Learning Café

A "Grow Your Own" Partnership: Investing in Innovative Strategies to Deeply Prepare and Diversify the Teacher Workforce

A group of student teachers having a discussion.
January 2024 | EdPrepLab
A group of student teachers having a discussion.

Across the nation, educator preparation programs and district partners can collaborate to address the complex challenges to diversify and strengthen the teacher workforce. To achieve this goal requires flexible, innovative, and bold design, as well as shared commitments to both removing barriers for traditionally underrepresented student populations and designing multiple high-quality pathways for preservice and inservice teachers.

EdPrepLab hosted a virtual Learning Café with the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) and St. Vrain Valley School District to inform about their robust set of pathways grounded in the Science of Learning and Development Teacher Education Design Principles that are meeting this complex challenge. University and district leaders share about:

  • A dual enrollment education pathway for high school students that includes a paid, four-year registered teacher apprenticeship in the district, earning their bachelor’s degree and teaching license from CU Denver
  • A pathway for full-time working paraprofessionals to earn a bachelor’s degree and teaching license
  • Co-constructed master’s degree programs and advanced endorsements to deepen the knowledge and skills of practicing teachers in the strategic areas of special education, literacy, culturally and linguistically diverse education, and mentoring
  • The historical journey of this deep partnership focused on key leadership and partnership attributes with a particular eye towards ensuring in-depth support for student success, as well as financial investments and braided funding to support these programs
  • Cindy Gutierrez, Director of Clinical Teacher Education & Partnerships, University of Colorado Denver
  • Diane Lauer, Chief Academic Officer, St. Vrain Valley School District, Longmont, CO
  • Jody Tucker, Associate Director of Clinical Teacher Education, University of Colorado Denver

For more information regarding Learning Cafés, please contact Beatrice Benavides.

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