Accountability in Higher Education: It’s Not Your Mother’s Educator Preparation Program

Thu, Jul 19, 2012

Career Advice, Uncategorized

By Dr. Tammy Lynn Woody

I recently had the opportunity to attend the National Summit on Educator Effectiveness as one of four representatives from West Virginia. The Council of Chief State School Officers hosted this event in Seattle, Washington this past May. Many conversations focused on accountability, K-12 student achievement, and the transformation of educator preparation programs. It was exciting to hear that a taskforce was formed to address the challenges of teacher and leader preparation.

This is timely as many of our conversations in the APUS School of Education have involved vigorous discussion of how all educator preparation programs can improve and how educators can effectively impact student achievement. We continue to strive towards data-driven decisions and better communication with the West Virginia Department of Education and K-12 school districts.

In my work as a university supervisor and program director, I continually focus on positioning my students to be prepared for their chosen profession. In order to do this, I realize there must be transparency of curriculum and an alignment between what students will know when they complete our educator preparation programs and what they need to know to survive and thrive during their induction year and beyond. Our team of program directors like to discuss, “where the rubber meets the road,” in terms of preparing our candidates for the realities of complex daily challenges in K-12 classrooms. As former practitioners ourselves, we realize the study of education must be augmented and honed by the practice of education in the learning environment.

We’d love to hear from the practicing educators in the field. What was the most valuable advice, practice, or training that you received from your educator preparation program that helped you succeed in the classroom?

~ Dr. Tammy Lynn Woody, is the Program Director for the School of Education at American Public University. She has been with APUS for more than four years and has functioned in a variety of roles including: certification officer, field experience coordinator and school counseling program director. Prior to joining the APUS team, she served in numerous capacities in PreK-12 education including: lead preschool teacher, substitute teacher, counseling intern and professional school counselor. Her doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction was completed through West Virginia University while she was a member of the Eastern Panhandle doctoral cohort. She currently holds professional school counselor certification in both West Virginia and Virginia and serves on numerous regional educational and counseling boards in leadership positions.

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