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Center for Quality Teaching and Learning

Professional Development Schools (PDS)

School-University Partnership

Columbus State University and Muscogee County School District


Professional Development Schools (PDS) are innovative programs formed through partnerships between institutions of higher learning education programs and P–12 schools.

Teachers in a classroom teaching students with manipulativesTeachers in a classroom teaching students with manipulatives

Professional Development Schools (PDS) are devoted to improving student learning. The preparation of teacher candidates, professional development for practicing teachers, and research helps all students learn. Students benefit because the knowledge, skills, and resources of both university and school are focused on meeting their needs. Students also benefit from teacher interns, mentor teachers, and university faculty who play active roles in the PDS setting.

Teachers in a classroom teaching students with manipulativesTeachers in a classroom teaching students with manipulatives

Professional Development Schools (PDS) are devoted to improving student learning. The preparation of teacher candidates, professional development for practicing teachers, and research helps all students learn. Students benefit because the knowledge, skills, and resources of both university and school are focused on meeting their needs. Students also benefit from teacher interns, mentor teachers, and university faculty who play active roles in the PDS setting.

PDS partnerships have a four-fold mission:

  1. the preparation of new teachers,
  2. faculty development,
  3. inquiry directed at the improvement of practice, and
  4. enhanced student acheivement.

Teachers in a classroom teaching students

CSU instructors train
teacher candidates on-site in PDS.

Teachers in a classroom teaching students

CSU teacher candidates
co-teach with teachers in PDS.

CSU professors in a classroom providing teacher candidates

CSU professors provide professional development training for teacher candidates
and cooperating teachers in the PDS


Advantages of Professional Development Schools

  • A member of the staff of the Center for Quality Teaching and Learning at Columbus State University makes regular site visits to provide support and professional development to teacher candidates and Gentian faculty/staff.
  • Clinical instructors from CSU are available on-site each week to teach classes and support teacher candidates and faculty /staff.
  • Collaborative work focuses on best instructional practices for K-5 student learning.
  • Daily feedback is available from school-based faculty as well as university-based teacher educators.
  • Teacher candidates have opportunities to share their experiences with other candidates.
  • Master teachers demonstrate lessons.
  • Teacher candidates co-teach with other candidates and cooperating teachers.
  • Teacher candidates carry out their pre-professional and professional field experiences with the same teacher and within the same school.
  • Opportunities are available for teacher candidates to teach and observe across grade levels.
  • P-12 students in a PDS experience more hours of professional educators’ attention.
  • Professional development conducted in PDS is closely integrated with pre-service education.
  • Strategies are developed that bring theory to practice and practice to theory.
  • Teacher candidates are encouraged to collaborate and problem solve during their pre-service development.

Teacher in a classroom teaching studentsTeacher in a classroom teaching students with manipulatives

Students benefit from having both university and school personnel focused on meeting their needs.