The Professional Development Initiatives for Educators department (PDI) and M.A. Education -Wisconsin program are excited to announce a new and unique partnership with McDonnell Area Catholic Schools (MACS) of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. The goals of this collaborative effort include: creation of a professional learning environment; enhancement of the skills and confidence of all staff; creation of research and knowledge bases to draw upon; and to establish programs on continuous instruction review and improvement.

The design of the program considers the needs and desires of individual MACS teachers while conforming to the program initiatives of the chool district and adhering to the requirements of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. While all MACS teachers will participate together in the courses which are specified by MACS and offered by PDI, a select group of teachers within MACS will pursue the M.A. Education – Wisconsin program.

The program will offer three different participation levels for the teachers, assuring that all teachers will be receiving the same basic staff development training, with some furthering their investigation and knowledge base.

• Active Participants - staff who are seeking improvement of skills and knowledge base, but have no need or desire for additional credit for a degree program or relicensure. Expectations for teachers at this level will be set by the school district.
• Elective Graduate Credit - this level provides graduate credits for teachers seeking relicensure or who desire credit for personal reasons. Expectations for teachers at this level will be set by the University syllabi and the school district initiative framework.
• M.A. Education - Wisconsin Degree Program - teachers pursuing their masters degree in education will apply these courses to their degree. Expectations for teachers at this level will be set by the University syllabi and the school district initiative framework.

Collaborations like this are what will drive our schools, as we look at comprehensive, all encompassing professional development plans for educators, helping to build learning communities within the school walls, focused on school initiatives.

If your school or district would be interested in a similar program in Wisconsin or Minnesota, please contact the PDI department.