Big Changes Coming to the UCCI Institutes!
It's hard to believe, but our UCCI Institutes are four years old! In the first four years of the Institutes, between May 2010 and April 2014, more than 500 educators participated in 16 UCCI Institutes, developing a total of 68 integrated courses, 38 of which have earned "a-g" approval and are currently being offered in 160 California institutions of secondary education.
We're proud of the impact we have had so far. However, we also know we could be having an even bigger impact if we made some changes to how we do things. And so...
We are happy to announce that beginning July 1, 2014, the UCCI Institutes will transition to an “on-demand” model, by which schools and/or districts can request an Institute to create courses integrated with a specific CTE sector. This new approach will allow UCCI to:
- Work with schools and districts directly to help them develop integrated courses that prepare students for college and careers and meet the subject requirements for freshman admission to UC and California State University campuses
- Reach educators from schools and districts that, due to funding cuts, staffing shortages and other challenges, have not been able to send teachers to the UCCI Institutes before
- Develop a greater number of high-quality integrated courses at a greatly reduced cost
- Ensure that every course created at the Institutes can earn "a-g" approval, because in designing our Institutes on a smaller scale, we can have better control of all the "moving parts."
- Expand our cadre of UCCI Teacher Exchange Leaders, because the people who create the courses at the Institutes will be the same people who end up teaching them.
Though the model for the UCCI Institutes is changing, the “program status” nature of the courses is not. Courses created at the UCCI Institutes will still, once approved by UC, have program status, meaning that they will be made available for any high school in California to teach.
More courses, faster course approval, the ability to reach even more educators...all of these changes are welcome. What won't change:
- Our "teachers are the experts" approach: This course design work can only be successful with the extensive knowledge, limitless creativity and years of experience that California's academic and CTE teachers bring to the table.
- Our model of collaborative course design: We know that the highly collaborative experience of the UCCI Institutes is transformative and meaningful for all of our participants. As Spring 2014 UCCI Institutes course developer Jennifer Sommer noted, "Rarely do I get the opportunity to collaborate at such a deep level with other teachers in my own subject area, and almost never do we get to do this with colleagues from other subjects. The time we spent working together helped create an excellent new course, but also provided many new ideas that will help me improve my teaching practice." We want everyone who participates with us to have such an experience, and we will continue to make sure that they do.
- Our commitment to expanding opportunities for applied learning throughout California, so all students have access to college and career preparation.
We're excited about the changes ahead, and we hope you are, too. Already know that you want to have a UCCI Institute in your school or district? Fill out our UCCI Institutes Interest Form, and we'll be in touch soon. Have questions you want answered? Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org. We're looking forward to serving you and to continuing to work with the amazing teachers we have in this state--you inspire us every day!