education
courses, and make plans to support each other in urban field placement
Urban work-study students can find a position (we hire 5-7 students each
Data on urban schools and urban field placements can be compiled, analyzed
Information about a number of different urban partnerships can be collected,
housed, and shared regularly with interested students, staff, faculty, and
Faculty and staff can meet regularly to collectively study urban education
issues, plan projects and activities that support our pre-teachers and/or
urban schools, and develop scholarship about urban schooling
Here is a sampling of activities that have taken place in the Center for Urban Schools during the past year (and including both Summer 2004 and Winter 2005 sessions):
Development of informational poster boards to be displayed at Open Houses,
Theme Days, Student teacher conferences
Informational meetings for Summer in the City (8 week teaching assistantship
program in NYC)
Information meetings (and some class meetings) for Winter in the City (Edu
381 in NYC each January), and Edu 381 in Syracuse (each May)
Information meetings for students who are planning to student teach in NYC
Bi-weekly meetings for Center for Urban Schools work-study students
(information, planning, academic advisement and mentorship)
Monthly meetings of the Urban Education Reading and Writing Group (a faculty
Web page development of the Center for Urban Schools sections of Russo's
web page. This web page is maintained by graduate and/or undergraduate
students who work in the Center. www.oswego.edu/~prusso1
Meetings to collect, analyze, interpret, and report SUNY Oswego urban field
placement data (see Russo's web page)
Meetings with Project SMART supported faculty (and urban teachers and
students) to plan, engage in, and report on a number of urban school
partnership activities (e.g. Delaware students field trip to campus each
semester; JHS 56 and APW Middle School students visit to campus each year)
Planning meetings with campus staff and faculty to discuss the recruitment of
urban students to SUNY Oswego
Daily assistance to 5-15 students who want information about urban
education field placement opportunities
Dedicating a space like the Center for Urban Schools sends an explicit message that we are here to support urban schools.The phrase, "build it and they will come," made popular by a recent motion picture speaks to the need for creating actual spaces in our lives in order to actualize our dreams.
Since this Center for Urban Schools was created, the numbers of SUNY Oswego teachers taking positions in urban schools has risen slightly, and the numbers of urban field placements, participation in urban education courses, faculty engaged in urban education scholarship, and urban school partnerships have risen dramatically.