AACTE Marketing Coordinator Intern
Did you know that AACTE’s six Online Professional Seminars (OPSs) can be taken in any order? In fact, the seminars have no prerequisites, meaning you can skip what you already know and jump right in to the professional learning you need most.
Or are you looking for a well-rounded understanding of assessment and accreditation issues for educator development, program improvement, and quality assurance systems? Then start from the beginning and run through the complete sequence of courses.
Offered through AACTE’s Quality Support Initiative, the seminars are scheduled to be not only flexible but also convenient. Each course is completed asynchronously over a 3- to 4-week period, and multiple session options let you work around your schedule. We’ll be starting several course sections this month, including some that run over the holidays, if that suits your needs—see the current schedule of available dates.
The AACTE Holmes Program recently welcomed nine new participating institutions, joining dozens of other educator preparation programs across the country that are providing targeted support to historically underrepresented students in education.
The following institutions signed up this fall to participate in the program, signifying their commitment to diversifying the teacher workforce:
The immediate value of taking part in AACTE’s Online Professional Seminars is obvious: You get to enhance your peer network while gaining knowledge on crucial issues in the field, from assessment and data use to quality assurance systems and the nuts-and-bolts of preparing for national or regional accreditation. But there are other, long-term advantages to participating in the seminars offered through AACTE’s Quality Support Initiative.
The OPSs provide a framework that allows you and your institution to focus on your faculty. The professional development offered through the seminars strengthens your performance in your current position and prepares you for future ones. By developing participants’ skills regarding assessment and accreditation, the OPS series builds individuals’ confidence and enhances their competence.
A new video in AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series shows education leaders from Fort Collins High School and Colorado State University discussing their work to prepare teacher candidates for special education situations and other diverse student needs. From understanding IEPs to tapping school-based counseling resources to differentiating instruction in both mainstreamed and self-contained classrooms, the program strives to expose candidates to a wide variety of students and settings, say Josh Richey, dean of students at the high school, and Wendy Fothergill and Juliana Searle, program advisers.
Today’s classrooms are more diverse than ever, and educator preparation programs such as those at Colorado State University (CSU) strive to give prospective teachers experiences across varied communities, in different school models, and with a broad range of students, including those with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for special education.
Data are ubiquitous in this day and age, and making sense of all the numbers and trends can be overwhelming. Yet using data wisely is critical to be able to learn from experience and determine strategic directions for improving what we do. So where do we start—how do we identify what information we need and appropriate sources to use? How do we recognize patterns in the data and their lessons for our work? And how do we put it all together to improve our programs and demonstrate our accountability?
The first webinar in AACTE’s series on the Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative drew some 110 participants last month. (The second, which will also be free of charge, will be held October 15; read Angela Sewall’s post about it here.) As they heard from the initiative’s panelists about their ongoing work to reform principal preparation through collaborations among higher education institutions and school districts, the webinar participants began to echo the presenters’ enthusiasm for the model’s potential if brought to a larger scale.
What constitutes “quality” in assessment? Educators have to know how to design assessments and scoring rubrics that are appropriate to their students’ specific situations as well as fair, valid, and reliable.
AACTE’s Online Professional Seminar (OPS) #1: Building Quality Assessments addresses this question in a 3- to 4-week introductory course that is free and open to all educators. By connecting simultaneously with experts and their peers in the field, OPS participants get the chance to compare their experiences, learn from each other, and discover best practices for assessment design.
The 2015 Fall CAEP Conference in partnership with AACTE was held September 17-19 in Washington, DC, drawing a crowd of more than 1,300 education professionals to talk process, progress, and partnerships in quality educator preparation and accreditation. And it’s already time to submit session proposals for both of next year’s CAEPCons—they are due this Sunday, October 4, by midnight EDT.
Have you tried AACTE’s Online Professional Seminars (OPSs) yet? Trish Parrish, assistant vice president of academic affairs and professor of education at Saint Leo University (FL), has completed three already! Here’s what she had to say when I recently asked her about the experience with AACTE’s Quality Support Initiative.
When Parrish started working on her first OPS, her husband was confused to see her in the student’s role. “He said, ‘But you’ve already prepared all your classes for tomorrow!’ And I replied, ‘Well, yes, but now I am taking my class!’ ” In fact, the time commitment on top of her already-full workload had Parrish worried at first, but she decided to give it a try—and now she has completed the first three OPSs in AACTE’s series. “I’ve definitely enjoyed it,” she says.