Areas of Focus

Technology in Education (TiE)

Technology is embedded in the Conceptual Framework and the School of Education requires the integration of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards for Educators into all its courses as mandated by national standards. In addition to the ISTE Standards for Educators, faculty and teacher candidates use the ISTE Standards for Students in lesson and unit planning.

The ISTE Standards provide the competencies for learning, teaching, and leading in the digital age, providing a comprehensive roadmap for the effective use of technology in schools worldwide. Grounded in learning science research and based on practitioner experience, the ISTE Standards ensure that using technology for learning can create high-impact, sustainable, scalable and equitable learning experiences for all learners.

Educators have always held the key to student success. But their role is changing. The ISTE Standards define the digital age skills and pedagogical insights educators need to teach, work and learn. The ISTE Standards for Educators provide a road map to helping students become empowered learners. These standards will deepen teacher candidate’s practice, promote collaboration with peers, challenge teacher candidates to rethink traditional approaches and prepare students to drive their own learning.

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Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions. SEL advances educational equity and excellence through authentic school-family-community partnerships to establish learning environments and experiences that feature trusting and collaborative relationships, rigorous and meaningful curriculum and instruction, and ongoing evaluation. SEL can help address various forms of inequity and empower young people and adults to co-create thriving schools and contribute to safe, healthy, and just communities.

The School of Education uses the Mississippi Department of Education’s K-12 Social and Emotional Standards and national Collaborative for Academic and Social Emotional Learning (CASEL) Framework and CASEL 5, five broad and interrelated areas of competence, which can be taught and applied at various developmental stages from childhood to adulthood and across diverse cultural contexts to articulate what students should know and be able to do for academic success, school and civic engagement, health and wellness, and fulfilling careers.

  1. Self-awareness is the ability to identify one’s thoughts, values and emotions and recognize how these shape behaviors. Self-awareness involves the assessment of one’s abilities (i.e., strengths and areas of growth) and includes the need for confidence, optimism and knowledge of which areas can be improved.
  2. Self-management is the ability to self-regulate emotions, thoughts and behaviors across settings and to set and work towards personal and academic goals.
  3. Social awareness is the ability to empathize with and relate to others, including those from diverse backgrounds. Social awareness involves understanding societal norms for behavior and contribution to community well-being.
  4. Relationship skills include the ability to effectively communicate, cooperate, seek and provide support to others, manage conflict, and effectively handle peer pressure in order to establish and maintain positive relationships.
  5. Decision-making skills includes the ability to make constructive choices and problem solve based on safe, ethical, and social norms while evaluating the outcomes of previous choices.

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Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching (CLRT)

Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching (CLRT) Standards recognize the importance of including students' cultural references in all aspects of learning. This pedagogy recognizes the importance of including students’ culture in instruction. It connects all students’ cultures, languages, and life experiences with what students learn in school. Students and teacher candidates use CLRT practices in lesson and unit planning and clinical practices.

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Professional and Positive Learning Environment


Studies suggest that creating a positive learning environment leads to higher levels of engaged learning and reduced behavioral challenges.Providing effective feedback to P-12 students contributes to learning and achievement.

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