Ayana Bass

Ayana Bass – abass@bu.edu

Ayana Bass is a lifelong Rhode Island resident and a certified Elementary, Special Educator. As an adult learner, her academic journey took her on a non-traditional path through a traditional program at Rhode Island College where she completed her bachelor’s degree at the age of 39. As a “non-traditional” undergraduate student, Ayana became interested in engaging in research related to the nuances of being an adult learner in a “traditional” teacher preparation program. Through her opportunity as a McNair Scholar, she began to think more deeply about her own experiences as a pre-service teacher as well as the experiences of the students in her clinical settings. As a student researcher, Ayana explored her passion for education through work in the areas of equity, access, and diversity. More specifically, she was able to conduct a research project which explored the lack of diversity in the teacher (and teacher candidate) pool and alternative pathways to certification. Ayana focused on how accessto an alternative pathway (in RI) can contribute to the conversation around teacher shortages, increased diversity, access, and equity within the teacher workforce. Ayana presented her research at both the regional and national levels, including:

Bass, A. (March 2021). Where is the Rhode Island pipeline? An exploration of interest and barriers for paraprofessionals in a large, urban district. Data blitz session at the Annual Convention of the Council for Exceptional Children, Baltimore, MD.

Bass, A. (April 2021). Where is the pipeline? An exploration of interest and barriers for paraprofessionals in a large, urban school district. Roundtable session at the New England Educational Research Organization, Portsmouth, NH.

Ayana is a proud Brown University Alum from the Department of Education, Urban Education Policy Program. She is an active member of the CEEDAR State Leadership Team, Steering Committee, and Rhode Island Blueprint Goal 3 Working Group which focuses on establishing organizational cultures, identifying protocols, and providing shared learning opportunities to ensure Rhode Island approaches education work with an explicit focus on equity and access.

She sits on multiple subcommittees within each organization as a means to deepen her understanding and commitment to education and students of all ages.As she continues her educational journey to obtain her Ph.D. at Boston University in Special Education, she looks forward to continuing to examine and participate in research projects that align with her current interests within the field of education.