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Community Colleges and Teacher Preparation: Roles, Issues and Opportunities

Abstract

"The role of community colleges in preparing the next generation of teachers in U.S. classrooms continues to evolve. In many states, community colleges are no longer playing an informal or tangential role in teacher preparation and instead are becoming critical leaders in efforts to develop a pool of highly effective teachers for states and regions that have demand which far exceeds supply. In August of 2006, the Education Commission of the States and the National Center for Teacher Transformation convened representatives from a variety of national organizations representing state higher education executive officers, community colleges, teacher preparation programs, teacher accreditation and K-12 education to discuss the role of community colleges in teacher education. The meeting focused on how community colleges can meet the needs of an increasingly diverse teaching industry and catalyze reform in teacher education. The following paper describes a variety of forces in education policy and reform that are providing an important context to the role of community colleges in teacher education. In addition, the paper articulates how community colleges can capitalize on their unique attributes as responsive institutions that serve a diverse population of students and industry needs to meet critical workforce demand in local and regional communities and positively impact the field of teacher education."

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