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Archive for June, 2017

Filling the QA Gaps: Get Started in Minneapolis

Update: The deadline for hotel reservations and discounted registration has been extended to July 25

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.

Whitney Watkins Named Holmes Scholar of the Month

Congratulations to Whitney Watkins, Holmes Scholar of the Month for June-July 2017! Watkins is a third-year doctoral candidate in the Higher Education and Policy Studies Ed.D. program at the University of Central Florida (UCF).

Watkins recently completed a 2-year tenure as president of the Holmes Scholars Council, marked by her heart and passion for equity and diversity. Putting forth all efforts into the Holmes Program expansion, she was excited to see the organization grow.

At UCF, Watkins teaches at least two classes a semester focusing on student leadership and development, often with a heavy focus on diversity initiatives. In addition, she serves as the adviser for two student organizations on her campus and mentors countless individual students from a variety of backgrounds, reflecting her incredible passion for college student development and leadership.

How to Grow Your Own: Ideas From NEA/AFT Summit on Teacher Diversity, Social Justice

Last month, more than 150 educators and organizational leaders convened in Washington, DC, for a summit on strategies to recruit and retain a more diverse teaching workforce. Hosted by the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the “Grow Your Own: Teacher Diversity and Social Justice Summit” offered a series of presentations and panel discussions focused on efforts to recruit educators from local communities.

One panel focused on educator preparation programs and included faculty from several universities across the nation. They discussed the challenges and successes of their candidates and the particular approaches of successful grow-your-own (GYO) programs, from community-centered recruitment to unique financial incentives and other supports.

July Webinar to Highlight Local Action to Diversify Teacher Pipeline

On July 27, AACTE will host the final installment of a four-part webinar series highlighting the experiences and findings of each of the 10 institutions in the AACTE Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teachers Initiative Networked Improvement Community (NIC). The webinar, “Diversifying the Teacher Pipeline at CSU-Fullerton and Northeastern Illinois University: Lessons From AACTE’s NIC,” will be held on Thursday, July 27, 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT.

In this webinar, presenters from California State University, Fullerton, and Northeastern Illinois University will discuss the how their teams applied improvement science in the context of the NIC, as well as at their own institutions. The discussion will feature specific initiatives and strategies developed by both institutions’ teams and will demonstrate how NIC-developed approaches can be adapted locally to advance a common goal – in this case, to increase the percentage of Black and Hispanic/Latino men receiving initial teaching certification through educator preparation programs.

Wrapping Up the Spotlight on the St. John’s RISE Program

Two final videos are available this week on AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series highlighting the St. John’s University (NY) School of Education clinical preparation program known as RISE. These videos focus on building successful collaborations among professors, future teachers, and schools, and on important themes such as flexibility, humility, and remembering the “bottom line” goal of helping children learn.

JTE Author Interview: ‘Connecting Teacher Professional Development and Student Mathematics Achievement’

Have you seen the JTE Insider blog managed by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team? Check out the following interview with the authors of a recent article. This blog is available to the public, and AACTE members have free access to the articles themselves in the full JTE archives online – just log in with your AACTE profile here.

This interview features insights from the article “Connecting Teacher Professional Development and Student Mathematics Achievement: A 4-Year Study of an Elementary Mathematics Specialist Program,” from authors Traci Shizu Kutaka, Wendy M. Smith, Anthony D. Albano, Carolyn Pope Edwards, Lixin Ren, Heidi Lynn Beattie, W. James Lewis, Ruth M. Heaton, and Walter W. Stroup. The article, featured in the March/April issue of JTE, is summarized in the following abstract:

The Wisdom of Crowds: Collaborative Student Teaching Instrument Development

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.

Stay Informed With Member-Exclusive Federal Update Webinars

With the U.S. Congress and the Trump Administration continuing to work in June and July, we also continue to monitor their activity, including the funding of key programs for educator preparation. If you joined us for Day on the Hill earlier this month, you got a sense of what’s unfolding and how you can engage. If you missed Day on the Hill, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered with Federal Update webinars to let you know where your advocacy can make an impact.

Registration is now open for the next few Federal Update webinars, available exclusively to AACTE members. Take a moment to mark your calendar and sign up online so you can stay informed and engaged! We will offer these updates twice each in June, July, and September (but like the Congress, we’ll take August off).

Elevating Holmes Voices at Washington Week

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!

Radio Show Features Holmes Program, Other Efforts to Increase Teacher Diversity

Janelle Alexander
Dana Dunwoody
Ahmed Fahad

Tim Finklea
Jarren Jeffery
Monika Shealey

The latest monthly episode of Education Talk Radio spotlighted the AACTE Holmes Program and other efforts to increase the diversity of the U.S. teaching workforce. In the June 14 show, host Larry Jacobs was joined by Dean Monika Shealey of Rowan University (NJ), Student Services Director Jarren Jeffery of Mount Vernon High School (Fairfax County, VA), current Holmes Scholars Janelle Alexander (Rowan University) and Dana Dunwoody (Boston University, MA), recent Holmes alumnus Ahmed Fahad (University of Cincinnati, OH), and AACTE’s Tim Finklea.

Schools across the country have more diverse student populations than ever, yet the teaching workforce is still predominantly White and female. The AACTE Holmes Program, which for decades has supported students from historically underrepresented backgrounds pursuing doctorates in education, was expanded 3 years ago to include master’s, undergraduate, and even high school students in an effort to provide deeper support in the pipeline of future educators.

Internationalization Survey, Self-Reflection Tool Developed for Deans/Directors of Teacher Education

Have you ever wondered what it takes to develop a teacher education program that prepares teachers to teach for global competence? Or how your own educator preparation unit is progressing in its efforts to internationalize?

If you are a dean/director of teacher education, you can take a survey this summer to find out. AACTE’s Internationalizing Teacher Education Topical Action Group (TAG), Global Teacher Education Inc. (GTEI), and the Longview Foundation have combined resources to create a self-reflection tool that will help teacher education deans and directors assess their own colleges’ internationalization efforts.

Using NICs to Engage More Minority Males in STEM Learning

A member of the North Carolina A&T State University team shares its work during the May event at Morgan State University.
Abiodun Fasoro of Central State University discusses his campus’ minority male STEM program during the Verizon Innovative Learning Showcase.

Last month, I had the privilege of participating in the Building a Networked Improvement Community Around Engaging Minority Males in STEM Workshop at Morgan State University. The workshop focused on advancing the work of the Early STEM Engagement for Minority Males (eSEM) Initiative, a network of 16 minority-serving institutions (MSIs).

Led by Morgan State and in partnership with Verizon Innovative Learning Programs, SRI Education, the National CARES Mentoring Network, and local school districts, eSEM is a growing collaborative seeking to address STEM achievement challenges and improve outcomes for middle school minority male students through the development of a Networked Improvement Community (NIC). The initiative is supported through grants from the National Science Foundation and includes the following universities:

Learn to Use Data for Improvement in Online Course Starting July 17

Data, data everywhere – so now what do you do? When you are awash in student test scores, survey responses, or research results, how do you determine what they mean – and what actions to take as a result?

For a concise and engaging introduction to data sources, uses, and improvement processes, try AACTE’s online professional seminar Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes, opening July 17 for a 3-week run on the FutureLearn social-learning platform. It requires only 3 hours per week and costs nothing! (Or you may choose to upgrade your enrollment, for a fee, to participate in tests, obtain a completion certificate, and gain unlimited access to course materials in the future. A completion certificate is required if you plan to become an AACTE consultant.)

AACTE 2017 Washington Week Recap

During the AACTE Washington Week, June 4-7, teacher educators, preservice teachers, and PK-12 school administrators united under the event theme “Diverse Perspectives, Deep Partnerships, One Profession.” The convening brought together attendees from across the nation to discuss important education policies and advocate for educator preparation with members of Congress and their staff.

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