Watson Chronicle


Watson College News

PDS Renews School Partnership Agreements

Thursday, September 09, 2021

WCE’s Professional Development System recently renewed MOU agreements with partnership districts and schools. The agreements, which took effect July 1 extend the partnerships for a period of three years, through 2024.

The Professional Development System (PDS) is Watson’s most longstanding and comprehensive regional partnership initiative. The original concept, introduced in 1989 with the Consortium for the Advancement of Public Education (CAPE) and the Model Clinical Teacher Program, was to enhance teacher preparation by partnering with in-service teachers to provide internship opportunities for students.

The college advanced this concept in 1993 with the official launch of the Professional Development System partnership. The mission has grown to include school-university collaboration and ongoing professional development to enhance the quality of teaching and school leadership in the region. Today, the national award-winning PDS program partners with 12 districts, more than 200 schools and more than 2,200 teachers in southeastern North Carolina.

Watson College Dean Van Dempsey, Associate Dean Bill Sterrett and PDS Director Somer Lewis met with district superintendents, key contacts and directors earlier this year to renew the agreements, and each partnership school received a banner in celebration of the re-signing.

"We are excited to continue our longstanding partnerships with schools and districts in the southeast region,” Lewis said. “Not only does our partnership provide opportunities for our students to engage in meaningful, authentic clinical experiences, but it provides the foundation for so much of the mutually beneficial work that takes place between our faculty, teachers, school leaders and other community partners, each committed to enhancing P-12 teaching and learning in our state."

For more information on WCE’s Professional Development System, visit the PDS website.