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University of Central Florida to Receive the 2024 AACTE Best Practice Award for Exemplary Holmes Program

AACTE (American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education) today announced that the University of Central Florida is the recipient of the 2024 AACTE Best Practice Award for Exemplary Holmes Program.

This award recognizes Holmes Program institutions that demonstrate exemplary and innovative practices in supporting graduate students of color resulting in increased productivity of its scholars. Amanda Wilkerson, Ed.D., assistant professor, and Caroline Pratt Marrett, Ph.D., senior lecturer and program coordinator for the Exceptional Student Education Program, College of Community Innovation and Education, will accept the award at AACTE’s 2024 Annual Meeting on Feb. 16–18, 2024, in Aurora/Denver, Colo.

It is gratifying to see UCF’s Holmes Scholars program receive this recognition,” said Grant Hayes, Ph.D., dean of the College of Community Innovation and Education. “The program’s students, faculty mentors, and alumni bring passion and excellence to their work and that is reflected in the success of our students as well as the program.”

The Holmes Scholar Program at UCF’s College of Community Innovation and Education emphasizes academic excellence, research, and leadership in education. Scholars engage in high-standard academic work, research, and publishing and develop leadership skills through professional activities. The program focuses on collaborative research in social justice, offering networking, mentoring, and diverse professional development opportunities. It aims to prepare scholars for careers in academia and contributes to educational innovation and policy discussions.

“We are honored to recognize the University of Central Florida for the Best Practice Award for Exemplary Holmes Program,” said Lynn M. Gangone, AACTE president and CEO. “Their commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive educational environment, coupled with their innovative approaches in mentoring and empowering future educators, truly sets their program apart as a model of excellence in the field.”

About AACTE 

Established in 1948, AACTE is the leading voice in educator preparation. AACTE’s member institutions and programs prepare the greatest number of professional educators in the United States and its territories, including teachers, counselors, administrators, and college faculty. These professional educators are prepared for careers in PK-12 classrooms, colleges and universities, state and governmental agencies, policy institutes, and non-profit organizations. The AACTE alliance of colleges and universities and educator preparation programs collaborates with members and partners to advance the field of education by prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and engaging in research-based inquiry, advocacy, and innovative practice. Learn more at aacte.org

About the Holmes Program

Established in 1991, the Holmes Program’s primary goal is to increase the diversity of tenure-track education faculty and leaders within higher education and the PK-12 school system. Holmes Scholars benefit from culturally relevant professional development and mentorship offered by AACTE and its member institutions.