NSF Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation (CETP)

Deadline for Preliminary Proposals: May 1, 1999

Deadline for Formal Proposals: September 1, 1999
Electronic submission via FastLane is required for CETP System-wide Focus formal proposals.

Contact: (703) 306-1669

A. Purpose

The NSF Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation (CETP) program is a response to the national need to produce and retain increasing numbers of teachers well-qualified to teach mathematics and the sciences. The purpose of the CETP program is to achieve significant and systemic improvement in the science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET) preparation of prospective pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 (preK-12) teachers.

CETP promotes the development of preK-12 teachers who are competent in their subject matter; able to teach effectively in these disciplines; excited about incorporating mathematics, technology, and the sciences into their daily classroom activities; and able to implement the national mathematics and science standards. Proposals are sought for projects that recruit and develop future teachers who are successful in addressing the varied learning styles, backgrounds, and needs of their students. Particular attention is needed to recruit prospective teachers from underrepresented groups, so the teachers of tomorrow reflect the diversity of the students they will teach.

Teacher preparation is the responsibility of SMET faculty and departments, as well as of schools and colleges of education. Effective teacher preparation programs require full institutional support and the concerted effort of many stakeholders, including faculty and administration from two-year, four-year and research institutions; school districts; the business community; and state departments of education.

B. Program Design

Several opportunities for funding are offered:

Every CETP (Institutional or System-wide) project is expected to be a systemic effort addressing the entire range of activities in the continuum of teacher preparation (see next page). Projects focusing on one or more specific components of teacher preparation in SMET should be submitted to CCLI or ATE, as appropriate.

Special projects are also supported. Examples include studies, national symposia or workshops that will increase understanding of the issues related to SMET teacher preparation. Proposers should first discuss ideas for special projects with a Program Director (703-306-1669).

NSF Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation

CETP projects should be guided by a coherent vision and philosophy regarding the preparation of teachers. Projects must be multi-faceted and designed to result in comprehensive change in a program producing significant numbers of preK-12 teachers. CETP projects are collaborative efforts, engaging SMET and education faculty and their departments, preK-12 teachers and administrators, and business and community partners. The ultimate result should be a substantial increase in the number of teachers who are well prepared both in the basic disciplines of science and mathematics and the pedagogical and assessment methodologies consistent with the national standards. All projects should provide a basis for other institutions and faculty to benefit from the results of the project.

Track 1: Institutional Focus (CETP-IF)

This track supports projects that address the reform of comprehensive teacher preparation programs at institutions that produce a large number of teachers. Although this track supports projects with a primary focus on a single institution, it may be appropriate to, for example, include collaboration with feeder institutions (two- and four-year colleges). Institutional Focus awards will be made for up to $500,000 per year for a duration of 1 to 3 years.

Track 2: System-wide Focus (CETP-SF)

The scope of System-wide Focus projects extends beyond that of Institutional Focus projects by encompassing an entire university system or a collection of institutions that spans a state or other geographic region. System-wide Focus awards will be made for up to $1,000,000 per year for a duration of 3 to 5 years.

Teacher Preparation Component Projects

Consistent with DUE's cross-cutting programmatic emphasis on the science and mathematics preparation of prospective preK-12 teachers, CCLI or ATE projects that incorporate building blocks for or components of comprehensive reform of teacher preparation are encouraged. Projects must be designed to meet the goals of CCLI or ATE, respectively, and will be considered in accordance with the specific program requirements found in those program sections (pages 6 and 14 respectively).

Projects should focus on one or more components of the continuum of teacher preparation (see below). The proposal must indicate how the project contributes to the teacher certification program at the institution. Projects should be designed to attract outstanding students to the teaching profession while improving the quality and accessibility of mathematics and science teacher preparation programs.

C. Continuum of Teacher Preparation

The range of activities expected of CETP projects spans the entire continuum of teacher preparation which includes recruitment, instruction in content, pedagogy, classroom management, early field experiences, credentialing, and induction and support of novice teachers. In meeting the immediate national demand for high-quality mathematics and science teachers, the scope of teacher preparation programs has been broadened to include the preparation of teachers from non-traditional sources such as para-professionals and mathematicians, scientists, engineers, or technicians considering career changes.

Teacher Preparation Components

The components listed below indicate the range of activities that are necessary for comprehensive teacher preparation efforts. The list illustrates the breadth of effort required and should not be considered as limiting in nature.


Students and Faculty:

D. Special Requirements for CETP Proposals (Institutional and System-wide)

Within the Detailed Project Plan section of the Project Description, provide a clear, concise description of the current teacher preparation program and the program you hope to develop through the project. Explain how the project will lead to full institutionalization of a comprehensive and cohesive program to improve the mathematics and science content and instructional preparation of preK-12 teachers. Indicate how the project will address the entire range of activities in the continuum of teacher preparation.

CETP leadership and design teams must include:

All CETP proposals should clearly describe the management structure to be developed, delineating: the specific roles and responsibilities of each of the collaborating institutions and Principal Investigators; the support for participating departments, faculty and teachers; and the methods for project assessment and evaluation.

Evidence of institutional commitment is a requirement for all CETP projects. Proposals should provide clear evidence of the departmental and institutional commitment necessary to ensure institution-wide support. Such evidence should include letters of support from appropriate university administrators. See guidelines regarding Appendices for CETP projects on pages 24-25.

Institutionalization should include plans for: the SMET departments to integrate prospective teachers into their culture; adaptation and implementation of materials and approaches by affected institutions, school districts and education agencies; and development of a management infrastructure among the collaborating institutions to ensure the sustainability and continuation of successful projects beyond the period of NSF financial support.

CETP proposals should also indicate clear connections with existing NSF† or other systemic projects, including other federal, state, local or privately funded efforts.

Indicate how the project will serve as a national model of an exemplary teacher preparation program. Be specific concerning expected outcomes. Specify the anticipated number and types of students and faculty affected, number of teachers and schools participating as field sites, and, as appropriate, effects on certification standards.

E. Preparation and Submission of Preliminary and Formal Proposals

It is strongly recommended that institutions planning to submit a formal proposal first submit a preliminary proposal. Both the formal proposal and the preliminary proposal should reflect extensive planning and discussion among scientists, science educators, mathematicians, mathematics educators, preK-12 teachers, and university and school administrators.

In addition to the information contained in section D above, please refer to Preparation and Submission of Preliminary and Formal Proposals and Proposal Review Information.


** Information concerning any of these programs may be obtained from the NSF Web site or by phone. Information about LSC may be obtained from the Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education at (703) 306-1620. Information about SSI, RSI and USI may be obtained from the Division of Educational System Reform at (703) 306-1690. Information about CPMSA and AMP may be obtained from the Division of Human Resource Development at (703) 306-1640.

[Guide for CETP Proposal Development]

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