A Professional Development School (PDS) is an innovative school-site-based program to improve teacher preparation through closer connections between college and school partners. By offering teacher education coursework at the school site as well as the student teaching practicum, the Professional Development Schools more fully link theory and practice and appear to have beneficial professional development impact on teachers and faculty members as well as candidates.
A recent synthesis of research on teacher education supports this approach, stating that, “evidence suggests that collaborative arrangements between university programs and local school districts -- known as professional development schools -- have a positive impact on teacher and pupil learning.”
We are pleased to partner with ten school systems and many other field-based work sites. Our Professional Development Schools include:
- Anderson Middle School and Johnston Hopkins Elementary School in Iberia Parish
- Acadian Middle School, J. W. Faulk Elementary School, and Northside High School in Lafayette Parish
- Cankton Elementary School, East Elementary School, and Sunset Elementary School in St. Landry Parish
- Raintree Elementary School in St. Mary Parish
- Cecil Picard Elementary School in Vermilion Parish
Our Professional Development Schools are based on the CAEP Standards. These standards ensure that accredited schools use rigorous standards to regularly assess the teachers in their programs. Teachers who earn their bachelor’s or master’s degrees tend to be better prepared for basic licensing examinations and advanced board certification, as well as having the ability to develop the teaching skills that determine future success in the classroom.
Graduates from a university that partners with Professional Development Schools find they have a competitive advantage in the job market because their certification program prepares them well for state licensure and advanced board certification. High scores on these teacher-preparation assessments, like the Praxis, can help teacher candidates’ secure “highly qualified” status in several states. The standards call for regular assessment through the teacher preparatory program to ensure that all teacher candidates leave the program with a solid mastery of their content area as well as the pedagogical skills they’ll need to manage a classroom.