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Member Voices: Clinical Partnership Work a Solid Foundation for CAEP Standard 2

The author is a member of AACTE’s Clinical Practice Commission. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

During the recent accreditation visit on my campus, my colleagues and I encountered the comprehensiveness of the new Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) standards and how difficult it is to reach those standards entirely, especially in a state that does not share PK-12 data of students and graduates. In one area, however, we thrived: Standard 2, which focuses on clinical partnerships and practice.

This standard states, “The provider ensures that effective partnerships and high-quality clinical practice are central to preparation so that candidates develop the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to demonstrate positive impact on all P-12 students’ learning and development.”

Fortunately, my institution was well positioned to meet this standard thanks to my work on the CAEP State Alliance and, later, the AACTE Clinical Practice Commission (CPC). These experiences combined to help Troy University move from the conceptualization to actual implementation of high-quality clinical partnerships. During our CAEP visit, we did not receive any areas for improvement or stipulations under Standard 2.

In the CAEP alliance, I had the privilege to serve on the team addressing this standard. Over 2½ years of conducting research, collecting data in our states, and collaborating with our colleagues in a cyclical improvement-science model, we developed a framework for the development of high-quality clinical partnerships. Then when the alliance project was sunsetted, I was honored to be asked to join the AACTE commission, which was conducting similar work and is now focused on practical implementation of the framework.

The proclamations and tenets set forth by the CPC helped my university strengthen its partnerships beyond just individual teacher-professor relationships to become organizational relationships between local PK-12 schools and the university. I feel that the CPC tenets raise the bar for clinical partnerships in a way that is also responsible and achievable. I encourage teacher educators at all universities – especially those seeking accreditation – to read the CPC proclamations and tenets and keep an eye out for the commission’s full white paper coming this fall.

Jason Wingate is chair of the Department of Leadership Development and Professional Studies at Troy University (AL).

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Jason Wingate

Troy University