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Increasing Effective and Dynamic Inclusive Early Childhood Education Teachers


Bowling Green State University’s innovated Inclusive Early Childhood Education program seeks to address the need for teacher candidates to be well prepared to enter the classroom. BGSU recognized the importance of shifting their program to assist their teacher candidates in garnering the necessary teaching practices for a changing classroom environment. “We certainly have a wide array of learners with very diverse needs and one the things that this program helps us do is to ensure that we are graduating teachers that are ready to meet the needs of all those learners,” says Dawn Shinew, dean of the College of Education and Human Development at Bowling Green State University.

Every year, BGSU places over 900 teachers through 88 different partnerships with school districts throughout Ohio, which include both urban and rural districts and social service agencies. Teachers are expected to continue taking coursework during their clinical placements to ensure there is a connection among their coursework and their teacher training in the field. More importantly, BGSU believes teacher candidates should be exposed to the fieldwork earlier than what more traditional programs prescribe. Whereas other, more traditional programs place teacher candidates as student-teachers in their senior year of undergraduate studies, BGSU starts placing juniors in clinical settings with the hope to increase their exposure to their career and receive additional training in a variety of education settings, including special education and inclusive classrooms.  

New AACTE Research-to-Practice Video Series on Special Education Now Available

AACTE is excited to share the latest videos of its Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series on Special Education this spring. The video interviews feature faculty, students, and school district leaders who work with Portland State University (Portland, OR) and Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, OH) to implement extensive clinical preparation for teacher candidates pursuing careers in general and special education. The link to view the video series is now available!

In my recent blog post, I shared a brief introduction to the new Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series. The videos highlight exemplary practices of the two teacher preparation programs for ensuring their candidates are ready to work with all students, including students with disabilities.  Though different in many programmatic elements to address their local contexts, each university designed their programs to equip all teachers with the skills necessary to instruct the diverse needs of their student population.

The Master’s Program in Secondary Dual Education at Portland State University features dual certification in both general and special education at the secondary level. Entrants to the program come with an undergraduate degree in a content area and engage in two years of extensive and increasing involvement in clinical settings in secondary schools. Principals consider the program transformative in terms of the skills graduates bring to their classrooms.

Principal Pipelines Retain Newly Placed Principals and Increase Student Achievement


Research indicates that effective school leadership is associated with better outcomes for students and schools. A high-quality school leader affects their teachers and students for many years. School districts are also instrumental in affecting teacher and student outcomes by playing a pivotal role in supporting their school leaders.

The Wallace Foundation partnered with six large and urban school districts across the nation to study the effects of Principal Pipelines from 2011 to 2016. The purpose was to examine whether a comprehensive principal pipeline would be more effective than business-as-usual approaches to the preparation and management of school leaders. The term, principal pipeline, encompasses the following components: 1) leader standards that guide all pipeline activities, 2) preservice preparation opportunities for assistant principals and principals, 3) selective hiring and placement, and 4) on-the-job induction, evaluation, and support. School districts were also required to produce and implement systems to further develop and sustain the principal pipeline outside of the study’s original time frame.

New Research-to-Practice Spotlight Videos Feature Bowling Green and Portland State Universities


AACTE identified and documented two exemplary teacher preparation programs that ensure all of their candidates are ready to work with all students, including students with disabilities. We are pleased to feature a set of videos from each program documenting how they implement curriculum for dual certification (general education and special education) and feature extensive clinical preparation.

Bowling Green State University’s undergraduate Inclusive Early Childhood Program and Portland State University’s Secondary Dual Education Program support new and beginning teachers in teaching in inclusive classrooms. Both programs lead to certifications in general and special education. “These institutions ensure that all educators have the skills to work with students with disabilities in the 21st century,” said AACTE Consultant Jane West, “School districts scramble to hire these outstanding students, as they come with the mindset and the skillset to be effective with all students.”

Watch Livestream Presentation on Findings from Groundbreaking Study on the Principal Pipeline

AACTE invites you to view a livestreamed presentation and panel discussion about the results of a new, groundbreaking study by the RAND Corporation on the impact of principal pipelines on districts, principals and students. The livestream is on Monday, April 8 from 10:30am – 12:00 noon ET. Register now!

Research has long confirmed principals’ influence on student achievement and the role districts play in shaping school leadership. Yet, until now, there’s been no evidence that districts approaching school leadership strategically and systematically could achieve benefits districtwide.

Launched in 2001, the Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative (PPI) sought to test this hypothesis. The foundation funded six districts that implemented four interlocking components of a principal pipeline: rigorous leader standards, high-quality pre-service training, hiring procedures informed by data, and on-the-job evaluation and support.

Apply to join AACTE’s Special Education Teacher Shortage NIC


AACTE is now accepting applications from member institutions to join a new networked improvement community (NIC) focused on special education teacher recruitment and retention.

The shortage of special education teachers and the lack of diversity among all teachers have been well documented. Half of all schools and 90% of high-poverty schools struggle to find qualified special education teachers.

The aim of this NIC is to positively impact the special education teacher shortage and the lack of diversity in the special education teacher workforce in public schools. Participating institutions will identify a range of best practices related to increasing enrollment, strengthening partnerships with P-12 schools, and retaining special education teachers.

Read more about this new initiative on our website and in the Reducing the Shortage of Special Education Teachers NIC Charter.

Applications are due on April 1, 2019.  Member institutions will be selected through a structured review process and notified in late April of 2019. An introductory virtual meeting will be held in May of 2019, and the first in-person convening will be held in the fall of 2019.

Holmes Preconference: Professional and Personal Learning, Networking, and Mentoring at #AACTE19

Please join us at the Holmes Community preconference at #AACTE19! All Cadets, Honors, Masters, and Scholars are highly encouraged to attend the session on February 21. Sessions at this year’s preconference emphasize building a research agenda and networking with your colleagues and mentors across the country.

Holmes students are distinctly advantaged as this preconference spans two days! The Holmes Student Council, members of the National Association of Holmes Scholars Alumni (NAHSA), and AACTE staff will facilitate the sessions, which emphasize the theme, Professional and Personal Learning, Networking, and Mentoring. Several sessions will focus on building and maintaining a rigorous research agenda. Holmes students will hear from alumni with unique pathways into education-related careers. In addition to presenting the annual Holmes Poster Session, NAHSA and AACTE are proud to support the Holmes Dissertation Funding Competition.

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