Teacher training programs at Hamline School of Education and partner institutions are getting a new infusion of support.
Hamline is one of six local colleges and universities that comprise the Twin Cities Teaching Collaborative (TC2), a collective group working to revamp teacher education at their respective institutions, which collectively produce 20% of Minnesota’s teachers. TC2 is working to improve recruitment, teacher preparation and placement, and increase support for new teachers.
Recently the collaborative received a $228,827 Transition to Teaching grant from the U.S. Department of Education, and it’s anticipated this grant will be for the next five years, for a total of more than $1.1 million. This grant comes on the heels of the $4.9 million that TC2 was awarded by the Bush Foundation in 2009
“We are extremely pleased that the innovative work by TC2 is gaining national recognition and support,” said Dr. David Stern, Hamline University vice president for academic and student affairs. “It reaffirms the program's accomplishments and recognizes the importance of the continuing work in improving teacher training for K-12 educators.”
The TC2 collaborative is comprised of Hamline University and its partner institutions Augsburg College, Bethel University, Concordia University, St. Catherine University, and University of St. Thomas. The collaboration is governed by a committee with representation from each institution and responsibilities are shared by the member schools.
“The institutions are working together to reform recruitment, preparation, teacher support, and data collection,” said Laura Mogelson, Twin Cities Teacher Collaborative program director. “Our over-arching goal is to prepare teachers well and to close Minnesota’s large achievement gap.”
The new grant from the U.S. Department of Education will help Hamline and the partner colleges and universities recruit, prepare, support and license more than 60 highly qualified science and mathematics teachers for Saint Paul and Minneapolis Public Schools over the next five years.
Transition to Teaching grants are given to support efforts to recruit mid-career professionals and recent graduates with degrees outside of education and then help these recruits become teachers through alternative certification routes.
“Talented teachers come from all walks of life, and life experiences can enhance a teacher’s abilities in the classroom and rapport with students,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “These grants will encourage more interested professionals to transition to teaching and increase our cadre of teachers for schools that need them the most.”
Through Hamline and the TC2 consortium, the new grant will also help the schools focus closely on addressing the needs of these two public school districts. Teacher-candidates will go through longer and more rigorous classroom preparation and will work closely with established teachers as part of a co-teaching model to ensure upon graduation these new teachers will be prepared to “hit the ground running,” Mogelson said.
Another crucial change is how teacher-candidates are placed in schools for student teaching. TC2 is working with district partners to form clinical cluster sites; these are schools where a group of teacher candidates are placed as a cohort. Instead of, for example, placing six candidates at six different schools, those candidates will now be placed all in one school.
“By keeping the teacher-candidates in a cluster we are better able to deepen the relationship between the K-12 site and the higher education institution they come from,” Mogelson said.
The implementation of strategies such as the co-teaching model and site clustering of teacher-candidates means that new teachers are better prepared from their first day on the job, which studies have found to make a positive impact on educational outcomes.
“These changes mark a big shift and are the result of the partnerships,” Mogelson said.
Learn more about the degree and certificate programs offered for those in the education field or those interested in pursuing a career in teaching through the Hamline School of Education