June 2019

Southeastern Louisiana University:
Radically Improving Teacher Training

Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU) has grown from a small college in 1925 into the third largest teacher preparation program in the state of Louisiana.  Southeastern’s education preparation programs are responsible for sending over 400 educators into the state's school over the last five years. 

In December 2015, to continue advancing its work, Southeastern joined a coalition of six others, coordinated by US PREP (University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation), all of whom are collaborating with their local districts to transform teacher preparation. Since embarking on this transformation effort, Southeastern has redesigned its coursework, expanded its district partnerships and added yearlong residency for early childhood, middle school, and special education majors.

By 2020-2021, about 110 education graduates each year will complete the yearlong residencies with a cohort of peers in a partner school district, receiving feedback from a trained mentor. This work is supported by site coordinators whose pivotal role spans teaching as a member of the university faculty as well as supervising residents and mentors in schools and conducting governance meetings with district stakeholders. Specific progress has included:
  • Strengthened district & school partnerships through the role of the site coordinator
  • Redesigned coursework around content/performance assessment expectations
  • Selected & trained mentor teachers
  • Strengthened the use of data
Student teachers now feel much more prepared for the classroom -- with more than 90% of recent graduates rated proficient or effective on the state’s Compass evaluation system. Payton Bryant, a recent graduate of SLU’s teacher preparation program, recently scored as Highly Effective in classroom management, credits her Southeastern experience with preparing her for the realities of classroom teaching.  “I was given the opportunity to develop my teaching every day for an entire school year. Most of my peers did not have this chance until they were in their own classroom and at that point, there is no time to practice or fail because real students are depending on them.”

Click here to read the full case study...
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