College of Education > News and Publications > News: 2009 > Penn State Alumni Head the Two Top PDS Programs as Recognized by National Association of Teacher Educators

Penn State Alumni Head the Two Top PDS Programs as Recognized by National Association of Teacher Educators

Two alumni are heading successful PDS partnerships

by Joe Savrock (April 2009)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State Pride was shining brightly recently when the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) announced the two finalists for a major national award.

The finalists for the award that recognizes the 2009 ATE Distinguished Program in Teacher Education were the Benedum Collaborative at West Virginia University (WVU) and the Mercy College Teacher Residency Program in New York City. Both programs are headed by Penn State alumni who were once part of the Professional Development School (PDS) collaborative between Penn State’s College of Education and the State College Area School District.

Diane Yendol-Hoppey ‘86 M.A ., ‘99 Ph.D. is director of WVU’s Benedum Collaborative, and Jacob Easley ‘04 Ph.D., associate professor at Mercy College, leads his institution’s innovative teacher preparation program.

The ATE Distinguished Program in Teacher Education Award honors outstanding teacher education programs that exemplify collaboration between local education agencies and institutions of higher education in program development and administration. The award is designed to stimulate development and innovation in the preparation of teachers.

The Benedum Collaborative ended up receiving this year’s ATE award, but both institutions—as well as the Penn State/State College PDS collaborative—can be proclaimed winners. ATE’s consideration of the Benedum and Mercy programs as the top two initiatives in the nation reflects the solid reputation of the Penn State/State College PDS, which won the same award in 2002.

“This is evidence of the strength of the doctoral preparation that Diane and Jacob received in Penn State’s PDS program,” said James Nolan, Henry J. Hermanowicz Professor of Teacher Education and professor-in-charge of Curriculum and Instruction Field Experiences at Penn State.

The 2002 award came just after Yendol had completed her doctoral degree in Curriculum & Instruction. She played a key role in helping design the Penn State/State College PDS. She also served as a professional development associate (PDA) in the collaboration, teaching social studies methods courses and serving as a classroom supervisor. Her 2001 doctoral dissertation, which won the outstanding dissertation award from ATE, focused on mentoring practices in the PDS.

Said Yendol-Hoppey, “Penn State’s College of Education is uniquely positioned to create engaged scholars for the future professoriate who understand how to combine the best practices in PDS-based teacher education, research, and service to the schools.  I know that my doctoral preparation at Penn State provided experiences unparalleled by other universities.” 

Easley likewise was instrumental in the success of the Penn State/State College PDS that won the 2002 ATE award. A Puksar Holmes Scholar, he was pursuing his doctoral degree at the time. He likewise served as a PDA classroom supervisor and a methods course instructor. Easley attended the ceremony of the 2002 ATE award presentation.

“Being a part of the Penn State/State College PDS was an invaluable experience,” said Easley. “The PDS has had a profound impact on my work regarding teacher education and program design and evaluation. It is indeed an honor to be recognized by ATE along with the Benedum Collaborative.”