The BranchED Framework in Action!
Come join us for our final Nuts & Bolts series based on our BranchED Framework for the Quality Preparation of Educators. We will close out this series by introducing two unique tools that implement the framework’s six principles in powerful ways.
The first instrument we will highlight is our Early Literacy Diagnostic Tool. This asset mapping tool can be used in assessing curriculum, field experiences, and faculty capacity to implement evidence-based practice with an early literacy lens.
The next tool is our Teacher Quality Indicator which captures the characteristics and/or skills of highly effective teachers. This document is helpful for EPPs and districts as it defines and provides “look fors” when observing and/or identifying highly effective teachers.
We look forward to sharing how these tools can help teacher preparation programs and districts meet the needs of our increasingly diverse student body.
Dr. Kate ZimmerDirector of the BIRCH Professional Learning Center
Dr. Kate Zimmer is BranchED’s Director of the BIRCH Professional Learning Center. In this role, Dr. Zimmer collaborates with the BIRCH professional learning and development team to create goals and design trainings for in-person and virtual programs, resources, and learning communities. In addition, Dr. Zimmer leads BranchED’s mixed reality simulation lab. This lab provides individuals with a powerful and interactive learning experience that allows the participant to purposefully practice skills that prepare them for real world situations.
Before joining BranchED, Dr. Zimmer was the Director of the AVATAR Lab and an Associate Professor of Special Education at Kennesaw State University. During her directorship, she helped serve over 7,000 students, 937 in-service teachers, and collaborated with over 19 academic disciplines.
Her scholarship centers on teacher preparation and quality, with an emphasis on innovation and educational inequities. To date, this work has yielded over fifty national and international presentations, numerous articles, and external funding.
Dr. Zimmer earned her bachelor of arts degree in Early Childhood Education from Saint Leo University and a master’s in education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Central Florida. She holds a Ph.D. in Special Education with a focus on literacy and Autism Spectrum Disorders from the University of Florida.
Dr. Patricia Alvarez McHattonSenior Vice President
Patricia Alvarez McHatton, Ph.D. is BranchED’s Senior Vice President. As Senior VP, Dr. Alvarez McHatton oversees all MSI Educator Preparation Program faculty and leader facing programming, including capacity building and professional learning initiatives. Most notably, she overseas BranchED’s National Teacher Preparation Transformation Center and BranchED’s Inclusive Rigorous Content Hub & Professional Learning Center (aka The Birch Center). Dr. Alvarez McHatton brings to BranchED a wide range of experience in higher education. She previously served as Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Student Success, and P-16 Integration at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) where she also served as the founding Dean of the College of Education and P16 Integration. As Dean, she led multiple initiatives to enhance educator preparation programs within the college, expand the educator pipeline, and cultivate and maintain strong, collaborative partnerships with districts and community members. She is the author and contributor of over fifty reports and publications and has presented at numerous conferences both nationally and internationally. Dr. Alvarez McHatton earned a bachelor’s degree in Special Education Behavior Disorders and Learning Disabilities, a master’s in Special Education Varying Exceptionalities, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Special Education and Urban Education, from the University of South Florida.