Lehman Joins Education Coalition to Help Train Future Teachers

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Lehman Joins Education Coalition to Help Train Future Teachers
Lehman teachers training a new generation of teachers to serve diverse neighborhood

You can’t have a good education system without great teachers, so Lehman College is teaming up with a national program to help train future educators.

The University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation (US PREP) National Center selected Lehman, along with Brooklyn College and Touro College, to join an exclusive nationwide coalition. The three New York City colleges are the first in the northeast United States to be included in the program.

“Our goal is to prepare qualified and caring teachers to teach our students effectively in New York City and the Bronx in particular, who mostly come from ethnically, culturally and linguistically diverse families with low socioeconomic status,” said Gaoyin Qian, interim dean of the School of Education. “We are confident that US PREP will help us to accomplish this goal.”

US PREP partners with colleges and their affiliated public school districts to transform teacher education, especially for schools with fewer resources. The program emphasizes practice-oriented teacher education, with extra professional monitoring, mentoring, and coaching for student teachers.

Lehman was chosen as a partner because of the college’s track record in high-quality teacher education, structure, and the impact the new model will have on New York City, which has the largest school district in the country.

Among the many benefits that US PREP will offer the Lehman School of Education is a more powerful student teaching experience. Currently, student teachers placed in public school classrooms are observed by their program supervisors four times in a 14-week semester, and teach these classes themselves for one week. The US PREP model includes weekly observations, consultations and mentoring, and four weeks of independent teaching, plus enhanced training for the student teachers’ supervisors, mentors, and cooperating teachers.

"We’ve seen the US PREP model have tremendous success preparing high-quality teachers across the southern regions of the U.S., and we’re extremely proud to see it spread even farther as we continue to ensure that every child, especially our historically underserved students, have access to high-quality teachers,” said Sarah Beal, executive director of US PREP.

The long-term impact of US PREP goes far beyond enhanced teacher education. The professional development resources that US PREP partnerships offer help teacher candidates learn how to focus on student achievement in their future classrooms. This teacher education, in turn, improves students’ experiences in the classroom meaning they are better prepared for future success.

At the conclusion of the three-year partnership with US PREP, Lehman will have additional infrastructure and partnerships in place to sustain the US PREP model in its teacher education programs.

“It’s exciting and challenging,” said Qian. “With the support of our faculty and staff, we are ready to move to the next level.”