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Project Title:PK-12/Arts and Sciences/Education Collaboration InitiativeInstitution Name:Northern Kentucky University Innovation Category:Research and Regional Stewardship Project Director:Carol Ryan, Associate Dean, College of Education and Human ServicesContact Information:(859) 572-5152, ryanc@nku.eduWebsite:
Project Description:One example of how the university collaborates and innovates through a P-20 partnership is the Collaboration Initiative. The initiative includes representatives from PK-12 teachers and administration, Arts/ Science faculty, and Education faculty and was formed to review, discuss, and recommend ideas on collaborating and supporting each other. Many items are discussed, all with the purpose of improving the teacher education program so graduates can more positively impact PK-12 children. The Collaboration Initiative is an ongoing partnership to forge a stronger bond and collaboration among the teacher education program, PK-12 school districts, and the Arts/Sciences programs.
Objectives:
  • Provide a means for close collaboration and discussion among faculty/administrators in PK-12 schools, education, and arts/sciences. This will be evaluated/ assessed through the feedback provided by each constituent.
  • Develop recommendations for improving the teacher preparation program to meet the CAEP standards and other initiatives affecting teacher education. This will be evaluated/assessed through the list of recommendations developed and eventually initiated in the teacher education program. 
  • Review recommendations and begin to implement ones that are most appropriate for reforming and improving the university’s teacher education program. This will be evaluated through quantitative data and feedback from all constituents
Outcomes:
  • The first objective, cited above, has been met. The group met throughout the academic year and had very collaborative and collegial discussions. All constituents reported excellent feedback on the success of the Collaboration Initiative.
  • The second objective cited above has also been met. Many recommendations were developed and included a personal interview for education students seeking admission that will include representatives from all three constituent groups and requiring a yearlong clinical experience that has education students at the same school for an entire academic year. 
  • The third objective cited above will take several more years to determine if it is successful. Implementing the recommendations will start in fall, 2014.
Challenges/Problems Encountered:The main challenge was the uncertainty among each representative of the constituent groups. In the beginning there was a lot of unease among the participants regarding how honest to be in statements and feedback given to the group. This subsided very quickly into the process as everyone realized we were all there to improve the university’s teacher education program to positively impact PK-12 children.
Evaluation Approach:Evaluation was approached administratively by developing an opportunity for each participant to provide qualitative feedback. The final evaluation will be several years in the future as we determine how many of the recommendations are implemented and how many of them are ultimately successful in improving the teacher education program.
Potential for Replication:This is a very easy project to replicate. It is important to have a good collaborative relationship with the PK-12 and Arts and Sciences communities. If that is already in place then replicating the Collaboration Initiative will be easy to do and appreciated by all groups. If a good relationship is not in place, then it will be important to start cultivating it. It will be important to have the dean of the college of education contact the area superintendents to seek their suggestions for Pk-12 representatives and the dean of Arts/Sciences to seek his/her suggestions.
CEO-to-CEO Contact:Geoff Mearns , Presidentmearns@nku.edu
(859) 572-5123
Date Published: Tuesday, May 13, 2014