About UNC Partnerships
In order to accomplish our mission, the College faculty, administrators and students work collaboratively with many groups and organizations. On campus our teacher education programs are integrated into the Colleges of Humanities and Social Sciences, Natural and Health Sciences, Performing and Visual Arts and the University College. While these Colleges mainly provide our teacher candidates with deep content knowledge, their faculty members also serve on teams that visit candidates in schools and also collaborate on the development of curriculum for teacher candidates.
Every program in the College requires a field experience, practicum, or internship. From 800 hours of student teaching to working in sites approved by the American Psychological Society, to local community sites that serve as placements for psychology undergraduates, the College works closely with a large number of external partners. For example, in one academic year approximately 800 teachers complete a field component of their programs in over 400 schools in Colorado and across the country and world. Other programs are likewise committed to the provision of meaningful real-world experiences.
Indeed our partnerships and alliances provide arenas that support an inquiry-oriented approach to teaching and learning and provides opportunities to connect theory and practice as both pre service and in service teachers and faculty solve authentic problems in complex classroom settings. Furthermore, faculty, candidates, and colleagues affirm the worth, dignity, and rights of all learners, as well as the right of all students to competent and caring teachers who work to prepare the future generation for our social and political democracy.
In these partnership settings students are observed and mentored by a combination of the site supervisor and university who make regular visits to the field. Site supervisors are carefully selected so that the students are mentored by recognized experts who have a commitment to the development of the next generation of educators.
HISTORY OF UNC SCHOOL PARTNERSHIPS
In 1991, after many months of collaboration between the Colleges of Education, Arts and Sciences, Visual and Performing Arts, Health and Human Services, and three regional school districts, UNC embraced and implemented a University-Public School Partnership model. The redesign of the elementary and secondary undergraduate licensure programs provided candidates opportunities to begin intensive field experiences in newly formed partner schools during their junior years instead of waiting until the senior student teaching experience. Methods courses were taught on location at the public schools and faculty members were involved in supervising the candidates they were teaching. This new design required the extensive collaboration between the Colleges on campus because the scheduling of content area classes needed to effectively interface with the new field experiences. The first pilot elementary partner school project occurred in Thompson School District in Loveland at Mary Blair Elementary.
The pilot project was judged a resounding success by candidates, partner teachers and administrators, and university faculty. Although several refinements still needed to be made, the vision for continued simultaneous renewal to prepare better teachers for better schools prompted university administrators to expand the partnership model to include approximately six partner schools in three school districts.
The College of Education and Behavioral Studies is enjoying continued success with University-school partnerships.