December 2017

Florida Atlantic University, Broward County Public Schools and the School District of Palm Beach County received the 2017 Dr. Shirley S. Schwartz Urban Education Impact Award for their collaborative program, Establishing Excellence in Elementary Preparation (EXCEED). The award, presented at the Council of Great Schools Annual Fall Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, honors an outstanding partnership between a university and an urban school district that has had a positive and significant impact on student learning.

“This collaboration has been a tremendous opportunity for us to develop and implement a cutting-edge program that will better prepare how our future teachers learn to teach and positively impact students’ learning experience in today’s complex global society,” said Valerie J. Bristor, Ph.D., dean of FAU’s College of Education.

FAU has collaborated with two districts, each awarded with a plaque and, in addition, will jointly select students who have graduated from Broward County Public Schools and School District of Palm Beach County who plan to attend or presently attend FAU, to receive two-year scholarships. Bristor, along with Barbara Ridener, Ph.D., chair of teaching and learning at FAU, and Gracie Diaz, EXCEED director of research program and services, were on hand at the conference to accept the award.

EXCEED was made possible by a three-year Centers of Excellence in Education Teacher Preparation grant from the Florida Department of Education. The program is a focused approach curriculum designed to improve the knowledge and skills of elementary education graduates to meet school districts’ expectations.

“EXCEED initiatives engaged FAU faculty, staff, and educators and content leaders from Broward and Palm Beach counties,” said Diaz. “It has been a unique collaboration that has positively impacted both teacher preparation and teacher practice.”

Also attending the conference was 2015 FAU Distinguished Alumni Chuck Shaw, M.Ed. ’71, who was selected as one of eleven finalists for the nation’s top award in urban education leadership. He currently serves as Board Chair of the Palm Beach County School Board.

“We are very excited that the work that we were able to begin through our EXCEED partnership has made an impact on the students in our partner districts,” said Ridener, principal investigator of the grant. “We are also grateful to the school districts of Broward and Palm Beach County for the ability to engage in this work.”

For more information about the College of Education, visit www.coe.fau.edu


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