Kirsis Dipre Named Holmes Scholar of the Month

Kirsis DipreCongratulations to Kirsis Dipre, Holmes Scholar of the Month for December 2021. Dipre is currently a doctoral student in the Counselor Education and Supervision program at Syracuse University. She is also a visiting assistant professor in counseling at the University of Saint Joseph in Connecticut. 

Dipre’s professional background includes over 3 years of experience as a counselor working with children, adolescents, and adults. In her work, Dipre has primarily served racially and ethnically minoritized populations who are often impacted by systems of oppression. She is currently the mentorship committee chair for the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD) and is a National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) Minority Fellow with expertise in clinical mental health and multicultural counseling.

As Congress Heads Home, Unfinished Business Remains

This 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.  

Build Back Better

Congress Looks to Head Home for the Holidays Leaving Unfinished Business for Next Year 

With the temporary fix to fund the government completed (until February 18) and the debt ceiling extension completed, the one big item left on the agenda for this week for Congress was passing President Biden’s Build Back Better plan.  With the House already having passed the bill, the ball was in the Senate court where Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) had promised a vote before the holidays.  That promise evaporated this week as it became clear that it would be impossible to corral all Senate Democrats to vote yes—a requirement for passage. Even after multiple conversations with President Biden and other Senators, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was unwilling to offer his support for the $1.7 trillion bill.  So reluctantly, Senators turned their attention to other matters, such as confirming Biden nominations and considering strategies for securing support for voting rights reform.

Local Alabama Program Shows Promise in Putting More Black, Male Teachers in Classrooms

This article originally appeared on and is reprinted with permission.

When Wesley Lindsey first met his fourth-grade student, the boy, who is also Black, was reading on a preschool level.

Other teachers had referred the student to special education numerous times and wouldn’t even let him walk in the hallway alone due to behavioral problems.

From fall to spring, Lindsey managed to coach the young boy to nearly a third-grade level. The behavior problems stopped, and the student started mimicking Lindsey in the classroom, telling other students to quiet down and do their work.

Doing Community

The Joy and trepidation of Attending In-Person Convenings and Conferences

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

Mary ChurchillWe often use the word “community” as a noun, but lately I have been thinking a lot about the process of doing community, especially as we tentatively and cautiously return to in-person convenings and conferences.

I lead our college’s participation in the AACTE Special Ed NIC (the field of education loves acronyms). Spelled out, that stands for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Reducing the Shortage of Special Education Teachers Networked Improvement Community. I realize that is a mouthful. Let’s start with the NIC part. So, what exactly is a networked improvement community? The short definition is an “intentionally designed social organization, each with a distinct problem-solving focus.” A major component and benefit of a NIC is being in community and working together, doing community.

Check Your Mailboxes: Renewal Season 2022 is Upon Us

Have you picked up the latest edition of the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE)?  Did you access one of AACTE’s free downloadable resources, such as the Toolkit for Local Advocates: Teaching Diverse and Inclusive Curricula Materials and Defending Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion or the ARP Funding Toolkit? If so, don’t forget to renew your AACTE membership for 2022 to continue receiving these types of resources.

Your 2022 membership invoice is in the mail.  AACTE membership runs from January 1 to December 31. To ensure you do not miss out on the many members-only resources, please renew your membership before December 31, 2021.

Member Spotlight: Beth Kubitskey

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 Beth Kubitskey …

Current Position: Dean, School of Education and Human Services, University of Michigan-Flint
Number of years in your position: 3 months 
Alma Mater(s):  Ph.D. educational studies – teacher education, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; M.S. physics education, Eastern Michigan University; B.S. chemistry, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Hometown: Milford, MI

  1. Beth KubitskeyHow long have you been a member of AACTE? 
    I have been an active member of AACTE since 2007.   

  2. Why did you join AACTE?
    In 2007, I submitted my dissertation for the AACTE Outstanding Dissertation Award and was fortunate enough to win.  That was my first AACTE Conference. I was impressed with how the presentations represented high quality research that was applicable to the work I was doing in preparing teachers. It was where scholarship and practice met, and I loved it. 

In Memoriam: Janet Arndt

Janet ArndtJanet Arndt, dean of Gordon College’s School of Education, passed on Monday, December 13, 2021, following a brief hospitalization for COVID-19. An active AACTE member, Dr. Arndt was the president of the Massachusetts Association of Colleges for Teacher Education at the time of her death.

Dr. Arndt was a 1968 alumna of Gordon College, where she returned and served for more than 25 years in teaching and administrative roles that included Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) licensure officer and director of graduate programs in education. She developed and implemented the Master of Arts in Leadership degree program in 2016 and was instrumental in  establishing the School of Education in 2019, being named dean upon its inception.

Using American Rescue Plan Funds to Address Teacher Shortages

Smiling teacher and boy giving high five in classroom at school

In March, President Joseph Biden signed in to law the American Rescue Plan Act (commonly referred to as ‘ARP’), which included more than $120 billion to help schools safely reopen for in-person learning. The funding can be used in a variety of ways, including to address the nation’s teacher shortage by placing teacher candidates in K12 classrooms. AACTE created a Toolkit to help members navigate conversations with state or local education leaders about using ARP funding for this purpose.

Delve Deep and Be Inspired at #AACTE22

The need for enhancing educator preparation, policy, advocacy, and support has never been greater. Engage with colleagues and inspire change at AACTE’s 74th Annual Meeting, March 4-6, 2022, in the “Big Easy,” New Orleans. You don’t want to miss this year’s in-person event with our expert speakers, impactful topics, and “Deeper Dive” sessions that explore critical issues as we rethink, reshape, reimagine, and revolutionize the profession post pandemic.

In addition to the Deeper Dives announced in the November blog, check out these additional sessions available at this year’s conference:

New Board Members Elected for 2022

Congratulations to the following individuals who will join the AACTE Board of Directors effective March 6, 2022:

Laura AlamilloLaura Alamillo
Dean, School of Education
Sonoma State University
HACU Representative


Carole G. BasileCarole G. Basile
Arizona State University
Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
At-Large Representative

Action Needed: Urge Your Members of Congress to Co-Sponsor the Educators for America Act

Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Representative Alma Adams (D-N.C.) recently introduced the Educators for America Act, which would modernize Title II of the Higher Education Act and help ensure that future teachers are profession-ready to enter the classroom. The Educators for America Act was introduced after more than a year of consultations with experts in the educator field and partner organizations.  
Action Needed Now we must use our voice to build support and momentum behind the bill. Urge your representative and senators to co-sponsor the Educators for America Act via AACTE’s Action Center.  

Congress on the Move as the Clock Winds Down

US Capitol with colored sky in 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.  

Congress Checks Another Item Off The “Must-Do” List

Last week lawmakers in Congress rallied to unite behind a deal that keeps the government funded at its current levels through February 18 __a Continuing Resolution (CR).This is the first in a series of “must-do” tasks before the New Year. The temporary patch keeps the government open, but it could result in federal agencies delaying grant competitions and disbursement of funds.

New AACTE Member Survey Describes Pandemic’s Continuing Impact on Educator Prep

Fall 2021 Member Survey CoverSince spring 2020, when schools and colleges around the country switched to online instruction due to COVID-19, AACTE has periodically surveyed members on the impact of the pandemic on educator preparation. A new report updates that series with information collected in fall 2021. It describes how conditions have changed since 2020, highlighting the lasting effects of the pandemic.

This report contains a lot of good news regarding the resumption of in-person instruction and field experience and the easing of enrollment and budget reductions. Nonetheless, the effects of COVID-19 linger for many institutions, with a sizable minority of respondents reporting significant enrollment losses, budget cuts, and staffing reductions. State licensing requirements have been reinstated, but some states are creating opportunities for prospective teachers to circumvent those rules, which may negatively affect enrollment in educator preparation programs and exacerbate the current shortage of profession-ready educators in the workforce.

Mississippi Public Universities Help Mississippi Children Succeed in the Classroom

Mississipi Public Universities

Mississippi Public Universities support the state’s children and K-12 schools across the state in numerous ways. In addition to preparing the teaching workforce through the education academic degree programs, the universities support teachers, students, and schools through outreach efforts ranging from a partnership school for middle school students located on a university campus to a clinic housed at a high school to help teens stay well so they can perform at their best in the classroom and beyond.

The Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program (METP) is a collaboration between the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University to attract top-performing students into the education profession with full financial support, travel abroad opportunities and invaluable professional incentives. METP aims to increase the import—and reduce the export—of talented educators to create a pipeline of new teachers committed to Mississippi’s future. All students who enter the program make a five-year commitment to teach in Mississippi after graduation. Funded by the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation of Jackson, METP is designed to create a unique “honors college-style” learning experience for high-achieving education students and promote collaboration between students and faculty at both universities.

Teaching Residents in unique Detroit School Program Find Medical-Like Mentoring Model

During a two-day visit to the U-M campus, the inaugural class of Marygrove students worked together on problem-solving and engineering projects. Image credit: Heather Nash

Discussions around the fall return to in-person school after more than a year of remote learning largely focused on the general impact on K-12 children and veteran teachers. But little had been said about new first-time teachers whose critical year of classroom-based training was spent learning how to teach on a computer.

Isra Elshafei, a teacher at the School at Marygrove in Detroit, is grateful for a unique teaching residency program that offers additional support and mentoring she doubts others who completed student teaching online during the pandemic are getting.


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