Preparing Educators as Leaders

Educators serving students. Students serving educators.

Currently, PDS students at KU may complete either their entire senior year or just the spring semester at a designated PDS site. Some of the required coursework during the second half of the fall semester is taught in a cohort of PDS students. This program is designed for PDS students only and fulfills requirements for ELPS 537: The Governance and Organization of Schools. This course is taught from mid-October through the end of the fall semester.

PDS students complete the required hours of coursework together with PDS onsite hours each week. The onsite hours are designed to connect the content of the class with the practical and everyday applications to each specific site. PDS students are also expected to learn the culture and the climate of their school during their weekly visits. Combined, this experience prepares PDS teacher candidates to begin their spring student teaching experience immediately. The cohort model is designed to build lasting collaborative relationships with other student teachers as a support structure for the success of their futures.

During the spring semester, an additional PDS cohort class is designed to fulfill the requirements of C&T 495 Seminar: Developing the Teaching Portfolio. This bi-weekly class is held at PDS sites and is taught in conjunction with PDS site professional educators. It allows teacher candidates to discuss their experiences, receive site-related timely topics presented by PDS school staff, and receive support and training to complete their Kansas Performance Teaching Portfolio (KPTP).

All education students who wish to be part of the PDS experience indicate their choice during the "Intent to Student Teach" application process. 

KU PDS Alliance Contacts

Joseph NovakDr. Joe Novak
PDS Director

Joseph R. Pearson 426

Nicole SingletonDr. Nicole S. Babalola
PDS Coordinator

Joseph R. Pearson 349

View the latest PDS recruitment video here.

10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
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#1 public program in nation for special education
—U.S. News & World Report
Assists public schools and other partners in all 105 Kansas counties
$938,377 in scholarship funds awarded to 420+ students
Research expenditures of $36,804,773 for 2011-12
Research from KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, assists educators, children, and families across the United States
The award-winning special education faculty published 140 refereed articles, 11 books, and 60 chapters in 2015-16
Students with intellectual disabilities are participating in KU undergraduate programs through a grant-funded KU special education program
Researchers on a $3.5 million grant are collecting data on an innovative reading program designed to teach reading to students with the most significant disabilities in seven Kansas school districts
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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