When the “ivory tower” world of educator preparation faculty collides with the “real world” of in-service teachers, the result can be a partnership that is committed to preparing teachers equipped to meet the needs of diverse learners in 21st century classrooms. The lessons learned in the development of such a partnership include a focus on: a) authentic engagement of all stakeholders; b) honest, diplomatic, and timely communication; c) support and scaffolding for pre-service teachers; d) a variety of authentic assessment measures; and e) assistance for new teachers during the induction period. Strengthening the bonds between university faculty and classroom teachers has contributed to the success of pre-service and beginning teachers and to the enhancement of P-12 student learning.

Author's Biographies

Tina Butcher, Ph.D. serves as the Director of the Center for Academic Advising at Columbus State University. Her current research interests include academic advising and first year student success.

Jan Gunnels Burcham, Ph.D. serves Columbus State University, College of Education as Fletcher Distinguished Chair of Teacher Education and Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education. Her current research interests include the application of constructivist theoretical principles to teaching, pre-service teacher development, and teachers' development of autonomy.

Deirdre Greer, Ph.D. serves as an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education in the College of Education at Columbus State University. Her current research interests include improving pre-service teachers’ attitudes about mathematics, teaching mathematics through problem solving, and the relationship between logicomathematical reasoning and beginning reading.

Mary Beth Hendricks, Ed. D., serves as an Associate Professor of Special Education at Columbus State University. Her current research interests are attrition and retention of special education teachers and strategies for successful inclusion of special education students into general education classrooms.

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