American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES FOR TEACHER EDUCATION
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), formally established in 1948, exists to enhance the condition and improve the quality of education schools in the nation's colleges and universities.
With offices in Washington, D.C., AACTE serves as the voice for its members at the national and federal level. Always seeking to strengthen teacher and principal preparation programs, AACTE works with its members to help them strengthen their offerings, build partnerships with their local pre-K–12 schools, find leadership for their programs, influence their state legislatures, work with the media, and carry out research and many other tasks.
AACTE's Governmental Relations unit seeks to influence federal policy regarding teacher education issues and also spends time tracking and analyzing federal and state education legislation for AACTE member institutions.
AACTE's Professional Development unit operates a busy schedule of conferences, workshops, and institutes throughout the year to help member institutions become better preparers of school professionals. The AACTE Annual Meeting attracts over twenty-five hundred participants who share the latest teacher education research, policy, and practices and build contacts with other members. This department also oversees the association's publications, producing several books, monographs, and articles each year as well as a biweekly newsletter. The department also coordinates contracts and communications with the member-editors and publisher of the Journal of Teacher Education, the field's premier journal.
The Professional Issues unit serves as the association's liaison to groups involved with accreditation, academic standards, service learning, and many other issues affecting teacher education. This department offers both professional development and technical assistance to member institutions in many of these areas.
The Research and Information unit conducts an array of research and activities, and runs several grant-funded projects on issues such as culturally responsive practice and HIV/AIDS prevention education. It administers the Professional Education Data System, an annual survey of member institutions conducted jointly by AACTE and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. This department also houses the ERIC Clearing-house on Teaching and Teacher Education.
These four programmatic departments at AACTE are supported by Finance and Administration and Executive Office functions. In addition to its staff, the association has several standing committees, special study groups, and focus councils comprising individuals from member institutions. These groups delve into issues such as special education, multicultural issues, reading, and technology to inform the board, staff, and membership of the specific concerns and topics facing teacher education.
AACTE is governed by a twenty-two person board of directors, drawn from member institutions and is run by a staff of nearly fifty professionals and managers. The president and CEO of AACTE works closely with the chair of the board of directors to carry out the association's agenda. Each member institution is allotted a certain number of institutional representatives, based on the size of its education program, to receive member benefits and to vote on issues brought before the membership at the annual business meeting. There is also a chapter of AACTE in almost every state that works on education issues specific to the region. State chapters also inform the national discussion through an annual meeting of their elected leaders.
Membership and Financial Support
Comprising over 760 colleges and universities, AACTE's members are accredited four-year colleges and universities with education programs. In the first years of the twenty-first century, the association is seeking to expand its membership to include nontraditional providers of teacher preparation, such as for-profit, online, and other organizations. The association's activities are supported by the dues its members pay, based on the size of their education programs, and the grants it receives for special projects.
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. 2002. < www.aacte.org>.
David G. Imig