Ann Larson at University of Louisville Becomes AACTE Board Chair
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) announced today Ann Larson, Ph.D., of the University of Louisville (UofL) (KY) as the new chair of its Board of Directors. During her one-year term, Larson will support AACTE and its President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone in implementing the Association’s new strategic plan, addressing challenges of recruiting qualified teacher candidates representing underrepresented and diverse backgrounds into the teaching profession and growing the Association’s membership.
“AACTE is resolute to represent and increase its membership of postsecondary institutions with educator preparation programs, and is dedicated to high-quality, evidence-based preparation that assures educators are profession-ready,” said Larson. “AACTE and its Board of Directors are committed to a set of shared beliefs, values, attitudes and professional behaviors that characterize revolutionizing education, including shaping education policy and practices that advance learning for all students.”
Larson currently serves as special assistant to the president of the University of Louisville for P-20 Strategy and Outreach. From 2014-19, she served as dean of the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Louisville. She began her career in 1995 as an assistant professor at UofL while continuing her work on a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, which she completed in 1998. She has taught in undergraduate, master’s, post-master’s and doctoral programs, and is a former middle and high school English teacher in Kansas.
Larson’s scholarly expertise is in curriculum theory, teacher education, professional development schools, English education and social foundations of education. She was a co-principal investigator of a Title II, No Child Left Behind federal/state literacy grant for teacher professional development related to urban middle school student achievement and closing the achievement gap in literacy in Louisville and Lexington. Larson has also led, with talented teams, two national accreditations and state accreditations for nearly 40 educator preparation programs, as well as successful efforts to obtain a $500,000 grant from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education Improving Educator Quality for the College of Education and Human Development. The Council supported the implementation of a clinical model of teacher preparation at Westport Middle School in Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville. In February 2020, the University of Louisville was announced a recipient of a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to participate in the “Apprenticeship: Closing the Skills Gap” program. Larson is a co-principal investigator on the grant, which includes a variety of academic and service units, other higher education partners, workforce, military, agencies and professional associations.
Larson co-edited a special theme issue in the Peabody Journal of Education, Vanderbilt University, on “Clinical Partnerships in Teacher Education: Perspectives, Practices, and Outcomes.” She is active nationally in numerous professional associations and co-presents and publishes with colleagues and graduate students in these venues. She works closely with the Jefferson County Public Schools and the Ohio Valley Education Cooperative districts and schools in her various roles. In her current position, Larson is the lead point of contact through the president’s office for UofL’s IBM Global Education and Global Skills Academy Partnership, announced in April 2019. She currently serves on UofL’s president’s cabinet and co-chairs the Community Engagement Partnership Steering Committee, which supports UofL’s Signature Partnership Initiative with P-12 Schools. She is a past-president of the Kentucky Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (KACTE), a state affiliate of AACTE. She received the KACTE Award for Distinguished Service to Educator Preparation in Kentucky in 2014.
“I had the privilege of first becoming active with AACTE during my doctoral program where wonderful faculty mentored me into experiences with the Association. Since 1991, I have been passionate about educator preparation and what AACTE represents in the education community,” said Larson. “I am eager to work with our members and leaders to enhance the firm foundation and positive impact of AACTE nationally and globally. My experiences in Kentucky, a state with a rich history of education reform, and working alongside dedicated and diverse P-20 educators in Kentucky, Illinois and Kansas and through AACTE, have highly shaped my commitment to the field.”
Larson joined the AACTE Board of Directors in 2014 and advanced to serving on its Executive Committee in 2016. Previously, she served in leadership roles on AACTE’s Advisory Council of State Representatives for several years. The AACTE Board of Directors include 26 representatives of AACTE member institutions from around the country.