Archive for January, 2022

MDE Awards More than $9.8M in Grants to Five Mississippi Universities

The MDE is using American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to cover the grants.  

The MTR will provide grants to the universities’ educator preparation programs to enroll diverse participants to work toward their graduate degree and Mississippi teacher certification. MTR will include training alongside a mentor teacher, testing support, professional development, ongoing assessment and a commitment to teach in a geographical critical shortage school or district serving low-income children, racial/ethnic minorities and children with disabilities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Attend the AACTE Holmes Scholars Leadership Series

Sponsored by Ohio University’s Patton College of Education, the Holmes Council, and AACTE, the Holmes Scholars Leadership series is a free, four-part series of conversations that will explore the leadership trajectories and experiences of various individuals connected to the field of education. The series will launch on January 31 and continues through April 25. The first session, “Leadership Lessons: A Conversation with Established Leaders,” features Renée A. Middleton and Lynn M. Gangone. Participation is free. Register at

AACTE/UPPI Podcast Explores ‘Redesigning Instructional Leadership Training’

UPPI Podcast logoAs the role of the principal evolves, so too does the extent to which they play the role of instructional leader. As a vital part of student outcomes and teacher retention in schools, it’s alarming that new principal often have skill gaps when providing instructional coaching. Teacher retention is due largely in part to the support of their principal, which is why AACTE continues to advocate for quality education leadership preparation programming. 

In the sixth episode of AACTE’s podcast covering the University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI), AACTE talks to Jason Grissom, author of How Principals Affect Students and Schools, about what the research says regarding instructional leadership. The episode also dives into Albany State UPPI program’s efforts to address the gaps in preparing principal candidates to be effective instructional coaches with UPPI Project Director Janice Carthon, and Felisa McDavid, who is a graduate of Albany State’s principal prep program and principal of St. James Elementary in South Carolina.

Listen now to Episode 6: Redesigning Instructional Leadership Training

New Lunch/Learn Series Addresses Strategies to Teach Students with Different Life Experience than Yours

The current and historical public-school workforce in the United States remains predominantly white, middle class, and female; however, these demographics have never accurately represented all students in American classroom settings, which continue to grow in diversity. Classrooms are a place where the presence of biases, stereotype threats, and need for more inclusive environments resulting from differences between the demographics and lived experiences of the teaching workforce and students exist. While AACTE and other education stakeholders are taking up efforts to diversify the field, it is essential to improve the ability of our current educator workforce. In the United States, our classrooms have never been more diverse with students from multiple cultures, socio-economic levels, and disabilities. Thus, the essential question remains: How can we best prepare teachers to support all students in our classroom settings?

App State to open lab school at Elkin Elementary

This article originally appeared on the Appalachian Today website.

Appalachian State University is partnering with Elkin City Schools to open the university’s second laboratory school aimed at enhancing student education, improving outcomes,and providing high-quality teacher and principal training.

Under the plan — which was developed in collaboration with Elkin City Schools leaders and approved by the Elkin City Schools Board of Education on Dec. 13, 2021 — a lab school will open at Elkin Elementary School in August. The “school-within-a-school” model will serve approximately 100 students in second through fourth grades.

Department of Education Reviews Higher Education Regulations

Graduation Cap on top of U.S. CurrencyThis weekly Washington Update is intended to keep members informed on Capitol Hill activities impacting the educator preparation community. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.  

The Senate adjourned for the long weekend on Thursday and postponed next week’s scheduled recess to the week of January 24th. The chamber will return on Tuesday to continue debate on voting and election legislation. Behind the scenes, conversations surrounding FY22 appropriations are garnering more traction than they have in recent months. We expect the next month to be especially busy as we inch closer to the February 18th deadline for either passing FY22 appropriations or extending the Continuing Resolution (CR) to avoid a government shutdown.

Don’t Delay: Advance Registration Deadline for #AACTE22 Ends Jan 21

AACTE's 74th Annual Meeting - Advance Registration Deadline Jan 21There is still time to register at a discounted rate for the AACTE 74th Annual Meeting, being held March 4 – 6, 2022, in New Orleans, LA. Advance registration pricing will be available until Friday, January 21, at midnight. After this deadline, fees will revert to the full registration rate.

We are excited to meet in person this year in the “Big Easy” to rethink, reshape, reimagine, revolutionize, and grow our profession. Join us for concurrent sessions on trending topics and dynamic keynote speakers. We look forward to engaging in meaningful discussions, sharing research and practices, and becoming better equipped to drive change in the educator preparation field.

Member Spotlight: Amanda Wilkerson

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 it to

Meet Amanda Wilkerson …

Current Position: Assistant Professor, University of Central Florida 
Number of years in your position: 3 years 
Alma Mater: Florida A&M University #STRIKE
Hometown: Miami, Florida 

  1. Amanda WilkersonHow long have you been a member of AACTE?
    The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a very progressive organization. A part of its focus is futuristic in nature. That is, AACTE is interested in ensuring that the field of education is diversified, developing talented scholars of color so that they may engage in preparing the next instructional and administrative leaders. To that end, I began my tenure as a member of AACTE in 2016, first as a Holmes Scholars. Today, I continue to enjoy active membership in the association and commit much of my work to the iconic ideas that attracted me to join as a student scholar. Honestly, I cannot believe that I have nearly 6 years of continuous membership and involvement with AACTE! 

Members Only: Attend Educating for American Democracy Professional Development

Embedding Educating for American Democracy In Teacher Education A Pilot Professional Development for Educator Preparation ProfessionalsHistorical tensions and the bipartisan polarization of many topics deemed essential to a well-rounded, inclusive civic education has made teachers, especially those just entering the classroom, hesitant to engage students in civics in their classrooms. However, civic inquiry should be introduced early and often, by incorporating these frameworks across subject areas.

AACTE has partnered with iCivics and Educating for American Democracy (EAD) as part of its efforts to ensure every educator is prepared to help students understand the pillars and principles of democratic society and be engaged citizens regardless of their background and discipline.

Join the Conversation: Race and Equity in Special Education

Race and Equity in Special Education

Watch the recorded session.

Conversations about race and equity are often missing from discussions of special education, particularly in teacher education. However, in a system where students of color make up half of those receiving special education services while fewer than 18% of special education teachers are people of color, race, and equity are essential topics. But are teacher educators prepared to address these issues? And how can we support teacher educators in their endeavors to do so? These are topics that panelists Erica McCray and Mildred Boveda will address in the upcoming AACTE webinar, “Race and Equity in Special Education.”

AACTE Partners with TCU to Launch Holmes Post-Doctoral Fellowship

TCU - AACTE Holmes Scholars logo

AACTE, in partnership with Texas Christian University (TCU), is pleased to announce a new Holmes post-doctoral fellowship opportunity. TCU is seeking a DEI Scholar Fellow in the Educational Leadership Higher Education Leadership program designed to support teaching and research efforts. The DEI Scholar Fellow will receive culturally relevant supports from the Holmes Program at AACT. Launched in 1991, the Holmes Program provides mentorship, peer support and professional development to master’s, doctoral and post-doctoral scholars who self-identify as racially and ethnically diverse and are pursuing a program of study in education. The selected fellow will engage in shared learning experiences alongside 200 active Holmes Scholars from across the country and will benefit from an alumni network of 700+ faculty, deans and leaders in education.

How Diverse Is Your Board?

The View from Venus Podcast

This article originally appeared Inside Higher Education and is reprinted with permission.

In December, we were able to publish a four-episode late-fall season for our podcast “View From Venus.” We had some phenomenal women as guests: Jacqueline Rodriguez, vice president at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education; Shana MacDonald, faculty member at the University of Waterloo; Becky Petitt, vice chancellor at UC San Diego; and Felecia Commodore, faculty member at Old Dominion University.

We have hosted conversations with college presidents, faculty members, staff members, artists, politicians, activists and entrepreneurs—all amazing women doing great work. One goal of the podcast is to lift up, amplify and celebrate this great work and share it with a larger audience. It is also about building connections and introducing the world to these women and the differences they are making in the world.

Congress 2022: An Early Look

This weekly Washington Update is intended to keep members informed on Capitol Hill activities impacting the educator preparation community. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.  

Capitol hill building in the morning with colorful cloud , Washington DC.As we begin the new year with hope for brighter days ahead, the congressional outlook has remained much the same as last year. This week the House is not in session, but the Senate is. Several members faced delays making their way back to Capitol Hill after the holiday break in the midst of the first D.C. snowstorm of the new year. The travel delays, coupled with the memorializing of former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, and marking the anniversary of January 6 filled much of the week on the Hill.

New Year, New Vision: Reimagine the Future at AACTE Leadership Academy

It’s not too late to be a part of the action during AACTE’s virtual Leadership Academy.  Start your new year off by planning for the future during the Academy’s third session on January 25, 2022.

During the session, entitled Reimagining the Future: A New Vision for Academic Leaders, a panel of innovators and thought leaders will energize your thinking about the future of higher education. Presenters will address multiple themes, including 1) diversity, equity, and inclusion; 2) rethinking leadership; 3) re-envisioning student access and success; and 4) reimagining the nature of the work. The session is designed to stimulate and provoke discussions through collective discoveries and interactive discussions, in an effort to shape a new vision for academic leaders.

National Office Welcomes New AACTE Staff

AACTE is happy to introduce the newest additions to its national staff: Janae Blanscet, confidential executive assistant to the president & CEO; Christine Chirichella, director of marketing & public relations; and Krislyn Mossman, senior director of operations.

Janae BlanscetJanae Blanscet has over 25 years of experience as an executive assistant. She has supported multiple executives in various for-profit and non-profit industries. She also has 12 years of insurance experience and still retains her licenses. She specializes in organization, time management, streamlining processes, as well as problem solving and implementing solutions. She holds a Bachelor’s in political science with a minor in Russian history from the University of Colorado-Denver.