School of Education Adds Expert in Teaching Diverse and Exceptional Students

Patricia M. Alvarez McHatton to serve as Associate Dean for Teacher Education

The School of Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City is adding talent to its teacher preparation program with the hiring of Patricia M. Alvarez McHatton, Ph.D., as the new Associate Dean for Teacher Education.

Alvarez McHatton comes to UMKC from Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Ga., where she served as department chair and professor of the Department of Inclusive Education. Her department housed the Exceptional Student Education and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) programs. As chair of the Department of Inclusive Education, Alvarez McHatton developed and implemented a strategic plan and provided oversight for department accreditation efforts. She also implemented STEM initiatives in which special education faculty were embedded within the elementary education and science methods courses in order to enhance general education majors’ understanding of, and ability to work effectively with, students with disabilities.

At UMKC, Alvarez McHatton will lead the School of Education’s nationally recognized teacher education program and work in collaboration with the faculty and staff to ensure that candidates are highly prepared to meet the needs of America’s diverse urban communities. In its 60th year, the School of Education is dedicated to an ambitious program of practice-based teacher education, and to being a leading urban-serving school of education. Alvarez McHatton’s area of expertise is in preparing teachers to work effectively with diverse students, including those often outside the mainstream, such as students with disabilities and gifted, migrant, single parent or low-income students.

Alvarez McHatton will direct the school’s Teacher Education program and its 28 certification areas. She also will lead state and national accreditation processes and oversee the school’s partnership and outreach efforts with Pre-K-12 school districts in the greater Kansas City area.

“There are already first-rate education programs in place at UMKC,” Alvarez McHatton said. “I would like to take some opportunities to expand and enhance existing programming and courses. For instance, I will work with the School of Education’s faculty and staff, partner districts, and other relevant community leaders to continue and expand the school’s legacy of excellence in being responsive to the community’s educational needs.

“For the SOE students, I know we can be more responsive to their needs by offering them more online and flexible programs. And I want to continue to team up with faculty from other disciplines so teacher education students can build a firm foundation in the subject matter they will be teaching,” she added.

Another function of Alvarez McHatton’s position is attracting and educating a diverse teaching force who can relate to a wide range of cultures, languages, races and ethnic groups, and economic backgrounds.

UMKC School of Education Dean Wanda J. Blanchett stated, “The UMKC School of Education is most fortunate to land a nationally accomplished teacher educator of Dr. Alvarez McHatton’s stature who is committed to diversity, urban education, and social justice to lead its teacher education program.”

Alvarez McHatton started at UMKC July 1 and resides in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.


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