Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Urban Education


Dr. Nicholas Michelli


Teacher Academy; teacher preparation


The purpose of this study has been to explore alternative and traditional teacher preparation programs through an analysis of the City University of New York's Teacher Academy program. This study explored the following three aspects of the Teacher Academy: (1) the planning phase- identifying the goal of the Teacher Academy and how the program was envisioned to change teacher preparation within the City University of New York, (2) the implementation phase- identifying the components of the Teacher Academy that were aligned with either or both alternative and traditional teacher preparation programs, and (3) the discontinuation phase- the decision by program constituents to freeze admissions into the Teacher Academy and the ultimate decision to discontinue overall admissions to the program.

The following five research questions govern this study:

1. How did the profile/characteristics of Teacher Academy candidates differ from traditional and alternate teacher preparation programs?

2. How did the planned features and components of the Teacher Academy differ from and were similar to alternate and traditional teacher preparation programs? How do these features align with the presented conceptual frameworks of: constructivism, legitimate peripheral participation, and communities of practice?

3. How did the views of the various constituents (Petrie Foundation, CUNY Central, NYU, and DOE Partnership for Teacher Excellence) influence the three phases of the Teacher Academy (planning, implementation and closure phases)?

4. What were some of the ideological perspectives and underlying beliefs regarding the mission and purpose of the CUNY Teacher Academy?

5. How did the Teacher Academy semester-based seminars, fieldwork curriculum guide, and fieldwork experience influence students' pedagogy, teaching style, disposition and philosophy of education?

The value of this study lies in the lessons learned through the interviews, surveys and program documents of the implementation of teacher-preparation innovations. The success of teacher preparation programs depends on the level of participation and support of all constituents. In addition these programs depend on the creation of a partnership in which the goals of each constituent are aligned and are clearly communicated. The goal of the study is to contribute to the understanding of teacher preparation programs and to suggest the components of both alternative and traditional teacher preparation programs that should be adapted in all teacher preparation programs.