Jolanda M. Westerhof of AASCU to Receive AACTE’s Imig Award


AACTE’s Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountability has selected Jolanda M. Westerhof, associate vice president and director of teacher education for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), to receive the 2018 AACTE David G. Imig Award for Distinguished Achievement in Teacher Education. The award will be presented at the 70th AACTE Annual Meeting Opening Keynote session, March 1 in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Imig Award, named for AACTE President and CEO Emeritus David G. Imig, recognizes distinguished achievement in the formulation, implementation, or analysis of teacher education policy, or in the performance of distinguished scholarship in educator preparation.

Westerhof’s 8 years of service at AASCU, whose member institutions prepare over half of the nation’s teachers, have advanced teacher education not only at public colleges and universities but also profession-wide. Under her oversight, the association has grown its recognition of outstanding preparation programs through its annual Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award. Westerhof’s leadership also guided the successful development of the 2017 policy document Preparing Teachers in Today’s Challenging Context: Key Issues, Policy Directions, and Implications for Leaders of AASCU Universities, a comprehensive and insightful report of both the challenges facing teacher education and the opportunities and responsibilities of America’s state colleges and universities to meet the expectations of schools and communities for the highest quality teachers and principals. The task force she staffed that developed the report incorporated a broad representation of stakeholders and policy perspectives ranging from AASCU presidents to AACTE deans to leaders of research and advocacy organizations and state agencies.

“We are so pleased that AACTE has recognized our colleague Jolanda Westerhof in this very special way,” said George L. Mehaffy, AASCU vice president for leadership and change. “This award not only recognizes Jolanda for her many program and policy contributions to teacher education but also underscores the continuing partnership between our two organizations. Our two associations have had a long history of working together on the vital work of preparing America’s teachers. This award highlights the collaborative work that Jolanda undertook herself with AACTE staff to support teacher education, as well as her leadership efforts to connect policy advocacy in our two associations.”

Westerhof’s roles at AASCU include providing general oversight for the civic engagement and student success programs as well as directing the association’s work related to teacher preparation. Prior to joining AASCU, she had a 20-year career as a member of various education faculties, most recently at Grand Valley State University (MI). She received a Ph.D. in curriculum studies from Indiana University. This spring, she will assume the position of president of Principia College in Elsah, Illinois.

“AASCU institutions have a historic connection to teacher preparation, as many started as normal schools,” Westerhof said. “I am honored to accept this award on behalf of AASCU, an association that remains committed to supporting and celebrating the next generation of exceptional teacher preparation and professional development programs.”

Nominations for the Imig Award are reviewed by the AACTE Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountability. AACTE issued a press release today announcing all of its 2018 award winners. For more information on AACTE’s awards program, visit Applications for next year’s awards open in June.

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