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Professional Development Schools

Across the country, teacher preparation is changing - and high-quality, hands-on experience is central to that change. In collaboration with the public school systems in both Duval and Clay counties, UNF's College of Education and Human Services provides students with intensive clinical practice experiences.



9 Required Essentials for Professional Development Schools

Developed by The National Association for Professional Development Schools

  1. A comprehensive mission that is broader in its outreach and scope than the mission of any partner and that furthers the education profession and its responsibility to advance equity within schools and, by potential extension, the broader community;
  2. A school-university culture committed to the preparation of future educators that embraces their active engagement in the school community;
  3. Ongoing and reciprocal professional development for all participants guided by need;
  4. A shared commitment to innovative and reflective practice by all participants;
  5. Engagement in and public sharing of the results of deliberate investigations of practice by respective participants;
  6. An articulation agreement developed by the respective participants delineating the roles and responsibilities of all involved;
  7. A structure that allows all participants a forum for ongoing governance, reflection, and collaboration;
  8. Work by college/university faculty and P-12 faculty in formal roles across institutional settings; and
  9. Dedicated and shared resources and formal rewards and recognition structures


Duval County Public Schools

The DCPS-UNF Urban Professional Development Schools are innovations committed to removing the low achievement and disparities in achievement in schools within our own community. Because of the nationally recognized lack of equitable learning opportunities for all students, especially those in poverty, numerous voices call to reform our education system broadly and in our teacher preparation system specifically (e.g., National Mathematics Advisory Panel, 2008; National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, 2010). The DCPS-UNF Urban PDSs respond to two distinct, yet complimentary calls for reform in teacher preparation: clinically-based preparation and urban, place-conscious preparation.

Clay County Public Schools

Grove Park Elementary School, Orange Park Junior High School and Orange Park High School were awarded the status of a UNF Professional Development School in the fall of 2018. These three schools were the first schools selected within Clay County based on a nationally recognized, rigorous review process. This mutually beneficial learning partnership between GPES, OPJHS & OPHS and the University of North Florida will design and implement a variety of innovative systems & processes to:

  1. impact student achievement and growing the teaching field through real world application;
  2. support students, teachers and prospective teachers towards success;
  3. engage teachers in their own personal and professional development.