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Indiana State University's Professional Development Schools (ISU PDS) program is a collaborative effort between the University and two area school districts. It is currently comprised made up of 10 public schools (six elementary, one middle, and three high schools) and Indiana State University. Through this partnership students, teachers, and administrators of the schools and the University have come together to enhance education and training at all levels for over 20 years.
The Indiana State University Professional Development Schools program is shaped by the diversity of the students, schools, and school districts involved. In 1992, the program began with 10 schools in four school districts in west central Indiana. In 1994-1995, five public schools in Indianapolis were added. In 1997, one middle school joined the program. In 2000, four more elementary schools were added bringing the total to 20 members schools. In 2010, the University and partner schools entered into new contracts based on the needs of clinically-based programming, the role of partner schools in educator preparation, and the challenges/opportunities of teaching and learning in K-12 schools. As a result, 10 high-poverty schools were selected across two school districts in close proximity to the University campus.
The partnership is guided and operated by a steering committee composed of university liaisons, school representatives, the dean of the Bayh College of Education, and the partnership co-directors. The Steering Committee establishes policies for the partnership and operates under a formal contract of agreement approved by the University Board of Trustees and the school boards of the partner districts.
In 2010, the National Association for Professional Development Schools selected the Indiana State University Professional Development Schools Partnership for its prestigious Award for Exemplary Professional Development School Achievement. This award recognizes the partnership’s persistent efforts to provide authentic learning immersed in real conditions of practice that benefits pre-service educators as well as in-service professional educators.
In any given semester the Partnership touches the lives of over 7,100 K-12 students, 475 professional educators in 10 schools, 60 University faculty, and 700 pre-service teacher education candidates. It is a Partnership that enhances the learning of students, as well as those who teach them.