Dr. Alma Dolores Rodríguez is Dean of the College of Education and P-16 Integration at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) and Professor in the department of Bilingual and Literacy Studies. Her research and scholarship focus on bilingual and ESL teacher preparation from three interconnected dimensions: 1) issues of language and how those impact teaching and learning; 2) the use of culturally and linguistically responsive and sustaining approaches to teacher preparation with the goal of impacting teacher candidates’ practice; and 3) the improvement of teacher preparation programs with an emphasis on meeting the needs of Latina/o emergent bilingual students, teachers, and communities.

Dr. Rodríguez received her Doctor of Education degree from The University of Houston. She has served in multiple leadership roles including Interim Chair of the Department of Language, Literacy and Intercultural Studies at The University of Texas at Brownsville and Associate Dean for Assessment and Accreditation at UTRGV. Dr. Rodriguez was president of the Texas Association of Teacher Educators (TxATE) and served on the board of the Consortium of State Organizations for Texas Teacher Education (CSOTTE). She was also a member of the Council of Unit Presidents of the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE). Dr. Rodríguez is now member of the Texas Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (TACTE).

Teacher preparation cannot be accomplished by a college of education in isolation.

Why did you decide to join Deans for Impact?

I decided to join Deans for Impact because I am committed to transforming teacher preparation to meet the educational needs of students in the 21st century. At UTRGV, we have embraced the transformation of teacher preparation and identified three areas of focus: practice-based teacher preparation, culturally and linguistically sustainable pedagogies, and technology skills for the 21st century.

What is one pivotal moment in your career in educator preparation that left a positive impact on you or others?

Having the opportunity to lead as Dean of the UTRGV College of Education and P-16 Integration is affording me the opportunity to impact the transformation of teacher preparation. Teacher preparation cannot be accomplished by a college of education in isolation; therefore, establishing strong partnership with school districts in our region is key to accomplishing our mission.

What most excites you about the opportunity to transform the field of educator preparation in the years ahead?

What excites me the most about the opportunity to transform teacher preparation is the potential to make a long-lasting impact in increasing the quality of teachers we graduate. Effective teachers are needed in every classroom, so graduating teachers who are ready on day one is central to our work.

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