This article is the first in a series of three showcasing the transformation of preservice field experiences at Louisiana Tech University. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
With a vision of quality, rich field experiences connected to theory and practice for many years, Louisiana Tech University was well positioned to chart a path in the early years of Louisiana’s Believe and Prepare initiative to transform traditional student teaching to a full-year clinical residency. Already, the redesigned model is having a positive impact on teacher preparation and engagement, not only in our programs but throughout the state.
The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
Overwhelming evidence supports that high-quality school leader preparation is essential to school success, and today’s principals must be prepared to support teachers and students in a climate of increased accountability and reform. In light of these changing demands, principal preparation programs are faced with a sense of urgency to reexamine curricula and long-held practices to address the shifting contexts of school leadership.
This report highlights the use of an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant by the North Dakota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. July 28 is the deadline to apply for this year’s grants. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
With assistance from an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant, the North Dakota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NDACTE) recently completed collaborative work on a statewide student teacher observation tool (STOT). This tool is the fourth common assessment developed in a major effort to improve the quality of teacher preparation through implementation of a statewide preservice and first-year teacher performance assessment system across public, private, and tribal programs.
At AACTE’s Quality Support Workshop–South in Fort Worth, Texas, a team from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was among the participants enjoying the facilitated sessions and targeted support for each team. One member of the UTRGV team offered the following testimony about her group’s experience. Take advantage of the next workshop, August 10-12 in Minneapolis, by registering here.
A team of three program coordinators from my college joined me, the associate dean for assessment and accreditation, in attending a recent AACTE Quality Support Workshop in Fort Worth. Attending as a team served to build capacity among the program coordinators for a common understanding of our responsibility as teacher educators to use valid measures of candidate performance that can inform practice and help us improve our programs.
The 4th annual University of Central Florida (UCF) and Florida A&M University (FAMU) Holmes Dissertation Symposium and Retreat will take place October 27-28 on the UCF campus. AACTE Holmes Program participants, members of the National Association of Holmes Scholars Alumni (NAHSA), faculty mentors, and university officials will gather to engage in scholarly conversations about the dissertation process as well as other timely topics such as grant writing, faculty mentoring of diverse students, postdoctoral career choices, the tenure and promotion process, and self-advocacy.
Since its inception in 2014, the UCF-FAMU Dissertation Retreat has become a mainstay in supporting Holmes Scholars’ journey to the doctorate. Sheila Moore (FAMU) and I serve as co-coordinators of the retreat. We had a vision to bring together Holmes Scholars from all over the country to engage in scholarship and collegiality, and that vision became a reality when the first Dissertation Retreat and Research Symposium was held on the campus of FAMU in 2014.
The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
As educators, we are responsible for preparing students for life after graduation. Thus, many of our debates focus on optimizing the student experience: things we should do – or not do – to create a well-rounded individual who is ready to take on his or her next challenge, whether it’s a job, college, or the sixth grade. Far too often, however, we focus entirely on the people who sit in classrooms and neglect the people who stand in front of them. Educational policies must make sense for students, yes, but they must make sense for teachers, too.
When I first became involved with AACTE, I could not have imagined the influence the organization would have on my career nor the scope of opportunities to contribute to the professional landscape that would follow. For me and so many others, AACTE is like the ceiba, or the tree of life, with deep roots that anchor the profession and a large canopy that sustains myriad resources.
My relationship with AACTE has been a long time in the making, beginning with nascent engagement as a doctoral student in the Holmes Scholars Program. I participated in the first summer policy institute for the Holmes Scholars, organized back then by the Holmes Partnership, George Washington University, and AACTE. That single experience set me on a path toward a wonderful career as a scholar advocate.
As educators, we are taught to look for and then try to help “fix” any need or gap we might find in our students or institutions. That same attention can be found within our organization, where as a member of the AACTE Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountability, I know we have worked hard to ask fellow AACTE members about the gaps and needs you are experiencing in your departments and institutions.
We have heard – and keep hearing – that you want more information and training around all things associated with quality assurance and assessment, from rubrics to planning, analyzing data, and even how to help fellow faculty members recognize the need for change. In response, we have helped AACTE develop and provide programs where you can connect and learn from one another. Our committee has held annual preconference workshops on validity and reliability, which many of you have experienced. We’ve also given guidance and assistance with the development of the Association’s online professional seminars, and now we are deeply involved in planning and facilitating the regional Quality Support Workshops. With each of these, our goal has been to help fill you those gaps.
This report highlights the use of an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant by the Ohio Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (OACTE). The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
Educator preparation providers (EPPs) in Ohio have a longstanding history of collaboration. The 51 public and private institutions embrace the philosophy of the “wisdom of crowds,” that is, the power of decisions made by groups through collective sharing of information and resources (see this 2005 book by James Surowiecki). One of our ongoing collaborative efforts is the “VARI-EPP” (Valid and Reliable Instruments for Educator Preparation Programs) project, which aims to develop assessment instruments for use by any EPP in the nation to empower them with valid, reliable, and comparable data that may be used for program improvement. These types of instruments also address the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) call for accreditation evidence collected from instruments that have been analyzed for validity and reliability.
Participants in the Holmes Summer Policy Institute in Arlington, VA, during AACTE’s 2017 Washington Week
AACTE’s 2017 Washington Week brought two dozen Holmes Program students from across the country to learn and advocate together in the nation’s capital. It was grand to reconnect with Holmes members I had not seen in months, to meet new members, and to network with leaders of the state chapters of AACTE – and of course to elevate our voices collectively in the halls of Congress!