AACTE Fall Syllabus Focuses on Core Values, Continuous Improvement

The AACTE Quality Support Workshop this month was an inspirational model of improvement in action. During my 3 days in Minneapolis, I witnessed a profound commitment among participants to ensure high levels of quality in their programs. Understanding standards and evidence more deeply, using data more strategically, and creating more effective quality assurance systems were some of the topics covered.

Dedication to continuous improvement is shared by AACTE’s members and the Association itself. To that end, the AACTE team is focusing the first part of this new academic year on an extensive review of the organization’s operations and programs, facilitated by an experienced consulting firm with assistance from a staff steering committee (see this recent article by Vice President Rod Lucero). In addition, an Association-wide member survey launches in September, and we’re counting on your participation to inform our work going forward. AACTE is always looking to improve and meet the changing needs of the membership.

The Quality Support Workshop is just one example of how AACTE connects you with professional development and programming. The event also builds on one of the core values of the Association – a commitment to “providing high-quality learning environments both on [college] campuses and in PK-12 classrooms, where candidates practice what they learn frequently and under supervision of faculty and PK-12 practitioners.” I wrote about this value in this month’s member engagement e-newsletter, and Board of Directors Chair Renée Middleton wrote a column about it this week focused on clinically rich teacher preparation.

In case you missed it, in July we focused on another core value, diversity – specifically AACTE’s commitment to supporting members in “increasing the diversity of their faculty and the educators they prepare so that they more accurately reflect the diversity within PK-12 schools.” As someone who has spent much of my career advocating for the advancement of underrepresented individuals in higher education, I strongly support AACTE’s dedication to upholding principles of diversity and inclusion. In addition to my introduction in the Engage newsletter, last month’s communications related to this value included a column by Renée Middleton on improving teacher retention, especially among teachers of color. AACTE also hosted a webinar spotlighting the work of the Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teachers Initiative Networked Improvement Community (see this article and this archived webinar) and shared an invitation to this fall’s dissertation retreat for Holmes Scholars and other interested students.

Over the coming semester, I will continue to highlight one of AACTE’s core values each month. Meanwhile, please stay tuned for the membership survey and for updates about the progress of our self-study – and visit aacte.org to learn more about the opportunities and resources the Association offers to support members every day.

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Lynn M. Gangone

President and CEO, AACTE