Press-Republican

Local News

October 22, 2009

Plattsburgh State teacher program is accredited

College gets high praise as accreditation is made official

(Continued)

Carrie Harvey-Zayles, principal of Oak Street Elementary School and a Plattsburgh State graduate, praised earlier field experience for students.

"They will be better prepared to be in the workforce to successfully educate our youth."

A year-long reorganization of the college's teacher-education program resulted in curricula unified by nine teaching themes using an inquiry-based approach to instruction, including:

•  Promoting content knowledge, learning environments and technology.

•  The knowledge of the art and science behind teaching, with an emphasis on assessment, critical thinking, problem solving and recursive learning.

•  The adaptation of professional skills, such as collaboration, modeling and honoring multiculturalism and diversity.

'REVOLUTION'

Faculty members also developed systems to monitor the effectiveness of their instruction, asking students to do the same in their own teaching.

They check to see if students feel like they are part of a learning community and explore the impact of early field placements, the amount of time faculty spends with the students at area schools and whether program graduates apply what they learned.

"This wasn't simply a matter of changing a couple courses," Ettling said. "It was a wholesale revolution in the way this college prepares teachers."

WORKED TOGETHER

This past April, the Teacher Education Accreditation Council sent a team to audit Plattsburgh State's teacher-education programs, finding them to be "above standard" in candidate learning, faculty learning and capacity and commitment.

"This is a huge accomplishment for all of us," Hill said.

He stressed that the entire campus helped earn the national accreditation, in particular, faculty members who made up the Unit Advisory Group and the Inquiry Brief Writing Group.

"What more can anyone ask from an experience than have it result in wonderful lessons learned from working with talented people," Hill said.

"And we really wouldn't be accredited if we didn't have good graduates of our programs, and this is an acknowledgement of that."

E-mail Stephen Bartlett at: sbartlett@pressrepublican.com

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