Purpose & Guiding Commitments

GCOE Statement of Purpose

The GCOE develops transformative and visionary educators, clinicians, and leaders for social justice, to effect change for good across the Bay Area and beyond, and to create an engaged, and productive democracy. Together we do the work necessary to understand and welcome all; prepare equity-focused, caring, and highly skilled professionals; to identify and dismantle racist, ableist, and oppressive systems; and to build an equitable and accessible present and future.

GCOE Guiding Commitments

Social Justice

We embrace equity and social justice in our university and across our community by critically examining our routines and practices and addressing our biases to make social change; by doing what’s right, just, and equitable; by consulting with Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) faculty, staff, and students in actively articulating and holding an anti-racist, anti-ableist, and anti-oppressive stance; and by disrupting and dismantling injustice that impacts marginalized groups (i.e. people of color, LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, new and undocumented immigrants, multilingual communities, people from low socio-economic backgrounds, people who identify as gender non-conforming, people who identify as neurodivergent) in complex, intersecting ways. We enact our commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement and to other movements that challenge institutionalized discrimination against historically marginalized communities.

Student Support

We know and support our candidates into, throughout, and beyond their experience in our college so that they know they are welcome and valued. We connect with high school and undergraduate students and remove barriers to accessing education careers. We ensure that our candidates matriculate and complete their degrees and credentials without obstacles, in a timely manner, and that they experience the GCOE as their professional home.

Community and Collaboration

We build and embrace a professional community and school culture with an ethic of care by working together, collaborating, creating a sense of belonging, and knowing each other. Our intent is to approach colleagues and candidates from a place of care and humility, seeking to understand and respect all, and modeling this with and for future educators. We recognize that all colleges across the university are engaged in preparing future educators and that collaboration is essential in meeting all of the goals outlined in our interdisciplinary mission.

Culturally Sustaining and Inclusive Pedagogy

We implement inclusive teaching and learning with culturally sustaining pedagogy. All learners are integrated within early intervention programs, home, clinic, school, rehabilitation, and community settings for optimal and shared learning; teaching and learning incorporate students’ cultures, languages, backgrounds, histories, and lived experiences.

Content Knowledge

We hold high expectations for disciplinary content knowledge for each of our candidates, in each program, so they become professionals who are fluent in their content; who are proficient in teaching, therapy, service; who facilitate access to technology and digital tools; and who inspire all students to learn. We bridge programs and departments with practices that build shared content knowledge and pedagogical skills across disciplines.

Clinical Practice

We develop and sustain partnerships to locate preparation in schools, clinics, and agencies for as much of the school year as possible, to give candidates deeper and more meaningful experiences leading to their readiness to assume professional responsibilities. We give them the tools to teach their students critical thinking and how to work through the challenges of practice in a variety of environments. Our candidates have a positive impact on students’ learning birth-to-adult through their service, teaching, advocacy, interactions, care, and support in collaboration with their mentors.

Current Research

We teach and practice theories of learning, behavior, and development with a sociocultural perspective based on current research on learning that reflects a diversity of scholarship and cultures, and that takes a critical stance to make clear white supremacist assumptions within many developmentalist theories.

Inquiry and Scholarship

We engage in critical inquiry and continuous improvement as we question the status quo and the historical or familiar; we seek to improve our practice and outcomes using data in an improvement cycle (plan, do, study, act); faculty research and scholarship is an essential activity that advances knowledge in our fields, is interdisciplinary, and fosters mentoring of student researchers.

Operations and Governance

We recognize that colleges of education have historically been white institutional spaces, and we work to change that through our organizational practices. We operate using organizational practices and shared governance structures that promote fair and efficient practices, and trustworthy stewardship of resources in support of students, staff, and faculty. Our recruitment and hiring processes lead to increased diversity and representation in the college. We ensure that communications are widely shared through media that are accessible to all.


As a professional and licensing organization, we meet or exceed all program and unit standards to maintain our good standing, and to ensure that our graduates experience the best while they are with us and are well prepared for their professional careers.