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UK Hosts Excellence in Educator Preparation Summit

Dr. Kera Ackerman speaks at the 2019 KEEP Conference.

Written by Chelsea Hobbs, News Intern

The University of Kentucky recently hosted the 2019 Kentucky Excellence in Educator Preparation (KEEP) summit. This was the second annual summit, planned in collaboration with Thomas More College, the University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Department of Education, the Kentucky Association for Colleges of Teacher Education, and with the support of the Collaboration of Effective Educator Development, Accreditation, and Reform Center (CEEDAR).

The day started with a networking opportunity for participants and a welcome and introduction from Dr. Kera Ackerman, assistant professor at the UK College of Education, and Dr. Amy Lingo, interim dean of the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Louisville.

The opening general session, “Voices from the Field: Directors of Special Education Panel Discussion about Developing Teacher Talent,” featured directors of special education from around Kentucky, including Kim Johnson, Wayne Sizemore, Michelle Gadberry, and Becky Nixon. Dr. Lu Young, clinical associate professor in the UK College of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership Studies, and director of the UK Center for Next Generation Leadership, served as the facilitator.

Andrew Garland, from TNTP, formerly known as The New Teacher Project, gave a keynote address on The Opportunity Myth, focusing on educator preparation programs’ role in finding a solution. The event included breakout sessions from eight Kentucky educator preparation programs and the CEEDAR Center designed to empower teacher educators and current and future teachers and leaders to implement and sustain evidence-based practices to ensure opportunity and equity for all learners.

One of the sessions held in the afternoon, “KEEP UK: Identifying issues and implementing solutions,” featured UK College of Education faculty members Dr. Kera Ackerman, Dr. Margaret Mohr-Schroeder, and Dr. Kim White. This session focused on UK’s efforts to engage partner districts in discourse regarding equity and access for all students. In their session, they shared examples of how high leverage and evidence-based practices were more intentionally embedded into course work and clinical practice-based experiences to ensure their pre-service teachers are prepared to meet the needs of all students.

KEEP is Kentucky’s connection to national level work from the CEEDAR Center, housed at the University of Florida. Kentucky has been a partner of the CEEDAR Center since 2016. Kentucky’s work with CEEDAR is focused onincorporating high leverage practices into teacher preparation programs across the state, creating equitable and accessible classroom environments for all students.