Kean University and the professional education unit are keenly aware how how increasingly diverse classrooms within American public schools are becoming. With this positive trend in view, a robust commitment to diversity permeates the mission of Kean University and the professional education unit. In fact, among the greatest strengths of the institution is the rich diversity contained within its faculty and student body. Evidence of Kean University's appreciation for and embracement of diversity earned the institution superior rankings in Diversity Inc. as one of the most diverse campuses in the United States.
The manifestation of the unit's commitment to diversity also evident in our Conceptual Framework and the Mission of the College of Education. We believe in preparing informed, dynamic professionals who will be sensitive to the unique and diverse learning styles of their students by designing instruction that is appropriately responsive to cultural differences that are inherent in their classrooms. Ultimately, the goal of the unit is to produce teacher candidates who recognize and respect the complexity of the world in which they live, to welcome the challenges associated with differentiating instruction to accommodate varying styles of learning, and function as advocates for educational quality and social justice for all learners. The ongoing fight for social justice and equity in the 21st century lies in access to technology and to rigorous curricula. Our PSA (Progressive Math Initiative) program which is training teachers to teach physics to 9th grade student in several urban districts where physics was never offered before is an example. The goal is for students to be ready to take AP Physics as 10th graders while they take chemistry that same year. This is an illustration of how Kean University fosters social justice.
The strategic agenda of the University, the mission of the unit, and the sequence of courses teacher candidates take reflect the importance of inclusion at Kean University. Similarly, the unit's methods for teaching about the value of acknowledging global perspectives are facilitated through the provision of sustained opportunities for engagement and interaction with diverse higher education and school faculty, as well as wholesome collaboration between multicultural candidates and diverse students in public schools. Our newly founded School of Global Education and Innovation reflects Kean's awareness of the importance of educating globally aware teachers.