An intentional partnership is a school–university relationship that forges constructive interaction between a selected local school and the School of Education to create sustained engagement with questions of teaching and learning.

"The educational exchanges with the University of Puget Sound and the University of Washington Tacoma provide McCarver students an opportunity to envision themselves in higher education. While engaged in team-building activities, the college students mentor 5th graders to work cooperatively and develop academic skills. I firmly believe that the educational exchanges are one of the most important experiences I can give my students."
- Sheila Haase, 5th Grade Teacher, McCarver Elementary School, Tacoma, WA

Tacoma Public Schools Partnerships

Lincoln High School (2005 – present)

The School of Education has engaged actively with Tacoma’s Lincoln High School to prepare educators for effective, collaborative work in urban schools. Each year, M.A.T. candidates are actively involved in various experiences at Lincoln, including completing practicum experiences, participating in after-school programs, joining professional development activities with experienced educators, and completing student teaching.

Long-term collegial connections and active communication mark this school-university relationship. Recent engagements include:

  • Partnership meetings: School of Education faculty, Lincoln’s instructional coach, M.A.T. candidates, and Lincoln mentors share experiences about the best ways to support pre-service teachers.
  • Faculty participation in classrooms: Professor Fred Hamel observed, participated, and taught in Lincoln classrooms from 2007–12 and in 2016.
  • Visits to the School of Education by Lincoln's principal and assistant principal to share insights about the teaching and learning culture at Lincoln with M.A.T. candidates.

In 2016-17, at least 15 members of the Lincoln High School staff were M.A.T. alumni.

To learn more about this partnership, see:

McCarver Elementary school (2009 – present)

Professors Amy Ryken, education, and Monica DeHart, sociology and anthropology, have developed educational exchanges and community development partnerships with McCarver Elementary School in collaboration with partners at the University of Washington, Tacoma, the Greater Metro Parks Foundation, and other local community groups. The initiative includes ongoing classroom collaborations between elementary and college students to support

  • Engaging academic goals/projects in elementary and college classrooms.
  • Exposing McCarver students to different college campuses and experiences.
  • Integrating McCarver students into college-bound programs such as Access Programs.
  • Cooperating on the development and implementation of community development projects such as McCarver and Wright Park renovation efforts.

In November 2011, this partnership received the Outstanding Project Award from the Greater Metro Parks Foundation. In Fall 2016, a few of the initial 5th-grade participants in the partnership entered the University of Puget Sound as first-year students.

To learn more about this partnership, see:

Point Defiance Elementary school (2006 – 11)

Pt. Defiance Elementary Intentional Partnership emphasized the systematic crossing of multiple voices (teacher candidates, mentor teachers, university professors, principal, clinical supervisors) to create dialogue across and within institutions, where various forces and practices affecting teachers, teacher candidates, and teacher educators are made visible and discussed openly. Goals included:

  • Creating opportunities for shared examination of teaching and learning.
  • Supporting the development of beginning teachers.
  • Developing a greater awareness of the practical work and aims at each institution.

The central practice of this intentional partnership was discussion of specific dilemmas of teaching by analyzing student, teacher, and/or curriculum artifacts. To learn about how we worked to support the crossing of multiple voices and perspectives intentionally, access the publications below.

University of Puget Sound Partnerships

Race & Pedagogy Institute

The Race and Pedagogy Institute educates students and teachers at all levels to think critically about race, cultivate terms and practices for societal transformation, and act to eliminate racism. School of Education students, staff, and faculty support the institute by planning conference sessions focused on K-12 teachers and students, presenting at and attending conference sessions, supporting undergraduate students to present their work, and serving as guest editors for the race Pedagogy Journal.

M.A.T. candidates and undergraduate education students present their efforts to think critically about race at each conference. Some topics have included:

  • How can I engage all of my students in meaningful conversations about race and diversity?
  • Teaching for social justice through social studies
  • ‘Who can I be in this classroom?’ Questioning the role of schools in Latino student identity formation
  • The whole truth and nothing but the truth: Developing effective and honest relationships with Latino high school students


The School of Education and the Department of African American Studies work to develop intentional and mutually beneficial opportunities for programmatic and curricular collaboration. Our collective work is focused on unearthing, processing, and sitting with racist and historical legacies; imagining generative cross-program collaborations; supporting the ongoing work of the Race and Pedagogy Institute, and grounding teacher and counselor education in the specific context of Tacoma’s urban education environment.

Community Partnerships

Community Partners Forum / Vibrant Schools

As a part of our partnership with the Race and Pedagogy Institute, the School of Education students and faculty engage with community members who participate in the Race and Pedagogy Community Partners Forum and Vibrant Schools. The Race and Pedagogy Institute, Vibrant Schools, and the School of Education collaborated to write a successful grant proposal for the Pilot to Policy: Advancing Systemic Equity Grant. The purpose of the grant is to increase equity in educator preparation programs and to inform Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) policy related to cultural responsiveness and equity.

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