Hi! I’m Heather Lattimer, Dean of the Lurie College of Education, and I’m delighted to welcome you to SJSU for the Fall 2020 semester.
Although circumstances prevent us from being able to be able to greet you in person and learn together on campus this fall, we want you to know that we are 100% here to support your success. Our faculty and staff have spent significant time over the summer making plans to ensure that you will have high-quality learning experiences in your courses, fieldwork, and co-curricular activities. We’re excited about the plans that are in place for interactive, relevant, and responsive learning opportunities here at Lurie College in the coming semester.
This summer, we saw calls for racial justice reverberate around the country and throughout our community in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. As a college of education, we are committed to equitable, anti-racist policies and practices and to preparing transformative educators, counselors, therapists, school and community leaders.
Over the past three months, our faculty and staff have engaged in hard conversations as we examine the racism and bias that persist in our own systems and structures, and work to reform the way in which we engage with each other, our students, and the larger educational ecosystem. During the coming semester, we’ll be eliciting your input on how we can better live our mission and our values. Please look for invitations to participate in the Deans’ racial justice and educational equity student advisory group. We hope you’ll join us.
The professional fields that you are preparing to enter need equity-minded, anti-racist, justice-focused individuals. Our schools, clinics, colleges, and communities need individuals whose lived experiences and understandings represent the diversity and reflect the strengths of the students, clients, families, and communities they serve. We need teachers, counselors, therapists, principals, advisors, advocates, and community organizers who see themselves as leaders, who are willing ask hard questions and stand up to injustices, and who are committed to making an impact.
In other words, we need you.
We need you to pursue your studies here at Lurie College with passion, commitment, and care and then use that same passion, commitment, and care to create transformative change through your professional careers.
Our Lurie College family is here to support you on your educational and professional journeys.
As you start into a new semester, please take the time to get to know your instructors and your peers. All of our faculty will be holding virtual office hours this fall. Make time during the first two weeks of classes to stop by and introduce yourself. Form study groups with classmates and find time to connect outside of the regular class meetings. Join one or more of our student clubs and participate in activities organized by the college. Learning together and learning from one another is so much more powerful than learning in isolation.
To ensure that you are ready for class, please take a few moments now to take the Online Learning Readiness Assessment that can be found at the SJSU Learn Anywhere website. This questionnaire will help you identify the resources and develop the routines that you’ll need to manage your online learning.
If your program includes virtual experiential learning activities such as community service learning, student teaching, internships, or clinic placements, please check out the videos from our Lurie College Online Teaching Academy. These will provide you with great tips on using virtual spaces to teach content, build community, and connect with children, youth, and families.
And if you find yourself struggling, please reach out. Ask for help from your instructors and advisors if course content is challenging or if you don’t understand an assignment. Connect with our Lurie College Student Success Center for academic support as well as concerns related to financial resources, counseling, and mental health services, or if you just want someone to talk to … these are challenging times and you are not alone. We believe in you and are committed to your success.
I look forward to seeing you at our College Forum on August 27 and at our Fall Welcome Event on Sept. 15. More information about these events will become available soon. In the meantime, have a great first week of classes and a fantastic start to your fall semester!
Connect with Lurie College at https://linktr.ee/sjsulurie to receive more news about academic and student life! Video and audio edited by Brian Cheung Dooley. “Going Higher” provided royalty-free by bensound.com