Maricopa Community Colleges has partnered with the Arizona Department of Education (ADE), Career and Technical Education Division’s Education Professions program to create a P-12 Teacher Education Career Pathway model. Education Professions is a high school Career and Technical Education program for students who have an interest in pursuing a career in the field of education. The curriculum provides instruction in education career choices, education structure, systems theory, pedagogy, developmental stages, learning styles, and methodology. The program also provides interactive experiences with students at different age levels, in a variety of content areas in education environments. As a first step to developing the P-12 Teacher Education Career Pathway Model, the National Center for Teacher Education (NCTE), based at the Maricopa Community Colleges, worked with community college districts throughout Arizona to identify the education courses within the statewide Associate of Arts Elementary Education degree (AAEE) program that were appropriate for dual enrollment articulation within the model. The AAEE courses are articulated through community college dual enrollment agreements with secondary and postsecondary entities on a county-by-county basis. The AAEE is articulated for transfer with all of Arizona’s public university Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education degree programs. Many of Arizona’s private universities have also entered into AAEE articulation agreements.
The partnership model supports Education Profession Future Teacher Clubs through student conferences that provide career information, higher education opportunities, skill development, and professional exposure for the students. It facilitates partnership between high school teachers and community college faculty through joint meetings. The Arizona P-12 Education Career Pathway Model also includes student benchmarks for assessments, advising, and additional preparation to assure student success and persistence. Secondary students enrolled in the program are assessed for community college course placement in the 11th and/or 12th grade. Using the information from the course placement assessments, each student works with faculty and advisors from both the secondary and postsecondary two-year institution to develop an individualized college and career plan.
Education Profession teachers and community college partner faculty are trained in the use of electronic portfolios with their students. These e-portfolios allow students to develop and update their career pathway plans. The e-portfolios allow secondary and postsecondary faculty to create standards-based lessons and units that include assessment rubrics. The goal of this effort is to develop a continuum of electronic portfolios through high schools, community colleges, and universities. This effort will allow for the progressive growth and assessment of students’ knowledge and skills.