Those lazy, hazy days of summer?

By Morgan Appel, director of UC San Diego Extension's Education Department

As the conclusion of the traditional academic year approaches for many of us, it serves as a harbinger for what is to come and presents a unique opportunity to reflect meaningfully upon quarters gone by. Spring fever has given way to beckon lazy days of summer and also offers occasion to thank all of those who made the year noteworthy for the Education Department.

Many of you are familiar with the accreditation process undertaken by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC). As the entity responsible for ensuring that coursework leading to credentials and licensure addresses is up to snuff, the Commission takes great care in triangulating programmatic data within the context of a six-year cycle. The cycle inevitably involves a site visit during the sixth year of assessment, hundreds of interviews with myriad constituencies served by institutions offering this work and almost a rainforest’s worth of documentation. No easy task.

Although we are precluded from releasing findings from the visit until they are approved and posted by the Commission’s Committee on Accreditation, rest assured that all went as well as it could possibly go. Our Education Department family rallied to the cause, including current candidates; completers; mentors; instructors; employers; staff; among others. Hundreds of you told your stories to the visiting reviewers, reinforcing our programmatic, departmental and systemic values — and for that, we thank you and offer you kudos. Our constituencies are the bedrock upon which we are built, something that we at the Education Department do not take lightly.

The summer bodes well for the Education Department and involves collaborative partnerships in gifted and talented education; teaching online; healthy schools; and providing professional development for community college instructors working with students bound for the health professions. Fresh on the heels of the Commission visit, the Department will be working cooperatively with instructors, candidates, completers and others to ensure that our CCTC-approved programs remain on the leading edge and do so in a way that is effective and affordable for practitioners and employers.

We realize that our efforts in research and service have only just begun, and the coming quarter serves as a marvelous platform to undertake this work in earnest. Seems as though lazy days may again morph into crazy days for us all — but we embrace the challenge and hope that you will join us.

Again, from all of us in the Education Department and at Extension, thank you. We are in your debt and at your service.

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