Community Partnerships: Annette Caldwell Simmons School Of Education And Human Development

George W. Bush Institute

Education is a central area of focus for the George W. Bush Institute, the policy research arm of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. With the appointment of renowned education scholar James Guthrie as senior fellow and director of education policy studies, the Institute created an academic alliance with the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Guthrie holds a concurrent appointment as a fellow on the Simmons faculty. To launch its programming, the Institute sponsored two education conferences with the Simmons School in spring 2010 to discuss education leadership in the U.S. and the education of women and girls in Afghanistan. More collaboration is proposed this year in the fields of education leadership and evaluation.

Teach for America

Teach For America, the national corps of top recent college graduates who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to expand educational opportunity, has partnered with the Simmons School to provide graduate level course work as part of the ongoing training and support available to their Dallas teachers. Teach For America corps members have the opportunity to earn Master of Education degrees at SMU while they teach full-time in local charter and traditional public schools. Corps members also are eligible for accelerated enrollment in SMU’s Master of Education in Educational Leadership. There are 21 corps members currently enrolled in Simmons programs.

This year, which marks Teach For America’s 20th anniversary nationwide and its second year in Dallas, 240 corps members are reaching 15,000 Dallas students. More than 100 Teach For America alumni call Dallas home and are working to close the achievement gap.

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society is developing the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, a proposed seven-acre, education garden that will serve more than 70,000 students who visit to learn about science in nature. Through a partnership with the Simmons School, faculty members are working with Arboretum educators to evaluate teaching and curriculum components of the garden’s exhibits. In addition to work with the faculty, the partnership also creates opportunities for SMU students to engage in different aspects of the Arboretum’s programs. The garden is scheduled to open in 2012.

Resource Center Dallas

An agreement between the Simmons School and Resource Center Dallas gives the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) community access to low-cost mental health counseling in the Oak Lawn area. Designed to meet the needs of an underserved population, the service is provided by the school’s Center for Family Counseling at SMU-in-Plano. Graduate counseling students, under direct supervision from faculty, see clients as part of their professional training at Resource Center Dallas, a nonprofit organization serving the GLBT community.

Dallas Independent School District

The Simmons School works with DISD to place SMU student teachers in classrooms as part of field work requirements. In addition, Simmons faculty conduct research in DISD schools and also design professional development for teachers and principals. These collaborations often take place through the Institute for Evidence-Based Education and the Center for Child and Community Development.

West Dallas Education Task Force

The Simmons School is a member of the West Dallas Education Task Force, a group assembled by the Dallas Faith Communities Coalition to improve opportunities and the quality of the schools in the impoverished neighborhoods of West Dallas. Simmons has committed to conduct research, create pilot programs and professional development for teachers and principals in all West Dallas schools.

The Teaching Trust

The Teaching Trust is a new education nonprofit organization formed to change the discourse on education by leveraging talent and collaborations to improve student achievement. The Teaching Trust is housed in the Simmons School under the auspices of the dean, and with Simmons faculty are designing programs in school leadership focusing on urban education.

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