Standard 1: Program Design
Subject matter programs are based on an explicit statement expressing the purpose, design, and expected outcomes of the program. The program curriculum builds on the K-12 State-adopted academic content standards, with student outcomes and assessments aligned to the subject matter requirements. The program provides prospective teachers with conceptual knowledge of the subject matter, develops academic literacy and discipline-based fluency, addresses issues of equity and diversity, and exposes prospective teachers to a variety of learning experiences appropriate for the discipline.
CSUSB has carefully crafted a rigorous and thorough program for pre-service Theatre teachers based on extensive research of the new Standards (in collaboration with Eric Engdahl of CSU East Bay), and numerous discussions with current Theatre faculty in the Inland Empire area. All aspects of our program center diversity, equity, and inclusion. This intentionality manifests in the selection of plays for our season, texts explored in courses, and a commitment to inclusive practice. The collaborative nature of our production process ensures constant communication so that staff and faculty are always mindful of our students’ needs. Who has access to Theatre making and viewing is an important problem for us and we are constantly interrogating our theory and practice to do better.
The primary Theatre Education curriculum author/designer has a specialized degree in Theatre Education and has served on the board of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, with particular experience in addressing issues of equity and inclusion (including and especially best practices for working with students with disabilities and the neurodiverse). She is an internationally known puppetry educator and assisted with writing policy for the CA Theatre Arts framework. As a department, we have one of the most diverse faculty in the region, with 3 specialists in African American Theatre and long time leaders in the Black Theatre Network of the American Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) organization. In addition, faculty are active artists in the area and are constantly creating partnerships with local arts organizations and companies.
Transforming the practices of Theatre education to be more equitable and representative of the students we serve at CSUSB (and will serve in local schools) is at the forefront of our program. We have a strong history in involvement with young people in the community by integrating service learning into many of our courses. We seek to empower our students to make ethical, informed choices in selecting the content they produce with young people as well as conscious and intentional lifting of youth voices by devising and creating original work with students as equal creative partners. We believe our graduates will be prepared to become effective one-person departments with a firm grounding in current technology and tools to collaborate with community partners to build effective Theatre programs. Most importantly, we seek to train flexible thinkers with the confidence to solve the many problems that will come before them in a truly collaborative and inclusive spirit, and develop a highly effective teaching practice that is welcoming, challenging, and uniquely theirs.
Standard 2: Program resources and Support
The program sponsor allocates resources to support effective program coordination, which includes advising students, facilitating collaboration among stakeholders, and overseeing program review. Ongoing review processes use assessments of the prospective teachers and a variety of data such as input from stakeholders and other appropriate measurements for review and evaluation of the subject matter program.
The Faculty of CSUSB Theatre is not only fully prepared for the advising and instruction necessary for a CSET waiver program, but have used the creation of this program and our recent shift to a Semester system as an opportunity to transform our curriculum. We have integrated key concepts from the standards into specific courses, and coordinate with each other so that keystone assessments are integrated throughout the student experience. Most of the teaching faculty have worked with The California Arts Project and we will continue to promote this partnership. In addition, the staff of the Theatre Arts Department are also involved as supervisors and teachers of students in required practical experiences, from costuming to the scene shop to the box office. We view them as one of our biggest strengths as they bring the most current and innovative hands-on practical knowledge to their teaching.
We also strive to be a resource for local teachers in the future by continuing the relationships we have developed from our High School Theatre Festival, which we offer every year. We are in the process of vetting a network of local Theatre teachers with the help of CETA so that we have a strong pool of mentor teachers and adjunct instructors available. We hope to take full advantage of the decades of experience at our disposal.
CSUSB Theatre is also accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) and we will maintain the quality standards required by this organization for our Theatre education programs as part of their regular program review process.