Partnerships for Excellence in Teacher Education: Community Colleges, School Districts and the University

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During an era when institutions of higher learning are facing tumultuous upheaval, partnerships in teacher education with community colleges, local school systems and surrounding communities promote growth on many levels and foster excellence.

The method by which successful university partnerships have been developed and nurtured will be explored in this presentation. A key collaborator in these partnerships is the community college. It is important for both organizations to provide a seamless enrollment path for students who complete an Associate of Arts degree and want to continue their education. By providing university classes and office facilities at the community college, students have flexible class options and access to university advisors.

University partnership issues extend to upper level curriculum and content, as well as student expectations. Subject matter is addressed through master syllabi and an electronic assessment system helps students to see progress toward program completion. Student expectations are clearly identified in a Student Handbook and a Student Orientation.

Each student in the program completes three to four supervised internships. These internships at local schools provide experience in the field with the support of a university supervisor and a skilled classroom teacher. Local school systems serve as collaborators by opening their doors to university students. These future teachers absorb the culture of the schools and communities in which they intern.

Despite the challenges of competition from other universities, a need for adjunct training, and limited technology resources, university partnerships have been very successful. They have produced highly educated, highly qualified graduates who contribute to their community and have an impact on today’s children who will be the citizens of tomorrow.


Keywords: Partnerships, Teacher Education, Best Practices
Stream: Teacher Training and Professional Development
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Vera Swade

Chair, Education
School of Education and Social Services, Saint Leo University

Saint Leo, Florida, USA

My career covers a span of over thirty years. I have taught elementary education with a specialty in reading; middle grade English and high school english. During this time I have also taught English and Reading on the community college level. Currently, I am the chair for the Department of Education and Social Services at Saint Leo University. My responsibilities include the undergraduate elementary and middle grades education as well as centers located throughout the state of Florida.

Dr. Carol Walker

Dean, School of Education and Social Sciences, Saint Leo University
Saint Leo, Florida, USA

As a former elementary teacher, my love for teaching and education has always been a part of my career life. During my tenure with Saint Leo University, I have served as a faculty member and Chair of the Education Department. Currently, I am the Dean of the School of Education and Social Services.

Ref: L09P0160