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Welcome to the Panther Caucus, an initiative that engages alumni, students and friends working to increase public and legislative support for the University of Northern Iowa. Periodic emails will be sent to Panther Caucus members about some of the great things happening at UNI. Sign up for the Panther Caucus mailings or follow Panther Caucus on Twitter through @nipanthercaucus.

April 28, 2016

Since its establishment in 1876, the University of Northern Iowa has maintained its affirmed commitment to the support of excellence in teacher education. That commitment remains strong as the university continues to prepare students to become teachers, as well as provide opportunities for career advancement in the field of education. In addition to a commitment to teaching, our faculty members are engaged in research, writing and professional development.

Student teacher helping studentsUNI's College of Education is known for having some of the most innovative teacher education programs in the country. Year after year, our graduates are hired as teachers, principals and superintendents across the state, nation and around the world.

Students gain real-world experiences through hands-on learning both in and out of the classroom. These experiences give them the skills and confidence they need to step right into their careers and excel.

All 333 Iowa school districts have joined Iowa's Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) system to improve instruction and raise student achievement. About 25 percent of Iowa teachers will be in leadership roles this fall. UNI's interim dean of the College of Education Victoria Robinson was a member of the 20-person team establishing this system for rewarding teacher leaders.

UNI has launched three courses aimed at helping schools navigate these new roles in teacher leadership. It has been designed in response to the needs of schools to support teacher leader roles, such as instructional coaches.

The courses, which are available online through AdobeConnect video conferencing, feature:

  • Alignment with Teacher Leader Standards

  • Student Cohorts

  • Flexible design and scheduling for busy professionals

  • Course design according to rigorous Quality Matters standards

As classroom teachers step into teacher leader and instructional coach positions, their roles and responsibilities change, along with changing duties of principals. This new model opens doors of collaboration among instructional coaches, principals and classroom teachers with the goal of maximizing teachers' growth and effectiveness.

More information about these exciting new offerings from UNI can be found on the Continuing Education and Special Programs website.