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WVU Five-Year Teacher 
Education Program

Professional Development School Partnerships

The WVU Five-Year Teacher Education Program is one of the largest nationally recognized school/university partnerships in the country. Our professional development school (PDS) work couples public schools and the university together to model and create research-based professional development and teacher preparation practices that are strong enough to enhance learning opportunities for children.

In the mid-1980s, West Virginia became one of the first states in the country to establish such a school-university partnership through the Benedum Project. The PDS concept is based on three central ideas about how public schools and universities work together for the profession:

  1. They collaborate as sites of experimentation and innovation to create “best practices”. 
  2. They work collaboratively to be “centers of inquiry” where research and development on best practice and best professional development and preparation occur. 
  3. They are “empowered communities” where all stakeholders share in decision-making and participate in determining the learning needs and opportunities for students.

Learn more at the links below:


Clinical Experiences in Professional Development Schools

To build the knowledge, skills and dispositions of an effective teacher, students enrolled in the WVU Five-Year Teacher Education Program begin their clinical experiences early in their programs of study and progress gradually toward more complex learning assignments within school settings. In the Five-Year Teacher Education Program there are six sequenced, intense, supported clinical experiences that take place in the professional development schools (PDSs) associated with the Benedum Collaborative. By the time a student graduates from this program, s/he will have spent more than 1000 hours in clinical experiences in a PDS.