Program Standard 4C: Questions and Answers

What is Professional Development?

    Joellen Killion, Senior Advisor for Learning Forward, describes professional development as an "event or activity to develop educators" that "focuses primarily on what is being done to promote learning.' Professional Development can refer to a wide variety of specialized training, formal education, or advanced professional learning activities intended to help educators improve their professional knowledge, competence, skill, and effectiveness. In the CASC context, PD is one component of Professional Learning, along with coaching, assessment, and the development of an Individual Induction Plan (IIP). 

How is professional development different from professional learning?

    Recent publications are distinguishing professional development from the broader term, professional learning. According to Killion (2013), professional learning is "the kind of learning expectations we have" and focuses on outcomes of "What is the learning that's taking place - how are we engaging people in a process that promotes their learning to move it toward practice?" Killion elaborates that "An individual event is not sufficient to change practice, we need a process of learning - a continuous, ongoing process of looking at how we change, adapt and grow as educators.". Professional development is often related to incremental learning or progressive growth in career stages, whereas professional learning is an ongoing process to make "development" relevant, by research, reflecting on practice, and seeking out professional learning networks and opportunities for collaboration and idea sharing. 

What are the expectations for professional development in the administrator induction program?

    Professional development for a CASC induction program should provide varied learning opportunities for candidates, matched to their identified needs and IIP goals. In some cases, the program sponsor and the candidate's employer may require a specific course and provide various professional development experiences tailored to the candidate's needs. Induction professional development should lead to a candidate's application and demonstrated competency in outcomes articulated in Program Standard 5 (CPSEL) and attainment of his or her IIP. Induction professional development supports candidates in developing professional networks where beginning administrators share best practices and challenges and build collegial support. 

What are examples of professional development that support CASC candidates and beginning administrator induction?

    In Mentoring and Induction Programs That Support New Principals (2006), Susan Villani describes induction as a multidimensional process that orients new principals to a school and school system while strengthening their knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be an educational leader. She offers a variety of strategies, adapted from Sciarappa (2004), that support beginning administrators' professional development:
    • Graduate courses
    • Assigned mentor [coach]
    • Unassigned mentor [coach]
    • Guidance by superintendents/assistant superintendents
    • Network of experienced principals
    • Network of beginning principals
    • Support from the state principals' association
    • Attendance at workshops/conferences
    • Principal shadowing
    • Visitations to other schools
    • Readings
    • Meetings with district administrators
    • Administrator internships
    • Previous experience as an assistant principal
    • Orientation provided by the district

What is the connection of the professional development component of professional learning to the other induction components of coaching and candidate assessment?

    Professional learning is the key purpose of induction as described in the CASC Program Standards. Professional Learning for beginning administrator induction includes four interrelated components: the Individual Induction Plan (IIP), Coaching, Professional Development, and Assessment. The IIP serves as a blueprint that organizes other components of the full induction program. It documents the candidate's goals and plan for learning, detailing the professional development that will be included in the program and the assessments that determine progress. The candidate's formative and summative assessments, self-reflections and feedback point to areas of strength and growth and inform professional development and coaching plans and activities. Working together in an IIP, professional development, coaching and assessment result in professional learning that enables the candidate meet CASC requirements and be recommended for the CASC.

    The other induction program components are detailed in the following modules:
    Professional Learning - Program Standard 4
    Individual Induction Plan - Program Standard 4A
    Coaching - Program Standard 4B
    Assessment - Program Standard 4D

Updated April 25, 2022