As education programs around the country are faced with the challenge of meeting accreditation standards, the ability to ensure candidate competency has become a crucial task for all teacher preparation programs. Considering the variety of educational settings in which students who are deaf or hard of hearing are being served, it may be difficult for Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Programs to determine how well they are preparing candidates to meet the needs of students who are DHH and how to make improvements when necessary. In addition, because many DHH programs rely on one or two faculty members to deliver all instruction, identifying potential partners for collaboration may help to increase the breadth and depth of content across these programs.
The purpose of this presentation is to outline the development and implementation of a student-centered “reciprocal benefit” collaboration model to improve an Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program. In the first step, program personnel worked to identify areas that prove to be most challenging for first-year teachers as well as potential partners who might be willing to work collaboratively to improve candidate competency. Following this, a model was developed which focused on ways in which the program could help to meet specific needs of each partner in return for assistance and benefits for program candidates. Implementation of the model is underway and data will continue to be gathered to determine success based upon the goals set forth by each partner.