PDS History & Timeline

Background Chronology 1989-2005



Proposals were submitted to establish the Consortium for the Advancement of Public Education (CAPE) and the Model Clinical Teacher Program (MCTP). CAPE’s initial effort emphasized school reform while MCTP focused on the reform of teacher preparation.



Model Clinical Teacher Programs were begun as pilots in New Hanover, Brunswick and Duplin counties. The CAPE School Reform Initiative was funded through a BellSouth Foundation grant and matching contributions from seven school districts. The School issued a position paper entitled “The School of Education in a Decade of Reform” which called for a multi-faceted effort to redesign teacher preparation. This report listed eight issues which would be addressed over the next five years. These were as follows:

  1. being unresponsive to the demand to aid in the reinvention of public schools;
  2. failing to reinvent the roles of university faculty to address current and future preparation needs and school reform;
  3. failing to establish meaningful relationships between theory and practice;
  4. lacking rigor in reappointment, promotion and tenure processes or failing to realign the reward system;
  5. being immune to the needs of society while maintaining static curricula in an isolated professional community;
  6. requiring an artificial set of field experiences which are not clearly tied to program goals;
  7. being the academically weak sister on campus with wide-spread inflation of assessment scores; and
  8. perpetuating a dysfunctional organizational structure inconsistent with educator preparation needs for the 21st century.


CAPE was endorsed as a model by the North Carolina State Legislature and a portion of the appropriations was committed to the School Reform Initiative to work with twenty-three schools. MCTP was redesigned to focus on a broader agenda combining teacher preparation and induction with school improvement projects in Brunswick and Duplin counties.


A number of related initiatives such as the establishment of the Office of Service to Public Schools, the redesign of the Educational Leadership Program, initiation of the Technology Outreach program, creation of the Instructional Technology Center and the redesign of all field components and numerous programs were undertaken. These initiatives stemmed from the 1990s study entitled “The School of Education in the Decade of Reform.”

Transition to Professional Development System


The first district level formal partnership agreements focusing on both teacher preparation and school reform were signed with Brunswick and Duplin County School Systems. A planning team was charged by the Dean with examining ways to integrate the emerging parallel initiatives into a focused system.


A study was commissioned by the Watson College of Education to evaluate the Model Clinical Teaching Program in Duplin and Brunswick School Systems. This study revealed that the program had a significant impact on the improved development of teacher interns and was widely supported by public school and university participants. The study also revealed, however, that the program was labor-intensive, needed to be more focused in its goals and objectives, and that university structures were changing more slowly than those in the schools. In response, a faculty committee was charged with addressing these concerns and with identifying the most salient features of the pilots for transfer to the total preparation program. The Master of School Administration degree program was redesigned to reflect many of the conceptual frameworks represented in the MCTP and CAPE pilots.

The Professional Development System


In its review of the MCTP/PDS pilot, the faculty review committee recommended that seven critical aspects of the program be transferred to the general student teaching program. Further, the faculty endorsed six overarching goals to guide this transition and committed to complete program reviews consistent with the new goals. PDS district level agreements were signed with eight additional districts in the immediate service region. The North Carolina Legislature appropriated funds to support the UNCW model and the program at ECU as pilots for a potential state-wide effort. UNCW partnered with Pembroke State University and school districts in Brunswick, Onslow/Camp Lejeune, New Hanover, Columbus/Whiteville, Pender, Duplin, Robeson and Bladen counties. A Professional Development System Advisory Council was formed along with faculty and public school teams from UNCW and Pembroke to give general guidance to the expansion of the partnership network, the redesign of curricula, and the development of orientation and training materials.


The Professional Development System partnership received top national honors from the Association of Teacher Education. The project was awarded second place for the “1996 Distinguished Program in Teacher Education.”

Phase I implementation of the newly developed and expanded PDS model was begun in the ten school systems and the 47 Partnership Schools identified at the elementary, middle and secondary levels.

Formalized roles and responsibilities were developed for the UNCW PDS Program Coordinator, school-based Site Coordinators, University Supervisors, Partnership Teachers, and Interns.

Training for 361 Partnership Teachers, 47 Site Coordinators, and 12 University Faculty was designed and delivered during the summer of 1996.

An administrator training component was designed and delivered during the summer of 1996 to integrate 27 administrators into the PDS effort.

Additional university faculty were engaged in professional development activities throughout the year with a target of 100% of all faculty completing training by the summer of 1998.

PDS Seminars were initiated at all PDS Partnership Schools that had interns.

A PDS research and evaluation team was established to collect baseline and continuing data.

One hundred and twenty (120) Elementary, Middle Grades, Physical

Education and Special Education teacher interns worked as cohorts in PDS schools with Partnership teachers during the fall semester.

One thousand, one hundred and two (1102) undergraduate education students were provided field experiences in PDS schools during that fall.

PDS Administrators in ten Leadership Development Sites served as intern mentors for Master of School Administration students.


The University Council on Teacher Education of the University of North Carolina began development of a state-wide plan to establish university-school teacher education partnerships. The University of North Carolina at Wilmington, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and East Carolina University presented their partnership network models to the Deans of Education at the Aqueduct Conference Center in Chapel Hill.

Two hundred and thirty (230) teacher interns worked with PDS Partnership Teachers during the spring semester. These interns represented all subject area specialties and all grade levels. One hundred and four (104) interns were placed in these PDS schools for fall 1997 semester.

All university faculty who worked with interns in 1997 participated in the PDS model.

Nine hundred and forty-six (946) undergraduate education students were provided field experiences in PDS schools during the spring semester. During the first semester, sixty (60) undergraduate students were being provided field experiences in PDS schools.

An additional ten Leadership Development Sites and PDS Administrators served as internship sites for Master of School Administration (MSA) students.

The School-University Applied Research and Development Initiative was established as a means of linking university partners and public school partners in ways other than the placement of interns at PDS sites. It created a mechanism for responding to requests from K-12 schools for assistance in writing grants, designing ways to study and use test results, accessing current research, designing programs, and a host of other education-related issues. It also provided Watson School of Education students with authentic opportunities to conduct literature reviews, develop tentative program plans, and collect/ analyze data. This initiative was viewed as a way to foster the professional development of school/university faculty, administrators, and education students.


The WCE Field Experience Coordinator and PDS Director established Collaborative Internship Placement Meetings held on site in each district to ensure that the best possible decisions were being made concerning the placement of Curricular Studies interns. During this academic year, 310 teacher interns and ten administrative interns were placed in partnership sites using this process.

The Technology Outreach Coordinator and the PDS Director established Collaborative District Technology Meetings held on site in each district to assure better communication of the common issues related to technology-rich classroom environments and to establish a closer alignment of technology training efforts provided by the district and the PDS-sponsored outreach efforts.

Secondary education teacher interns in science, social studies, and English were required to engage in an inquiry project that identified and investigated a question pertaining directly to their teaching. The objective was to ensure that pre-service teachers began making informed assessments of different approaches to instruction by evaluating the effects of the strategies on student learning.

PDS technology outreach efforts resulted in 23 technology workshops on technology skills and applications delivered for over 400 teachers/ administrators.

The Watson College of Education and PDS organized and hosted the second annual Coastal Educational Technology Conference and Vendor Fair attended by over 500 persons.

The PDS Implementation Team was formed to help guide the development of the Professional Development System and to respond to the issues that impact the university-school partnership. The team consisted of partners from both public schools and the university who met monthly to identify issues and facilitate the design and implementation of appropriate solutions.

PDS and the Consortium for the Advancement of Public Education co-sponsored the National Forum on the Future of Teacher Preparation in the 21st Century, attended by over 200 partnership educators in southeastern North Carolina. National speakers in the field of education including Drs. Ron Brandt, Bernard Badiali, Jacqueline Grennon Brooks, Nelda Cambron-McCabe, James Cowardin, and Paul Houston interacted with conference attendees on important issues that impact teacher education and public school partners. An intended result of this interaction was the publication of findings in national educational journals.

Three conferences were held with partnership teachers, site coordinators, administrators, and university partners to discuss common issues, ideas, and insights for the improvement of all partners.

Evaluation instruments for university supervisors and partnership teachers were created for the purpose of reciprocal evaluation of those partners working directly with teacher interns.

All teacher interns began designing and collecting data for their Technology Portfolio, which could become part of their ILT portfolio during the following years.

Within the School-University Applied Research and Development Initiative, several major projects were undertaken. The study “Partnership Teachers’ Perceptions of Key Elements of the Professional Development System’s Impact on Student Learning and Teacher Development” attempted to ascertain the level of implementation of several key elements of the UNCW PDS model and the impact the partnership was having on student learning and teacher development. In addition studies were undertaken to assess the effects of PDS site-based seminars at the high school level, to assess the efficacy of a collaborative model that linked School of Education faculty with four PDS high school partnership teachers to design and teach social studies methods courses, to identify descriptive indicators of 12 PDS high schools, and to study the results of collaborative professional development between two high school science partnership teachers, their teacher interns, and the university supervisor. In another major initiative, surveys were disseminated to nearly 2,000 teachers in all partnership schools in an effort to identify schools that embody key aspects of professional work cultures. The results were analyzed and utilized to supplement the school and district profiles developed for partners’ use.

A PDS Research Collaboration with other UNC System institutions was initiated. Five universities (Pembroke State, Fayetteville State, NC State, Western Carolina, and UNC-G) agreed to exchange campus visits in order to inform their individual PDS efforts. In addition, an agreement was reached to collaborate on research initiatives in four major areas: Teacher Development, Accountability, Technology, and Diversity. UNCW also visited sites in Kentucky to examine their partnerships.


The second round of three-year PDS contracts was successfully negotiated and signed by each of the 10 school districts and the university, reaffirming the importance of the partnership and the responsibilities inherent in it.

The PDS Implementation Team further refined the roles of its six functional teams (Technology; Training; Research, Development, and Evaluation; Dissemination; Communication; and Placement) to work more specifically in areas critical to the partnership.

The General Administration of the University of North Carolina System conducted an outside evaluation of the Watson College of Education’s Professional Development System. Dr. Lynn Cornett, Vice President of Southern Regional Education Board, served as the Site Visitor and compiled a highly favorable review of our PDS.

A new half-time university position, the Site Coordinator Liaison, was established to work in direct contact with site coordinators and appropriate university partners. This position links university and public school educational goals, maintains meaningful ties with all partners, and serves the informational needs of teacher, interns, public school partners, and university faculty.

The annual “PDS: Partnerships in Action” conference was held in August for over 110 partners. Participants analyzed the effectiveness of current partnership efforts and identified future needs related to teacher education. A new component of this conference brought site coordinators, university supervisors, and teacher interns together for collaborative planning. These sessions allowed partners to begin thinking together about the logistics of the practicum semester and to establish common goals.

Three “Ideas, Insights, and Challenges” conferences were held for partnership teachers with interns, attended by 300 partnership teachers and university faculty. These conferences focused on the evolving roles of PDS partners, the importance of assessment in instructional planning, and the challenges of meeting state and national standards in education.

Training sessions were held in 6 districts for 110 new partnership teachers, focusing on an introduction to the concepts, theories and practices specific to the partnership and to the learning-centered model of supervision adopted for use in the teacher and administrator internships.

Technology outreach occurred in all ten PDS school systems, involving 149 partnership teachers in direct training and an additional 339 in site seminars focused on technology in the classroom.

Within the School-University Applied Research and Development Initiative, teacher interns in the Curricular Studies program began collecting and analyzing data to be used in the creation of an Assessment Data Collection, a pre- and post-assessment project designed to guide novice teachers in making informed decisions about student learning and the assessment of that learning. Secondary teacher interns continued to engage in and to refine their inquiry projects, focusing on informed decision making. University faculty engaged in a wide variety of studies pertaining to professional growth, the development of instructional leadership in public school teachers, and experimental programs. Plans were made to publish the findings on the PDS Web Page by August 2000.

Based on recommendations from the 1998 PDS Advisory Council, the membership of that body was reconfigured to represent a broader, more experiential base of partners. While superintendents were encouraged to remain in membership, key contacts from each district, several site coordinators, all six functional team leaders from the Implementation Team, and others more actively engaged in the daily functions of PDS were added to the Council as Phase II of PDS continues.

The Watson College of Education PDS began sponsoring a semi-annual Placement Fair in King Hall to orient prospective interns to the 10 PDS school systems. Public school partners set up informational display booths and gave students an opportunity to make more informed choices for their placement for field experiences and their internship.

The Watson College of Education received a grant from the state of North Carolina to develop and deliver an Advanced Mentor Teacher Development Program. The first advanced mentors were trained in the summer of 1999. The program was based on the well-developed and validated graduate level courses on Learning-Centered Supervision, EDN 567 and EDN 578, which have been used by many PDS partners for the past several years as the foundation of their mentor training.

PDS partners developed and delivered presentations on aspects of our PDS at major national conferences in Montreal, Canada and Seattle, Washington.


Academic Year 2000-2001

PDS hosted nationally-known educator and author Dr. Jane Bluestein as the keynote speaker for the annual " PDS: Partnerships in Action" conference and a continuing two-day professional growth experience for all PDS partners. Focusing on interactions between adults and children, especially children at risk, and ways to create and maintain emotionally safe schools, her sessions impacted over 400 partnership teachers, administrators, university faculty and parents.

The WCE Coastal Educational Technology Conference was held in the fall, attracting over 500 public school partners and educators from the regional community. Administrators from the partnership participated in the '"Administrator Technolympics," consisting of a series of technology activities designed around the NC Advanced Technology Competences expected of all NC students by 8 th grade.

Three "Ideas, Insights, and Challenges" conferences were held for partnership teachers with interns, attended by over 275 partnership teachers and university faculty. These conferences focused on a close scrutiny of current curriculum/instructional issues and areas of shared concern. Participants exchanged information regarding currently used academic programs and methods of delivery for those programs.

Training sessions were held in three districts for 115 new partnership teachers, focusing on an introduction to the concepts, theories and practices specific to the partnership and to the learning-centered model of supervision adopted for use in the teacher and administrator internships. Twenty Brunswick County teachers completed EDN 567 and/or 578 as their training requirement.

Technology outreach continued in all ten PDS school systems, involving over 200 partnership teachers in direct training or technology-focused seminars.

Two special forums were held for PDS Partnership personnel directors and administrators on the topics related to teacher recruitment and licensure. Thirty-nine participants joined 11 WCE faculty and administrators for two half-day sessions.

The WCE PDS hosted CREATE conference in July 2000, participated in the Mentor Networking Statewide Initiative, July 2000.


The third round of three-year PDS contracts was successfully negotiated and signed by Superintendents, the Dean, the Chancellor, and the Provost following Negotiation Meetings held in each of the 10 partnership districts (February - June, 2002.) The process culminated in a formal signing of contracts on the campus of UNCW on June 10, 2002.

The PDS Implementation Team expanded its scope to include all seven WCE Program Area Coordinators and both WCE Department Chairs. This expansion served to bring program needs and issues to the implementation table and inform decision making by the team.

A new PDS School Application process was initiated for this three-year round of negotiated relationships, with Application/Orientation Meetings held in Onslow, Brunswick, and New Hanover counties for over 60 principals and other CO administrators. This process allows individual schools to select the level of partnership engagement with which they are comfortable and to articulate areas for concentrated work with WCE faculty, wherever possible.

Two technology liaison positions were created to support emerging technology needs for both public school and university partners. The Technology Liaisons hold technology focused site seminars in all schools with interns and offer in depth technology trainings for university faculty. Annually meetings are held with System Technology Directors to ensure alignment between district technology initiatives and those originating in the WCE.

The 2002 "Partnerships in Action" conference held in December 2002 took the structure of an educational forum involving 13 superintendents, other central office administrators and district school board members; 20 UNCW faculty; and 34 principals. The purpose of this forum was to address common educational issues and generate ideas/concerns to be shared with legislators before the January legislative session.

A second forum was held January 2003 for the purpose of sharing the collective thinking from the first forum with local legislatures. Seven CO partners, 21 principals, 4 University faculty and 3 legislatures attended this forum.

The "Ideas, Insights, and Challenges" conferences are held annually for all partnership teachers with interns, university supervisors and faculty. Well over 150 participants each year receive professional development opportunities through these working conferences, each year focusing on current topics in education or stated professional growth needs.

Extended Training sessions were implemented in the spring of 2003 to give all partnership teachers who have been assigned curricular studies interns for the next semester, their site coordinators and principals an opportunity to refresh their skills and become informed of changes in WCE programs and intern requirements. Emphasis is placed on reflection, assessment, and accountability. New training materials have been created to assist in these areas.

PDS Partners benefited from participation in many WCE collaborative grants and initiatives. Included among them are the Eisenhower Middle Grades Mathematics grant, the NC Catalyst grant featuring technology author and specialist Dr. Annette Lamb, the NC Quest grant for middle grades math/science/mentor teachers, the PT3 technology grant, the CT3 coalition grant for mid-career professionals and the Watson College of Education K-8 Reading Institute initiative.

Orientation for new partners joining PDS are held regularly throughout the year as our partnership changes and grows.

PDS partners presented at the NC Coach2Coach Mentoring Conference, 2001( Wilmington , NC ); AACTE, 2002( New York ); the 2002 Professional Development Schools National Conference, 2002 ( Florida ); COPIS, 2002 ( Portland , Maine ); AACTE 2003 ( New Orleans ); 2003 Professional Development Schools National Conference, 2003( Florida ); ATE, 2003 ( Florida ); COPIS, 2003 ( Wilmington , NC ); AACTE, 2004 ( Chicago ).


2010 - Present

In the summer of 2010, Ms. Diane Calhoun, PDS Director retired after 13 years of service to PDS.  She provided outstanding leadership to the Office and strengthened our partnerships with local schools during her tenure.  Dr. Susan Catapano assumed the role of PDS Director for one academic year.  During her tenure, she developed online training for new partnership teachers.  This training focuses on our cognitive coaching model.  She also received a drop-out prevention grant which was used to provide targeted professional development to local schools.

In the fall of 2011 the PDS Office hosted a regional education summit with a keynote presentation by Congressman Mike McIntyre.  At the summit entitled Innovation Inspires Collaboration:  Exploring the Landscape of Southeastern North Carolina in Challenging Economic Times, approximately 125 district partners, students, and faculty shared their innovative initiatives and discussed ways to enhance these through partnerships.  From this summit, the PDS Office invited applications from teachers interested in forming cross-district collaborative teams to work on implementing an innovative idea.  Three teams were selected.  For more information on the teams, please see the following link. Each team worked on their projects for about four months.  They presented results at the spring 2012 Research Speaks conference at the Watson College of Education.  In 2011 we added six schools to the partnership.

In the spring of 2012 we re-negotiated our partnership agreements. Drs. Scott Imig (interim Associate Dean of Outreach Alliances), Donyell Roseboro (new PDS Director), and Ann Potts (incoming Associate Dean of Teacher Education and Outreach) visited each district to discuss the partnership.  Each district re-signed for another three years and sent representatives to the Partnership re-signing ceremony in June of 2012.

In the fall of 2012 the PDS Office initiated the Parnership in Actions Schools Program.  A team of nine faculty and staff including Jeanne Swafford, Kathy Fox, Eleni Pappamihiel, Jale Aldemir, Rajni Shankar-Brown, Barbara Honchell, Bill Sterrett, Cindy Wiseman, Lisa Buchanan, worked with the PDS Director Donyell Roseboro to review applications, develop an interview rubric, interview finalists, and select schools for the program.  Three schools were selected - Carolina Forest International Elementary School (Onslow County), Cedar Grove Middle School (Brunswick County), and Heide Trask High School (Pender County).  Faculty Member-in Residence and Faculty Facilitators were chosen for each school.  They are:  Carolina Forest - Jeanne Swafford and Scott Imig, Cedar Grove -   Marsha Carr & Denise Ousley, and Heide Trask - Amy Garrett Dikkers & Eddie Caropreso.

In 2012-13 we added 14 new schools to the partnership.
  • Brunswick County Academy - Brunswick County
  • Atlantic Academy - Carteret County Schools
    • Beaufort Elementary
    • Beaufort Middle
    • Bogue Sound Elementary
    • Broad Creek Middle
    • Harkers Island Elementary
    • Morehead City Middle
    • Morehead City Primary
    • Morehead Elementary
    • Newport Elementary
    • Newport Middle
    • Smyrna Elementary
  • Heroes Elementary - Camp Lejeune

Professional Learning Days

In each semester, we also continued to host professional learning days.  Attendance at these were as follows:

  • Fall 2011 - 105
  • Spring 2012 - 231
  • Fall 2012 -109
  • Spring 2013 - 237
  • Fall 2013 - 96
  • Spring 2014 - 235
  • Fall 2014 - 51
  • Spring 2015 - 153

Calendar of events for the PDS Office


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