A partnership of three local school districts and Portland State University's Graduate School of Education has been awarded a $690,000 TeachOregon grant to support teacher preparation programs, the Chalkboard Project announced.
PSU's partners — Portland Public Schools, North Clackamas School District and David Douglas School District — received one of three TeachOregon grants designed to bring school districts and their university partners together to develop promising models of teacher preparation in Oregon.
The grant funds four areas: recruitment and admissions, clinical practice, hiring and placement, and mentoring and induction.
The focus in year one is on clinical practice and the development of the undergraduate support system called the Bridge Program. The goal of the Bridge Program is to build a bridge for community college students and PSU undergraduates to the GSE by making sure they get appropriate advising, sufficient financial aid, and adequate support services such as mentoring. But that is only one aspect of the recruitment and admissions section—it also includes getting school district input on college admissions, developing opportunities to recruit middle and high school students to the profession, and more.
The clinical practice commitments involve co-teaching in schools for student teachers, professional development for mentoring teachers, principals and university supervisors, placing student teachers in specific work groups at partner schools, and enhancing cooperating teacher compensation.
The second and third year of the grant includes hiring strategies that focus on diversity and mentoring for new teachers during their first two to three years.
"We’re very excited about this grant as it will help us move forward with our school district partners in creating mutually beneficial partnerships and better clinical experiences that will ultimately produce better outcomes for PreK-12 students,” said Randy Hitz, dean of the Graduate School of Education.
“The attention on teacher preparation as of late has focused on the problems; the TeachOregon partnerships are creating solutions,” said Sue Hildick, Chalkboard Project president. “The proposals from all of the partnerships included ideas that have the potential to revitalize the connections between teacher preparation programs and the needs of school districts in Oregon. We believe the three proposals receiving implementation funds will become examples for the rest of Oregon and the nation.”
Learn more about the Chalkboard Project and TeachOregon at http://chalkboardproject.org/teacher-preparation/