Andrea Bingham 
Program Director
Doctor of Educational Leadership for Equity and Justice

By Kim Lamb Gregory

Photo of Andrea BinghamLong before CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) Associate Professor of Education Andrea Bingham became the Director of CSUCI’s most advanced degree program, she taught high school in urban Los Angeles, getting a firsthand look at what inequity in education looks like.

“I loved being a high school teacher, but it did lay bare very clearly many of the issues we have in education,” Bingham said. “It was a slog to get anything done, the teachers were overworked and under-resourced, and the curriculum was so stripped down.”

Bingham brings her education and experience — both as a leader and in the trenches — as she assumes the position of Director of the Doctor of Educational Leadership for Equity and Justice (DELEJ) program.

“After a highly competitive national search, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Bingham, whose outstanding teaching and advising of doctoral students, exceptional scholarship and extensive leadership in higher education uniquely qualify her to lead our new DELEJ program,” said Dean of the School of Education Elizabeth Orozco-Reilly.

Bingham officially joined CSUCI in July but has been working with a team to develop the new Ed.D. program since January.

“Andrea has impressed me since joining our faculty with every thought she has expressed and questions she has asked,” said Program Chair Charles Weis. “Her breadth of experience has made our new doctoral program better. She is dedicated to preparing leaders for transformational change in P-12 schools, community colleges and universities.”

Growing up, Bingham always loved school, so her desire to teach was a natural direction for her.

“I grew up in Grand Ledge, Michigan, a rural farming community,” she said. “I’ve always been a big reader and wanted to spend my life in school, first by getting an education and then by helping to instill a love of learning in my students.”

After college, Bingham joined AmeriCorps VISTA, a federal agency for national service and volunteerism. Placed in Emerson Middle School in Los Angeles in 2006, her job was to promote a college-going culture.

It was there that she met Salvador “Sal” Castro, a Mexican American teacher and activist best known for his role in the 1968 Los Angeles high school walkouts protesting unequal conditions in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

“He took it upon himself to talk to me, and he was so inspiring,” Bingham said. “I think I was young and idealistic, and he said, ‘If you want to make a difference, you have to get in a classroom and teach. I still talk to my old students.’”

So, she joined Teach for America and became a 10th grade English teacher in Los Angeles.

Her experience in the classroom made her even more committed to issues of equity, and it’s a value she is weaving through CSUCI’s new Ed.D. program.

“Doctoral students will learn how to identify problems in different school systems and shepherd programs — such as an anti-racist agenda, for example — by creating a culture of inquiry as well as be able to develop some concrete ways to solve them.”

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