AACTE Grant Supports N.J. Chapter Campaign to Debunk Education Myths
Thanks to an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant, the New Jersey Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NJACTE) recently completed a statewide advocacy campaign to debunk myths about teacher preparation and teacher quality.
In spring 2015, NJACTE submitted a successful proposal to AACTE for funds to expand the capacity, leadership, and relationship with the PK–12 community and the state Department of Education by collaborating on strategies to debunk myths about teacher preparation and teacher quality.
With help from the grant, NJACTE contracted with driveHaus, a consulting firm, to develop and implement a social media campaign, produce four short videos, redesign and upgrade the NJACTE website, develop a reporting template to track engagement activity on a regular basis, and train NJACTE members on platforms.
The grant funds also helped us bring together all the award–winning student teachers for our annual recognition ceremony and record their sessions for the videos.
The social media campaign targeted common myths using basic branding and social media strategy in a variety of posts, featuring the spotlight videos. Consultants developed a logo and visual identity for the campaign and created branding elements for various social media outlets. Additionally, driveHaus provided tracking documents, as well as how–to documents, and activated the social campaign. (See our Facebook video page here.)
Although NJACTE lacks the resources to sustain this campaign for an extended period, even the brief effort brought welcome attention to the issues as it built momentum, and we are grateful to AACTE for the opportunity. We were particularly pleased to be able to feature some of our top student teachers. The overarching goal of NJACTE, which brings together 24 public and private institutions from across the state, is to ensure that those involved in the educational decision–making process in New Jersey hear the voices of our members–and this campaign helped to do just that.
Ana Maria Schuhmann is executive director of NJACTE and past chair of the AACTE Board of Directors
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Seton Hall University