CRTWC Receives a $70,000 Grant from the Oregon Community Foundation

Oregon community foundation

In December 2023, CRTWC received a $70,000 grant from the Oregon Community Foundation to provide a Teacher Educator Institute (TEI) for Educator Preparation Program (EPP) faculty across the state of Oregon. This initiative supports the implementation of Oregon’s new teacher preparation standards for social, emotional, and culturally sustaining teaching practices, using the CRTWC Anchor Competencies Framework. The TEI is being offered in partnership with Oregon’s Teacher Standards and Practices Commission and the Oregon Collaborative for SEL in Educator Preparation (OCSEP).
CRTWC is continuing its paradigm-shifting work through a collaboration with state-level commissioners and EPP faculty from Oregon universities and colleges. The focus of this work has been around supporting the development of educators’ and ultimately students’ social, emotional, and cultural competencies. Recently, House Bill 2166 was passed in Oregon to focus both on preventing suspension and expulsion of young children prior to the age of 5 from early childhood care and education programs, as well as to promote SEL in public school students in grades kindergarten through 12.

As a result of this bill, in Spring of 2021, Oregon endeavored to simultaneously create K-12 SEL standards and SEL standards for EPPs by two different governing bodies. The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) hired a K-12 SEL specialist who conducted a two-phase process that resulted in K-12 SEL Standards being accepted in July 2023. The Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) hired an SEL specialist to lead this work for EPPs. The advisory group for this project employed CRTWC’s Anchor Competencies Framework as the guiding framework for the creation of the standards that were ultimately accepted by the board of commissioners in Spring 2023. Now EPPs across Oregon are mandated as a part of their accreditation process to uphold these new SEL standards and show evidence of them to TSPC by Spring 2025.

No states in the U.S. to date have tackled creating SEL standards in both these realms at the same time. In turn, Oregon is in a unique position to be a trailblazer in education at the state-level, expanding the focus to be on both the social and emotional development of students AND educators. In so doing, these efforts in Oregon stand to advance the work of creating more equitable, supportive, and inclusive learning environments for all, and in turn promoting the well-being and academic success for all Oregonian students.

Oregon recognizes the importance of SEL and culturally responsive and sustaining teaching practices in our schools and is building momentum related to the preparation of its teachers. A group of professors of education from multiple Universities in Oregon have created the Oregon Collaborative of SEL in Educator Preparation (OCSEP) and meet monthly to discuss the process of infusing SEL into their courses and field work with pre-service teachers.

Additionally, with support from TSPC, OCSEP leaders participated in a two session Book Club focused on the book: Teaching with a Social, Emotional and Cultural Lens: A Framework for Educators and Teacher Educators (Markowitz & Bouffard, 2022) that outlines the Anchor Competencies Framework underpinning Oregon’s SEL standards for EPPs. Membership in OCSEP doubled in 2023 with the introduction of TSPC’s SEL standards. In turn, OCSEP leaders have been motivated to create a professional learning community guided by the Anchor Competencies Framework and are eager to learn how to infuse SEL and culturally responsive/sustaining teaching practices into EPPs across Oregon.

In response to the new state standards and growing demand from EPP faculty, CRTWC will be facilitating a year-long Teacher Educator Institute with up to 32 EPP faculty from each of the 16 different EPPs across Oregon. The TEI will involve learning about, engaging in, and practicing implementing CRTWC’s Anchor Competencies Framework. Teacher educators will not be receiving a scripted program, rather they will actively participate in a collaborative, dynamic, and contextually relevant experience to develop their own social, emotional, and cultural “lens.’ The TEI will allow faculty to reflect on their own knowledge, skills and social and emotional competencies, and culturally responsive/sustaining practices – with the overall aim being to support the integration of the Framework in EPPs across Oregon and to support efforts to align programming and coursework to meet the new TSPC standards. Furthermore, this TEI is designed with the intention that all new teachers in Oregon will enter the field with the knowledge and skills necessary for implementing SEL and culturally responsive/sustaining practices in their classrooms.

Oregon EPP faculty are encouraged to apply. The link to the application can be found here. The application deadline is March 21, 2024. EPP faculty selected to participate in the TEI will attend a kick-off retreat in June, 2024 in Portland, Oregon. Throughout the year, they will participate in monthly Zoom sessions to deepen their social, emotional, and cultural “lens” and work to develop plans of action for integrating a focus on SEL and culturally responsive/sustaining teaching practices into the work happening at their EPPs. Finally, in May 2025, they will attend a capstone retreat, where they will share their plans of action with the TEI Cohort.

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