Grant expands innovative teacher preparation program

September 30, 2009

An Arizona State University program that immerses future teachers in school settings to maximize their readiness for successful careers as educators has been awarded a $33.8 million federal grant to expand across metropolitan Phoenix and the state of Arizona, spanning rural American Indian communities and the Tucson area.

ASU’s Professional Development School (PDS) program, developed by the College of Teacher Education and Leadership (CTEL), gives students three times the amount of hands-on, practical classroom experience as traditional teacher education programs. In rural communities, the program enables local residents to earn a university degree and Arizona teacher certification without having to relocate to an urban area of the state. Download Full Image

The five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Program will establish “PDS NEXT,” a program involving 15 urban and rural partner school districts in Arizona. Simultaneously, the grant makes possible a number of enhancements to the existing PDS program to produce graduates who are even more well-prepared for success in the classroom, while expanding PDS to implement comprehensive school reform and full-range professional development including a two-year induction program for new teachers.

“These new facets of PDS are designed to produce highly skilled new teachers who understand the content they are teaching and how best to teach it, and to foster measureable gains in effective school functioning, teacher retention, teaching effectiveness and student achievement,” says Scott Ridley, assistant dean of CTEL and principal investigator for the PDS NEXT grant. Ridley has guided the PDS program since it began in 1999 with one school, Longview Elementary, in central Phoenix’s Osborn Elementary School District.

“As a part of its effort to help solve the great challenges facing humanity, ASU has taken on the responsibility of improving public education,” says ASU President Michael M. Crow. “This grant will enable us to make great strides in preparing outstanding teachers. It is our commitment to measure our success in educating teachers by the success our graduates have in educating their students.”

To date, PDS has produced hundreds of elementary and junior high school teachers. Through the NEXT grant, the program will expand to include students wishing to teach at the high school level. CTEL will work in partnership with ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to provide high-quality content area instruction to future high school teachers as well as those planning to teach younger pupils.

Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty members collaborated with CTEL leadership to create a pilot for a discipline-based Master of Arts in Teaching, says Laura Turchi, clinical professor of English education and a co-principal investigator for the PDS NEXT grant. The project will train students in pedagogies designed to develop literacy in English, history, and languages.

“Our faculty will lead a series of consortia linking secondary schools, community colleges, and ASU,” Turchi says. “Each consortium will develop and support high-quality freshman and sophomore courses in reading, writing, critical inquiry, mathematics, and technologies at community colleges and the university. These courses will be available statewide through distance learning and provide models of rigorous and accessible curriculum for future teachers.”

New partner school districts participating through PDS NEXT are Mesa Public Schools; the Glendale, Roosevelt, and Phoenix Elementary School Districts; Sunnyside Unified School District in Tucson; the Window Rock, Ganado, and Kayenta districts in the Navajo Nation; University Public Schools; and the Phoenix Union High School District. Existing PDS partners including the Osborn, Chinle, Douglas, Indian Oasis-Baboquivari, and Gadsden districts also will participate in NEXT.

PDS targets high-need schools and communities, aiming to improve both the preparation of future teachers and the achievement of students. Mesa Public Schools (MPS), the state’s largest school district, plans to involve four of its elementary schools in the initiative, each serving low-income families.

“The principals at Adams, Lincoln, Guerrero and Whitman schools requested to participate because of the proposal’s focus on individual student growth, shared leadership structure and site-specific professional development opportunities,” says Michael B. Cowen, MPS superintendent of schools.

“We have been investigating ways to support teachers at lower-income schools through professional development, and the opportunity to partner with ASU’s PDS NEXT proposal couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Receipt of the grant will enable Ridley and his colleagues to incorporate TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement into the PDS curriculum. TAP is an initiative of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching.

“We are committed to reinventing the definition of teacher education at a major research university,” says Mari Koerner, CTEL’s dean. “Without abandoning the role of theory, CTEL is radically reforming its teacher education programs around TAP, which represents a unified model of clinical excellence.

“We also have learned that an investment in our partner school districts is an investment in our own teacher education enterprise,” Koerner says. “Through genuine partnerships with 15 high-need urban and rural school districts, we will work to simultaneously reform struggling K-12 schools and our district-based teacher education programs.”

An additional partner in the NEXT project is the Rodel Foundation of Arizona, which will provide training to student teachers and mentor teachers that specifically addresses the challenges of teaching in high-poverty schools and focuses on research-based strategies for increasing student achievement. The PDS NEXT partnership also includes the ASU Vice President’s Office for Educational Partnerships, ASU’s original home for the TAP program within the university.

The award to CTEL is the largest among 28 Teacher Quality Partnership grants across the country announced by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

“The Obama Administration is committed to giving teachers the support they need to succeed in the classroom,” Duncan says. “The Teacher Quality Partnership grants will improve student academic achievement by strengthening teacher preparation, training and effectiveness and help school districts attract potential educators from a wide range of professional backgrounds into the teaching profession.”

ASU invites schoolchildren to enter creative contest

September 30, 2009

Arizona State University invites schoolchildren from all over the state to enter its 25th annual Martin Luther King Jr. essay-poster contest. Winners will receive savings bonds and have their entries displayed at ASU.

They also will be honored at ASU's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration breakfast in January, along with their parents, teachers and school principals. Entries must be postmarked by Nov. 4.  Download Full Image

ASU started the contest 25 years ago to encourage children to discuss the ideals of the late civil-rights leader with their parents and teachers. Students are asked to create their entries around the theme, "Beyond the Dream: Building Communities Through Servant Leadership," focusing on a member of their family, school or community who demonstrates leadership through service.

Essays or poems depicting the theme must be 250 words or less. The winning posters will be made into bookmarks, so they must be oblong in shape — as small as 4 1/2 by 11 inches but no larger than 6 3/4 by 17 inches. Prizes are $150, $100 and $75 savings bonds.

Entries in each of the three categories will be judged by grade level: primary (K-2nd grade), intermediate (3rd-5th grade), middle (6th-8th grade) and secondary (9th-12th grade). Winning entries will be chosen on the basis of originality, clarity, creativity and best depiction of the theme.

Entry forms will be posted on the Web site," title="">"> For more information or to request entry forms in the mail, call Heidi Maxwell at (602) 543-5306 or e-mail

Nominations sought for MLK Student Servant-Leadership Award

September 29, 2009

Martin Luther King Jr. – clergyman, activist, civil-rights giant – once said, “He who is the greatest among us shall be our servant.”  It is a lesson that has its rewards at Arizona State University, as the call goes out for nominations for the 10th annual 2010 ASU MLK Student Servant-Leadership Award.

Deadline for submission of student nominations is October 7. The ASU MLK Committee will present the award at the MLK breakfast event in January. Download Full Image

“The ASU Martin Luther King Student Servant-Leadership Award has become one of the most highly prized awards because it highlights and underscores the deep commitment and action being taken by our national, community and collegiate leaders to build better communities through the vision and legacy of Dr. King,” says Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, MLK committee chair and executive director of ASU Gammage. “This award recognizes those who have quietly toiled to make Arizona a better place for everyone.”

The ASU community is invited to nominate candidates who are full-time students at the university and exemplify the ideals of servant-leadership through a history of volunteer service. Self nominations are encouraged. Those seeking to nominate a student must contact an MLK committee member prior to submitting a nomination so the committee member can review the nomination form, make sure it is properly completed and can speak on behalf of the nominee.

“Servant-leadership is a practical philosophy which supports people who choose to serve first, and then lead as a way of expanding service to individuals and institutions,” says Jennings-Roggensack. “Servant-leadership encourages collaboration, trust, foresight, listening, and the ethical use of power and empowerment.”

Other additional qualities she says embodies a servant-leader are acceptance of others, a willingness to change, the ability to conceptualize and communicate concepts, and the ability to build a sense of community in the workplace.

To receive a copy of the nomination form, call Michelle Johnson at ASU Gammage, (480) 965-3916, or e-mail to mmjcap">"> To read about the 2009 winners of the Servant-Leadership Award, visit">">

Steve Des Georges

ASU In the News

Nurturing next generation of innovators

<p><a href="">Engineering: Go For It</a> magazine, published by the <a href="">American Society for Engineering Education,</a> features ASU engineering faculty member Armando Rodriguez in its “Class Acts” section. </p><p>Rodriguez, a professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, is lauded for his work recruiting and mentoring young students in science, engineering, math and technology fields.</p><p>He leads a National Science Foundation-funded program that provides scholarships to students pursuing education in those areas.</p><p><b>Note:</b> The web site link takes you to the online edition of <i>Engineering: Go For It</i>. Flip through to Page 58 to see the article about Rodriquez.</p><p><b>Note:</b> The magazine now is supplemented with an<a href=""> interactive web site</a> for K-12 students and their teachers. <br /> </p>

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering


Study abroad program offers glimpse of Arab culture

September 18, 2009

ASU in Dubai – Arab Culture and Tourism is a popular winter program in its second year directed by Mirna Lattouf, a senior lecturer at ASU’s School of Letters & Sciences, and Victor Teye, an associate professor in the College of Public Programs’ School of Community Resources and Development. Program participants will get a taste of culture, cuisine, history, religion, tourism and development in the emerging Emirate of Dubai. They’ll also discover what a future global city will look like.

“Mirna Lattouf has developed a significant study abroad program in Dubai. Her scholarship on Middle Eastern history and culture, religious studies and women’s studies creates a compelling foundation for the examination of this emerging, complex society,” says Frederick C. Corey, ASU’s School of Letters & Sciences director. Download Full Image

The session starts Jan. 1. 2010, and runs through Jan. 16, 2010. The application deadline is September 28, 2010. Applications received after that date will be reviewed depending on space availability. 

Dubai is one of seven states that comprise the United Arab Emirates and is situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf. The states are rich in oil and natural gas and have become highly prosperous, especially the emirate of Dubai. The most populous and second largest emirate, Dubai has become world famous through innovative real-estate projects, sporting events, conferences, as a business and tourism hub, and the playground for the rich and famous worldwide.

“This is a priceless opportunity for our students to see what the future holds because Dubai is the vanguard of what a new society looks like,” says Lattouf. “Students get to live, observe and engage in this society rather than theoretically study about Dubai in a classroom. It also puts ASU at the forefront of President Crow’s global engagement philosophy.”

ASU and the City of Phoenix have cultivated a relationship with Dubai officials in the past few years to discuss possible future joint efforts. Sultan Saeed Nasser al-Mansoori, minister of economy for the Arab Emirates, met with ASU President Michael Crow and Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon in 2008 as part of a daylong visit to ASU conducted by the Office of the Vice President for Global Engagement. Al-Mansoori is an ASU alum who earned a degree in industrial engineering and management systems in the late 1980s.

Courses that students take in Dubai are offered in tourism development and management, religious studies and interdisciplinary studies, and are designed to fulfill degree requirements for students who major and minor in various programs.

For program details including costs, travel arrangements, living accommodations and credits, please call (602) 496-0638 or visit:">">

Mirna Lattouf, Mirna.Lattouf">">
School of Letters and Sciences
(602) 496-0638

Reporter , ASU News


Events at West campus celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

September 14, 2009

A theatrical production, appearances by two noted Hispanic leaders, and a night of dancing are on the agenda as Arizona State University’s West campus celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month. Events, scheduled from Sept. 15 through Oct. 16, are free and open to the public. Attendees are asked to bring a donation of non-perishable food to support a drive that will benefit local food banks.

“We’re pleased to offer a range of thought-provoking and entertaining events to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month,” says Lucy Berchini, chairwoman of the Hispanic Heritage Committee at ASU’s West campus. “We want to give the campus and the community at large the opportunity to experience the tremendous variety within the Hispanic community.” Download Full Image

The schedule at ASU’s West campus, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix, is:

Reception and one-act play, “A Boy Named Cesar,” Tuesday, Sept. 15:

“A Boy Named Cesar” focuses on a 10-year-old boy in Yuma, Ariz., who would grow up to become one of the nation’s great civil rights leaders. ASU faculty members James Garcia and Julie Amparano wrote this play about labor leader Cesar Chavez; the production is directed by Terry Earp.

The performance is set for 7 p.m. in Second Stage West, lower level of the University Center Building. Prior to the play, a reception celebrating the opening of Hispanic Heritage Month will be held in the La Sala ballroom, also in the University Center Building. The reception starts at 6 p.m.

An evening with Raul Yzaguirre, Tuesday, Sept. 22:

Raul Yzaguirre is one of the most widely recognized national leaders in the Latino community. As the former president of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), Yzaguirre has been involved in many of the most critical legislative and public policy issues affecting Latinos during the past three decades. He is now a presidential professor of practice at the Center for Community Development and Civil Rights at ASU, where he continues to follow his mission to improve opportunities for Hispanics.

This event starts at 6:30 p.m. in the La Sala ballroom, in the University Center Building.

Brown bag lunch with Armando Contreras, Wednesday, Sept. 30:

Armando Contreras, the new executive director of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, will discuss the recession, the Arizona economy, and how Latino consumers and businesses are making an impact. Contreras has served as director of the Arizona Registrar of Contractors and as executive director of the Governor’s Council on Small Business.  He also is a member of the board of directors of the Arizona Latino Research Enterprise.

This event will be held at noon in Room 265 of the University Center Building.

A Night of Dance, Friday, Oct. 16:

This event features a dance contest in which couples will be judged on their performance of salsa, reggaeton and cumbia dances. At least one member of each couple in the competition must be an ASU student, faculty member or staff member; contact lucy.berchini">"> to sign up to compete. Other attendees will have the opportunity to learn and practice their dance steps.

A Night of Dance will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. in the University Center Building’s La Sala ballroom.

For more information about Hispanic Heritage Month events, contact Berchini at lucy.berchini">"> or (602) 543-6091.

Día de los Muertos Exhibit Festival launches final run

September 3, 2009

For the past 10 years, the Arizona State University Museum of Anthropology has played host to a vibrant community-centered Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Festival Exhibit. This year, the Tempe campus gallery will be filled with traditional altars, cajitas (small, traveling altars) and artwork celebrating this unique holiday and its 10th anniversary at the museum. 

!Que Vivan los Muertos! brings together prominent Chicana/o artists, community members and ASU students in the creation of highly inventive and elaborate altarpieces reflecting a broad array of individual styles, personal meanings and socially shared concerns. An important spiritual celebration among Mexican and Mexican-American communities, the Day of the Dead festival merges ancient Aztec and Roman Catholic rituals and beliefs. Visitors are encouraged to bring offerings, like notes, photographs, candles, flowers and other small items for the public altar in remembrance of loved ones. Download Full Image

The exhibit will run from Oct. 12 to Jan. 8 with an opening celebration on Oct. 29 from 6 to 9 p.m., beginning with a lecture, Searching for Origins: Day of the Dead in Colonial Mexico, by Dr. Carmen King. Admission is free. The Museum of Anthropology is in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, located at the corner of Tyler and Cady Malls on the ASU Tempe campus. Visitor parking is available in the nearby Fulton Center garage on College Avenue, or in metered spaces around campus.

The 10th Annual Dia de los Muertos Festival Exhibit is a joint collaboration among the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, ASU Museum of Anthropology, CALACA Cultural Center, Inc. and the community.

For more details, call the museum at (480) 965-6224 or visit">">

Rebecca Howe

Communications Specialist, School of Human Evolution and Social Change


ASU, scholarship help business student realize dream

August 26, 2009

José Ramirez has a plan. One day, he and his father will run their own small business, specializing in tile and granite installations. The plan is closer than ever, he says, thanks to his degree work at Arizona State University and a recent scholarship award from the іAdelante! U.S. Education Leadership Fund.

Ramirez, a third-year collegian who lives in the Maryvale district of Phoenix, enrolled at ASU’s West campus as an accounting major in the School of Global Management and Leadership. With ASU’s recent academic restructuring, Ramirez is now on track to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the W.P. Carey School of Business in May 2011. In the meantime, he is doggedly doing everything he can to apply lessons learned at ASU and take advantage of the opportunity that has come with his recent scholarship, including attending the upcoming 2009 іAdelante! Leadership Institute in San Antonio, Texas. Download Full Image

“Working together side-by-side with my father is a dream that I plan to make a reality," says Ramirez, whose father has been a tile worker for a dozen years and has evolved his craft into works of art. “We have been kicking around this idea for quite some time, and we’d like to see it come true within the next few years.

“I want to be able to help him out from the business side. It is a great chance to bond with him and take part in what he loves to do. To me, it’s the perfect way to fuse together our specialties and provide a service we can be proud of.”

Ramirez graduated with honors from Phoenix Alhambra High School and was able to attend ASU on the strength of a Provost’s Scholarship, as well as an Alhambra Foundation for the Future scholar gift. His most recent award, presented by іAdelante! for exemplary academics and leadership skills, is well deserved.

“Mr. Ramirez’s leadership skills have emerged as he has worked with others,” says Regina Clemens Fox, an English lecturer in ASU’s School of Letters and Sciences. Clemens Fox wrote Ramirez’s letter of recommendation to іAdelante!. “He never lets up on his devotion to what he wants to accomplish. He has strong values and ethics and he works tirelessly to improve. It is impressive and endearing to work with someone who is so focused.”

Ramirez, a first-generation collegian hoping to set an example for his three younger siblings, says he embraces the diversity of the ASU community, which he credits for helping him become a better student and laying the groundwork for his professional life.

“ASU is a very interesting school,” he says. “What strikes me most is that there are students and scholars from across the globe attending and interacting with each other; it enhances the college experience. One of the greatest lessons I have learned by attending ASU is to be accepting of ideas and input from your colleagues. Working alongside people from different backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures has helped me understand that we live in a global community where everyone is not the same in any form or fashion.”

Clemens Fox believes Ramirez’s adaptability and inclusion are outgrowths of his strong family values.

“He works very well with others and has a strong multicultural perspective,” she says, adding that Ramirez once brought his younger brother into a weekend class to expose him to the group dynamics of his English work. “There was such an ease in how he negotiated working with diverse people in the group and his family member.

“He takes advantage of every opportunity to work with others, and the end result has always been improvement for all involved. That spells leadership to me – the willingness to go far and take others along for the ride.”

In the meantime, Ramirez is learning a profession indirectly driven by his father, José Sr.

“I knew ever since high school that I wanted to become a business major, and I decided to pursue accounting because I knew that someday I wanted to open a business with my dad," he says. "Hopefully, one day I can utilize what I learned while studying accounting, earn my CPA and help my dad successfully manage our future company together.”

Ramirez, who says his time-management skills and discipline were honed while a track and field letterman at Alhambra, is thankful for the іAdelante! opportunity and has a keen eye focused on the upcoming Leadership Institute.

“This scholarship isn’t all about the money; it goes beyond that,” he says. “It also gives me a great chance to network with other business students and professionals.”

The three-day conference will feature more than 100 undergraduate students from across the country. They will learn about leadership skills and how different personalities and styles can be successful in any environment, connect with a national network of business professionals and peers while improving communication skills through a variety of workshops, and participate in activities that will include internship and employment opportunities.

“I will be surrounded by other Hispanic business students from around the country," says Ramirez. "It represents a chance for me to really start to step outside my comfort zone and into the real world, and it’s a great opportunity for me to grow as a student and as a scholar. As a representative for ASU, I am privileged to show others what this university is all about.”

Steve Des Georges

ASU anticipates fall enrollment record

August 24, 2009

In spite of the nation's economic crisis, Arizona State University continues to increase both student access and quality, according to projections released by the university. ASU enrollment will set another record, with overall numbers expected to exceed 69,000.

Last fall's enrollment was just over 67,000. This year's number represents a 25-percent increase in just seven years, from 55,000 in 2002. ASU has grown its enrollment over this time period in order to keep up with rapid growth in the number of eligible high school graduates in Arizona. Download Full Image

In that same seven years ASU has ramped up its recruitment of top scholars, the ethnic diversity of its student body and the financial assistance it provides to students. Some indicators:

• A freshman class of more than 9,200 will include a record 118 National Hispanic Scholars, bringing the total to around 335. ASU has perhaps the highest number of National Hispanic Scholars in the country, up from only 75 in 2002.

• The class is 34 percent ethnic minority, reflecting the demographics of the state. This represents a quantum leap from 2002, when the freshman class was 22 percent ethnic minority.

• More than 600 National Merit Scholars are enrolled at ASU, about 160 of them new freshmen. ASU's National Merit Scholars have increased 61 percent since 2002.

• ASU attracted 12 of the state's 17 Flinn Scholars this fall, an elite group of top Arizona students who are awarded full funding at any Arizona university of their choice.

• ASU awarded more than $519 million in financial aid last year to boost student access, a record amount. Low-income Arizona freshmen enrollment increased by 873 percent from 2003 to 2008.

Indications are that a college education is seen as more valuable than ever. Graduate enrollment is up almost 8 percent, and undergraduate enrollment is up more than 3 percent. About 5 percent more students are going to school full-time.

Retention of last year's freshmen is expected to surpass 80 percent for the first time, reflecting a concerted effort to help students succeed through increased academic services and advising.

In Tempe, 70 percent of freshmen now live on campus, reflecting ASU's emphasis on living and learning communities that help students succeed academically and reach their goals.

"The reputation of ASU and the strength of our academic programs continues to increase, enabling us to enroll not only the top students in the state, but also a very strong representation of talented students from around the country," says Elizabeth D. Capaldi, ASU's executive vice president and provost.

"Since most of our students remain in Arizona after graduation, this represents a tremendous gain for the state. Our goal is to make sure that no qualified Arizona student is denied access to a college degree. We want to increase the number of college-educated individuals who can meet the needs of Arizona's future."

Grant strengthens teacher prep program in Native communities

August 24, 2009

An already successful Arizona State University program that enables rural school districts in American Indian communities to “grow their own” elementary and middle school teachers is adding more support services in Chinle and Sells, Ariz., to help local residents achieve bachelor’s degrees and teacher certifications. This expansion of the PDS-TENET (Professional Development School-Teaching Excellence Network through Educational Technology) program is made possible by a three-year, $1.28 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education Indian Education Program.

PDS-TENET, an initiative of" target="_blank">ASU’s College of Teacher Education and Leadership (CTEL), brings high-quality university coursework to future teachers in the Chinle Unified School District in the Navajo Nation and the Sells-based Indian Oasis-Baboquivari United School District in the Tohono O’odham Nation. PDS partnerships also are in place with several high-need urban districts in metropolitan Phoenix and districts in Douglas and San Luis, Ariz. Download Full Image

“Receiving this grant will enable us to make an outstanding program even better,” says Michelle Rojas, project director for the new PDS-TENET-WIN grant (WIN stands for “with Indian Nations”). “Through the WIN component, we can reach out to recruit and support Native American community college students and help ensure they are prepared to enter and succeed in the PDS program.”

The WIN grant will add academic advisors in Chinle and Sells who are familiar with Diné College or Tohono O’odham Community College coursework, transfer agreements and ASU prerequisites. Advisors will work with potential PDS students to ensure they meet PDS program admission requirements. Collaboration with both community colleges will ensure that required prerequisite coursework is offered in the evening, to meet the needs of working adults.

“The grant also enables us to provide support to potential and current students in skill areas such as math, writing, and test-taking,” says Coleen Maldonado, project evaluator for the WIN grant. “There are many talented potential teachers who possess strong intellectual capabilities, yet need additional help in boosting their math, writing and/or test-taking skills. Being able to offer tutorial support in these areas will benefit not only potential PDS students but current students who need to pass Arizona’s standardized teacher certification exam before they can receive their teaching certificates.”

Students in the rural PDS program, some of whom work as teacher’s aides in the Chinle and Indian Oasis-Baboquivari districts, take evening classes at school sites in their communities. Some PDS classes are offered through interactive videoconference technology. PDS also immerses future teachers in the school setting, providing three times the amount of hands-on, practical classroom experience as traditional teacher education programs.

“There is a severe shortage of American Indian teachers in Arizona, especially in elementary school districts with high American Indian enrollment,” says Franklin Elliott, ASU PDS coordinator for the Chinle PDS site. “PDS is playing a critical role in developing outstanding Native teachers to serve as role models for children in our community’s schools. And the program’s format is ideal for adults in rural areas who cannot relocate to a larger metropolitan area to earn their teaching degrees. I view this program as helping to put education back in the hands of the local community.”

“The success of the PDS program to date is an historic achievement for the Chinle Unified School District and ASU, and we are pleased to know that the WIN grant will provide additional support to help students succeed in the program,” says Jesus de la Garza, CUSD superintendent. Seventeen students in the first PDS cohort in Chinle received their ASU elementary education degrees in December 2007.

“Our partnership with the College of Teacher Education and Leadership has truly been mutually beneficial. CTEL is providing comprehensive assistance with regard to instruction, professional development, student and support services, and evaluation,” de la Garza says.

The WIN grant has another important benefit in that it provides students a living wage during student teaching, according to Sonia Saenz, ASU PDS coordinator for the Sells PDS site.

“The two Tohono O’odham teacher’s aides we currently have in our PDS program work two jobs to meet family needs. They will have to stop working when they enter the student teaching period,” Saenz says. “Many Tohono O’odham members cannot afford to stop working completely, and this is a factor that keeps them from furthering their education. The WIN grant provides them with a new stepping stone.”

Eligible participants in the WIN grant program are individuals who are considered to be Native American or American Indian, as defined by their tribal nation. Over the course of the three-year grant, 40 students will receive assistance through PDS-TENET-WIN.

ASU’s College of Teacher Education and Leadership launched the Professional Development School program in Phoenix in 2000. In 2006, PDS was expanded from metropolitan Phoenix to Arizona communities including Chinle, Douglas and Sells. A program was added in San Luis in 2008. PDS already has produced 35 new graduates outside of metro Phoenix, with another 63 students currently enrolled.

CTEL administers teacher preparation programs offered across all four of ASU’s campuses including Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic, Tempe and West, as well as partner school districts all over Arizona.