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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

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.”

BGSU Inclusive Models Benefit Early Childhood Teachers and Students

Children in an elementary classroom

The Dual Licensure component of the Inclusive Early Childhood Program at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) supports teachers by improving their teaching craft and ensuring that teachers’ instructions remain relevant to their students.

Brenda Gift, the director of student services at Educational Services Center of Lake Erie West, applauds the program for providing high quality teachers who are eager to work in integrated classrooms. She further asserts that school districts are more likely to hire BGSU teacher candidates because of their dual licensure. Not only does the dual licensure indicate that teacher candidates can support all students, but it makes them marketable and competitive for hiring.

Some of the mentor teachers in partner school districts who support BGSU teacher candidates are BGSU alumni. Despite the responsibilities of being a classroom teacher, they value mentoring BGSU teacher candidates because they know how important it is to have an effective and supportive host teacher. The early childhood students benefit from teacher candidates because it provides a smaller teacher-to-student ratio. Teacher candidates agree that having proper training for inclusive education benefits them and the students they teach, assuring they are ready to instruct all learners once they enter the classroom.

To learn more, watch the What’s In It for Me? video highlighting BGSU’s Models of Inclusive Clinical Teacher Preparation, part of AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series.

A Conversation with Donald Easton-Brooks on Culturally Responsive Practice

AACTE board member Donald Easton-Brooks is widely known as a scholar of educational policy and culturally responsive teaching. This year, he released his book Ethnic Matching: Academic Success of Students of Color. In a recent Q&A with AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone, Easton-Brooks talked about the book and how his research shows diversifying the teaching profession will ultimately improve student’s success. The following summary highlights the conversation.

Donald Easton-BrooksHow would you describe the concept of ethnic matching and its importance to student learning?

What ethnic matching initially suggests is that teachers of color can play a significant role in enhancing the academic experience of students of color. As this research and other research progress, findings have shown that teachers of color can play a significant role in also enhancing the academic experience of white students and can assist in enhancing a more culturally responsive profession as a whole.  Therefore, the concept and research related to the concept suggest that we need to diversify teacher education. Mainly because as our communities are becoming more diverse, we are seeing our public schools also becoming more diverse. Yet what is happening is that our educator profession is not growing at a similar rate as these communities of students. The research around the concepts shows that perceived knowledge or knowledge from a preceptive culturally lens can play a role in students’ understanding of concepts, learning, and processing of information. This often can lead to these students being misinterpreted by teachers and feeling somehow misunderstood by teachers if they do not have that cultural lens to understand them. That is what teachers of color can bring to the table that can be of assistance to educational systems.

Portland State Trains Teachers to Be Inclusive

Students working in a group in class
Empowering teachers to feel adequately prepared on their first day of teaching is the goal of Portland State University’s (PSU) Secondary Dual Education Program (SPED). As classrooms becomes more diverse, teachers need skills to address all students’ needs and make every student feel they are included in a positive community.

Andrew Gilford, assistant principal at Clackamas High School, believes the training and preparation his teachers receive from SPED enables them to meet the needs of all their students in the classroom. The program requires all teacher candidates to have two years of practice before entering the classroom. In particular, during the two years candidates engage in a combination of observation and student teaching. Michael Bowersox agrees that the two-year program allowed him to combine his coursework at PSU with classroom practice so that he is ready to be an effective teacher on the very first day as a teacher of record. Teacher candidates are matched with master teachers, learn to plan together, and develop the teaching skills to positively affect student achievement for all.

The highlight of PSU’s Dual Degree program is the training it provides its teacher candidates to be inclusive educators. “A characteristic of a successful classroom is the ability for everyone to feel included and have the opportunity to be included,” says Joseph Cornett, a graduate of PSU and a social studies teacher at David Douglas High School. He explains that the program taught him how to set up his students for success, work collaboratively with teachers, and navigate the school system and curriculum.

To learn more, view the video highlighting PSU’s Secondary Dual Education program, part of AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series.

Universities Investing in Educators’ Long-term Success

Professor teaching university students
This article by President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone was originally published in the “Empowering Our Educators” supplement to USA Today and on the
Education and Career News website. The article and photo are reprinted with permission. 

Effective educators are developed, not born. Their preparation begins in colleges and schools of education and persists through the professional development during their careers. As the needs of student learners evolve, so too must our development of educators.

BGSU Inclusive Early Childhood Education Graduates are Innovative Classroom Teachers

Techers working with students in classroom setting
The Early Childhood Inclusive Education Program at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) prepares teachers to educate the youngest of school-age children with a solid foundation for learning. “This program is an example of innovation as it relates to making sure our students at the earliest stage have opportunities to develop and be successful in their lives,” says Rodney Rogers, president of Bowling Green State University. As a public university, BGSU sees itself as serving the public good and views the College of Education & Human Development as a place where all teacher candidates are prepared to meet the needs of their students. Teachers who graduate from the program are ready to enter the classrooms with the skills to accommodate all students.

Duval County Public Schools to Hire Hundreds of Teachers During Summer Break, Partner With UNF

This article and photo originally appeared on Action News Jax and are reprinted with permission.

The Duval County School District is working hard to recruit between 200-250 teachers before the start of this school year.

That number is down since Action News Jax first told you last week the school district needed to fill more than 400 holes.

Action News Jax reporter Courtney Cole shows us a program that’s helping to recruit, admit and support local scholars going into education.

“This is a really big opportunity for us, knowing that we have a really big role to fill,” said Jarred Jackson.

Jackson is just one of the nine teens starting his journey to fill the really big role of an educator.

“Just knowing that we can and that we’re able to—is very exciting for us,” Jackson told Action News Jax Courtney Cole.

Right now teachers are in high demand across the state—and in Duval County. 

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