Archive for June, 2021

Member Spotlight: Clay Smith

AACTE’s Member Spotlight features an individual from a member institution, highlighting how their work makes a difference in classrooms across the country. Nominate yourself or another member by providing a response to the following questions and sending to

Get to know Clay Smith …

Position/Institution: I am in my 6th year as the Special Populations Coordinator in the College of Education at East Carolina University (ECU). Prior to that, I served for nearly 3 years as the South Central Consortium Coordinator for ECU’s Partnership Teach degree-completion model.

Number of years in your position: Two years

Alma Mater(s): B.S. in history education, East Carolina University; MAEd in history education, East Carolina University; Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, University of North Carolina-Wilmington.

Hometown: Mebane, NC

AACTE Teacher Stories: Teachers as Forward-Thinking Frontline Workers

AACTE Teacher Stories is a new series highlighting the experiences of K-12 educators who are attending or alumni of AACTE member institutions.

As an AACTE National Holmes Scholar who graduated from the University of Central Florida, I learned that to persevere I must overcome some fears regardless of how grand they might seem.  After graduation, I opted to take the path of returning to the K-12 classroom as a teacher and reading specialist rather than transitioning to higher education. In the midst of COVID-19, I was uncertain and fearful, like many of my fellow teachers. The new school year highlighted my and others’ fears, forcing us to consider our roles as frontline workers in education. My English class read the text, What Fear Can Teach Us, a speech by Karen Thompson Walker. In her speech, Walker posits “We all know what it’s like to be afraid. We know how fear feels, but I’m not sure if we spend enough time thinking about what fear means.”

Grow Your Network on AACTE Connect360

Are you looking to connect with colleagues with similar, scholarly interests? Engage with like-minded peers and grow your network on AACTE’s Connect360 anytime, from anywhere. Simply log on to, create your profile, and begin inviting colleagues to join your network right away. You can even introduce yourself in the open forum.

Playbook Offers Strategies for Recruiting, Retaining Diverse Teaching Workforce

Last month, President Biden called for an unprecedented investment in his FY 22 budget proposal to begin to redress the chronic inequities in our nation’s education system. In a new playbook, the Partnership for the Future of Learning offers a set of high-impact strategies and examples for recruiting, preparing, developing, and retaining high-quality teachers and bringing greater racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity to the profession.

The 152-page Teaching Profession Playbook was developed by the Learning Policy Institute and the Public Leadership Institute in collaboration with 26 organizations and five individual experts. The digital playbook includes examples of legislation; a curated list of publications, by topic, for further reading; a guide to talking about teacher shortages and strengthening the profession; and examples of research-based policies.

Students: Register for ISTELive 21 at the Discounted Rate to Learn Edtech Best Practices

ISTE Live 21

It’s not enough for educators to know how to use technology; they have to understand the pedagogical principals underpinning the tools so that tech is used effectively and gives students agency over their learning.

For example, technology should not merely be a replacement for nontech tools. An electronic whiteboard is merely an expensive chalkboard if teachers use it only to project lessons and homework assignments. But technology can transform learning when it is used in a way that allows students to collaborate with peers and experts across great distances, gather and analyze large data sets, and use creation tools to make art that can be critiqued by an engaged audience.

School of Education Helps Increase Access to Teaching

Teacher sitting down working with students

This article originally appeared on the University of St. Thomas Newsroom and is reprinted with permission.

The School of Education at St. Thomas is making inroads to increase the number of people of color who choose to become teachers, and national organizations are recognizing its efforts. In March, the school received notice that the Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) accepted its proposal to be part of a consortium to increase equitable access to teaching. 

Only around 6% of licensed Minnesota teachers identified as Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), while 38% of students in the state are nonwhite, according to state data. In efforts to help close that gap, the School of Education will join with other AACTE members to examine entrance requirements for teacher preparation programs. This collaboration exemplifies just one more way in which the school has been working to grow the number of diverse teachers through a variety of programs, including key partnerships.

View the Schedule-at-a-Glance for #AACTE22 in New Orleans

New Orleans waterfront

AACTE is excited to have our next in-person Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA, March 4-6, 2022. New Orleans has so much to offer —dining, attractions, shopping, museums, tours, nightlife, cultural arts, and so, so much more. Learn more about the many things to do while you are visiting the host city. 

The #AACTE22 meeting will offer everything you expect from AACTE’s annual conference: concurrent sessions, keynote speakers, networking opportunities in the Conference Community Center with our professional service providers—plus much, much more.

There’s Still Time: Register to Attend Members-Only Leadership Course on Personal Wellness

Space is limited for the AACTE Leadership Academy introductory course, “Personal Wellness: Managing Your Stress and Time.” Register today to be a part of this interactive session on Wednesday, June 9 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. that will discuss the impact of COVID-19, how it has affected our professional and personal lives, the additional stresses, time demands, and our overall wellness during this past year.

Walt Gmelch, dean emeritus and professor of Leadership Studies at the University of San Francisco, will facilitate this special session about your well-being.  This course is complimentary for AACTE members only and registration is required. Register now as space is limited to only 100 participants.

Registration is Open for Washington Week 2021

AACTE Virtual Washington Week 2021 banner

Registration is now open for the 2021 virtual Washington Week.  Register today to ensure your voice is heard advocating for education. Every year, this popular gathering of like-minded members of the education preparation community attracts hundreds from around the nation. Join your peers at this year’s virtual Washington Week, which will feature the following four events:

Collaborate with Colleagues via Topical Action Groups in AACTE Connect360

Initatiate. Collaborate. DiscussAre you interested in connecting with colleagues that share your interests and have similar areas of expertise?  If so, AACTE encourages you to join one of its  Topical Action Groups (TAGs).

TAGs are AACTE action-oriented working groups that focus on areas such as accreditation, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), elementary education, research in teacher preparation, international education, and women in leadership—just to name a few. In addition to collaborating with your peers, AACTE provides TAGs with operational funds, marketing and staff support, and complimentary meeting space at the AACTE Annual Meeting.

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Accepting Applications for DEI Standards Committee

The National Board of Professional Teaching Standards is an anti-racist and inclusive organization. We believe that educators must help students consider their role in a diverse world, value individual differences, and—especially in times such as these—we believe in the power of the teaching profession to defend what is good and right for all people.

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is seeking applicants from the educator preparation community to serve on the committee that will develop standards in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. These Board certification standards for practicing teachers also impact teacher preparation programs and assessments, professional learning programs, and state licensure systems across the country. The 10-12 committee members will receive an honorarium and will be representative of the diversity among teaching professionals and the students and communities they serve.

AAQEP Formally Recognized as National Accreditor of Educator Preparation Programs

AAQEP Formally Recognized as National Accreditor of Educator Preparation Programs

The Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), an accrediting organization for educator preparation programs nationwide, received formal recognition this month from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

CHEA is the only national organization focused exclusively on higher education accreditation and quality assurance. The recognition, carrying a term of seven years, signifies that AAQEP meets CHEA’s recently revised standards for attending to academic quality and improvement with respect for institutional mission.

Update Your Profile on AACTE Connect360

While we love engaging conversations within Connect360, we also love seeing friendly faces and updated bios on profiles! Updating your profile enables others to learn more about you. Adding your bio, job history, and interests encourages your colleagues to engage and collaborate with you within the community.

Biden Budget Proposal is Historic High-Water Mark for Education Funding

Medal for achievement in education with diploma, hat and books standing on stack of coins on gray backgroundThis blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide updated information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE. 

Biden- Harris Administration Unveils Massive Budget with Historic Investments in Education

On the Friday before the long-awaited Memorial Day holiday, just as Members of Congress were headed home and the rest of us were finalizing our plans for the long weekend, the White House unveiled the complete version of the Biden-Harris Administration’s full budget proposal for FY 2022.

The budget proposal calls for $102.8 billion for the Department of Education—a $29.8 billion or 41% increase to the Department’s current spending levels. This increase in funding would be the largest increase the Department has seen since its inception in 1979.

Deadline to Submit Proposals for AACTE’s 2022 Annual Meeting Extended to June 1

New Orleans waterfront

Don’t’ miss your chance to be a part of the AACTE 74th Annual Meeting. Submit a session proposal by the extended deadline, Tuesday, June 1, to share your lessons learned during these difficult times and contribute to the educational content at the AACTE 2022 Annual Meeting, March 4-6, in New Orleans, Louisiana.  

Themed Rethink, Reshape, Reimagine, Revolutionize: Growing the Profession Post Pandemic, the conference features four strands:   

  • Strand 1 – Preparing Educators In and For the Future
  • Strand 2 – Renewing Democracy through Activism and Collaboration
  • Strand 3 – Addressing Public Concerns for the Future of the Profession
  • Strand 4 – Confronting the Challenges Facing Our Programs and Institutions