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College of Education

Commitment to Inclusive Excellence

Inclusive Excellence

The College of Education understands Inclusive Excellence as an active process through which the College achieves excellence in learning, teaching, student development, organizational functioning, and engagement in local and global communities by surfacing inequities experienced by internal and external constituents, integrating equity and educational quality efforts, and building theory and context-based practices for sustained organizational change. This definition and operationalization is drawn from several resources including the University of Southern California Center for Urban EducationAssociation of American Colleges and UniversitiesNational Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice.

Growing in Inclusive Excellence

When the College of Education emerged as a standalone college in 2014, the faculty and staff developed a set of core values, including its role as “transformative leaders in improving education, beginning at birth and with a particular focus on serving underperforming schools and underserved communities." Over the years, the College has demonstrated a commitment to these values with long-standing programs such as Call Me MISTER® and ClemsonLIFE™and new degree programs and innovative initiatives that focus on race, rurality and poverty. In these efforts, the College seeks to develop actions that will contribute to our goal of making P-20 education an institution enhancing inclusive excellence.

Inclusive Excellence Initiatives

  • Special Advisor to the Dean for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

    Natasha CroomNatasha Croom

    Natasha Croom, Ph.D., is the Special Advisor to the Dean for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence. In this role, Dr. Croom serves under the leadership of George J. Petersen, founding dean of the College of Education, and plays an important role in coordinating communications and planning and executing projects for the college. She works closely with college leadership, faculty, staff and district partners to manage and implement activities that result from the College of Education Task Force on Diversity and Inclusive Excellence. This work includes but is not limited to producing and reviewing communications, conducting specific research and analysis on task force projects and activities, providing regular briefings to the dean, and supporting his undertaking special projects. Dr. Croom’s research uses critical theoretical frameworks and qualitative inquiry practices, and her scholarship centers the experiences of women of color in analyses of institutional practices and policies related to faculty advancement, student development and intersectional identity development in post-secondary environments. Her work has been featured in a wide variety of publications and journals, and she is an active member of the Association for the Study of Higher Education and NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Croom earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership in Higher Education from Iowa State University. She earned a Master of Science in Education in Higher Education Administration and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Texas A&M University.

  • Task Force for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

    The College's Task Force for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence work with the Special Advisor to the Dean to develop initiatives fostering strategic inclusion and equity.

    Task Force Members

    COLLEGE COMMUNITY AND DIVERSITY COMMITTEE

    • Shanita Anderson – Department of Teaching and Learning
    • Daniella Hall Sutherland – Department of Educational and Organizational Leadership Development
    • Jennifer Hall – Office of Field and Clinical Partnerships and Outreach
    • Rachelle Savitz – Department of Education and Human Development
    • Tomiko Smalls – Graduate Student
    • Rachel Wagner – Department of Educational and Organizational Leadership Development
    • Tara Beth Weekes – Education Media Center

    CALL ME MISTER®

    • Winston Holton

    DIVISION OF INCLUSION AND EQUITY CAMPUS PARTNER

    • Amber Lange – Executive Director, College Preparation and Outreach

    GRADUATE PROGRAM ALUMNI AND CAMPUS PARTNER

    • Matthew Kirk – Associate Director, Tiger Alliance

    OPEN CALL FACULTY

    • Liz Boyd – Department of Education and Human Development
    • Kristen Duncan – Department of Teaching and Learning
    • Faiza Jamil – Department of Education and Human Development

    TEACHER EDUCATION ALUMNI

    • Chesney Thomas

    UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT ADVISORY BOARD

    • Olivia Loynes

    UPSTATE COMMUNITY PARTNER

    • Moryah Jackson – Vice President, Community Development and Engagement, United Community Bank
  • Programs and Innovations

    The College has a variety of new degree programs and innovative initiatives that focus on race, rurality and poverty. In addition, the College houses several centers, institutes and programs positively impacting inclusive excellence across and beyond South Carolina:

  • Engagement, Outreach and Service

    College of Education faculty, students, alumni or staff participate in a variety of groups and events that contribute greatly to the social justice and equity efforts of the University.

    PRESIDENT'S SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUITY TASK FORCE
    Office of the President

    • Josh Barnes
    • Michelle Boettcher
    • Natasha Croom
    • Jacob Frankovich
    • Amy Gamble
    • Amber Lange
    • Robert O’Hara 
    • Taimi A. Olsen
    • Eric Pernotto
    • Suzanne Price
    • Altheia Richardson
    • Kendra Stewart-Tillman
    • Rachel Wagner

    POWER OF PERSPECTIVE SERIES
    Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center in Inclusion and Equity
    Department of Community Achievement and Student Empowerment in Student Affairs

    • Natasha Croom
    • Kristen Duncan
    • Nafees Khan

    STRATEGIC INCLUSIVE EXCELLENCE CERTIFICATE
    Division of Inclusion and Equity

    • Brennan Beck
    • Michelle Boettcher
    • Natasha Croom
    • Jacob Frankovich
    • Joe Ryan
    • Kendra Stewart-Tillman
    • Rachel Wagner
  • University and Community Resources

College of Education "Best In Class"

College of Education "Best In Class" | 101 Gantt Circle