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A Note from Dean Virginia Roach

Posted by Virginia Yukins on January 15, 2015

It is with mixed emotion that I write you to let you know I have accepted an offer by Fordham University to serve as the next Dean of the Graduate School of Education, a post I will assume on July 1, 2015. While it has never been my intention to leave Bank Street after only four years, I believe that this is an extraordinary opportunity and I look forward to have the chance to open a different chapter of my life.

Over the past 3½ years, we have accomplished a great deal in the Graduate School with the support of the Board of Trustees, our alumni and alumnae, and our partners across the College. Just a few highlights of the work we have done:

  • We obtained several research and development grants related to online learning, and Bank Street is now broadly recognized as a leading expert in bringing a progressive pedagogy to the online environment.
  • We adopted an automated accountability system (TK-20), created a full system of assessment for NCATE purposes, and have received initial NCATE accreditation. All Graduate School academic programs have also been nationally recognized by their respective Specialty Professional Associations (SPAs).
  • We fully automated the admissions and registration processes to make it easier for students to apply and enroll in the Graduate School.
  • We came into compliance on all instructional programs and program locations, substantially increased the use of technology and online learning in the graduate programs, and developed model syllabi that capture key components of any course in the Graduate School.
  • We conducted the first-ever UPK Summer Institute and supported approximately 4000 teachers, assistant teachers, and program directors in creating developmentally appropriate, play-based early childhood education classrooms.
  • We expanded our professional development work almost ten-fold through online and face-to-face programs that are taught over time, drawing on faculty expertise in diverse areas such as social justice, early childhood, mathematics, utilizing technology, and dual language instruction.
  • We expanded our career support to include two job fairs, model lesson preparation, and CareerConnect, our online database for both employers and job seekers.
  • We launched our International Initiative and are now working and providing support for children and educators in several countries, including Bulgaria, Nepal, South Africa, Dubai, and China.

And, there are a number of other initiatives we are working that will come to fruition by the end of this academic year, such as:

  • Successfully completing the Middle States self-study report and site visit;
  • Completing the redesign of two base programs (childhood and early childhood) and submitting those programs to the State for approval;
  • Developing a community-based cohort program in the Bronx for early childhood teachers and assistant teachers who need to earn their credential;
  • Developing at least one and perhaps two 5th-year Master’s programs in collaboration with undergraduate institutions; and, of course,
  • Launching work on a new strategic plan for Bank Street.

Of course there are many more initiatives, programs, and efforts we have completed or that are underway than I could list. All reflect the fine work of our Graduate School and the enduring qualities of hope, social justice, and a fundamental respect for every child and family.

I am truly honored to have served as the dean of such a great institution, Bank Street has given me a place to be challenged and grow professionally. Thank you for your support, hard work, and encouragement over the past years. I have been very lucky to become a member of the Bank Street family and I will always find a way to stay connected to this incredible place; I am sad to be leaving at the end of this academic year, but I am proud of all of our collective achievements.



tagged: dean, graduate school