Urban Professional Development School Partnership

Institutionalized by the UNF College of Education and Human Services in 1997, the Urban Professional Development Schools (UPDS) are a partnership between UNF and Duval County Public Schools. The professional development school model allows education students to participate in a developmental continuum of clinical experiences, including site-based courses, practicum experiences, and tutoring. Approximately 1100 UNF education students participate in one or more of these clinical experiences in a UPDS each year. 

Ongoing partnership goals

  • Positively impact student learning in urban schools
  • Prepare and retain effective teachers for challenging urban settings
  • Provide professional learning opportunities for practicing teachers
  • Conduct research to help facilitate the development of effective urban teachers

Highlights of the model 

  • Award winning PDS model as noted by ATE (2003), NAPDS (2009), and NCATE (2004)
  • Resident Clinical Faculty (RCF) are Master Duval County teachers responsible for intensive on-site support for pre-service and beginning teachers.
  • Professors in Residence (PIR) work with students, teachers, and pre-service teachers to positively impact student learning in a variety of areas and teach on-site methods courses
  • RCF and PIR work collaboratively with administration and faculty on school improvement initiatives and professional development
  • Continuum of pre-service teachers placed at the schools to work with students
  • Corporate partners create the third leg of the partnership   

For more information, please contact Dr. Cathy O’Farrell, Director, Office of Educational Field Experiences, (904) 620-3934. 



Professional Development School &  

Focus Areas



 Resident Clinical Faculty (RCF) 


Professor in Residence (PIR)

Kings Trail Elementary

  • Math
  • Tutoring for ESOL (English speakers of other languages)
  • Partnership with Mellon Bank


 Linda Dacks  

To Be Determined

Lake Shore Middle School

  • ESE (Exceptional student education)
  • Math and science for ESE
  • At risk males


Maria Ramdas

(904) 620-1649 UNF

(904) 381-7448 ext. 133 Lake Shore

Dr. Debbie Reed


Exceptional, Deaf, and Interpreter Education

(904) 620-1756

West Jacksonville Elementary

  • Early literacy (K-2)
  • Science

Kathy Witsell

To Be Determined

Woodland Acres Elementary

  • Struggling readers (K-3)
  • Partnership with Main Street America

   (Watch video here or see photo gallery here of the 5th grade field trip to Main Street America headquarters in May 2013)

Christie Stevenson

(904) 620-1661 UNF

(904) 720-1663 ext. 3 Woodland Acres

Dr. Sue Syverud

Associate Professor

Exceptional, Deaf, and Interpreter Education

(904) 620-1814