On a recent spring evening after a long day of teaching, a small cadre of determined educators arrived at EASTCONN’s Hampton Conference Center to continue their own professional learning.
Led by EASTCONN’s Dr. Antoinette Ryan, the group explored topics like how to design more powerful, teacher-centered professional learning, develop teacher leadership and plan for instructional improvement.
Eleven educators are enrolled in northeastern Connecticut’s newest Sixth-Year Certificate in Educational Leadership program, the result of an EASTCONN partnership with Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) Department of Educational Leadership, Policy and Instructional Technology.
The CCSU Sixth-Year Certificate is a post-master’s program for experienced teachers who seek their Intermediate Administration and Supervision 092 Certification, which will be issued by CSDE. In Connecticut, 092 Certification is required for any educational administrative position. The CCSU/EASTCONN program is taught in person at both EASTCONN and CCSU, as well as online.
“Apart from the rigorous academic aspects, the amount of learning this group gets from one another is really what makes this kind of cohort work,” said Ryan, EASTCONN’s Director of Curricu-lum, Instruction and Assessment, and a professor at CCSU. The CCSU/EASTCONN 092 collaboration was established to provide easier, regional access to a high-quality 092 program.
The two-year CCSU/EASTCONN 092 program concentrates on leadership issues that are unique to small, rural school districts, Ryan said. Cohort members are from Killingly, Lebanon, Plainfield, Sprague, Stafford, Sterling, Windham, and EASTCONN magnets.
“Professionally, I have learned a tremendous amount about leadership in terms of how to lead staff in the change process, how to supervise and evaluate staff, and how to keep student growth at the forefront of our decision-making,” said Jill Shamback, a reading specialist at the Sterling Community School. “Along with the professional growth, this program at EASTCONN is very convenient. I also really enjoy the opportunity to connect with other professionals in the area to discuss similar issues that we face. The professors have been very responsive to our needs.”
“The best part of the 092 program has been the sense of fellowship and community I have experienced,” said Bethany Pomerantz, a social studies teacher at EASTCONN’s Arts at the Capitol Theater (ACT) magnet high school. “I have learned so much from my professors and the other cohort members. The program has greatly broadened and enhanced my understanding of the field of education, adult learning and student learning.”
“Since I have been enrolled in this program, I have felt my confidence increase,” said Betty Wengloski, a special education team leader for Windham Public Schools. “I am applying my new learning in my role as a Special Education Team Leader. Having a cohort in close proximity to my school district is just one of the many positive reasons why this program is working for me.”
To learn more, contact Dr. Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.