Craven commented, “Many Texas legislators are missing opportunities to hear from advocates who have deep and personal ties to communities, and whose research and analyses are shaped by the very people impacted by policy decisions.”
“Through our Education Policy Fellows program, we intend to change the landscape of state education advocacy,” she added.
Dr. Kimberly McLeod, dean of the College of Education and Human Services, said the partnership is revolutionary.
“It’s looking at advocacy from a grassroots level. Through this MOU, IDRA will lead a course for our students to study how policy impacts community and the way their professional roles can influence policy and legislation before it becomes law,” McLeod said. “They will have an opportunity to examine how current policies impact education through the various lenses of people who are actually doing the work.”
"If there’s a current course out there that does all of that, I’m not aware of it,” McLeod continued. “Students at A&M-Commerce will be better prepared to enter the workforce with a knowledge mindset, ready to create positive outcomes for their respective communities and learning communities, than most other graduates around the state of Texas.”
Dr. Pam Winn, head of the Department of Educational Leadership, said the course will give students unique access to people who are working with legislators to enact policy change.
“Our professors are great practitioners and provide relevance and application through coursework – but this opportunity allows our students to engage with individuals directly and currently involved in policy development,” Winn said. “So, engaging with those whose expertise is in this targeted area is such an authentic learning experience for students.”
Dr. Juan Araujo, assistant dean of the College of Education and Human Services, agrees.