Higher Ed and K-12 District Partnerships Are Critical for Teacher Induction Success

A short video clip highlighting real examples of university-district partnerships that are working to improve new teacher acclimation

Get inspired by these partnerships that are easing the transition for new teachers and setting them up for success from the start.


Lynn Gangone:

We have these teachers coming in and the induction piece, the ways in which the higher education institution can partner with the school district, is absolutely critical. So, I’ve got a couple of examples that I can share with you. One is at Kennesaw State University, which is in Georgia, and I see we have a couple of people from Georgia in the house here in the chat. There is a program where Kennesaw partners with the Georgia SCA and looks at a support for special education teacher induction and retention. There’s no surprise to anyone on this call that our need for special education teachers is acute, as it is for ESL teachers, STEM teachers, we have kind of shortages within shortages.

And so, this program, it’s the Georgia Department of Education, the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, and they have a mentoring and induction program for new special education teachers across the state. And the partnership then between the institution and the state and the local school districts, part of this is always getting the right people at the table to make sure that you’ve got the movers and shakers with policy and with actually implementation, getting this work done it. There’s ongoing training for special education teachers once they enter the classroom and they’re mentored and supported while delivering high quality instruction and implementing evidence-based practices that meet the needs of students with disabilities.

Another example would be from the University of Central Florida. University of Central Florida does a ton of work. And one of the things I love about UCF is they also have a program that we have at AACT called the Home Scholarship Program. So, one of the things we haven’t talked about is that part of our challenge too is to not only address the shortage, but also who’s entering teaching, and making sure that we have teachers that reflect the diversity of the student body. And so, our homes program specifically focuses on scholars of color and future practitioners and scholars in teacher education, in elementary education, in early childhood education, and policy, et cetera. So, University of Central Florida has one of our top programs of that, but they work with the Orange County Public Schools and they offer a paid field experience to candidates as part of their teachers and residence program.

And one of the things we talked about before the webinar was the cost of how you prepare a teacher… If we want them to have a clinical practice, we have to figure out a way to support them financially because most students these days are working and preparing to be a teacher. And so, it’s complicated, but I think that part of it for us is making sure that we are doing whatever we can to facilitate those partnerships, particularly at the early stages of when someone enters into a school district.