AMHERST, N.Y. – Daemen College has established a new partnership with the Charter School of Inquiry (CSI) that will offer educational opportunities for aspiring teachers and provide multidisciplinary professional development training at the Buffalo-based school.
The collaboration is the first of its kind that the city charter school for grades K-6 has formed with a college in the Buffalo Niagara region and an effort that will expand Daemen’s long-standing connections with schools in the local community.
“We are very proud of this collaborative relationship with the Charter School of Inquiry and look forward to working together on initiatives that will be mutually beneficial to students and faculty at both institutions,” said Dr. Michael Brogan, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. “As a leader in higher education, Daemen recognizes the value of this partnership in preparing the educators of tomorrow while also fostering the academic success and professional development at our partner school.”
Robert Fetter, head of school at CSI, said, “This collaboration will offer Daemen students the opportunity to develop their skills as teachers and also introduce our faculty and staff to innovative techniques that will have a positive impact on the learning experience for CSI students. We envision this partnership as an important part of fulfilling our vision of becoming a model school of urban educational excellence.”
A unique component of the partnership will be the creation of a collaborative classroom space at CSI where practicum classes will be held on site for Daemen teacher candidates, including several who started practical field experience last fall at the charter school. The space will also be used by CSI for professional development training and programs.
In other measures, CSI faculty will have the opportunity to serve on Daemen’s Teacher Leadership Quality Partnership group, an initiative led by Catherine Sedota that is designed to promote professional development, and Daemen faculty will help to create African-American literacy modules to support culturally relevant teaching in the classroom. The collaboration also calls for Daemen teacher candidates to create classroom projects that will be made available for use by faculty at CSI.
“Ultimately, this collaborative endeavor will prepare and support educational opportunities for our teacher candidates and bring Daemen’s expertise directly to the Charter School of Inquiry,” said Elizabeth Wright, dean of the Daemen Division of Health and Human Services. “This partnership will enhance our role as educators of teachers and build on our shared commitment with the charter school to help nurture high levels of learning.”
Daemen has the distinction of offering the only state-approved applied behavior analysis graduate program in Western New York. As part of this new collaborative initiative, ABA faculty Dr. Vicki Madaus Knapp and Vanessa Patrone will provide expert assistance and training on behavior management assessment to CSI faculty, teaching assistants, and teacher aides.
Wright noted the Daemen-CSI partnership is one of the most comprehensive in teacher preparation the college has formed with a charter school. She also credited Dr. Joanne Sadler, assistant professor of education, and Roberta Freedenberg, coordinator of student teaching and field experiences, as instrumental in establishing this innovative collaboration with the charter school.
“For Daemen, this partnership will offer practical and other vital learning experiences to our teacher candidates,” said Wright. “As this cooperative endeavor continues to evolve, we are excited about the possibilities in deepening our relationship with the Charter School of Inquiry and having an even greater impact on our students.”
The Charter School of Inquiry, which opened its doors in 2015, offers an inquiry-based learning environment with an intense focus on learning to read and write well in all subject areas.