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ERIC Number: ED453033
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Mar
Pages: 6
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Finding and Keeping the Best: A Rural Regional Partnership.
Churchill, Lisa R.; Jensen, Mary C.; Cepello, Michelle
California State University, Chico, and 47 rural school districts in northeastern California collaborate on an on-the-job teacher preparation program designed to alleviate the shortage of qualified special education teachers and reduce teacher isolation. The university provides televised or Web-based courses, regional supervision, and separate course sections for interns. Public schools guarantee 10 paid release days annually to attend classes. Tuition stipends, mentors, and evaluation are supported through state and federal grants. This program's unique features include inter-institutional processes, cohort formation, accessible and relevant information, electronic network connection, and intern teacher support. Evaluation findings indicate a significant increase in graduates' ability to teach and work with pupils, parents, and other teachers. Graduate retention rates exceed state and national levels for rural special educators. A major challenge identified was challenging working conditions--special education teachers, particularly in rural settings, deal with pupils who have severe learning and emotional difficulties in mainstreamed settings that do not always meet pupil needs. Perhaps the most significant lesson learned in the rural partnership was the importance of building and maintaining personal relationships across the vast region. Building such relationships takes time but is key to a successful partnership. Funding sources, legislators, and participants need to recognize that it takes 3-5 years for such a collaborative partnership to show results. (TD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California