What is it?

CLASSIC Program Model

Overview: Through the CLASSIC© Program Model, KCAT/TLC already provides differentiated professional development for graduate course credit to professionals in the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Since the inception of the program in 1999, CLASSIC© has provided highly-differentiated professional development for school administrators, grade-level and ESL teachers, counselors, as well as school specialists, in districts and systems across the states served. In fact, the CLASSIC© Program has served an average of 1,275 school educators per year for over 10 years. During this same time period, practitioners who completed the courses of the program and who sat for the ESL Content Area Test of the Praxis II exam passed that assessment at a average (longitudinal mean) rate of 89% per iteration of the exam. The success of the CLASSIC© Program Model has been regionally and nationally recognized by: East Carolina University, (Innovation in Teacher Education Award, 2008; Kansas State University (Outstanding Unit Award 2003); and the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) of the United States Department of Education (Special Recognition for Project Efficacy, Project ALCANCE, 2002; Project New Horizons, 2006; Project CARE, 2006, and Project SOAR, 2008).
          The purpose of the CLASSIC© Program is to increase the number of IHEs offering high-quality, distance delivered ESL or dual language courses to teachers and other educators of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students. In many school systems, the growth among CLD student populations far exceeds the numbers of school educators who are appropriately prepared for the differential assets and learning needs of these students. The CLASSIC© Program Model was developed to systematically address these gaps in teacher preparation and professional development. It has been developed, field-tested, and refined by Drs. Socorro Herrera and Kevin Murry at Kansas State University, in collaboration with high-need school districts such as Garden City, Kansas City, Liberal, and Wichita, Kansas.

Program Model: The CLASSIC© model is a participant-centered design that focuses on Critically reflective, Lifelong Advocacy for Second language learners, Site-specific Innovation, and Cross-cultural competency. Each of these components offers participating educators approaches and strategies for native language and home culture support as they better accommodate the needs of their CLD students. In particular, the model is designed to: (a) address the shortage of ESL endorsed teachers in order to more directly target the achievement gap between CLD and grade level students, (b) enhance the literacy skills of CLD students whose first language is not English, and (c) to promote parental/extended family involvement in the academic success of these students. Research on and analyses of this model indicate that these emphases positively impact student achievement through teachers’ collaborations in professional development, as well as their theory-into-practice applications of knowledge/skills acquired (Herrera & Murry, 2003; Herrera, Murry, & Perez, 2008; Murry & Herrera, 2008). Proven successes with the CLASSIC© Program Model in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania have demonstrated its replicability (see the Outcomes/Accomplishments heading to follow).
         The CLASSIC© program of KCAT/TLC offers in-service participants professional development that is rapidly-available, accessible, and adaptable through an innovative and flexible format of distance education. Through this format, participants learn content that is guided by theory and research-driven practice. Program content emphasizes proven ESL methods, authentic assessment strategies, critical linguistics concepts, and core issues of culture and language that may prove pivotal to CLD student achievement and family involvement. Content learned is applied in a site-specific manner to reflect the needs of participating schools and their school populations.
         The CLASSIC© Program is a nationally recognized, research-based, long-term professional development model that focuses on specific staff development and distance delivery methodology. Hallmarks of the program are site-specificity, district/university partnerships, and distance delivery, and capacity building for critical reflection on complex practice.

University Course-Based Professional Development: The IHE-based professional development of the CLASSIC© program generally translates into 15 hours of
university-based course work designed specifically to address the capacity-building needs of school educators who are serving the differential needs of CLD students and families. The curriculum for this endorsement sequence is inclusive and encompasses:

ESL Methods, [METH: 3 hours];
ESL Assessment, [ASMT: 3 hours];
ESL Linguistics, [LING: 3 hours];
Culture and language in Classroom Practice, [MULT: 3 hours]; and the
ESL Practicum, [PRAC: 3 hours].

Using the information they have learned from course content, participants are then prompted, in school/district-based collaborative groups, to appropriately adapt that knowledge toward theory-into-practice applications tailored to CLD student assets and needs in their specific locales.

Who Should participate: Accredited Institutions of Higher Education [IHEs] who contract with KCAT/TLC and collaborate to honor the terms and conditions of that contract.

How Does it Work: Contracted IHEs and their faculty collaborate with KCAT/TLC to enhance the professional development of school educators via the CLASSIC© Program Model. The model delivers the five courses of the program at the rate of one course per semester, over the course of five semesters. Among participating educators this extended schedule of professional development encourages: (a) capacity building for critical reflection on practice with CLD students and families; (b) site/population specific and needs-based adaptations of professional practices in ways that reach these students and enhance their content area achievement; (c) critical undertakings of the linguistic dynamics of second language acquisition; (d) lifelong learning among practitioners and students; and (e) development of collaborative and collegial relationships with peers as a means to synergistic and systemic problem solving as well as capacity building for the complex challenges of professional efficacy in highly diverse schools and classrooms.
          Selected faculty from KCAT/TLC and participating IHEs prepare to facilitate school educators through these challenges and courses via periodic training/professional development seminars (usually semi-annual) that are delivered by KCAT/TLC faculty. These two-day seminars, conducted in the Kansas City metropolitan area, provide participating, IHE faculty with: (a) professional development on course content, organization, and purposes; (b) an overview of the course module and textbooks that participating educators will follow in their course of study; (c) a facilitator’s session manual which will guide IHE faculty members in the appropriate delivery of course media, content, materials, and sessions; (d) course DVDs which provide the primary course content, strategies, applications, illustrations, and demonstrations; and (e) a facilitator’s feedback manual that guides IHE faculty in proven ways to evaluate and enable participant progress, learning, and growth.
          As participating IHE faculty implement the CLASSIC© Program Model, technical assistance from KCAT/TLC faculty is typically just one e-mail or one phone call away. Training sessions that follow, further enable IHE and KCAT/TLC faculty to share, oversee, problem solve challenges, and plan those site-specific program refinements that will best enhance the profession development of school educators for increasing cultural and linguistically diversity in schools and classrooms.

By Teachers, With Teachers, For Teachers