Chancellor Zimpher Highlights Excellence In Teacher Preparation Programs

June 17, 2013

Albany — State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today highlighted campus programs across the state that are training the next generation of New York teachers and school administrators with a focus on clinical experience to produce top-quality, classroom-ready graduates.

“Our system has a genuine responsibility and a tremendous capacity to make sure that the teachers being introduced into New York's schools are familiar with and ready to meet the urgent needs of K-12 students in every community,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “SUNY offers New York's future teachers access to today’s most effective resources and practices as well as the best faculty in the field.”

SUNY prepares more teachers than any other institution in New York. About 5,000 new teachers graduate from teacher preparation programs offered by 17 SUNY campuses every year. 

In 2012, as a result of a $3.5 million Race to the Top grant from the state Education Department, SUNY launched a Statewide Teacher Education Network (S-TEN), which will draw on the best and brightest faculty and administrative leaders from throughout SUNY to collaboratively develop a powerful new approach to the preparation of teachers by addressing four critical areas:

  • Common Core Standards;
  • Performance assessments, including certification examinations and performance evaluations;
  • Data-driven instruction; and
  • Clinically-rich teacher and leader preparation.

Teacher preparation programs on SUNY campuses have renewed their focus in recent years on the use of clinical training and practice similar to what medical professionals experience, in accordance with the findings of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Clinical Preparation and Partnerships for Improved Student Learning, convened by NCATE and co-chaired by Chancellor Zimpher in 2010.

Through its Urban Rural Teacher Corps initiative, SUNY programs also address the unique challenges confronting teachers in high-need schools, by incorporating student engagement in extended, structured residency-like experiences in high-need urban and rural schools across New York State.

Additionally, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced the NYS Master Teacher Program, a new statewide initiative that will reward the state's highest performing teachers, ensure the best and brightest to stay in education, and encourage the state's best teachers to share their expertise with peers.

Chancellor Zimpher today highlighted excellence in the following campus programs:

University at Albany: The University has partnered with Amsterdam New York's high school in Montgomery County in a powerful “clinically rich” Resident Fellow program, immersing graduate students in a “high needs” secondary school for a full-year residency. Close collaboration between K-12 and higher education faculty has been transformative to the school, students, and faculty alike.

SUNY Brockport: Undergraduate programs include four semesters of work in local schools, and all of the college's teacher candidates earn dual certification including special education.

SUNY Buffalo State: The college is home to SUNY's largest Professional Development Schools (PDS) consortium, encompassing 96 PDS in 28 school districts across the state. Teacher candidates can be placed in urban, suburban and/or rural institutions, giving them access to diverse school settings. The PDS also host community-based service learning, after school programs, and parent engagement.

University at Buffalo: UB works with local P-12 partners in its liaison school model, which includes an extensive relationship throughout a fall field experience course and student teaching during the subsequent spring semester. Together, the school and university are able to guide and support UB students from the beginning of their professional preparation and determine whether students are a good fit for the program early on.

SUNY Cortland: Home to the largest comprehensive teacher education program in New York, the college features innovative, grant-supported programs that offer clinically-rich experiences ranging from immersion in high-needs urban and rural classrooms to international field placements and technology-based simulations. The college is also a leader in career development, offering opportunities for working educators through its teacher/leader quality partnership, the Francis J. Cheney educational issues conference, and as one of the state’s new master teacher program host sites.

Empire State College: ESC faculty conduct classroom visits in order to provide the additional supports for teacher candidates, see first-hand the most pressing needs of students, and stay appraised of best practices in the field.

SUNY Fredonia: All of the college’s initial certification candidates complete three developmentally sequenced early field experiences connected to pedagogical courses across their programs, followed by a full semester of student teaching, with a focus on work in high need schools.

SUNY Geneseo: Teacher preparation programs at the college are heavily field-based, with placements in a diverse set of urban, suburban and rural institutions and with a solid foundation in arts and sciences. The college is focused on internationalizing the student teaching experience by incorporating new models of study abroad. In 2011, 100 percent of the college's students passed state certification exams.

SUNY New Paltz: Model clinically-rich program options were developed and are being implemented in 11 school districts. They include faculty joining candidates in the schools to provide support once a week, providing professional development and coaching for in-service classroom teachers, and holding method classes at schools.

SUNY Oneonta: The college's Methods in Schools program has been operating for the past three years in a local elementary school, where students in several methods courses take classes in the public school. Both elementary and secondary candidates serve as student tutors for the Oneonta after-school programs, and methods students have become pen pals with children in urban schools.

SUNY Oswego: With its innovative use of technology, the college's O-RITE project has established partnerships with high-need school districts in Syracuse, Utica, Oswego County, and New York City. The 13-month clinically-rich intensive program places apprentice teachers in high-need schools for a full year while they complete coursework synchronously online.

SUNY Old Westbury: The college partners with United Way of Long Island and The Early Years Institute to place teacher candidates in public schools to help with after-school programs. Sixty-eight percent of the college’s partnerships are with high-need public schools.

SUNY Plattsburgh: The college's clinically-rich teacher education programs require candidates to engage in early field experiences with students in classrooms and after-school programs under the supervision of full-time faculty. The teacher education programs also feature deep partnerships with local schools and use a model based on continuous improvement.

SUNY Potsdam: Clinical faculty on campus includes a cadre of K-12 master teachers, including a NYS Teacher of the Year, who work closely with students on methods, student teaching and professional development. The college has a long history of leadership in music education, with an extensive practicum program and statewide student teacher placements, and is also home to SUNY’s first theatre education degree.

Stony Brook University: The Center for Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME) at SBU strengthens STEM education state-wide. It has received multiple grants and scholarships to enhance clinical experiences for teacher candidates in urban areas, provide professional development for teachers, and provide STEM-related activities for K-12 students. Its teaching laboratories in biology, geosciences, chemistry, and physics and summer camps in biotechnology, engineering, and math engage thousands of K-12 students annually and provide clinically-rich experiences to teacher candidates.

Community Colleges: SUNY's 30 community colleges also play an important role in the preparation of New York's teachers. Many teacher candidates begin their early clinically-rich field experiences at child care centers based on community college campuses, and the colleges have transfer and articulation agreements with SUNY's four-year schools.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state. As of Fall 2018, more than 424,000 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY served 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs in the 2017-18 academic year. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Its students and faculty make significant contributions to research and discovery, contributing to a $1.6 billion research portfolio. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

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