Saint Joseph's College Awarded $25,000 Grant from Brach Foundation

April 20, 2012

Saint Joseph's College has received a $25,000 grant award from the Helen Brach Foundation. The grant will be used to strengthen preschool through 12th (P-12) grade teacher preparation through the implementation of a research-based co-teaching model.

The co-teaching model involves two teachers, a licensed P-12, and the student teacher. Co-teaching is defined as the cooperating teacher and teacher candidate working together with students; they jointly share the planning, organization, delivery, and assessment of instruction as well as the physical classroom space. An assigned college supervisor plays a vital role in this model by providing timely support to both teachers.

While co-teaching is not a new phenomenon in education, its application in the student teaching experience is a new area of study. The co-teaching model offers powerful advantages to the traditional student teaching methodology that is often used in teacher preparation programs across the nation. Both adaptable and progressive, the co-teaching model may be implemented with any content at any grade level.

With the co-teaching model, the Education department hopes to build stronger connections between SJC and its school partners, improve the student teaching experience for teacher candidates, and enhance professional support and development for cooperating teachers.

Co-teaching provides a comprehensive experience for teacher candidates, and the cooperating teachers are able to provide them with high quality mentoring and the nurturing support necessary to gain the skills/confidence required for successful teachers. Throughout the co-teaching experience, the cooperating teachers remain actively involved in the teaching, which improves achievement and further enhances the quality of learning for students.

"The research on student achievement under the co-teaching model is very compelling," said Professor of Education Dr. Jennifer Barce. "We're excited to be able to offer this to our partner schools, and we think it will result in positive outcomes for everyone involved: the classroom teachers, our candidates, and most of all the students in our community."

For more information on the co-teaching model, contact Dr. Barce at jbarce@saintjoe.edu.

Saint Joseph's College, named a "character-building college" by the Templeton Foundation and a "best Midwestern college" by the Princeton Review, is a four-year, Catholic college offering 27 majors, 4 group majors, 34 minors, and 9 pre-professional programs, complemented by the nationally acclaimed Core Program. Founded and sponsored by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, SJC is located in Rensselaer, Indiana, approximately 90 minutes from both Chicago and Indianapolis, on a park-like campus of 180 acres and has an enrollment of 1,100 students.

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