Office of the Provost
On Course Archives
On Course, May/June 2001
A New Vision in Teacher Education
- a special message from Chancellor Robert L. King
Teacher preparation, long a core mission of the State University, has now emerged as one of the most urgent policy priorities in our state and in
the nation—a key element in achieving our goal of raising the school performance of all children. Accordingly, we in SUNY have set out to
build on our historic strength in teacher education, to assure that all teachers educated at our campuses are superbly prepared and able to
successfully meet the challenges posed by the country's rising school performance expectations. The result is a path-breaking initiative entitled:
A New Vision in Teacher Education.
When we embarked on this effort, it was clear that SUNY was starting from a position of preeminence. Eleven State University campuses originated
as teacher colleges and today we have programs at 16 campuses, graduating more than 6,000 certified teachers per year. Our students consistently
outperform their peers on state certification exams and annually account for 25% of New York’s new teachers.
This issue of On Course highlights a process that was initiated more than 18 months ago, beginning with the creation of
the Provost’s Advisory Council on Teacher Education (ACTE)—a group with University-wide representation—and including the recent
development of our New Vision action agenda. Our focus has been on the critical issues of enhancing teacher preparation in content, pedagogy
and field experience; aligning SUNY’s teacher education efforts with State needs; increasing service to urban schools; and assuring the
continuing quality of SUNY programs. In each instance, we developed specific goals, objectives and strategies based on the recommendations of the
ACTE and in consultation with the broader University community. Our action agenda is a fluid document that will be carefully reviewed after initial
assessments of its implementation. The action agenda is a sound foundation for a new story of improved quality and of better meeting the needs of
New York State.
My thanks go to Provost Peter Salins and his staff, members of the ACTE, the University Community, the State University Trustees, and System
Leadership. I have been deeply engaged in the development of A New Vision in Teacher Education, and am excited by the prospect that, with
this initiative, SUNY will be making a major contribution to the success of elementary and secondary education in New York State and beyond. I look
forward to working collaboratively to make our New Vision an operational reality.
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SUNY Defines "A New Vision in Teacher Education"
Based on the recommendations of the Advisory Council on Teacher Education as outlined in its March 2001 Report (available online at
http://www.sysadm.suny.edu/provost)—and in consultation with Chancellor King, the University Faculty-Senate, the Faculty Council of Community
Colleges, the Board of Trustees and the broader University Community—A New Vision in Teacher Education is an action agenda that provides
a detailed framework for enhancing SUNY’s teacher education programs.
"When the State University Board of Trustees passed a Resolution supporting the action agenda at its June meeting, they were recognizing a
collaborative process that began in the Fall of 1999 with creation of the Advisory Council on Teacher Education (ACTE)," said Provost Peter D. Salins.
"ACTE members and the broader University community worked tirelessly to develop their first report and series of recommendations." According to
Provost Salins, the New Vision action agenda takes the ACTE recommendations to the next level, clearly defining the specific steps the
University will take as it moves forward. "Consistent with our efforts to make the action agenda a true working document, we have included detailed
strategies for each goal, designated a target time-frame for completion of each strategy, and identified those who will assume responsibility for
specific efforts," said Provost Salins.
The action agenda is driven by three primary objectives, encompassing the major recommendations of the ACTE report: 1) Give all SUNY students
pursuing teaching careers the best possible preparation to become effective teachers; 2) Address New York State’s growing need for excellent
teachers; and 3) continuously assess and improve SUNY's teacher education programs.
\"This action agenda represents SUNY’s remarkably positive support for playing its full role in the civic life of New York
State," said Christopher Dahl, President, State University College at Geneseo and member of the ACTE. "We understand how critical the
University’s efforts are in the area of teacher preparation and we are committed to an even stronger position for the benefit of our students
and New York."
Dahl noted that the action agenda is attentive to critical issues, from addressing the need for teachers in specific geographic
and content areas to recognizing the benefits of collaboration between education and arts and sciences faculty. "There is no question that the
process of implementation will be challenging and that the impact of the action agenda will vary among campuses with teacher preparation programs.
Importantly, however, this is an effort we are working on together and one that with the support of System leadership will succeed."
Judson H. Taylor, President of the State University College at Cortland and member of ACTE, stressed the importance of the
research and assessment components of the action agenda. "A New Vision in Teacher Education is not only a short-term action plan. For each
area addressed in the agenda, the real test will clearly be in the outcomes. We are starting with the assumption that SUNY is successful and that we
can be better, but we will continue to ask ourselves hard questions." Taylor noted that more than half of SUNY Cortland’s students will teach
for some portion or all of their careers.
"We are working as a partner with campuses, under the leadership of Chancellor King, as we begin implementation," said Provost
Salins. "Together we will further position the State University at the forefront of excellence in teacher preparation."
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SUNY Announces New Teacher Education Action Agenda
"A New Vision in Teacher Education" Action
Agenda Appears Below in its Entirety
The State University of New York will fulfill its commitment to educate excellent teachers through a System-wide action agenda
with the following components:
- Give all SUNY students pursuing teaching careers the best possible preparation to become effective teachers by:
Assuring that students are thoroughly grounded in the subjects they teach.
Students preparing to teach secondary or specialized subjects (i.e., English, Biology, Spanish, Music, etc.) will major in the
relevant discipline, completing all required courses for the major. Additional courses in the major may be specifically designated for students
preparing to teach. Responsibility: Campuses. Timeframe: Applicable to students entering in fall 2001.
Students preparing to teach in the elementary grades will complete an approved major or concentration directly related to the
elementary curriculum (i.e., language arts/English, mathematics, etc.) of at least 30 credits with at least 18 credits at the upper division level.
Responsibility: Campuses. Timeframe: Applicable to students entering in fall 2002.
Assuring that students have completed integrated programs of clinical and pedagogical education that give them the skills to
make their own K-12 students successful learners.
SUNY will convene a series of forums involving SUNY faculty and administrators on best practices in (a) methods for teaching
content areas; (b) integration of technology into instruction; (c) skills for classroom management and assessment of learning; and (d) integrating
pedagogy with clinical education. Responsibility: System Provost. Timeframe: First forum to be convened during 2001-2002.
Students will complete not less than 100 hours of clinical experience in a school classroom before and exclusive of time spent
in student teaching. Responsibility: Campuses. Timeframe: Applicable to students entering in fall 2001.
Student teaching will consist of a minimum of 75 days in classrooms and schools [with 90 days being desirable] in two separate experiences,
at least one of which is in a high-need school. Campuses should explore ways to enhance further and expand clinical experiences. Responsibility:
Campuses and System Administration working with the State Education Department and school districts. Timeframe: Applicable to students entering in
Experienced clinical faculty will supervise all field experiences. At many campuses additional costs are likely to be incurred to accomplish
this goal. Responsibility: Campuses, with support of System Administration. Timeframe: Applicable to students entering in fall 2001.
SUNY campuses will design integrated programs for qualified students that provide continuity from entry as freshmen through the Master's
degree. Coursework credited toward the Master's degree will sustain balance among study in the subject matter to be taught, discipline-specific
pedagogy, and clinical experience. Responsibility: Campuses in consultation with the System Provost. Timeframe: Program design begins during 2001.
Forming partnerships with schools to accomplish SUNY's educational goals and to meet the schools' needs for excellent teachers
and professional development for teachers.
SUNY will promote, both within the System and with State officials, systematic involvement and recognition of the professional contributions
of classroom teachers and schools in educating new teachers.
SUNY will work with the State Education Department to develop ways to extensively involve school districts and their teachers to assist in
educating new teachers. Responsibility: System Administration and campus leaders. Timeframe: Initial discussions held in fall 2001.
SUNY will increase the stipend for cooperating classroom teachers who work with student/pre-service teachers by 50%, and other non-monetary
incentives will be sought. Incentives will also be sought for cooperating teachers who supervise pre-student teaching experiences. Responsibility:
System Administration for stipends, campuses for non-monetary incentives. Timeframe: Stipend increase beginning in fall 2001.
SUNY teacher education faculty, in collaboration with schools and teachers, will devise methods of evaluating the contributions of classroom
teachers to educating new teachers. Responsibility: Campuses. Timeframe: By fall 2003.
- Address New York State's growing need for excellent teachers by:
Enabling more SUNY two-year college graduates to become teachers.
A group of two- and four-year college faculty and administrators will be convened to design an academic program at two-year campuses for
qualified students pursuing teacher education programs. The program would then be accepted by senior campuses as fulfillment of a portion of the
teacher preparation curriculum. The two-year curriculum will be sensitive to accreditation issues and include: SUNY General Education Requirements;
introductory education courses and prerequisites for teacher education programs; and initial practical experience or observation in a school
classroom. Responsibility: System Provost will convene group; campuses provide advisement and program articulation. Timeframe: Convene the group
during fall 2001.
Two-year and baccalaureate colleges will negotiate revised and jointly registered programs to bring more qualified two-year students into
teacher education programs. Responsibility: Pairs of collaborating campuses. Timeframe: By fall 2003.
Two-year and baccalaureate colleges will collaborate to assure expert counseling and advisement of qualified two-year college students
pursuing teaching certification programs. Responsibility: Pairs of collaborating campuses. Timeframe: Begins with students entering in fall 2001.
Partnerships of two-year and four-year campuses will be organized to assure broad geographic access to SUNY teacher preparation programs for
place-bound students. Responsibility: The System Provost will survey the need and convene groups of collaborating campuses. Timeframe: Appropriate
regions to be identified by the end of 2001-2002; meetings to be convened by fall 2002.
Enabling working professionals and other educated adults to become teachers.
System Administration will work with individual campuses or groups of campuses to develop alternative certification programs for candidates
who hold a baccalaureate degree and demonstrate competence in an appropriate content field. These programs will provide clinical experience in the
classroom and instruction in relevant pedagogy. Responsibility: Campuses working with the System Provost. Timeframe: Development begins immediately
with first program(s) in fall 2002.
Campuses will obtain formal agreements with school districts: to provide classroom mentor-teachers; to accommodate the integration of
instruction in pedagogy for candidates; and to assure support for successful candidates until they obtain professional certification.
Responsibility: Campuses. Timeframe: Integrated into administration of programs.
Creation of alternate certification programs will be targeted at high-need school districts and subject areas, and may also serve geographic
areas without access to SUNY teacher certification programs. Responsibility: System Administration will furnish background data and analyses,
campuses will develop programs. Timeframe: Analysis to be conducted and interested campuses identified during 2001-2002.
Preparing more SUNY students to teach high-need subjects such as mathematics, science, special education and languages other
SUNY will advocate expansion of government incentive programs, such as New York's Teachers of Tomorrow, to include undergraduates who pursue
high-need teaching credentials. Responsibility: System Administration, with support from campus leaders. Timeframe: Begins immediately.
Campuses will undertake aggressive recruitment of students to pursue certification in high-need subjects. Responsibility: Campuses, with
support from System Enrollment Management. Timeframe: Ongoing as long as need exists.
Campuses will pursue private funding for scholarships and incentives to address teacher shortages in high-need subjects. Responsibility:
Campuses, with support of SUNY Research Foundation. Timeframe: Ongoing as long as need exists.
Meeting the special challenges of urban public education in New York's cities.
SUNY will establish an Urban Teacher Education Center in New York City with the purpose to both increase the number of SUNY-educated teachers
who take positions in the city's schools and to serve as a laboratory for enhancing the effectiveness of teacher preparation for urban schools.
Responsibility: System Provost. Timeframe: Immediately.
SUNY will promote increased service to the urban schools in other cities, such as Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse and others, including the
possible establishment of teacher education centers in these cities. Responsibility: The System Provost will initiate discussions with regional
campus leaders. Timeframe: Beginning during 2001-2002.
- Continuously assessing and improving SUNY's teacher education programs by:
Subjecting SUNY programs to rigorous external review and by earning accreditation.
All programs will be accredited by a recognized agency. Responsibility: Campuses. Timeframe: State University Programs will be accredited
by December 2004.
The University supports the establishment of alternative accrediting agencies to provide choice for campuses. Responsibility: System
Administration. Timeframe: Immediately.
Conducting ongoing research on SUNY's graduates and on best practices in elementary and secondary education.
Campuses will survey school systems that employ SUNY-educated teachers and use information derived from surveys to respond to concerns and
improve programs. Responsibility: Campuses. Timeframe: Dialogue between campuses and schools to begin during 2001, surveys for collecting data will
be completed by fall 2002.
Both as a System and through the work of its faculty, SUNY will conduct research on best practices for preparing teachers, for gauging
teaching effectiveness, and on identifying the characteristics of successful teachers. Results of research will be shared with the Board of Trustees
and thereafter widely disseminated. Responsibility: System-wide research efforts will be organized by the System Provost, in consultation with
appropriate faculty and administrative groups. Timeframe: Organization for research will be determined during 2001-2002.
Standing behind the professional competence of every graduate of SUNY education programs teaching in the State's schools.
On behalf of SUNY, the Chancellor affirms the University's confidence in its teacher education programs. The System guarantees that every
graduate of SUNY's teacher education programs is fully prepared to assume responsibility as a teacher in the area of his or her certification. To
this end the System will fund, during the candidate's first two years of teaching, further education if needed. Responsibility: System
Administration, in consultation with campus faculty and administrators, will develop a guarantee statement. The System Administration will use such
statement to publicly promote and support the quality of its teacher education programs, and campuses will provide further education if needed.
SUNY will engage its collaborating schools as partners in educating new teachers and will provide continuing professional development for
in-service teachers. Responsibility: Campuses. Timeframe: Ongoing.
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Advisory Council on Teacher Education (ACTE) Membership
The Advisory Council on Teacher Education (ACTE) is comprised
of representatives from throughout the University.
- Julius Gregg Adams, Director, School of Education, College at Fredonia
- William Amoriell, Dean, School of Education, College at Potsdam
- Betsy Balzano, Distinguished Service Professor, Education, College at Brockport
- Linda Biemer, Professor of Education and Dean Emerita, University at Binghamton
- Christopher Dahl, President, College at Geneseo
- Donald Katt, President, Ulster County Community College
- Hubert Keen, Special Assistant to the University Provost, Chair, ACTE
- Dan King, Dean, Faculty of Applied Science and Education, College at Buffalo
- David Lavallee, Provost, College at New Paltz
- Judith Lloyd, Professor of Chemistry, Dept. Chair, College at Old Westbury
- Michael Merilan, Dean, Science and Social Science, College at Oneonta
- Suzanne Miller, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education, University at Buffalo
- Galen Pletcher, Dean, School of Arts and Sciences, College at Potsdam
- John Presley, Provost, College at Oswego
- Ernest Rose, Dean, School of Education and Human Development, Binghamton University
- Judson Taylor, President, College at Cortland
- Paul Teske, Professor of Political Science and Graduate Program Director, University at Stony Brook
- Kathleen Whittier, Professor of Education, College at Plattsburgh
- James Wyckoff, Associate Professor, Public Administration and Policy,University at Albany
SUNY System Staff: Ginette Chambers, Director of Faculty Awards and Development; A. Jennifer Clarke, Associate Provost for
Campus Liaison; and Kathryn Van Arnam, Assistant Provost for Academic Programs.
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Beginning from a Position of Strength
State University teacher education students consistently outperform their peers on state certification exams. Related bar graphs are
available by calling 518/443-5153 and also appear in the PDF version of this newsletter.
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