Dean's Message

Dr. Lisa Kirtman, Dean of the College of Education

Welcome to the College of Education at Cal State Fullerton, where Educators Change the World.

It has been a difficult few years: mentally, emotionally, and socially. Yet, we’re still here. Still standing. Still fighting the good fight for our students and community. . . the reason why we’re here.

A lot of attention is being placed on systemic racism (unfair and unequal policies and practices that give one race an advantage over another), but institutionalized racism is not new, and certainly not absent in the education system. Educators are given the privilege to shape, mold, and educate our country’s unpolished gems. In the hands of a culturally competent teacher, our students will shine brightly. But left unchecked, a system that perpetuates institutional racism widens the opportunity gap and dims the light of future leaders who do not fit the mold of the dominant narrative. As educators, if we continue to allow this, we have failed.

I believe that education is the great equalizer. In these challenging times education comes in many forms. The social climate calls for an education of the masses around systemic and institutional policies and practices that perpetuate racial disparities. In formal education we see these disparities in the underrepresentation of educators of color in decision-making positions across institutions. For decades children of color have, and continue, to lag behind their white counterparts in academic achievement. Not because they lack the talent, capabilities or intellect, but because they lack access to resources, epistemic practices, and an infrastructure that levels the academic playing field.

The decisions you make as an educator should be focused around the question: How can I ensure that our systems are providing a Just, Equitable and Inclusive environment?

It’s not an answer you’ll find in any textbook. The answer should, in part, come from the heart. And if we, as teachers, administrators, faculty, and staff hold true to the promise to respect our students, to cherish our role, to use our superpowers for good--then I believe we will create a more Just, Equitable and Inclusive educational system.

The College of Education seeks to produce educators who are committed to looking beyond the exterior and transforming a student into the best version of themselves. It takes extra effort--that you go the extra mile. That’s who we are. That’s what we do. If your values and philosophy align with the College of Education at Cal State Fullerton, we’d love for you to apply to any one of our programs or join our team.

It Takes a Titan, and the College of Education is committed to leading the way.


Lisa Kirtman, PhD


College of Education

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