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feature
CADRE photo
Brigitte Otto (center) at Golden Hills School in Bellevue is a CADRE Project participant. The project was awarded the Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teacher Education in 2003. UNO was one of only five U.S. universities to receive the honor. photo by Tim Fitzgerald

CADRE Project Celebrates 10 Years of Preparing Effective Educators

fall 2004

The first year of teaching can be more than a little overwhelming. Between writing lesson plans, grading papers, making assessments and serving as a role model for a classroom of young people, teachers also must adjust to their new careers.

To help first-year educators make the transition — and continue to develop their skills — the UNO College of Education offers a unique program. The CADRE (Career Advancement and Development for Recruits and Experienced Teachers) Project pairs new teachers with veteran educators, connects them with a cohort group of other first-year colleagues, and allows them to earn a graduate degree in education. The program, which marks its 10th year in 2004, partners with Metropolitan Omaha Educational Consortium (MOEC) schools. Teacher participants are chosen by MOEC schools and given a year-long classroom assignment. Teachers also participate in a 15-month UNO master's degree program; their tuition is paid and they are given a monthly stipend while in the program. Participants come from a variety of areas, including elementary, middle level, secondary and special education. CADRE and CADRE II-The Arts, an affiliate program offered in conjunction with the UNO College of Fine Arts, have earned a respected reputation for improving teacher quality and preparing educators for a long career. A survey of CADRE graduates shows that more than three-fourths of its participants have stayed with their chosen field, and nearly half have furthered their education with an additional degree or endorsement.

Kathy Glow is a proud proponent of the CADRE project, and for good reason. She was a member of the first class in 1994 and later participated as a mentor. She says one of the greatest benefits of the CADRE experience is having the support and understanding of the program mentors and teacher cohorts. "I didn't realize the impact these people would have on me," she says. "It was so important to have an experienced teacher guiding you and giving you advice, together with a group of other first-year teachers having a similar experience at the same time you are. Sharing ideas back and forth was very helpful for me."

Like many of the program's participants, Glow was offered a teaching contract at her CADRE school after graduation. She taught at Hartman Elementary School for eight years. Since then, she has also worked in a support role for the program. Participants in the program can make a profound difference in our community, she notes. "The program is dedicated to helping teachers become more prepared, more confident and more willing to seek out professional growth opportunities. I think that all translates into them being better able to serve their students. And the students, therefore, can achieve even more. That's why we're in this profession-to help students achieve."

The UNO CADRE Project was awarded the 2003 Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teacher Education from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). UNO was one of only five universities in the United States to receive the honor.

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