What are Professional Development Schools?

Professional Development Schools (PDSs) are innovative partnerships between K-12 schools and university teacher credentialing programs.  PDSs are similar to the relationships between teaching hospitals and medical schools.  Both professions require a great deal of academic theory accompanied by clinical fieldwork.  The teaching hospital model provides medical students with specific and detailed field work, giving them an opportunity to practice theory in a realistic environment.  Similarly in a PDS, teacher candidates work for one or two semesters alongside a veteran cooperating teacher, giving them the same opportunity to connect theory to practice.

The goal of this new initiative is to improve and promote high quality learning experiences through the collaborative efforts of school and university faculty.  The overall objective of the partnership has four components which include:

The preparation of new teachers
Continued professional development for both K-12 and university faculty
Inquiry and collaboration directed at the improvement of teaching practices
Improved K-12 student achievement

Board of Directors


Carrie Birmingham, PhD, Director (2019)

Professor, Pepperdine University

Elizabeth Brown, MA., President(2020)
PDS Liaison, California Lutheran University

Cynthia Coler, EdD., Vice President (2021)
Adjunct Professor, California Lutheran University

Manuel Correia, PhD., Treasurer (2020)
Professor and Chair, California State University: Channel Islands

Michael N. Cosenza, EdD., Past Pres. (2019)

PDS Director, California Lutheran University

Antoinette Dodge, MA, Director (2021)
Principal, Laguna Vista School

Charmon Evans, MA., Director (2020)
Executive Director, University Charter Preparatory Schools

Belinda Karge, PhD., Secretary (2019)
Professor, Concordia University

Thierry Kolpin, PhD,Director (2021)

Professor, Brandman University





Front Row (left to right): Belinda Karge, Elizabeth Brown, Cynthia Coler

Back Row (left to right): Manuel Corriea, Antoinette Dodge, Carrie Birmingham, Charmon Evans, Michael Cosenza

Not Pictured: Thierry Kolpin