In the early 1990s, the National Science Foundation established the Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation (CETP) program to encourage active reform of teacher preparation programs. The goals of CETP include increasing the numbers of K-12 teachers who are well prepared in science, mathematics, and technology and encouraging faculty from the arts, sciences, engineering, and education to work together on improving science and mathematics teacher preparation. The collaboratives seek to broaden the pool of students who are interested in pursuing careers in teaching, including those majoring in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology and those traditionally underrepresented in those fields. A feature of most collaboratives is the integral involvement of two-year community colleges as partners with four-year institutions and K-12 school districts. CETP also seeks to improve undergraduate teaching and learning and to link undergraduate preparation of teachers to national standards in science and mathematics. In addition, the CETP program recognizes the importance of retaining new teachers, mentoring of new teachers by master teachers, and providing all teachers of science, mathematics, and technology with opportunities for continuing professional development and growth.
Each CETP-based program represents a unique effort to improve the quality of teacher education in science and mathematics. It has been observed that the uniqueness of each collaborative allows each one to serve as a model that potentially could be scaled up to a much larger level (Boyer and Layman, 1998). There is a great deal to be learned from the characteristics and lessons of these collaboratives, both individually and collectively. Examples of programs that have some degree of CETP funding are provided below.
Green River Community College has initiated Project TEACH (Teacher Education Alliance of Colleges and High Schools), a teacher preparation collaborative that demonstrates the role that community colleges can play in teacher preparation. The project in-