University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation (U.S.PREP)

      Southeastern Louisiana University has been named to one of five newly-formed Teacher Preparation Transformation Centers designed to bring together higher education institutions, teacher-preparation providers and K-12 school systems to share data, knowledge and best practices.Funding for the projects amounts to a total of $34.7 million over three years provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Southeastern will receive approximately $534,000 over the three-year period.
      Southeastern is the only teacher-preparation program in Louisiana invited to participate. Each center includes several universities. Southeastern’s College of Education will be part of the University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation (U.S.PREP) National Center based at Texas Tech University. Other universities participating in U.S.PREP are Jackson State University, Southern Methodist University, the University of Houston and the University of Memphis.Each center is expected to test different approaches in various contexts to better understand teacher-preparation practices that are most effective. The Transformation Centers will be guided by a common set of indicators and outcomes while testing different approaches.
      The overall goal of U.S.Prep is to produce exemplary new teachers for their partner school districts who outperform new teachers prepared in other teacher-preparation programs. The school districts partnering with Southeastern are the St. Charles Parish School District and the Ascension Parish Public School District.
      U.S.PREP and its coalition members are expected to achieve several specific quality objectives, including preparing new teachers who possess exceptional content knowledge and teaching skills; developing a program culture focused on continuous improvement using outcome and design-based research data; ensuring teacher educator effectiveness is elevated through professional develop programs based on solid research; enhancing the common school and university vision of preparation of teacher candidates through collaborative implementation; and developing an effective peer-to-peer university model that helps jumpstarts a revolution of improved teacher-preparation programs.
      Southeastern maintains one of the largest teacher preparation programs in Louisiana. Currently, approximately 800 students are enrolled in the teacher preparation project.