Associates Program

Overview

The Associates Program is a series of five two-day retreats during which public school and university educators engage in conversations related to the important work of preparing educators to help all students learn and the conduct of our public schools improve so that all students can experience engaged learning.

Participants

Any cohort will bring together individuals from several of the following units: teachers and administrators from the public schools, representatives of the Utah State Office of Education and district school boards, administrators and faculty from the McKay School of Education, and faculty and administrators from colleges and departments across the university that participate in preparing teachers. Each district holds its own sessions, so most participants will already know some of their group members and have the privilege of meeting new ones.

Retreats & Meetings

Retreats are held at attractive locations a comfortable distance from the districts so that participants can focus on the sharing experience without feeling obligated to rush back to schools or offices. Most districts hold their sessions at a resort in Park City. Participants enjoy the relaxing atmosphere that enhances their opportunities to reflect on their own experiences and share ideas with their colleagues. Shared meals enable them to continue conversations begun during the sessions or discuss ideas related to discussion topics. Many of the cohorts enhance group friendships during evening activities.

Activities

Participants prepare for the sessions by reading and reflecting on assigned book chapters and articles. Meetings involve large and small group discussions, occasional presentations, guest speakers, video clips, and activities. Readings vary by district, but most include such works as Education for Everyone by Goodlad, Bromley, and Goodlad, The Spirit of Renewal, edited by Wangemann, Black, and Baugh, and First Democracy by Paul Woodruff.

Importance

Many participants claim that their Associates participation has been a life-changing experience. They are treated respectfully and validated as capable professionals, whose ideas are sought and considered. They form close, trusting relationships with members of their cohort and learn to value the perspectives and experiences of people with different "jobs" but similar feelings and concerns. They think deeply about their profession; they come away renewed, excited, and eager to share their ideas and experiences.