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A New Vision in Teacher Education:

Agenda for Change in SUNY’s Teacher Preparation Programs

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

1.         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

1.         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

2.         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

3.         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 New York State Education Department and school districts. Timeframe: Applicable to students entering in fall 2002

4.         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

1.         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.

           SUNY will increase the stipend for cooperating classroom teachers who work with student/pre-service teachers by 50%, and other non­monetary 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 non­monetary 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: System Administration and campus leaders
Timeframe: Initial discussions will be held during fall 2001

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

1.         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.


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: Pairs of collaborating campuses
Timeframe: To be completed by fall 2003

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

1.         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) offered in fall 2002

2.         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 than English

1.         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


2.         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.

1.         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 programs to rigorous external review and by earning accreditation

1.         All programs will be accredited by a recognized agency


Responsibility: Campuses Timeframe: 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

1.         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 2001­2002

           Standing behind the professional competence of every graduate of SUNY education programs teaching in the State’s schools

1.         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 Timeframe: Immediately

2.   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