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A Preservice Educator Program
Serving Western PA's High-Needs Communities

ASSET’s Partnerships to Advance Learning in STEM (PALS) initiative is an organic, responsive program to address complex education challenges. This preservice educator program serves to support teacher candidates working within a virtual learning environment as they endeavor to provide tutoring for high-needs students. PALS leverages existing resources within the educational non-profit community, harnessing the power of collaboration amongst community members and stakeholders, and encouraging the use of human-centered design principles.

Theoretical Framework

First started in Spring 2021, PALS simultaneously targets two learner groups -- teachers in training, and K-12 students in afterschool programs -- both of whom experienced dismaying learning disruptions due to the pandemic and shifting priorities within education.


Today, the pathway to becoming a professional educator is a complicated process of meshing research, coursework, and actual practice. The realities of today’s classroom - the context, the ecosystems comprised of diverse learners with varied needs - are complex.


PALS aligns professional learning to practice so that Next Generation Educators are experiencing the conditions for effective teaching as soon as their freshman year of college.


With PALS, ASSET aims to change the model of engagement for preservice educators to include a series of hands-on, minds-on residencies which engage them in responsive, meaningful, one-on-one interactions with learners.


There is no better time than the present to establish a new, vibrant, experiential modality of training for the next generation of educators.

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