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College earns place among nation's elite

August 25, 2008

Arizona State University’s College of Teacher Education and Leadership has landed an invitation to education’s version of “The Big Dance,” joining the elite ranks of two national organizations, the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) and the Council of Academic Deans of Research Education Institutions (CADREI).

“We are in colleagueship with other higher education institutions in setting direction for the improvement of teacher preparation programs and the redesign of the education doctorate,” says Mari Koerner, dean of the college located at ASU’s West campus.“These memberships reflect our commitment to continuing excellence in our programs and to influencing our peers as we continue to take leadership in making a difference in education.”

CPED is a five-year effort sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and CADREI to redesign and strengthen the education doctorate, the Ed.D. degree. The education schools selected to participate in the initiative are working together to refocus every facet of their new or current doctoral programs, from candidate selection to the “capstone” experience, and from the assessment procedures used to the curriculum. The goal of CPED is to “reclaim” the education doctorate and to transform it into the degree of choice for the next generation of school and college leaders.

CADREI members are deans of education from research and land grant institutions throughout North America. Different from the short-term project focus of CPED, CADREI targets the successful preparation of future educators as well as academic plans and policy discussions, and the formulation of initiatives, policies and programs to help improve member institutions’ effectiveness.CADREI is a sponsoring partner in the CPED project.

The College of Teacher Education and Leadership offers an Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation.

“These memberships recognize ASU’s College of Teacher Education and Leadership as one of the top educational colleges in the country, one that is grounded in use-inspired research and focused on the success of students and teachers,” says university President Michael Crow.

“The college has long used its community partnerships as a learning lab for future teachers while positively impacting today’s learners. These prestigious memberships will provide us an even greater opportunity to advocate with industry leaders from across the country for an innovative and meaningful educational curriculum.”

Suzanne Painter, director of the doctoral program offered at the West campus, says the new memberships are a boon to both the college and its students.

“We have already implemented a cutting-edge doctoral program,” says Painter, adding, “We can share what we have learned with other institutions and learn from their experiences as well. We are in a position now to speak on a national stage about doctoral study in education that furthers the design imperatives of the New American University – research that is applied to societal problems, work that advances our local institutions, and a focus on providing communities of support for our doctoral students that will last beyond their graduation.

“For our doctoral students, our program is dynamically evolving in part because we are in contact with the best thinking of national leaders in the field of professional practice doctoral degrees. We have access to those people and their current work before any of it is published through normal channels or presented at conferences. We have national colleagues serving as ‘critical friends’ to help us continually think about the features of our program that can be improved, or bring innovative ideas to our attention.”

The college has earned an enviable reputation among the country’s educators for its innovative distance-learning programs and its partnerships across the state that focus on teacher retention and student achievement in under-served and rural districts. In particular, the college’s Professional Development School program has earned national acclaim from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), while the distance-learning coursework that allows education students to learn in their communities has also received national recognition.

Christopher Clark, who was director of the University of Delaware School of Education – a CPED- and CADREI-member school – before coming to ASU as a clinical professor of education in 2006, was involved in the early stages of the College of Teacher Education and Leadership’s presentations to the two organizations. He says the memberships are reflective of the growing stature of the college.

“For the College of Teacher Education and Leadership to be invited to CPED and CADREI membership means that the college is being widely recognized as a quality research graduate school that is innovative and growing.

“This college has more programs that express and reflect the ideals of President Crow’s vision of a New American University – and many or more than other professional schools. The partnerships that the College of Teacher Education and Leadership have created really live up to the idea of use-inspired research and meaningful community engagement.”

The College of Teacher Education and Leadership, through collaboration with educational and civic communities, prepares and inspires innovative educators to be leaders who apply evidence-based knowledge that positively impacts students, families, and the community.