WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Emily Feistritzer figured she could come up with a better way to prepare teachers, “a game-changing” method drawn from her half century in the field.
So this former teacher turned nationally recognized education expert recruited a high-tech team and created TEACH-NOW, an online teacher preparation program designed for the digital age. A patent is pending on its learning design.
In just three years, TEACH-NOW is already putting up impressive marks around the globe as its graduates get certified and land jobs and as the program expands with U.S. and foreign partners.
While TEACH-NOW’s initial class in March 2013 had just ten teacher candidates, it now enrolls 40 to 60 per month and boasts a 94 percent retention rate.
“We want to change the way teachers are taught and therefore affect the way students learn in the every changing world,” said Feistritzer, who earlier founded the National Center for Education Information, which published 45 reports on education.
The centerpiece of TEACH-NOW is collaborative activity-based learning. Its candidates come from around the globe, but they sit face to face with each other and an instructor in virtual online cohorts of 12.
The curriculum is based on international standards. TEACH-NOW accepts one in three applicants, each of whom must have a BA degree and at least a 3.0 grade point average. Tuition for the 9-month program is $6,000.
Feistritzer began the program with $250,000 from the New Schools Venture Fund.
Staffers include Donna Gollnick, a former vice president of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and Kunali Sanghvi, a former learning design architect at LearningMate Solutions, a leading digital education firm in India.
The District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education and the state of Arizona have accredited TEACH-NOW as an approved program leading to a license to teach.
TEACH-NOW has partnerships with the European Council of International Schools and the Teacher Foundation of India. The University of the Pacific has teamed up with TEACH-NOW to offer a master’s program. Other schools are expected to do so as well.
“TEACH-NOW is based on the belief that if you built a program grounded on basic standards with high admissions criteria and an emphasis on preparing teachers for tomorrow’s learners in tomorrow’s learning world, they would come,” Feistritzer said. “And they have.”