Updated: Oct 17
Where was Community College Teacher Education over the past 20 years and where do we see its role today?
Looking back at trends in the Community College and specifically in Educator Preparation has been a good time of reflection for me and a sweet reminder of the amazing work taking place within our programs across the country. Some 20+ years ago when stepping into the world of community colleges my focus was limited to designing and building a first-of-its-kind Post-Baccalaureate program at the Community College level in the state of Arizona. During this time there were state and federal level calls to provide cost-effective pathways to the classroom while simultaneously diversifying the education workforce. Unfortunately, those same calls for innovative practices led to murmurs of mission creep and quality. It was those murmurs that peaked my interest about NACCTEP and serving as the Executive Director beginning in the Spring of 2012.
As NACCTEP’s membership grew so did our voice! NACCTEP was gaining respect from other national organizations, there was a growing trend of bachelor degree programs, and we were advocating for inclusion within federal grant programs and policy. Our community college programs were not only aligning themselves with the known trends in educator preparation but were also on the forefront of introducing innovative practices and outside-the-box-thinking to create a diversified teaching workforce. We saw our programs embrace and enter into a space where the use of technology and mobile devices were unlocking the promise of “anytime, anywhere” learning. Additionally, our teacher education programs, were grappling with Data Driven Decision making and how to use the trove of information that was now readily accessible to us because of technology and web. Ultimately, whether it was “The Maker Movement” or open-source technologies, our community college programs were walking lockstep with and often times leading the way in many of the new trends that were emerging.
Like all trends some will stick and some will go by the wayside. But what hasn’t changed over the years with NACCTEP, junior colleges, or our community college programs has been our desire to advocate for and provide quality programs for a diverse population of students.
Executive Director for NACCTEP (2012-2020)