ACT has been recognized for exemplary teacher preparation through several awards
- The Council of Great City Colleges of Education for its contribution to urban schooling.
- The California Council on the Education of Teachers as an exemplary school-university partnership.
Grants Supporting Innovative Practices in the ACT Program
- CSU Residency Year Scholarship Program - ACT has received two CSU grants to enhance the recruitment of candidates into residency programs. In 2019-20, 19 ACT residents each received a stipend of $10,000; in 2020-21, 15 scholarships are available at $5,000 each. Residents must commit to teaching in the Los Angeles Unified School District or other high need districts/schools for two years.
- ACT Residency (ACT-R) Grant in Partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) - The purpose of this 4-year grant (2019-2023) is to enhance the recruitment and preparation of promising candidates from diverse backgrounds who are committed to teaching in high need urban schools. This partnership grant, supported by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, offers up to 33 $15,000 stipends for selected candidates in special education and secondary mathematics and science education. These candidates must commit to teaching in LAUSD for 4 years.
- Teacher Quality Partnership Grant - The primary purpose of this 5-year grant (2010-2015) was to develop a residency program to enhance the recruitment, preparation, and retention of special education teachers in LAUSD high need schools. The residency program (ACT-R) was built upon and expanded the ACT program, resulting in 125 special education residents during the 5-year grant period.
- Oak Foundation - This 3-year project (2013-2016) was designed to prepare teachers to meet the unique and diverse learning needs of K-12 students through preservice preparation and professional development in Neurodevelopmental Methodology (ND). To this end, online modules in ND methodology were developed that provide educators with research-based training and tools with an emphasis on a strength-based approach to teaching and learning.
- U.S. Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement – In Fall 2010, the ACT Program was included in a federal grant to infuse neurodevelopmental methodology through a collaborative professional development model involving faculty, cooperating teachers, and university supervisors.
- Orfalea Foundation - In Fall 2008 the ACT Program received an 18-month award of $320,000 through the Orfalea Foundation to incorporate neurodevelopmental methodology in coursework and fieldwork, preparing teacher candidates to recognize and effectively teach all kinds of K-12 learn
Selected Presentations (2015-2020)
Burstein, N., Sears, S. & Wilcoxen, A. (2019, February). Examining the successes, challenges, and implications of university based teacher residency programs on recruiting, preparing, and retaining teachers of color for high needs schools. Presentation planned for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), Louisville, Kentucky.
Burstein, N., Sears, S. & Wilcoxen, A. (November, 2018). Enhancing the Recruitment, Diversity, and Retention of Special Education Teachers Well Prepared to Serve Students in Urban Schools: Findings from a Teacher Residency Program. Presentation planned for the Teacher Education Division Annual Conference of the Council for Exceptional Children, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Burstein, N., Sears, S. & Wilcoxen, A. (2018, April). Investigating Ways to Improve Teacher Quality in Public Education through a Teacher Residency Program. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Conference, New York, NY.
Burstein, N., Sears, S. & Wilcoxen, A. (2018, March). Examining the Long-Term Impact of a Residency Program for Special Educators: Implications for Teacher Preparation and Retention in Low Income Urban Schools. Presentation at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), Baltimore, Maryland.
Burstein, N., Sears, S. & Wilcoxen, A. (2017, November). Promising Practices and Challenges of a Teacher Residency Model in Recruiting and Retaining Special Education Teachers for Urban Schools. Presentation at the Teacher Education Division Annual Conference, Council for Exceptional Children, Savannah, Georgia.
Burstein, N., Sears, S. & Wilcoxen, A. (2017, April). Examining the Effectiveness of a Special Education Residency Program in Improving the Quantity and Quality of Teachers in Urban Schools. Paper presented at a poster session at the American Educational Research Association (AERA), San Antonio, Texas.
Burstein, N., Sears, S. & Wilcoxen, A. (2016, November). Examining the Long-Term Impact of a Special Education Residency Program on Teacher Recruitment, Preparation, Retention and Student Outcomes in Urban Schools. Presentation at the Annual Teacher Education Division Conference, Council for Exceptional Children, Lexington, Kentucky.
Burstein, N., Sears, S. & Wilcoxen, A. (2015, November). Improving practices in the preparation of teachers for urban schools through a school/university partnership grounded in clinical practice. Presentation at the Annual Teacher Education Division Conference, Council for Exceptional Children, Tempe, Arizona.
Burstein, N., Wilcoxen, A., Gudoski, P. and Goldman, R. (2011, September). Incorporating neurodevelopmental methodology into teacher preparation: Examining the effectiveness of a collaborative professional development model. In G. Knotts and W. Murawski (Eds.), Interdisciplinary Collaborative Symposium. Symposium conducted at California State University, Northridge.
Lombardi, J., Kretschmer, D., & Burstein, N. (2004). Moving toward collaborative practices in education. Academic Exchange Quarterly.
Lombardi, J., Burstein, N., Smith, C., & Cunningham, J. (2002). The ACT Program: Redesigning teacher education to meet urban needs and teacher shortages. In J. R. Dangel & E. M. Guyton (Eds.), Research on preparing teachers who can meet the needs of all students (pp. 91-114). Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt .
Burstein, N., Kretschmer, D., Smith, C., & Gudoski, P. (1999). Redesigning Teacher Education as a Shared Responsibility of Schools and Universities, Journal of Teacher Education, 50(2), 106-118,