Goal and Mission: The Regional Professional Development School (RPDS) seeks to increase student learning through the establishment of a learning community involving collaborative work between school-based teachers and college-based faculty as well as administrators from both contexts. The projects of the RPDS will frequently, but not exclusively, center on providing pre-service teachers with a more authentic classroom experience to better prepare for entry into the profession The RPDS will also give teachers in the schools an opportunity to engage in applied research with college colleagues that will deepen and inform instructional practice for all participants. College faculty not only have a practical setting from which to conduct research which might have a comparatively immediate impact on student learning, but also have access to a real world environment that instructors can use to bridge the sometimes seeming insurmountable gap between theory and practice that looms for pre-service teachers. The RPDS offers opportunities for school and college faculty to develop more refined skills as instructors, to advance intellectual inquiry in an immediately relevant context, and ultimately, to increase student learning through more authentic engagement with pre-service teachers. In accordance with the CAEP standards for PDS partnerships, the RPDS will work toward a four-fold mission:
SUNY Cortland and Tully schools are using technology to provide college education students with actual classroom experiences earlier than most programs. Through the use of video conferencing equipment, education students at the State University are able to watch classes in the Tully schools as they take place, discuss them and even interact with students and teachers through video and audio links. This affords opportunities for these future educators to experience a classroom a year or more prior to their actual student teaching.
The technology avoids the logistical issues of travel and time and bringing a full college class physically into the public school classroom. University faculty can discuss what is taking place without disturbing the classroom. Additionally time is available for discussion with the classroom teacher and the teacher prep students after the instruction period.
SUNY faculty member Karen Hempson initiated the program with several staff members of the Tully schools last year. The public school participants have expanded in the current year due to the success of the program as viewed by both institutions.
Dr. Marley Barduhn, Assistant Provost for Teacher Education at SUNY Cortland, said that college students described this experience as "one of the most valuable learning experiences" they’ve had. “The entire class was able to share the same experience which provided a common ground for discussion,” wrote one of the teacher candidates.
Tully classrooms have been using video conferencing for courses and collaborations with other schools for several years. The current project is one of the first such collaborations between the public schools and higher education in the region. Dr. Kraig Pritts, Tully Schools Superintendent, believes that rural schools have the opportunity with this technology to work more closely with their university partners in bringing the reality and excitement of the classroom to new teachers-in-training.
The program is one of an ongoing series of relationships developed by SUNY Cortland in a Regional Professional Development School program (RPDS). The RPDS works with area schools to enhance the development of future educators while also providing professional development opportunities for those already in the field.
The goal of the Cortland Regional Professional Development School (Regional PDS) is to increase student learning through the establishment of a learning community involving collaborative work between school-based teachers and college-based faculty, as well as administrators in both contexts. In accordance with CAEP (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation), the Cortland RPDS will work toward a four-fold mission:
Teacher candidates benefit from authentic classroom experiences, students benefit from fresh ideas and innovative practices, teachers benefit from reflective practice and college faculty benefit by staying in touch with developments in classroom practice and ideas for collaboration and future research.
The Regional PDS Mini-grants are designed to support teachers and college faculty in collaborative school improvement efforts. Because of budget constraints, we will only be able to award a limited number of grants. Mini-grants may be awarded up to $1500. Grant proposals must:
Awardees will present the project and describe its implementation and results to the Regional PDS governing group in at the spring, 2012 retreat.
Mini-grant proposals are due December 15, 2010. Please send them to Joy Mosher, RPDS Coordinator, Cornish Hall 1238. Review and notification of awards will be completed by the end of December, 2010. Awarded funds must be expended by June 25, 2011.
Title of project
Names of authors, listing school affiliation, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses. Identify
others who will be involved in the project.
Mission/goals of the project, focusing on the above CAEP four-fold PDS mission.
Brief description of the proposed project (250-500 words) that addresses the following points:
Append a separate budget identifying specific costs of project equipment and materials, not to exceed
$1500. Provide information on in-kind or other contributions from the school district involved. Please
note that SUNY Cortland funds cannot be used to pay teacher stipends. Materials or equipment must be
purchased by SUNY Cortland: include accurate names of vendors, addresses and catalogue numbers with
Proposals that do not address all points above will not be considered for awards.
If you are awarded a mini-grant:
This mini-grant may qualify for in-service credit for teachers depending upon the school district’s policy. Please check with your building administrator.
Equipment and/or materials must be ordered by SUNY Cortland staff and delivered to SUNY Cortland. Please double check the vendor information to be sure that it is accurate and up-to-date. Arrangements will be made for pickup from 1239 Education Building.
Awardees will present their projects and describe preliminary findings and assessment at the spring, 2012 retreat.