The CADRE Project, an accelerated master’s degree program that provides mentoring, coaching, professional development, and financial support for first-year public school teachers, recently received national recognition from the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS).
On Oct. 24, at the CGCS 63rd Annual Fall Conference, representatives from the College of Education and Omaha Public Schools (OPS) accepted the Dr. Shirley S. Schwartz Urban Education Impact Award. The award honors outstanding educational partnership programs between colleges of education and urban schools.
OPS Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan joined Dr. Nancy Edick, dean of UNO's College of Education, and Dr. Chris Wilcoxen, director of the CADRE Project, as well as former CADRE Teacher and OPS School Board Member, Dr. Shavonna Holman, and OPS Principal Supervisor and UNO Alumna, Carri Collins, at the podium in Louisville, Kentucky to accept the award and recognize the 25-year partnership between CADRE and OPS.
The CADRE Project (Career Advancement and Development for Recruits and Experienced teachers) has developed over 825 Omaha-area public school teachers since its inception in 1994. CADRE participants are fully-licensed, first-year teachers hired by partnering public school districts. They complete a 14-month graduate program fellowship while being paired with a CADRE Associate, a master teacher who provides mentoring and coaching in the classroom.
According to Dean Edick—the first director of the CADRE Project—partnership between the College of Education and area school districts has been historically strong, but in the 1990s, more areas for collaboration emerged as Omaha’s population grew and public schools faced more urban issues.
"Launching the CADRE Project was an opportunity to increase teacher quality and retention by providing professional development and financial resources to first-year teachers. The cohort model has been extremely successful and has created a network of support spanning beyond graduation—benefitting our alumni, our partner school districts, and children in the classrooms. Almost 40,000 public school students have been impacted by the CADRE Project."
In a study of the effectiveness of the program, researchers determined that teachers who completed the CADRE program possessed substantially stronger teaching skills when compared to other educators who had taught for the same amount of time, outperforming the non-CADRE teachers by over 30%. In the area of teacher retention, 95% of CADRE participants remain in the field of education, and 62% of those participants go on to pursue leadership positions.
According to CADRE Director and CADRE Project alumni, Dr. Wilcoxen, "The CADRE Project reflects the collaboration, dedication, and commitment of all of our participating districts. This award signifies the success of the partnerships and sets the foundation for future work. I am proud to be part of this program and honored we have received this award. The positive impact CADRE has had on students, schools, and the community is abundant. We are stronger together and will continue to help teachers across the metropolitan area grow."
Additional CADRE partner school districts include: Bellevue Public Schools, Bennington Public Schools, Council Bluffs Community School District, Elkhorn Public Schools, Millard Public Schools, Papillion La Vista Community Schools, and Ralston Public Schools.
Fluckiniger, J., McGlamery, S., & Edick, N. (2006). Mentoring teachers’ stories: Caring mentors help novice teachers stick with teaching and develop expertise. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 72(3), 8–13.