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2011 News Releases

People from College of Education and Human Services make conference presentation on proposed five-year teacher prep program

April 14, 2011

Longwood University

A recent presentation at a national conference highlighted the work by a College of Education and Human Services committee that is developing a five-year teacher preparation program.

The presentation at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, in San Diego, focused on the process by which the committee, which has met for about two years, is developing a bachelor's/master's degree program for liberal studies majors in elementary education and middle school education. Members of the committee are Alissa Baldwin, assistant director of professional services; Dr. Chris Jones, associate professor of education; Dr. David Locascio, associate professor and middle school education coordinator; Dr. Pat Lust, director of the Liberal Studies program; Dr. Nancy Powers, assistant professor of education and elementary education coordinator; and Dr. Peggy Tarpley, chair of the Department of Education and Special Education.

In the proposed program, which would replace the current four-year program, students would earn a bachelor's degree and a master's after five years. The committee has developed a model based on the "residency" concept, similar to the medical residency that aspiring doctors undergo.

In this model, prospective teachers will work collaboratively with Longwood professors, professional in-class coaches, and public school teachers. This approach will enable prospective teachers to refine necessary skills in an actual classroom while receiving ongoing feedback.

The presentation at the AACTE conference, "Moving From Good to Great: How Longwood University is Transforming its Traditional Teaching Preparation Program Into a Five-Year Residency Model," was given Feb. 25 by four of the committee members. In the Longwood presentation, the residency model was called a "delivery model that allows teacher education candidates to bridge the gap between theory and practice by providing them with authentic placements to practice and develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions they need in order to be an effective professional educator."

"This would be kind of groundbreaking," said Locascio. "In the fifth year, the student would be under the guidance of a professor, assigned to a school division and working in an authentic classroom while taking courses. Our presentation was well-received. Longwood's proposed residency master's degree program is much more ambitious, comprehensive, and internally sustainable than initiatives at other institutions."

A key component of Longwood's residency model, Jones said, is that it is "reverse-engineered - where do we want our students to go, and what do we need to do to get them there?"

Longwood annually graduates about 120 students in these two programs, which account for between 60 and 70 percent of the university's students in teacher preparation.