Representing NCU through education leadership
Connie Gayle, M.A., assistant professor of education and director of the School of Education, has been elected as president of the Minnesota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE).
MACTE, the Minnesota chapter of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, functions on behalf of 30 member schools that train teachers to work together with schools, the Department of Education, and the Board of Teaching.
This is a four-year appointment in which Gayle will serve the first year as president elect, followed by two years as the president and the last year as past president.
Gayle said, “I am very excited for this opportunity to be able to represent and lead all of the Minnesota colleges which provide high quality teacher preparation, as well as work with the representatives on future policies.”
Becoming an influencer
In June, Gayle will represent MACTE and serve as a representative to the AACTE Advisory Council of State Representatives, and will be going to Washington, D.C. for a week of training and meeting with legislators.
The June training includes participating in a forum to discuss trends in state policies related to educator preparation. In addition, Gayle will have opportunities to interact with other leaders from across the United States, learn strategies, and collaborate to increase the Minnesota chapter’s capacity and advocate for the profession.
While in Washington, Gayle will also have meet with state representatives and access the latest information on education policy from Capitol Hill.
The power of collaboration
Gayle sees collaboration as a powerful tool for her new role. “My big focus going in is collaboration,” she said. “If we work together for something bigger than each of us separately, we can make a huge impact.”
This year, Gayle pioneered a collaborative after-school reading lab at North Central that met with great success. “We had students who needed training in reading education, kids in the neighborhood not reading at grade level, and parents who wanted positive activities for their kids after school,” Gayle explained.
North Central partnered with Hope Academy in Minneapolis to create a program that accomplished all three goals.
The next generation
Training the next generation of teachers is a passion for Gayle. “It’s rough out there!” she noted. In part because of the changing teaching environment, there has been a drop of almost 50 percent in the past four years of students attending college to be teachers.
Undaunted, Gayle is committed to helping provide educators for future students. “It’s on a decline and we have to do something to change it,” Gayle said. “We can change it, but it will take a lot of work.”
A graduate of North Central University (B.A.) and St. Catherine University (M.A.), Gayle anticipates completing her Doctor of Education in Reading and Literacy Leadership from Cappella University this summer. Her teaching background includes teaching in the Minneapolis Public Schools, starting a charter school, and working in early childhood education. She has been a North Central faculty member since 2011.