At a Glance
Instructors from across several career and technology centers (CTCs) participate in a joint in-service during which they share promising practices and engage in peer-to-peer professional development with instructors from their program areas.
Instructors from up to 10 different CTCs attend a full-day professional development in-service. The participating CTCs include:
- A.W. Beattie Career Center;
- Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center;
- Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center,
- Forbes Road Career & Technology Center;
- Greene County Career & Technology Center;
- Mon Valley Career & Technology Center;
- Northern Westmoreland Career & Technology Center;
- Parkway West Career and Technology Center;
- Steel Center for Career & Technical Education; and
- Western Area Career & Technology Center.
As part of the in-service, instructors meet in small groups by program area. A facilitator guides the groups as they discuss program-related issues and share instructional strategies.
Participants in the first joint in-service in August 2014 found the peer-to-peer professional development experience valuable and expressed interest in continuing to meet and work with their program-area peers from other CTCs. In light of this feedback, administrators established a monthly teacher-to-teacher exchange in selected program areas. For example, instructors from the health related, public safety and vet tech programs met one day at Parkway West CTC. The following month, instructors from auto body repair, auto technology and diesel programs met at A.W. Beattie Career Center. Such peer-facilitated meetings continue throughout the year for other program areas and clusters. In addition, directors from the 10 participating CTCs also meet throughout the year.
Origin / Implementation
The first joint in-service program was held in August 2014. The idea for such a shared in-service program originated from a meeting of the four Alleghany County Executive directors during which they discussed the idea of sharing the cost for a national speaker. Instead, the idea for joint in-service took hold. As mentioned, the monthly meetings were established based on the positive feedback of instructors who attended this August joint in-service.
Each Career Major (CIP Code) meets at the August in-service and then typically one additional time during the school year. To organize these meetings, one of the Executive Directors makes a schedule and CTCs choose which ones they want to host. After the dates and hosts are established, the instructors receive the meeting schedule for the year. The host CTC creates an agenda, which always includes time for open discussion.
Results / Impact
Because of this ongoing, professional development experience, instructors can gather new ideas and promising practices that they can immediately implement in their classrooms. The program area meetings also provide them an opportunity to discuss and address common challenges.
Due to the success and appreciation for the program, administrators plan to continue offering instructors the opportunity to meet with their program area peers both at an August in-service and throughout the school year.