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National Award for Minnesota State Mankato Center for School-University Partnership

Program receives 2012 Exemplary Professional Development School Achievement Award.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release [3-9-12]

MANKATO, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato’s College of Education initiative to improve public school teaching has been selected for one of the nation’s major awards honoring such collaborative efforts – the 2012 Exemplary Professional Development School Achievement Award.

Sponsored by the National Association of Professional Development Schools (NAPDS), the award was presented today (March 9) at the NAPDS national conference in Las Vegas, Nev. It is given annually to a select few universities with true partnerships demonstrating excellent achievement for P-12 students, future teachers and practicing teachers and faculty members.

Among the past honorees are Penn State University, Indiana State University and Kansas State University.

“This is incredible news,” said Ginger Zierdt, director of Minnesota State Mankato’s Center for School-University Partnerships. “It places MSU Mankato on a stage of national prominence.”

Established in 1988, the Center serves as a liaison between P-12 schools and college educator preparation programs to enrich learning and foster student and teacher development through education research, reflection and practice.

The Exemplary Achievement Award recognizes a collaboration between Minnesota State Mankato and eight public school districts – Bloomington, Faribault, LeSueur-Henderson, Mankato Area, Owatonna, St. Peter, Sibley East, and Waseca.

NAPDS is the only U.S. organization dedicated to promoting school-university partnerships that support teacher education, student achievement, educational research and professional development. Its Exemplary Achievement Award recognizes programs that have both created and sustained genuine collaborative partnerships between P-12 and higher education which shapes educator leadership and practice. Award recipients were recognized for achievements in nine areas, ranging from advancing equity, to collaboration, reflection and communication, to innovation, to sharing best practices.

“We were delighted at the response by professional development school partnerships across the country,” said Elliott Lessen, the association’s awards committee chair, in a letter announcing the award selection. “I would like to commend you on the work you are doing in the name of professional development schools. I hope that you will continue both to strengthen your efforts using the nine essentials and share your partnership success with others.”

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,649 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 32 state institutions.

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