Developing an Urban Multicultural Teacher Academy Pipeline Partnership

Posted by on March 24, 2011
Developing an Urban Multicultural Teacher Academy Pipeline Partnership
Dr. Leonard Soroka, Dr. Michael White, Dr. Bruce Rachild -Holy Family University and Mr. Tim McKenna, Principal-Furness HS-School District of Philadelphia

Project Description:
A unique PDS partnership between the PK-16 Council (comprised of Holy Family University, West Chester University, and Community College of Philadelphia), Philadelphia Academies, and Furness High School (School District of Philadelphia) was developed to establish an Academy of Urban Education at Furness High School to serve as a pipeline for teacher recruitment in urban schools. As an incentive, the School District has guaranteed future employment for Academy program students after completing a college teacher certification program.

One project included the development of a high school peer tutor certification program, which included development of lesson plans and training by Holy Family University education students. After an initial training session by Holy Family students, high school students were prepared to tutor their peers. A second initiative involved on-site visits to HFU teacher preparation programs by Furness students.

These visits included shadowing college courses, participation in an Education Club meeting, along with a campus and community tour. Future partnership goals include offering on-site teacher professional development opportunities, collaboration between HFU and Furness teaching staff on developing elective curriculum, and the development of a classroom of the future that will model the use of technology and training to enrich the experiences of students and pre-service teachers. Furness High School is a diverse neighborhood high school located in South Philadelphia. The demographic breakdown of the student population is 40% African American, 38% Asian, 12% White and 10% Latino.  29% of the students receive ELL support and 21% have been identified for special education services.


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