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Mount Selected to Team Up With Microsoft Corp. in Teacher Preparation Initiative

March 17, 2006 -- The Education Department at Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles, was recently selected to team up with Microsoft Corp. and take on a leadership role in a new project designed to enhance teacher preparation programs nationwide.

The program, Teachers for the 21st Century Initiative, also is in partnership with the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) of Washington, D.C., which graduates 20 percent of the nation’s future teachers annually.

The program seeks to strengthen teacher preparation programs across the country. Mount St. Mary’s faculty will take part in two national meetings, monthly online seminars, and an online community of practice. The College will receive a stipend to cover some costs involved in participation.

Improving the effectiveness of K-12 school teachers is an urgent task. CIC institutions have long played an important role in this work and now have a significant opportunity to contribute fresh leadership. The challenge today is to incorporate into teacher preparation programs new, 21st Century skills, tools, content, and assessments to help the next generation of teachers teach effectively.

Mount St. Mary’s is the only California institution selected to participate in the program

The CIC program is one component of a major initiative of the Microsoft Corporation, known as Partners in Learning, which is collaborating with governments and educational institutions to improve K-12 education around the globe. Currently, Microsoft has projects in more than 75 countries. The U.S. Partners in Learning initiative is a five-year, $35 million effort that includes several state-level initiatives, the development of high quality materials at the national level, and the diffusion of effective practices to other settings. The Microsoft Corporation has awarded CIC $495,000 for its work in the program.

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