Professional Development Schools

Towson University has an extensive Professional Development School Network currently including more than 120 schools statewide. 

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) requires interns to complete a 100 day internship across two consecutive semesters in a Professional Development School (PDS). 

MSDE defines a Professional Development School as a collaboratively planned and implemented partnership for the academic and clinical preparation of interns and the continuous development of both school system and Institution of Higher Education (IHE) faculty. The focus of the PDS partnership is improved student performance through research-based teaching and learning. A PDS may involve a single or multiple schools, school systems and IHEs and may take many forms to reflect specific partnership activities and approaches to improving both teacher education and PreK-12 schools.

TU interns spend a minimum of 100 days over two consecutive semesters engaged in their school community learning to teach and having experiences with students of diverse backgrounds and abilities. Interns are also expected to document mastery of professional standards for beginning teachers through performance-based assessments. 

Our Towson University and school system PDS partners collaborate throughout each year to plan for and monitor the partnership’s work in meeting PDS Standards, ultimately focused on the achievement of the students in our partner schools. 

An additional level of oversight is provided by our Towson PDS Council which is comprised of school district and TU faculty and leaders. The PDS Council meets to address common issues and to advise the education unit and school districts on how to strengthen, nurture and re-vision our PDS networks. TU teacher education data is shared with and analyzed by this group.

The mission statement of the PDS Council is as follows: Professional Development School Council members advise the College of Education and Local Education Agencies on the effectiveness of PDSs from their individual perspectives and recommend goals and strategies to strengthen the communication and relationships between stakeholders in PDS partnerships.