“In the world of education reform, where cities like D.C., Denver and New York City are often recognized for their innovative leaders and groundbreaking policies, the work of a Texas college of education and its partner districts has quietly, but surely begun to shine a light onto a masterful new model of teacher preparation and district reform”(How a Texas College of Education Is Building Meaningful Partnerships with Schools, n.d.). Over the past decade, Texas Tech University has created a unique model for teacher preparation programs that centers around authentic partnerships with school districts and focuses closely on teacher preparation and student success. The collaboration between university and schools has sparked innovation and change that benefits the whole community. From this innovation, new practices in teacher preparation have been developed that support the training and growth of new teachers.
Over the past few years, other universities have joined in the work to move their teacher preparation programs forward and work closely with districts to improve education. In spring 2017, the US PREP coalition was created to support the work of partner universities and their school districts. Through US PREP, university leaders are able to collaborate and learn from one another as they work to create high-quality and sustainable relationships with school districts; improve clinical experiences of teacher candidates; and prepare classroom-ready teachers who are equipped to address the academic and social/emotional needs of their students.
Today, the coalition consists of eight universities whose stellar faculty and staff are engaged with district partners to support the growth and development of strong, capable teachers who have the potential to positively impact the lives of countless students across the nation.