Promote Your AACTE State Chapter’s Activities

AACTE has an active network of state chapters across the country, and would like to help promote what’s happening in your local chapter through its communication channels. Is your state chapter providing activities to share best practices, engage on solutions to challenges, or advance professional skills? If yes, then please share your event details with AACTE!

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Towson University Builds Clinical Curriculum Through Virtual Simulation

“We see simulation—or approximations of practice—work as part of the trajectory of getting our preservice teachers ready to work with real students in classrooms,” said Laila Richman, associate dean of the College of Education at Towson. “We think about this as the first phase of a university-based clinical curriculum that moves them towards being able to work with students.”

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Registration Open: July 2019 Federal Update Webinar

Capital Rotunda and US flag

As Congress rolls into August recess, what is on the “must do” list for September and beyond? Will a budget deal emerge to raise the caps on both defense and non-defense discretionary funds? Could the government default on its debt, or will Congress raise the debt ceiling? What about the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations deadline of September 30? Is the government going to shut down? Is the Higher Education Act reauthorization in motion or stalled, and what does either one mean for fall congressional activity?

These questions and more will be explored in this AACTE member exclusive webinar. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions at the end. This webinar will be recorded and posted on the AACTE Advocacy Center federal page.

Register today!

July 30, 2019      5:00 – 6:00 p.m. EDT                      

July 31, 2019      11:00 a.m. – 12 noon EDT            

Note: Like the Congress, AACTE Federal Update Webinars is taking an August recess. Watch for the blog post announcing the September Federal Update Webinars for dates and times. 

PSU Partners with Schools to Advance Inclusive Education

Teacher working in classroom with students

One of the key components of Portland State University’s (PSU) Secondary Dual Education Program is its success in developing and sustaining partnerships with local school districts.

Marvin Lynn, dean of the Graduate School of Education at PSU, shares how the program prepares secondary education teacher candidates to bring content knowledge and “the knowledge that special education teachers have to bare about the learning process and about how to work with these unique populations” to local schools.

Educators like Ana Capac, a special education teacher at Evergreen High School, specifically ask for student teachers from the PSU program because of the mindsets and approaches they bring to the classroom and community. “It is really important that I’m supporting both the student teachers I’m working with on how they are developing this mindset of inclusion, supporting all students, and working within the school to support their colleagues as well,” says Capac.

Andrew Gilford, assistant principal at Clackamas High School, emphasizes this culture shift to more collegial relationships where the PSU teacher candidates and the classroom teachers “speak the same language” and can work together to serve students with disabilities and improve learning outcomes. “Coming from this kind of program and this kind of background, you are immediately an advocate,” adds Rob Parness, special education teacher and former academic coach at Tigard High School.

In discussing the culture shift, Will Parnell, curriculum and instruction department chair at PSU, emphasizes that the program was built based on relationships with the community. “There were local districts that were saying ‘we want special ed teachers that can support students in general ed classrooms’ but they found out that teacher prep programs were not focused on that,” says Susan Bert, assistant professor of practice, special education at PSU.  “So there was a need.”

To learn more, view the Developing and Sustaining Partnerships video featuring PSU’s Secondary Dual Education program.

Testifying Before Congress, VCU Education Dean Urges ‘Immediate and Innovative Action’

Andrew Daire, Ph.D. testifying at the U.S. House

This article and photo originally appeared in VCU News and is reprinted with permission

Andrew Daire, dean of the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University, testified at the U.S. House Wednesday about how VCU is working to prepare high-quality, dedicated classroom teachers and encouraged Congress to support similar initiatives across the country.

“Immediate and innovative action is required to address the challenges in high-needs and low-performing schools with families living in generational poverty and disparities in student learning outcomes,” said Daire, testifying before a joint U.S. House Education and Labor Committee subcommittee hearing on “Educating our Educators: How Federal Policy Can Better Support Teachers and School Leaders.”

“The challenges faced by many of our schoolchildren, and in many of our schools, are not average and will not be met with average efforts,” Daire said in his prepared testimony. “We need to be bold and aspirational in our desires and efforts to address these challenges.”

Holmes Program Grows Pool of Minority Teachers

Ian Stygar, Sayantani Nandy and Faith Kioko present on their year in the Holmes Master’s Program at Eastern’s annual luncheon.

This article and photo originally appeared on the Eastern Connecticut State University website and are reprinted with permission.

School districts across the nation continue to face a lack of minority teachers. Eastern Connecticut State University’s participation in the Holmes Master’s Program seeks to alleviate this problem. On June 28, Eastern celebrated three aspiring teachers from underrepresented backgrounds who will soon enter the teaching profession. Faith Kioko (Ashford), Ian Stygar (Lebanon) and Sayantani Nandy (Ellington) were honored at the annual Holmes Master’s Luncheon, hosted by the School of Education & Professional Studies and Graduate Division.

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s (AACTE) Holmes Program supports students from historically underrepresented groups who are pursuing careers in education. Eastern continued its partnership with Holmes, hosting its third cohort of Master’s students this year.

The 2019 cohort of full-time graduate students had a busy year in pursuit of teacher certification. In addition, they designed research proposals, worked in Eastern’s Center for Early Childhood Education, presented to classes and hosted forums on campus. They interviewed alumni teachers and gathered data for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). They also attended the AACTE’s annual Washington Week and advocated on

From Education Intern to Avid Holmes Program Advocate

Donna Saco and two Holmes doctoral studentsAACTE’s Jerrica Thurman first met Donna Sacco in 2015. Sacco was one of three doctoral students from George Mason University (GMU) who worked as an AACTE education intern, assisting in advocating for high-quality preparation programs and with its marketing communications. Thurman was pleasantly surprised when she saw Sacco at AACTE’s 2019 Washington Week with her two Holmes doctoral students from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC). It was during her AACTE internship that Sacco learned about the Holmes Program and determined to make a personal contribution to help diversify the teacher workforce by becoming a Holmes advocate. The following summary highlights an interview Thurman had with Sacco about her journey from an intern to a change agent in education. 

What piqued your interest in the issues of teacher diversity as a doctoral student at George Mason University and student intern at AACTE?

Before my doctoral program, I was a special educator with a master’s degree in bilingual special education. For my entire career, my focus has been on culturally and linguistically responsive instructional practices. Part of my drive came from the stories my father told me about the obstacles he experienced in his childhood as the son of Italian immigrants. He was a brilliant man but never went to college. He had one advocate who helped mentor him in appreciating the arts but had no teachers who were advocates, role models, or who understood his background. Once I began researching teacher education, I was surprised to learn that the teaching force is composed of roughly 80% white female teachers. How had I missed that obvious point? I am a white female who was teaching mostly boys of

Two Tips to Increase Students’ Use of Office Hours

Young educator meeting with students in office

This article by AACTE Board member Jennie M. Carr and photo originally appeared in Faculty Focus and is reprinted with permission. ©Magna Publications.

I once heard a colleague explain that their office hours were intentionally scheduled from 8 am to 10 am because students are still asleep. The professor laughed, but I cringed. That thought process is so far from my teaching philosophy, which is dedicated to developing and supporting students, that the intentionality of the comment prompted me to reflect on my own process for scheduling office hours.

At the beginning of each semester, I review my teaching assignments and then create a balanced schedule based on course days and times, various committee and departmental meetings, services, and office hours. For several years, like many of my colleagues (maybe even you), I selected office hours based on

Education Leaders Sharpen Their Skills at AACTE Leadership Academy

2019 Leadership Academy participants conversing

More than 90 leaders from education programs across the country convened in Pittsburgh, PA. for AACTE’s 2019 Leadership Academy, June 23-27. Attendees shared their experiences on Twitter using #AACTELA19 and offered testimonials about their experience. Here’s what a few participants had to say:

“The AACTE Leadership Academy was a fantastic opportunity! The combination of the excellent instructors, event organization, and content contributed to an extremely worthwhile experience.  While I expected to learn more about leadership, I did not anticipate how important the other participants were going to be to the Academy. My network has significantly expanded as a result of the Leadership Academy, and my new colleagues (and friends) are a wealth of informa

Marist’s Education Department is Investing in the Future

Students in classroom in NY
This article and photo originally appeared on the
Marist website and are reprinted with permission.

Marist’s Education Department is well known for preparing students to become effective teachers and leaders in their schools and communities. Its programs emphasize the role of research and technology and the importance of critical thinking, creative problem solving, and multicultural and global perspectives. Consistent with Marist’s commitment to being actively engaged in the community, the Department recently hosted two groups of local schoolchildren in an effort to advance two worthy goals: exposing students from underrepresented groups to a college campus and encouraging them to consider teaching as a career.

On May 20, Marist welcomed a group of 20 English as a New Language (ENL) students in the third, fourth, and fifth grades at Balmville Elementary School, a public school in the Newburgh Enlarged City School District. The visit, the third in three years for students from Balmville, stems from the work of Professional Lecturer of Education Christina Wright Fields to promote the ideas of pursuing a college education and becoming a teacher. During their half-day visit to the College, the students toured the Marist campus, ate lunch, and participated in a session led by Fields and Assistant Professor of Education Mary Kelly in which they developed a storyboard from children’s literature; in past years, these faculty-led sessions have included tree identification and STEM educational hands-on activities. Notes Associate Dean for Teacher Education Edward Sullivan, “Essentially, we like to expose the Balmville grade-schoolers to various academic departments on campus to expand their knowledge base and present them with different educational possibilities. We also involve Marist education students in these visits to help the schoolchildren visualize themselves as future college students engaged in helping others to learn.”

Congress is in for a Long Summer

Early morning traffic near the U.S. Capital
Congress came back to Washington this week with a boatload of work to do in the short few weeks before the next recess, in August. It could be a long hot summer.

First up: Budget and Funding

When Congress left for July 4 recess, the House had passed almost all of the 12 required funding bills and the Senate had not begun with any of the 12 bills. September 30 marks the end of the fiscal year; without the new spending bills signed into law, a government shutdown will be in the offing. With Congress scheduled to be in recess most of August, the pressure is on.

The holdup is the budget—or the overall spending cap, which the House, the Senate, and the White House must agree to pass. While the House adopted its own budget caps, they are higher than those that the Senate or the White House will accept. Added to the mix is the pending need to raise the debt ceiling (this is the borrowing limit for the federal government, which routinely needs to be raised to avoid default). Thus, the pressure is on from three corners: budget, FY 2020 funding bills, and debt ceiling.  These three dire needs are in the mix together and there is an effort to wrap their resolution into one package—possibly before the August recess. Learn more.

Senate Confirms New Higher Education Leader for Department of Education

The Story of Big Data, With All the Small Details

, Holmes Scholars at Florida Atlantic University (FAU)

BIG Data may not be “a piece of cake” but during a presentation by Charles Dukes, students and faculty noted that it can be a slice of pie. On April 11, 2019, Holmes Scholars at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) hosted a seminar, “The story of big data, with all the small details,” featuring Dukes, associate professor in the Department of Exceptional Student Education at UFA. Some 25 doctoral students and faculty, along with a Holmes Scholar from the University of Central Florida, attended the seminar with FAU’s Holmes Coordinator Rangasamy Ramasamy and Holmes Scholars Denise Dowdie, Danna Demezier, Shanett Dean, and Deborah McEwan (pictured above with Dukes). During the seminar, Dukes defined “big data” and explored how such data may be used for social science research. He also shared “big data” links that anyone can access, reviewed primary considerations for its usage, and provided an overview of a current research study with big data.   

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