University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire


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Center for Collaborative Leadership in Education
To Serve Area School Districts

 MAILED:  Oct. 28, 2003

EAU CLAIRE — The School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has received administrative approval for a new center on campus — the Center for Collaborative Leadership in Education.

The Center is part of an ongoing initiative by the School of Education and UW-Eau Claire to serve area school districts — their students and programs, said Mark Clark, dean of the College of Professional Studies.

“The CCLE was created to collaborate with area school districts,” Clark said. “It is a true PK-16 collaboration that will help us all better serve area students.”

The Center will provide faculty, students and teachers in the field of education with opportunities to better understand issues and legislative actions, and to exchange ideas and reflect on developing exemplary practices in the schools of the future, said Katherine Rhoades, associate dean of the School of Education.

To that end, the Center will identify and secure resources that will be used to promote collaboration among undergraduate and graduate students in education, university faculty and staff and professional teachers and administrators in the region, Rhoades said. Creating an annual Collaborative Leadership Symposium will be among the first steps.

“Extramural funding is critical for the success of School of Education programs,” Rhoades said. “Now more than ever we need a mechanism for seeking funding and writing grants.”

Recent legislation increases the role of teacher education programs in forming and nourishing partnerships with PK-12 schools, Rhoades said. For example, the No Child Left Behind legislation requires teacher education programs to work collaboratively with PK-12 schools when submitting federal grants.

The new Center will be a clearinghouse for arranging these partnerships, Rhoades said.
“We want to be available to work closely with PK-12 educators so we can be more responsive to regional professional development needs.”

The idea of creating a center to bring together the university, schools and education agencies to facilitate improvements in schooling dates back more than a decade, said Roger Tlusty, a longtime faculty member and chair of UW-Eau Claire’s foundation of education department. At that time a Center of Excellence in teacher education was proposed in response to the UW System’s initiative to create centers of excellence in System institutions.

“Even though the proposal wasn’t selected, the idea bounced along over the years,” Tlusty said. “In 2002 we identified the need for an entity to bring together all players in teacher education. Building on the previous work, the School of Education leadership team developed the proposal for the Center for Collaborative Leadership in Education.”

The leadership team includes Rhoades; Tlusty; Susan Mc Intyre, chair of curriculum and instruction; and J. Todd Stephens, chair of special education.

Rhoades said the Center’s mission of collaborative leadership grew out of the School of Education’s emphasis on developing students who are collaborative leaders and on the commitment to collaborating with schools in the region. “More and more, PK-12 teachers are taking on increased leadership roles,” Rhoades said. “The new center will help support them in these roles.”

Now that the Center proposal has been approved, Rhoades said, planning can begin to turn the concept into a reality.

The Center will be housed under the organizational structure of the School of Education. Clark will appoint a director selected from School of Education faculty and staff for a three-year term. The director will select 12 members representing key constituencies served by the center to serve on an Advisory Board. Under the advisement of the board, the director will seek and develop grants and projects.

Rhoades said the Center will be introduced to the public during a March 4 Education Celebration, which will highlight teacher education at UW-Eau Claire.


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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
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Updated: October 27, 2003