Providing Qualified Teachers for Urban Schools: The Effectiveness of the Accelerated Collaborative Teacher Preparation Program in Recruiting, Preparing, and Retaining Teachers

Spring 2009

Source: Action in Teacher Education, v. 31 no. 1 (Spring 2009) p. 24-37.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

In this article, the authors examine the effectiveness of the ACT program over a 6-year period in providing qualified teachers for urban schools.

ACT Program

The ACT program was designed to restructure teacher education as a shared school-university responsibility and to reflect best practices in preparing teachers for urban schools.
Specifically, the program's major objectives were to

1) address the shortage of credentialed teachers in urban schools by recruiting credential candidates from diverse backgrounds into a 1-year full-time accelerated program;

2) facilitate the preparation of urban school educators through a standards-based program in which K-12 and university faculty work together to increase teacher candidates' competencies in serving urban learners diverse in culture and language; and,

3) enhance teacher retention by providing highly qualified teachers for urban schools.

ACT consists of the following three components: a common core of courses for all students; specialization courses in elementary, secondary, and special education; and field experiences aligned with core and specialized curriculum.


Quantitative and qualitative measures were used to gather information on the 554 ACT candidates who participated in the program during the academic years 1998-1999 through 2003-2004.

First, demographic data were collected each year on ACT participants and stored in a database. An analysis was then conducted on specialization area, cohort year, credential status, ethnic background, age, gender, undergraduate grade point average, and employment status before and after graduation.

Second, a follow-up survey was sent to ACT graduates of 1999-2004. The survey included questions on graduates' teaching status and 20 closed-response items with a 5-point Likert-type scale on graduates' perceptions about their preparation to teach.


Findings indicate that the program recruited 554 candidates over 6 years, with 94% completing it; 43% were hired in the urban school district where they were trained; and at the end of 5 years of teaching, retention averaged 74%. Overall, graduates reported satisfaction with their preparation and teaching careers and discussed the most helpful aspects of their preparation.

Implications for Preparation Programs

Implications are discussed regarding the design and components of a school-university credential program that enhance the preparation of high-quality teachers for urban schools.

Updated: Nov. 18, 2009