Educator Preparation Program Diversity Initiative

As a part of the SHU Educator Preparation Program’s diversity initiative, we offer a diversity colloquium series and resources.  

Colloquium Series

The purpose of the Diversity Colloquium Series is to offer four sessions each academic year pertaining to Urban Education, English Learners, Students with Special Needs, and Special Populations in order to provide our candidates in SHU’s Educational Preparation Programs with the knowledge, skills and resources that they may need in the field. 

2017-2018 Colloquium Series

Teacher Librarians: Transforming Learners into Independent Critical Thinkers in Digital and Print Literacy
Monday, February 5, 2018, 6:00 - 7:00 PM, West Campus, West Building, CCW5
Download program brochure

Make it Work: Accommodating Students with ASD in Mainstream Classrooms
Tuesday, November 7, 2017, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m., Oakview 211
Download ASD program brochure

Emerging Bilinguals: Past, Present with a Vision for Tomorrow
Tuesday, September 26, 2017, 5:00 - 6:00 PM, Oakview 180
Download bilinguals program brochure

Previous Colloquia


Resources have been developed in the following areas:

Urban Education

The Council of Great City Schools has a wealth of information about urban education.

Students with Special Needs

Research was gathered through library searches, interviews with a Director of Pupil Services and a Behavioral Therapist as well as through personal experiences.” -  Brittany Collin

Parent Center Hub includes many resources for both educators and parents. This resource can be extremely helpful when helping both educators and parents understand the Emotional Disturbance identification. There are several links to other websites that can be used to inform parents and the site provides a variety of information about Emotional Disturbance as well. The hub is easy to use and also provides many references to articles for further information.

ClassDojo is a resource for educators that can be used to not only direct behaviors, but to track them as well. In addition to students, parents can also monitor their child’s progress. Goals can be set per student or for the class as a whole. The program also allows educators to integrate technology into behavior management plans and positively reinforce and reward behaviors. As students with emotional disturbance benefit from positive reinforcement, this tool makes behavior patterns more visible. Students can work with the teacher to set goals based on target behaviors. The teacher can also print and view reports, which indicate a percentage of positive and negative points a student has received for a specific skill.

The Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports website (PBIS) has many resources varying from strategies to research based studies to information about the PBIS system. The website also provides information for schools and educators who would like to implement a PBIS based program in their districts. is a resources designed to assist with applied behavior analysis. This blog style website is a great resource for educators because it provides real life stories and interventions that educators have tried. The site also allows for educators to communicate with one another in order to share resources and strategies. They also have a great resource posted for parents and educators about what to do after a child is diagnosed.

The website provides links to many free resources as well as strategies and an interactive message board which may be helpful for educators who have questions. There are many free resources available but additional products can be purchased for a small fee. The website also has a family corner with information and resources to assist families of students with special needs.

The Institute of Education Sciences, “What Works” page provides evidence-based strategies for educating students with multiple abilities/disabilities. The studies observe the impact of interventions, provides information for next steps and strategies that are proven to work through the research completed.

English Language Learners/Emerging Bilinguals 

“My goal was to find websites with multiple layers of up to date information on instructing ELLs, while providing a variety of quality resources to enrich teacher instruction and student learning. Through accessing the Sacred Heart University library, and using websites such as Google, and Google Scholar, I was able to access detailed information for educators to provide the best inclusive learning environment for the ELL population and to locate lists for suggested websites for classroom educators.” - Jodi McNamara 

Colorín Colorado is a national multimedia project that offers a wealth of bilingual, research-based information, activities, and advice for educators and families of English language learners (ELL).

Teaching Channel is a thriving online community where educators can watch, share, and learn diverse techniques to help every student grow.

BusyTeacher is a website that offers free online resources for English educators and instructors. It has worksheets, lesson plans, and articles for English educators.

Reading Rockets is a national multimedia project that offers a wealth of research-based reading strategies, lessons, and activities designed to help young children learn how to read and read better. They offer reading resources to assist parents, educators and other educators in helping struggling readers build fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.

ESL Gold offers numerous resources for educators within the categories of reading, speaking, writing, grammar, and pronunciation. With multiple instructional, educational videos, and quizzes this is a great resource for teaching and learning English.

When I began the research for this assignment, I found the Sacred Heart University library resources - ERIC useful for the majority of the articles and also used the search terms: English Language Learners, secondary, and strategies to refine my search. I determined that the following criteria would be important to ensure that they were useful to both educators and students when I was deciding what the important criteria was for selecting websites that I would use for resources and teaching ELLs: Graphics and Multimedia, Layout, Technical Aspects, Adaptability and Accessibility, Instructional Content, Alignment to CCSS (Common Core State Standards).” - Theresa Falkowski

BrainPop is an online website that has videos that align with topics of interest in all the content areas. When students are learning about a specific topic, they can be introduced to the topic using a video. This website has two separate levels; one for primary grades and one for secondary grades.

Vocabulary Games is an interactive website that allows students to practice their grammar skills by playing games. The vocabulary games include online word searches, crossword puzzles, and a version of hangman called HangMouse. Users choose the vocabulary list that the online word game will use in the word game. The vocabulary games are popular for use on smart boards for word games to build vocabulary skills in classrooms.

Enchanted Learning is a website that offers resources for educators such as leveled reading books in several languages that are printable and writing activities that are engaging to students of all grade levels and abilities. Among the many resources available on this site, there are printable graphic organizers for various grade levels and purposes. Enchanted Learning also has printable images that can be used to provide contextual clues to help students comprehend what they are reading. It also has printable dictionaries that are available in English-French, English-Spanish, and English to Italian.

Special Populations

I began this project by engaging in extensive research on LGBT youth.  I used the Education Resource Information Center (ERIC) database on Sacred Heart’s library page.  The keywords I used in my search were, “secondary”, “school”, “gay”, “lesbian”, “school”, and “climate”. I later added “united states” into my keywords.” - Katelyn McQuillan 

GLSEN is a well-known, dedicated group of people who advocate for safe school experiences for the LGBT secondary population. Their website contains current news on the LGBT community. One section of the website lists the policies GLSEN is responsible for creating. They also share the results of their extensive biennial National School Climate Survey. The survey’s purpose is to collect data and track progress of the LGBT youth’s school practices. Results of the survey could help educators make positive changes to benefit their school climates. The organization offers educator resources, as well as professional development that is free to access via their website. The site also suggests that students have opportunities to get involved in taking action within their school by starting programs to benefit this special population. The website is extremely easy to navigate, and all of the information is neatly organized.

The GSA’s mission is to obtain educational equality for all students. The network strives to promote student created alliances regardless of sexuality, race, gender, or ethnicity. Secondary education students can start a GSA club at their school to teach their peers and educators about the current issues and organize activities that promote a safer school climate. Training opportunities are also offered on the site to those who would like to learn how to educate the people in their schools and/or start a new GSA chapter. This website is an excellent resource for educators or students to use. In addition to learning how to start a GSA, the site also provides current news stories, blogs, conferences, and events all related to the LGBT community. The website’s contents include current research and reports, and legal resources. Some resources are organized into categories such as information for adults and advisors versus information for students. The organization of the website makes it easy to navigate and learn how to create a positive school climate.

 The Teaching Tolerance website is a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The site is an excellent resource because like the others, its contents also include classroom resources, current news publications, and professional development opportunities. Resources that cause it to stand apart from the others include the film kits and magazine publications that are free to all school employees. They also have original ideas posted on the website to promote a positive school climate, such as their “Mix It Up at Lunch Day” and webinars given by experienced teaching and learning specialists. The website also contains a portal to another website entitled, Perspectives of a Diverse America. This webpage has anti-biased lesson plans that are aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

The PBS webpage is an excellent resource for educators, mainly because it has valuable information, yet also serves as a portal to other important sites. PBS, or the Public Broadcasting System is an organization recognized by all ages. Their “News Extra” site is specifically dedicated to secondary educations students. The page listed above provides readers with a list of additional resources that they can access. Some are written for adult audiences, other are for students, and some pertain to both age groups. A few of the resources on the page include: resources regarding LGBT youth health issues, academic resources, anti-bullying sites, a suicide prevention hotline, several accounts of transgender personal experiences, a link to the GSA Network, a resource that shows state-by-state where LGBT students can find support. Accessing the information on these websites via the PBS webpage could greatly benefit a positive, safe school climate.

The American Civil Liberties Union website helps those in the field of education create a safe school climate. Their LGBT civil rights page is an excellent resource to research issues and legalities surrounding LGBT issues. The website provides some ways to take action to protect individuals’ rights, but lacks the classroom lesson resources and professional development opportunities that the other websites offer. This website would be a great starting source for students and educators to conduct research about issues or topics they may know little about.