Following World War II, Purdue University opened more than forty regional extension centers to serve returning veterans, meet increased numbers of students, and provide technical education throughout Indiana. In 1946, two such centers were opened, one in Hammond and one in Westville. After several decades of operations, these became degree granting institutions: Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central.
In March 2016, the Purdue University Board of Trustees, in an effort to reduce administrative costs, approved the unification of Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central, to form a new institution, Purdue University Northwest (PNW). A regional institution within the Purdue University system, PNW follows the tradition of land grant universities in providing access to education within the communities it serves. The faculty, staff and candidates who comprise PNW continue to expand and challenge conceptions of “talent, innovation, and place” (Gavazzi & Gee, 2018), the hallmarks of the land grant tradition. Through unique partnerships with agencies, schools and districts, faculty and candidates are involved in opportunities which directly impact their communities; allowing them to explore and utilize professional practices and engage in scholarly pursuits.
Located in the second largest urban area in the state, Purdue University Northwest has a student body that ranks above average in ethnic diversity, racial representation in faculty, and age diversity (College Factual). Northwest Indiana is comprised of five counties: Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper. With its close proximity to Chicago, heavy industry (i.e., steel mills, oil refineries, fabricated metals, etc.) continues to be the mainstay of the region’s employment and the basis of regional development. In Northwest Indiana, educational attainment is relatively low: 34% of the population have some high school, 21% some college, 6% associate degrees, 10% baccalaureate degrees, and 5% graduate degrees. Of the educator preparation candidates at PNW, 34% are first generation students and the majority come from 21 high schools. Further, over the last five years, the PNW average time to degree completion has improved to 49%, slightly above the state’s non-main campus four- year institutions’ rate of 48% (ICHE, 2019).
In 2020, the School of Education and Counseling at PNW will relocate to CLO on the Hammond campus. Along with other resources (i.e., Community Counseling Center; Center for Early Learning; Educational Resource Center; Strosacker Early Learning Fellows program; and Purdue Educational Leaders Fellows), this move affords us opportunities to work more closely with one another and our colleagues throughout the University. Proximity and dedicated spaces for collaboration, will enhance our abilities to design curricular, clinical, and research opportunities to create and reinforce a culture of creativity, innovation, and commitment to transforming education in Northwest Indiana.
The Purdue University system is comprised of four traditional campuses, one online campus, a statewide technology program, and 92 county extension centers throughout the state. The Purdue University Board of Trustees oversees each university within the system, while each campus maintains its own faculty and admissions policies. PNW is led by a Chancellor who serves as chief executive and academic officer, responsible for recommending and implementing Board policies.
PNW consists of six colleges and four schools; each college is led by a Dean and each school is headed by a Director. The School of Education and Counseling (SoEC) is housed in the largest of the colleges, the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (CHESS).This is similar to the school-within-a-school model in P-12 systems, allowing us to create personalized learning environments for candidates to collaborate, engage in extra-curricular opportunities and connect academics with career skills. The SoEC provides oversight for all EPP degree programs leading to licensure.
The SoEC has a dedicated budget and curricular processes independent of the college.The SoEC faculty and staff foster collaboration, develop cross-curricular projects and research, and track the progress and provide support for candidates.The SoEC is organized into five program areas: early childhood, elementary, special education, secondary and counseling. Faculty comprise the governing group, responsible for curricular oversight, accreditation efforts, scholarly activity, and engagement. For each program, a faculty member serves as coordinator to facilitate program activity.The SoEC has five committees responsible for the various roles within the management of the unit (i.e., Personnel Committee, SoEC Leadership Team, Curriculum Committee, Student Affairs Committee, and Nominating Committee) and is served by the functional areas of Recruitment and Retention, Assessment and Accreditation and the Office of Partnerships and Outreach. Guiding each of these groups and individuals is the SoEC Director in coordination with the Associate Director.
Community and candidate engagement occurs through five program area Program Advisory Committees (PACs), student ambassadors, and Educator Preparation Program forums (EPPs).
- PACs, including faculty members, practitioners, and candidates, meet biannually to analyze candidate performance data and recommend changes.
- Candidates recommended by faculty and clinical educators based upon their performance as leaders in their program of study serve as student ambassadors who meet monthly with the Office of Recruitment and Retention to provide input, determine service projects, engagement activities and how best to meet the needs of candidates.
- EPP forums are convened each semester in the three primary counties served by PNW. Members include school administrators and clinical educators who give input on programming and guidance on the needs of educators entering field.
The foundation for all programs and activities within the PNW Educator Preparation Program are our Vision, Mission, Goals, Values, and Beliefs statements. These statements communicate the EPP’s purpose, inform our strategic development, and provide a gauge for determining the success of the strategies we have undertaken in meeting our goals. Elements are added or revised as we continue to grow and evolve.
PNW’s Educator Preparation Program will transform education and empower educators to build a better future for all through the (a) construction of knowledge, (b) development of practice through continuous engagement, and (c) cultivation of relationships (Conceptual Framework of the Educational Leader).
The mission of PNW’s Educator Preparation Program is to re-imagine and change education by creating opportunities for students, candidates, families, educators and our local communities.
Revolutionizing the Educator Preparation Program at PNW (REP3) is the manifestation of the EPP Conceptual Framework of the Educational Leader and provides the blueprint for functional and operational aspects of the EPP. Developed through a co- constructive, iterative process, REP3 outlines the goals, tools and measures, strategies and innovations and assigns ownership to the functional area. We believe The Educational Leader is one who relies on research to construct knowledge through continuous and integrated inquiry, develop practice through continuous engagement with diverse learning environments and community while cultivating relationships with learners, partners and stakeholders. To that end, goals were formulated based on the data collected through the processes from the Quality Assurance System. The EPP has adopted eight goals within the framework of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Standards. The goals are to:
- increase the number of candidates successful (i.e., passing) on first attempt of licensure exams;
- provide training to clinical educators (e.g., training to reliability, Signature Assessments, best practice in clinical education, etc.);
- create and implement clinical placement tracking and monitoring system to ensure candidates have diverse experiences (i.e., rural/urban/suburban; grade levels; demographics; SES; etc.);
- develop and expand relationships with community partners
- increase diversity of candidates entering and completing EPP degree programs to align with the demographics of the region;
- create unique and diverse opportunities for candidates to engage in their profession;
- create infrastructure within the EPP for ongoing study of the impact of candidates/ completers; and
- to monitor progress toward meeting goals and establishing new ones for the EPP.
he Shared Values and Beliefs of the Educator Preparation Programs (EPP) at Purdue University Northwest (PNW) are the core tenets espoused by all stakeholders. This set of values and beliefs defines “who we are ” as an EPP. They guide our actions, “what we do.” And, the shared values and beliefs lead us toward our aspirations, “who we want to be.” Just as the EPP’s mission, vision and goals are embedded within the Conceptual Framework of The Educational Leader, the shared values and beliefs define the culture of the EPP. They serve as an ethical compass for all actions, providing essential direction for organizational decision-making.
Our conceptual framework, The Educational Leader, guides the preparation of future professionals at PNW and illustrates our commitment to our core values. We believe The Educational Leader is one who relies on research to construct knowledge through continuous and integrated inquiry; one who develops and refines their practice through continuous engagement in diverse learning environments and their community while cultivating relationships with learners, partners and stakeholders.
The EPP relies on its shared values and beliefs to guide our actions, to shape our culture and to help us envision the possibilities. Built on the vision that transforming education and empowering educators will create a better future for all, the EPP at PNW are committed to the core values. The principles of these values and beliefs are fundamental to the broad philosophy guiding the EPP. The Educational Leader is grounded in these shared values and beliefs:
Learning. We believe that learning is contextual, developmental, and a dynamic process. We value interactions, social construction, personal, meaningfulness. Transformation. We believe that education is transformational, embedded within place, and disrupts the status quo. We value innovation, responsiveness, and enduring sustainability.
Leading. We believe that leadership is fostered when learning is foregrounded and that everyone is a leader and can inspire. We value that collaboration in instruction, engagement and scholarship.
Advocacy. We believe that advocacy is a shared responsibility, community-centered and mutually-defined. We value advocacy as inherent in education.. Health. We believe that educators are models of emotional, physical and mental health. We value self-care and mindfulness. These beliefs reflect the EPP’s deeply-rooted allegiance to individual learners, the power of collective impact and the transformative role of education.
The EPP’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion are reflected in our shared beliefs and values. Yet, it is imperative that this be explicitly and overtly stated. The Educational Leader and the supporting document, EPP’s Commitment to Diversity further demonstrate our dedication to the preparation of education professionals and related specialists who:
- apply the appropriate knowledge, dispositions, and performances in developing diverse approaches to educational strategies that are constructive, consistent, and reflective of sound practice;
- are prepared to use current research, knowledge, and technology to empower the people they serve;
- are sensitive and responsive to the unique needs of themselves, of others, and of the diverse society in which they practice;
- and are advocates for and models of quality education and lifelong learning.
EPP faculty and staff are committed to providing the human and technological resources that enable candidates and themselves to develop as educational professionals in constructing knowledge, developing practice, and fostering relationships. The values of Learning, Transformation, Leading, Advocacy and Health undergird the preparation of candidates to assume complex educational roles inside and outside of traditional educational environments.