Over the past year and a half, members of ALOED have responded to the College’s decision to temporarily halt Occidental’s teacher credentialing program by researching the projected needs in education, the skills and qualities desired in teachers, and the role that Occidental might play in the future. We examined other teacher preparation programs, talked with education professors and school administrators, listened to alumni in the field, and read extensively in order to present this proposal for a redesigned, innovative teacher education program.
Based on our research, we present the following recommendations, with detailed rationale included in the body of this proposal which will be available on this blog over the next few weeks.
1. Re-establish the credential program for both single and multiple subject credentials. Credential coursework would begin as early as freshman year, and proceed to fulfill all requirements for Level 1 Credentials.
2. Design the program to utilize the resources of the College, with the Department of Education working collaboratively with other departments to offer a rigorous academic curriculum that integrates academic study, digital learning, pedagogical preparation, classroom experience, and clinical supervision.
3. Recruit and prepare undergraduate students to become part of a cohort of future educational leaders, skilled in preparing students for 21st century technology-rich learning.
4. Consider establishing a close, collaborative partnership relationship with one or more local schools or creating a laboratory school.
5. Consider creating opportunities for professional development in instructional technology, either as a Masters of Arts program, or as a Certificate Program for in-service teachers.
6. All of the above requires Education Department leadership with a clear vision for the future and the ability to build alliances and work collaboratively with other departments in the College, personnel in local public schools, and policy-makers.