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AACTE Hosts Quality Support Workshop in Minnesota

Participants share their stories and engage in scenario planning during a session led by Jacob Easley II (Eastern Connecticut State University) and Valeisha Ellis (Spelman College).

AACTE held its second Quality Support Workshop August 10-12 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, convening educator preparation professionals for a highly interactive, expert-facilitated event focused on quality assurance, assessment, accreditation, and more. More than 150 faculty, administrators, assessment and accreditation coordinators, and other educators engaged in the workshop, continuing the momentum established in the inaugural AACTE Quality Support Workshop in Texas last spring.

AACTE President/CEO Lynn M. Gangone kicked off the workshop with a facilitated discussion centered on the established workshop strands – performance assessment in teacher education, quality assurance and/or accreditation, and diversity and equity – as well as providing an update on AACTE programs. Participants were asked to brainstorm current issues and topics that they were eager to discuss with their colleagues and the experts on hand. With subjects ranging from teacher performance assessment to recruiting and retaining a diverse teaching workforce, participants produced topical questions that not only helped set the tone of the event but also formed the basis for breakfast conversations during the next 2 days.

After the collaborative opening session, attendees selected from four concurrent sessions in a 90-minute workshop block. During this time, and continuing over the six additional blocks in the next 2 days, many facilitators offered a sequence of workshops that participants could either follow as a continuous strand or attend selectively mixed with other sessions. Attendees also participated in formal and informal conversations throughout the workshop, addressing their programs’ particular issues, concerns, and successes.

AACTE President/CEO Lynn M. Gangone leads workshop participants in identifying their “big ideas/big questions” to kick off the Minneapolis event August 10.

In addition to offering the sessions previously held in Fort Worth, this event provided 11 new sessions and several new presenters. For a list of these facilitators and to view the complete schedule, see this article. Participants also had opportunities to meet with colleagues in teams, discuss hot topics over breakfast, and interact in evening receptions.

Concluding with a discussion led by Anne Marie Fenton (Georgia Professional Standards Board) and teacher educators from the Midwest region, the closing session focused on leveraging teacher leadership to provide more individualized support for both preservice and in-service educators. The session highlighted the clinical partnership between St. Cloud State University and the Minneapolis School District, which has informed the quality of local programs and practice across the continuum of teacher development.

Workshop attendees were enthusiastic about the event’s opportunities. “I walked away with many ideas that I can implement now – at the beginning of the academic year,” wrote one participant in an evaluation. Another remarked, “This professional dialogue is critical to our well-being, to our programs, and to the students our candidates/graduates teach.”

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Sara Hiller

Program Manager for Performance Assessments