School of Education Professional Development Center

PDC Overview

Professional Development Center (PDC) Program Overview

In an effort to build a new culture of professional learning within schools that will better meet the unique needs of today's students, the School of Education at USD initiated, in 1993, the concept of a Professional Development Center. The Center's focus is to provide new models of teacher education and development by serving as exemplars of practice, builders of knowledge, and vehicles for communicating professional understanding among teacher educators, novices, and veteran teachers. The PDC supports the learning of experienced and beginning teachers by creating settings in which novices enter professional practice by working with expert practitioners, enabling veteran teachers to renew their own professional development and assume new roles as mentors and teacher leaders. The Professional Development Center provides experiences where new and mentor teacher learning becomes 1) experimental, 2) grounded in teacher questions, 3) collaborative, 4) and connected to and derived from teachers' work with their students.

Unique experiences a new teacher has in the Professional Development Center
  • A full year of teaching experience supported by the mentor
  • Frequent feedback from school-based as well as university based teacher educators
  • Collaborative work in a non-competitive culture focused on best practices for children
  • Discussions that bring theory to practice and practice to theory Professional Development through graduate coursework and professional conversations
  • Opportunities for peer/mentor/other teacher observation
  • Graduate degree
Unique experiences as a mentor in the Professional Development Center
  • Opportunities to share and demonstrate expertise
  • Opportunities to model collaborative teaching practices Input into new teacher development
  • The opportunity to experience school from a different prospective
  • A period of rejuvenation and a chance to contribute to the profession
  • An opportunity to model life-long learning and professionalism
  • The chance to step back and question their own practice in light of new learning
  • Graduate degree