Lisa Kirtman will soon become the Cal State Fullerton College of Education’s second dean.
Kirtman – who currently serves as the college’s associate dean and professor of elementary and bilingual education – succeeds Claire Cavallaro, who retired this year.
She will begin her new role on Aug. 16.
Growing up in a family in which teaching was a popular profession, Kirtman originally decided to veer from the career path.
The Oakland native dabbled in the marketing field, but ultimately decided the pull to become an educator was too strong to ignore.
“I grew up around it and I could see the impact my mom had on children,” Kirtman said. “It was something that was sort of ingrained in me.”
“I am excited and proud to be taking on this role,” she said.
Kirtman’s career in education began in 1990 as an elementary teacher in South Central Los Angeles and the Paramount Unified School District.
It was the 1992 L.A. riots that ultimately inspired her to pursue an administrative role in the field.
“I wanted to make a bigger impact,” she said.
Kirtman joined CSUF’s College of Education in 2000; and has served as associate dean, professor of elementary and bilingual education, chairwoman of the Department of Elementary and Bilingual Education, chairwoman of the Department of Literacy and Reading Education and coordinator for the Multiple Subject Credential and the Multiple Subject Intern programs, among a number of other positions.
During the 2015-2016 academic year, the college reported more than 1,500 students enrolled in its programs.
“There is a part of me that grew up at Cal State Fullerton. It feels like family to me; it feels like home,” said Kirtman, who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with an emphasis in business administration from UCLA; a master’s degree in educational administration from ULCA; and a doctorate degree in educational policy from UC Berkeley.
While much has changed in the 26 years since she embarked on her career, her fundamental goals have not.
“What I have been striving to do since I became a teacher is make a difference — to close the opportunity gap,” Kirtman said.
“If we are working with schools to ensure (students) have the technology and materials they need, as well as strong teachers, we have begun to do our part to close that opportunity gap,” she said.
Kirtman also hopes to do this by better preparing teacher candidates for the struggles that hinder today’s students, such as race, language, bullying and first-generation obstacles.
As dean, she plans to implement more advising services for undergraduate students who are interested in education careers and obtaining degrees from the CSUF College of Education, which does not currently offer undergraduate programs.
She wishes to develop more opportunities for the college to connect with the university’s freshman and sophomore students, she said.
“We don’t have an automatic pipeline into teaching or into the College of Education, so we have to make sure we are getting out there and getting to students earlier,” Kirtman said.
“We need more advisers and more connections to the undergraduate program to ensure the students that are interested in education programs get the advising that they need,” she said.
Overall, Kirtman aims to have a positive impact on the future teachers who will go on to lead pre-kindergarten classes through community college courses, she said.
“It has always been about making sure that we are serving our students’ needs and that is what the college is all about — being student-centered,” she said.
She hopes to bring her vision and goals into the College of Education and provide teacher candidates with the knowledge and resources needed to succeed in the education field.
“I was an elementary school teacher so this is where my heart and soul is,” Kirtman said. “I love the outreach that we do in the community — it’s a big part of Cal State Fullerton and a big part of what the college does.”
“We truly strive for excellence,” she said.
Original article at: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/education-724311-kirtman-college.html
Contact the writer: Angie Marcos, OC Register – firstname.lastname@example.org