Teacher leaders

3/12/13

Bluffton to offer program for 'teacher leaders'

BLUFFTON, Ohio — Experienced teachers with master's degrees and interest in being instructional leaders in their schools may pursue the new state-level Teacher Leader Endorsement through Bluffton University.

Bluffton's program of study leading to the endorsement has been approved by the Ohio Board of Regents. The program comprises three courses, including two—in instructional leadership and evidence-based instructional practices—that the university hopes to begin offering this summer, depending upon enrollment. The final course will take candidates for the endorsement into classrooms during the school year "to provide high levels of effective mentoring focused on improving teaching practices and learning for all students," according to the course description.

"The Teacher Leader Endorsement is a result of the new configuration of teacher licensure options first introduced in fall 2011," says Dr. George Metz, a professor and chair of education at Bluffton. He notes that the university is among the first institutions in the region to submit, and gain approval for, an applicable program of study.

Added to an existing teaching license, the endorsement is available to teachers who have at least four years of successful classroom experience—in addition to a master's degree—and meet the program standards.

"This program allows veteran teachers to earn the credential to move to the highest level of licensure in the state system and to become building leaders in instructional design and curriculum development," says Metz, also Bluffton's director of teacher education and chair of its Division of Education and Sport Science. "It is not designed for teachers to become administrators."

"Bluffton is fortunate to have a veteran group of professors with extended PK-12 teaching experience," he adds. "We will collaborate with veteran administrators and teachers to offer a high-caliber theoretical and practical-based experience that will ultimately assist their students by creating enhanced learning environments."

Bluffton's education department is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

For more information on the new program, go to http://www.bluffton.edu/grad/gpe/teacher-leader

-B-