The Multicultural Education Institute takes place every spring semester. It was first co-sponsored by the University of Central Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City Public Schools in 1983 with about 80 teachers and bilingual paraprofessionals in attendance. It has grown since that time; both in co-sponsoring agencies and attendance.
Now, with UCO taking primary responsibility, approximately 12 other agencies have joined the effort and approximately 300-500 participants attend each year. By pooling resources the Institute is able to bring in two nationally-known keynote speakers and provide several concurrent sessions which highlight current, practical, information and strategies for schools to promote tolerance, cross-cultural understanding, and academic success for all students.
The Institute is designed to assist future, paraprofessionals, teachers, administrators, counselors, and other educational personnel to understand and implement strategies and programs in schools that build cross-cultural appreciation and academic success for all students. The Institute also features publishers’ exhibits and multicultural entertainment. Another highlight of the Institute is the presentation of awards for “Multicultural Citizen of the Year,” “Multicultural Teacher of the Year,” and “Bilingual Paraprofessional of the Year.”
In 2003 the program was expanded to not only target educators and future teachers, but to include leadership sessions for secondary students as well. The sessions provide motivational and informational speakers about the value of education and preparation for college, and a possible career in education. A modest registration fee is charged to cover meal expenses and materials. Participants receive a certificate of attendance for professional development purposes and may also enroll for one or two hours of undergraduate or graduate college credit from UCO for additional tuition charges.
To see the most recent event page for the Multicultural Education Institute, please visit www.uco.edu/ceps/events/mei/.