For over a decade, the Graduate School of Education’s (GSE) Center for Educational Partnerships (CEP) has worked to fulfill the GSE’s commitment to working for and with the community to ensure equitable outcomes for New York City’s children. Associate Dean and Executive Director Dr. Anita Vazquez Batisti looks forward to further expanding this work through international and parochial school partnerships, while solidly maintaining and supporting the center’s existing focus on local and regional research-based and outcome-oriented programs. “We at the CEP are committed to continually looking for ways to collaborate with a broad set of partners in industry, academia and government so that we may close the gap between schools that are resource-rich and those that are not,” stated Batisti. “This mission fits perfectly within Fordham’s adherence to the concept of Cura Personalis, or care for the entire person as an individual endowed with particular gifts and insights.”
Specifically, Cura Personalis – or “personal care” – is expressed in the way the CEP undertakes professional development and program improvement. By understanding and working within the context of school environments, center professionals are able to meet school leaders, teachers, and students where they are and provide individualized support that can transcend the traditional notion of “education”.
Currently, CEP programs in both public and private schools bring cutting-edge applied research to more than 150,000 K-12 students; 2,200 teachers; 150 administrators; and hundreds of parents in New York City, Westchester County and Long Island through professional development, coaching, tutoring, bilingual/bicultural education, and educational reform. As the center has begun to expand , its international initiatives during 2017 have included the following:
- Batisti and Assistant CEP Director Nancy Rosario-Rodriguez’s presentation in Soria, Spain at the Third Annual International Colloquium on Language, Culture, and Identity in Schools and Society (“Developing Leadership for the Changing Demographics: The Multicultural Education Teacher Leadership Academy (METLA)”) Model; and
- Batisti’s collaboration with Professor D. Frank Hsu, Clavius Distinguished Professor of Science at Fordham University’s Laboratory of Information and Data Mining in the Department of Computer and Information, resulted in a presentation with two of his students, Anna Poulakas and Alon Yoeli, at the 19th Annual International Conference of the Global Business and Technology Association (GBATA) in Vienna, Austria. Their presentation and publication was “WATSHERE: A Watson Cognitive System to Navigate Social/Health Resources for Public Schools,” which highlighted the Fordham-created/IBM-sponsored app for Community School P.S. 85 in the Bronx. Key members of the Watson App for Social Services development team were Fordham’s CEP staff at P.S. 85; Dawn Johnson Adams, Project Director; Cesarina Javier, Bilingual Social Worker; and Fordham Computer and Information department students Navdeep Bajwa; Jiacheng Chen; Ruinan Chen; Caio Batista de Melo; Sebastian Deossa; Emi Harry; Xiaojoe Lan; Yuxiao Luo; Andrew Milligan; and Jaffar Zaidi.
The CEP’s initial work with parochial schools has taken shape through its Multi-Cultural Teacher Leadership Academy (METLA) program in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn. Specifically, through CEP’s partnership with the GSE’s Center for Catholic School Leadership and Faith-Based Education, led by Professor and Executive Director Dr. Gerald Cattaro, parochial school teachers may now earn a masters degree in Administration and Supervision that leads to a New York State certification which includes professional development work in Multi-Cultural Education. The CEP has also begun providing math professional development for grades K-4 teachers in the Diocese of Brooklyn.
The center’s goal is to continue adding international and parochial school partnerships to enable sharing its mission even more broadly in the near future.