AACTE 68th Annual Meeting

The 2016 Annual Meeting will be held February 23–25 in Las Vegas. The conference theme is "Meeting the Demands of Professional Practice: Tough Questions, Tough Choices," supported by the four strands listed below:

  • Professionalism: Values in Action
  • Engagement: Hard Choices in Connecting With All Stakeholders
  • Programs and Practices: Making Hard Choices Through Critical Reflection, Review, and Innovation
  • Assessment: Hard Choices in Program Improvement



Registration Deadlines

Early Bird: October 14, 2015
Regular: January 27, 2016


Please note that once the regular rate has expired all registrations will be at the "on-site" rate.

Registration Fees

  Early Bird Regular On Site
Member $440 $480 $510
Nonmember $625 $665 $695
Emerging Leader † $150 $175 N/A
Student †† $85 $95 $115
Spouse/Guest* $65 $75 $95


Faculty/administrators (assistant/associate professors, department chairs) with 5 or fewer years of experience in higher education, identified by each institution’s chief representative in the profile manager. Limit three per institution. No on-site registration allowed for Emerging Leaders. Learn how to identify Emerging Leaders. (members only)

Student ID must be presented on-site.

Spouse/Guest registration includes access to both general sessions and unlimited entry to the Conference Community Center and meal events therein.

AACTE accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and check payments.


Outstanding Balance Policy

Individuals with outstanding balances for previous AACTE events will not be permitted to register for upcoming events until their balance is paid. A message indicating what events are unpaid and how to pay will appear when individuals attempt to register. Permission to register will be granted upon receipt of payment. If you have any questions, please contact Christine Tambini at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cancellation Policy

Notice of cancellation of Annual Meeting registration–and any request for refund of conference registration fees–must be made in writing and received by January 27, 2016. All refund requests received after this date will be denied. A $150.00 administrative fee will be deducted from all cancellation requests. Refund payments will not be processed until after the Annual Meeting is over. In the event of a "no show", the registrant is still responsible for payment of the registration fee and no refund will be given. Cancellation and refund requests should be e-mailed to Christine Tambini at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Cancellations over the phone will not be accepted.

Substitution Policy

Substitution of registrants is permitted as long as both individuals are from the same institution. Contact Christine Tambini at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request a substitution. After January 27, substitutions can be requested only at on-site registration.

AACTE Has Gone Green!

In our continuing effort to be environmentally responsible, we have eliminated printed program books. Through our online AACTE Event Planner, all attendees will have access to live, up-to-date information on all sessions being offered, as well as have the opportunity to create a customized, downloadable schedule. A PDF version of the program book will also be available prior to the meeting on our Annual Meeting web site. All meeting and hotel space, including guestrooms, will have free Wi-Fi available for use.

AACTE Event Emergency and Inclement Weather Policy

All nationwide AACTE events, including but not limited to AACTE's Annual Meeting, will be canceled due to inclement weather or other acts of God (including, but not limited to, flood, fire, or natural disaster) only if the venue and/or location of the event is closed or provides notice to AACTE of its inability to hold the event, or if the local government declares an emergency status is in effect for the location of the event.
If a nationwide AACTE event is canceled due to inclement weather or other acts of God as set forth herein, every attempt will be made to reschedule the event, and your registration fee will be applied to the rescheduled event date. If AACTE is unable to reschedule the event, your registration fee will be applied to a subsequent nationwide AACTE event of your choice. Any travel expenses that may have been incurred cannot be refunded under any circumstances. If the AACTE event is held, but weather conditions (whether forecasted or actualized) prohibit you from traveling, AACTE unfortunately cannot refund your registration fee.


The Mirage Hotel
3400 S Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Phone: (702) 791-7111
More information

Room Rate
AACTE room rate is $179 PLUS an AACTE All-Access fee of $10, for a TOTAL of $189 per night, per reservation.
Reservation Deadline January 27, 2016

Included in the $10 AACTE All-Access fee: in-room and property-wide Wi-Fi (including the meeting rooms), access to the Fitness Center at the Mirage Spa, daily newspaper available for pick-up, unlimited local and toll-free calls, and complimentary Business Center access with up to 10 free copies permitted per day.

All reservations must be made by January 27, 2016, to receive the AACTE room rate (while space is available).

Hotel Reservation

The link for hotel reservations will be available exclusively on your registration confirmation. Click here to register.

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Travel Information

The Mirage Hotel is located on the Las Vegas Strip. From McCarran International Airport (LAS), the property is accessible via taxi, airport shuttle, or public transportation. For easy booking of flights, click here to utilize AACTE's travel agency.


AACTE is going paper free!
We have eliminated program books.
You will be able to access the full agenda and plan your schedule in AACTE's Online Event Planner.


2016 Annual Meeting at a Glance (subject to change)

Sunday, February 21, 2016
1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. New Board Member Orientation
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Board of Directors Dinner
Monday, February 22, 2016
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. AACTE Headquarters Open
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Exhibitor Set-up in Conference Community Center
8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Board of Director's Meeting
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Holmes Scholars Preconference Sessions (By Invite Only)
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. NIC Preconference (By Invite Only)
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. TAG Business Meetings
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Leadership Preconference in Partnership With the Wallace Foundation (Invite Only)
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Registration Open
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. CPPA Preconference (Separate Registration Required)
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. AACTE Volunteers' Reception (By Invite Only)
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. AACTE Committee Meetings
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Registration/AACTE Headquarters/Press Office Open
7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Affiliate Group Meetings (may require separate registration)
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Holmes Scholars Deans and Coordinators' Meeting
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Registration/AACTE Headquarters/Press Office Open
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. ACSR Business Meeting
9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Concurrent Sessions
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Holmes Scholars Business Meeting
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Concurrent Sessions
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Brunch Available*
11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Conference Community Center Open
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Welcoming Session
1:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Major Forums
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Around the Association in 60 Minutes
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Leadership Academy Reception

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Opening Reception*
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast*
8:00 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. Conference Community Center Open
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Registration/AACTE Headquarters/Press Office Open
9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Affiliate Group Meetings (may require separate registration)
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Major Forums
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Concurrent Sessions
11:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Coffee Break Available*
11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. AACTE Town Hall Meeting
1:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. AACTE Job and Information Fair*
1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Concurrent Sessions
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Deans Academy Meeting
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Holmes Scholars Closing Session
4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Receptions by Various Groups/Institutions/Organizations
Thursday, February 25, 2016
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast*
8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Registration/AACTE Headquarters/Press Office Open
8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Conference Community Center Open
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Major Forums
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Concurrent Sessions
12:15 p.m. - 1:35 p.m. Speaker Spotlight Session
1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Concurrent Sessions
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Committee on Meetings & Professional Development Business Meeting


All sessions marked with * will be in the Conference Community Center, located in Mirage Events Center B.
All Sessions in bold will have no other sessions scheduled against them.
For information on Affiliate Group Meeting registration, contact your Affiliate Group.

Conference Content

Welcoming Session Featured Speaker

Pedro Noguera
Pedro Noguera is the Distinguished Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences at UCLA. Dr. Noguera is a sociologist whose scholarship and research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts.

Read full bio


Major Forums

Clinical Practice in Educator Preparation

The AACTE Clinical Practice Commission will report its findings and recommendations regarding effective models and a common lexicon for practice. In addition, panelists from selected universities and their collaborating schools will discuss their robust partnerships centered on student learning. Presenters will address questions related to capacity, governance, creation and maintenance, and outcomes of clinical practice partnerships.


(How) Can the Profession Specify Standards of Practice for Entry to Teaching?

TeachingWorks invites you to join a conversation around the threshold for entry of novices to the profession. What must beginning teachers know and be able to do? What can initial preparation programs reasonably strive to accomplish that can contribute to the quality of entry-level teaching? What features should be common to all programs, and what should vary (and why)? Will variation improve equity, or could it exacerbate inequality?


The Problem Spaces We Inhabit: How We Make Tough Choices

Get a global view of the many influences on work in the educational system in this forum with the National Teacher of the Year and mind/brain education scholars. Consider how to effectively manage the problem spaces we inhabit by recognizing the forces that shape our behavior and thinking. Explore perspectives on what education should look like, what counts as learning and knowing, and what role teachers play in these spaces.


A Regional Lens to Addressing Teacher Shortage and Distribution by Subject and Location 

Go behind the scenes on school staffing challenges in this panel discussion sponsored by AACTE’s Advisory Council of State Representatives. Discuss the contributing factors to teacher shortages and inequitable distribution of educators in various communities around the nation. Panelists from the western region will share their observations and insights on these issues from their professional experiences.

Equity, Access, and the Digital Divide: Challenges for Teacher Education

For some years, the mantra of a diverse group of stakeholders—including educational leaders, technology- and media-focused businesses, policy makers, think tanks, and community-based organizations—has been that access to high-quality technological tools is key to addressing the achievement gap observed in the United States and worldwide. But increasingly, questions have arisen regarding what technologically based tools really do make a difference, what context is critical for successful introduction and integration of such tools, what scale of implementation might be possible, and, perhaps most importantly for AACTE, how to best prepare and support teachers to develop the skills necessary to make use of such tools in powerfully educative ways.

The goal of this JTE-sponsored forum is to bring together representatives of stakeholder institutions and organizations to raise issues about how AACTE members should work together to effectively respond to the challenges teachers face in using technology to meet the needs of all students despite the inequities posed by the digital divide.


Innovative Strategies to Recruit and Retain a Diverse Teaching Workforce

Over the past year, AACTE and its members have been working to build new pathways and communities dedicated to increasing the recruitment and retention of educators from historically underrepresented groups into the teaching profession. In this forum, participants in AACTE’s Changing the Demographic Makeup of the Teacher Workforce Networked Improvement Community and the AACTE Holmes Program will present an update of their progress and developments since the last AACTE Annual Meeting.

Conference Theme and Strands


Meeting the Demands of Professional Practice: Tough Questions, Tough Choices

Preparing educational professionals to serve all learners, their schools, families, and communities is both a high calling and a demanding one. Expectations for academic achievement placed on learners and schools are increasing while families and communities continue to face unprecedented economic and social challenges. More than ever, the profession of teaching places great demands on its practitioners, and preparation must match the demands of practice. A shared, profession-wide commitment to meeting the demands of practice is essential to the success of our enterprise. Indeed, a shared vision of professional practice must be the foundation for our shared efforts at continuous improvement and will also be essential to countering with conviction and credibility a chorus of misinformed critiques and a flurry of misguided mandates. Further, as the number and diversity of educator preparation providers (EPPs) has grown, there is an urgent need to forge a common narrative around the standards for professional practice. As a central player in a united profession, educator preparation must face tough questions, make tough choices, and do so in collaboration with all parties whose participation is essential to quality educator preparation and quality educational practice.

Contemporary debates over educator preparation policy and practice revolve around the academic qualifications of teacher candidates, the diversity and supply of candidates recruited to teaching, the rigor of clinical experiences, the validity of measures for confirming readiness for practice, the effectiveness of pedagogy, and more. Too often, discussion of these important dimensions are dominated by proposals to base judgments of success or failure solely on the results of tests administered to program completers' PK-12 students – the same narrow evidentiary base that has been privileged in conversations about teacher and school effectiveness. In pursuing the field's own aspirations, as well as in countering the reductionist complaints of critics, a unified effort rooted in strong relationships with our professional colleagues in practice is essential. We must establish new conventions that are centered on PK-12 practice so that the whole profession – PK-12 and EPP partners – contributes together to candidate development and candidate success. Our research-to-practice connection must become more organic and disciplined by an explicit commitment to addressing problems of practice. Our advocacy efforts must be devoted to advancing best practice, as established by rigorous routines of professional consensus.

The AACTE 68th Annual Meeting will feature exemplars of programs and partnerships that have brought professional consensus on practice to all aspects of educator preparation. Together, we will address the hard questions and tensions that challenge our ability to pursue a common vision of quality educational service. Education leaders and learners alike are invited to share their work around crafting answers to problems of practice that benefit student development – even when the approach challenges familiar conventions.

The following conference strands focus on the critical elements of educator preparation and our relationship with colleagues in practice. Each strand will frame sessions that reflect the hard questions pertaining to professionalism, engagement, programs and practice, and assessment.

Strand I – Professionalism: Values in Action

In recent years, the teacher preparation field and teaching profession have come under scrutiny from the public, from policy makers, and from within. As a field, we face hard choices in how we respond to this scrutiny. Many would argue that the time has come for standards of the profession to be as strictly defined as they are in medicine and law. Are there specific standards to which all teacher educators and/or teachers should be held? How do we define what it means to be a professional educator? How do we prepare candidates to maintain a level of professionalism that can garner public respect and empower communities?

This strand honors programs that have addressed conflicting theories of action with leadership and conviction by engaging in courageous conversations and critical reflection, and by implementing rigorous and culturally responsive selection and admission practices as well as pedagogy.

Sessions in this strand will focus on practices and evidence that the profession is living up to moral, ethical, and professional standards that can help shift perspectives regarding the status and credibility of teachers and teacher educators. Presenters are encouraged to address one or more of the following questions:

  • How do you define professional educator, and how do you prepare your candidates to be professionals?
  • How are you, as teacher educators, modeling a commitment to professional standards?
  • How does your program incorporate emerging consensus regarding high-leverage practices in pedagogy?
  • How do you develop and/or monitor professionalism through ethical behavior and dispositions in your candidates?
  • How do you promote teacher leadership in your candidates and graduates?
  • How are you developing the capacity for leadership and professional collaboration in your teacher candidates?
  • In what innovative ways are you promoting the profession through efforts in recruitment selectivity and/or candidate retention?
  • How do you honor professionalism by advancing access and opportunity for underrepresented groups?
  • In what difficult conversations do you engage as you help candidates move from preservice teachers to professional educators?
  • How can research and practice promote a new perspective on the role of teacher educators?
  • How are you and your colleagues holding one another to standards of professional practice?

Strand II – Engagement: Hard Choices in Connecting With All Stakeholders

Engagement connotes communicating, listening, and responding among parties. The act of engaging builds a mutual understanding that action is necessary and ongoing. Student engagement, a concept taught in educator preparation everywhere, requires preservice candidates to actively connect students with what is being taught to focus and sustain their attention throughout a lesson. Our profession is charged with knowing not only how to engage and sustain this narrative of learning, but also with whom.

As educators, we also engage with our stakeholders. We not only develop and mentor preservice teachers and prepare them for working in the schools; true engagement requires that we communicate with teachers in schools, students in schools, parents in the community, and leaders in the community – making relevant connections from “grass roots to tree tops.”

Sessions in this strand will focus on practices of engagement at multiple levels, provide evidence that the profession understands the essential nature of engagement, and demonstrate how commitment to the engagement process is sustained. Presenters are encouraged to address one or more of the following questions:

  • How does your faculty engage with the community in relevant and professional ways?
  • How do you engage with the business community to help change the perception of teacher preparation?
  • How has your program addressed the challenges of public criticism – what hard choices have you had to make – and how have you collaborated in the problem-solving process?
  • How do you develop the capacity in preservice teachers to maintain communication with essential stakeholders in ways that advance the profession?
  • How do you define scholarship of engagement?
  • What reframing or revisioning has been necessary to improve your engagement practices?
  • How are you engaging the community in conversations about how you prepare your candidates for teaching in diverse communities?
  • How are you engaging with high-need school districts as you prepare your candidates for effective teaching?
  • What is the evidence that your engagement has had an impact on the community or PK-12 schools?

Strand III – Programs and Practices:
Making Hard Choices Through Critical Reflection, Review, and Innovation

Programs and practices that are viewed with integrity are those that are vetted through rigorous critique and reflection. National and state standards, while based on what is viewed to be best practice, should also frame a vision and agenda for innovation – an abiding determination to improve results – based on a solid foundation of professional standards. Programs and practice evolve as the challenges of the profession are met. Programs and practices that are driven by overarching principles drawn from a vision of innovation provide venues for growth and improvement.

The purpose of this strand is to document evidence of programs and practices that represent successful innovation at different levels, such as the school and community, the university or college, and state education agencies. Sessions will share and celebrate work that affects the field, engages community, and advances the development of preprofessional candidates and professional educators.

Sessions in this strand will focus on innovative practices that honor program standards, hard choices in maintaining program integrity, commitment to best practices, and preparation of candidates for effective teaching in PK-12 schools. Presenters are encouraged to address one or more of the following questions:

  • What are the successful hallmarks of your programs and practices? How might these hallmarks be adopted by other programs?
  • How have your programs and practices managed core conventions such as academic freedom in relation to curriculum, instruction, and assessment when working toward cohesive curriculum and experiences in teacher preparation?
  • How do you define and document your vision of an effective teacher, and how do you prepare your candidates to meet this definition?
  • What is the evidence that links research to practice in your program?
  • How does your program assess depth of understanding of programs and practices among faculty, student teachers, partners, and other collaborators?
  • How does your program prepare teachers to serve the highest-need students in the most challenging conditions?
  • What sustained benefits has your professional preparation program attained as you embrace the use of technology to provide access for all learners?
  • How does your program make the hard choices to integrate and manage diverse visions and perspectives?
  • How does your program address the teacher supply and workforce needs of your community?
  • What models of research are illuminating effective and empowering teacher preparation in support of student teachers and/or their mentors to meet the needs of all students?
  • What hard choices have you made in balancing program quality and impact measures?

Strand IV – Assessment: Hard Choices in Program Improvement

Today's EPPs operate in an era of accountability. Multiple stakeholders (PK-12 schools, parents, program graduates, prospective students, legislators, policy leaders, and communities) demand to know that program graduates are prepared to help all students learn.

Programs are being challenged to locate their vision and innovations in the context of PK-12 student learning. Our field has to demonstrate not only the ability to implement ambitious assessment initiatives, but also the capacity to improve programs based on assessment outcomes.

The purpose of this strand is to provide a forum for descriptions of program impact on PK-12 student achievement, candidate perceptions of their professional preparation, and employer satisfaction in relation to subsequent program revision and improvement.Sessions in this strand will focus on assessment, highlighting its impact in PK-12 schools, teachers' critical reflection, and teacher educators' hard choices in implementing program improvement. Presenters are encouraged to address one or more of the following questions:

  • How have you used performance assessments (e.g., edTPA) to achieve program improvement?
  • How does your program assess candidates' or graduates' impact on PK-12 student learning?
  • What are models for using assessment data to effect continuous improvement?
  • How have you used multiple measures to demonstrate student learning growth?
  • How have you worked – at a single institution or in collaboration with other universities – to develop measures of employer satisfaction?
  • How has increased candidate selectivity affected your teacher preparation program?
  • What research has been conducted to assess teacher preparation program criteria as predictors for PK-12 student learning?
  • How have your program improvement efforts encountered institutional resistance?
  • How have you worked with school partners to implement assessment-based program improvements?
  • In what ways do you engage in critical reflection of your work, and how has this reflection influenced your practice?
  • How do you define graduate success, and what is the evidence of this success?

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AACTE holds its Annual Meeting, the premier educator preparation conference in the nation, in late February/early March each year. The Annual Meeting provides a forum for educators to engage in meaningful discussions, share research and practices, and become better equipped to drive change in the educator preparation field. Join the nationwide conversation on educator preparation's future, while connecting with over 2,000 education leaders and suppliers, and let us help you achieve your most ambitious goals by attending our Annual Meeting.

Location: The Mirage :: Las Vegas, NV

Call for Entries: 2016 AACTE Awards

  • Submission Deadline for Outstanding Book Award: June 17, 2015
  • Submission Deadline for Outstanding Dissertation Award: August 17, 2015
  • Submission Deadline for All Other Awards: October 9, 2015

View Call for Entries Submit Online

Award winners will be honored at the 2016 AACTE Annual Meeting, February 23–25 in Las Vegas, during the general sessions.

See What You Missed in 2015

Visit the Learning Center to watch video recordings from previous Annual Meetings. Welcome Sessions and Speaker Spotlight Sessions are public, while other recordings are available only to conference registrants.

AACTE News15
See What you Missed
Marc Tucker
Marc Tucker
Lin Goodwin
Lin Goodwin
Etta Hollins
Etta Hollins
Town Hall Meeting
Town Hall Meeting
Major Forums
Major Forums

Future Annual Meetings

  • 2016 - February 23-25, The Mirage, Las Vegas | Las Vegas, NV
  • 2017 - March 2-4, Tampa Convention Center | Tampa, FL
  • 2018 - March 1-3, Baltimore Convention Center | Baltimore, MD
  • 2019 – February 22-24, Kentucky International Convention Center | Louisville, KY
  • 2020 – February 28 – March 1, Atlanta Marriott Marquis | Atlanta, GA
CPPA Preconference

Rubrics, and Validity, and Reliability: Oh My!

EPPs are working diligently to meet increased expectations surrounding accountability of their programs and their completers' impact on PK-12 student learning. This half-day preconference session will provide opportunities for teacher educators to discuss how they are meeting these expectations, develop valid and reliable rubrics to assess candidates' performance in clinical experiences, and acquire strategies to respond to the call for accountability.

Registration Fee: $50


Annual Meeting Highlights