NASUP Exemplary PDS Award Guidelines

Nominations are now closed.  Check back for 2025 nomination deadlines. Check out this VIDEO for more information when submitting nominations.

2024 Awardees, University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Isaac Bear Early College & Southeast Area Technical College

“Our PDS partnership with IBEC and SEA-Tech reflects our shared PDS commitment to improve student learning by enhancing the quality of teaching and school leadership to ensure that student work is challenging, engaging, and relevant. As hubs of innovation, the partnership schools see students for who they are and for their potential, which enhances not only our PDS mission and vision, but the broader overlapping mission and value statements of the college and university, focusing on transformation, innovation, inquiry, and diversity.  Some of the key initiatives in this partnership include the PDS Master Teacher Program, PDS Promise of Leadership, and National Board Certification Support Program. Over the last ten years of this partnership, there has been a high value placed on building strong relationships and the importance of knowing the whole student, their backgrounds, student and community assets, and the ways in which these factors inform and influence teaching and learning.” ~from 2024 Awards Ceremony

Award Information


The NASUP Award for Exemplary Professional Development School Achievement recognizes distinctive PDS partnerships for their ongoing contributions to the mission and vision of NASUP.the National Association for Professional Development Schools.

NASUP acknowledges that exemplary achievement takes place in large, multi-institutional partnerships as well as in single-site arrangements between P-12 and higher education; in well-funded and in budget-challenged partnerships; in long-standing collaborations as well as in recently established PDS’s.  We seek to recognize PDS excellence wherever it manifests itself.


Applications for the award must include a formal partnership of at least one P-12 school and an institution of higher education.  Applications may feature a multi-site PDS network or may highlight a single school and its collaboration with a college/university. Applications for the award are restricted to such relationships that support the mission and vision of NASUP.  Applications must include participation by one or more NASUP members who have had their contributions documented through publication in one of the NASUP publications or by presenting at the PDS National Conference within four years prior to the application deadline.  Past recipients of the award are not eligible to apply again until at least four years have elapsed, although separate branches of a university’s PDS network may apply without restriction.


Applications for the 2024 Exemplary PDS Achievement Award must be received electronically by the NASUP awards committee no later than January 22, 2024.  Click this link to access the application submission form. 


Applications for the award must provide the following: 

1.  A cover sheet section of no more than 2 pages that includes: 

  • the name, title, mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address for two individuals serving as the Primary Contacts for the partnership (one from P-12, one from higher ed);
  • the names and positions of all individuals who contributed to the writing of the application;
  • the names of all members of the partnership who are current NASUP members;
  • a representative list of collaborative presentations or publications on PDS-related topics involving P-12 and higher education members of the partnership in the past four years.
  • NOTE: The Awards Committee acknowledges that funding, partnership size and geography may affect the number of individuals who are in a position to join NASUP or attend its National Conference. Appropriate consideration will be given to all worthy applications regardless of funding, size or geography.  Similarly, the Committee recognizes that important PDS-related presentations and publications may be made in other settings and journals. [The cover sheet section does not count toward the 12-page narrative described below.]

2.  A well-written narrative of no more than 12 double-spaced pages  (12 pt. font) that highlights the partnership’s work in fulfilling the promise of the 9 PDS Essentials (2nd ed.).  The narrative should include the following sections:

  • Partnership Setting: A concise description of the partnership setting, its component institutions, and the key leadership roles played by P-12 and higher ed stakeholders (1-2 pages);
  • Partnership Shared Resources: A brief description of how resources are shared and how participants are recognized and rewarded for their contributions across institutional settings (1-2 pages);
  • Distinctiveness of Partnership: Any unique features that characterize the partnership in terms of mission, organization, funding, geographical setting, political environment, linked to the 9 essentials (1-2 pages);
  • 9 Essentials in Action: The key section of the narrative is a description of how the partnership is particularly distinctive in fulfilling the mission and vision of NASUP through one or more of the newly released 9 Essentials (2nd edition).  When appropriate, data supporting accomplishments and achievements should be included. (5-7 pages). It is not necessary to address all essentials. It is more compelling to share those that are highlighted through the work of the partnership.  However, special consideration will be given to applications that highlight essential 1in that the PDS partnership shows an ongoing effort to support justice, equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism.
  • NOTE:  Reviewers will not open embedded links.

3. These items should be included as appendices, but do not count toward the 12-page application limit: 

  • A copy of the partnership mission statement;
  • A copy of the partnership’s written articulation agreement
  • (Optional) Up to two letters of support from university or school district leaders.

NOTE:  The nine essentials of PDS work are detailed in the 2021 NASUP statement titled, “What It Means to be a Professional Development School. (The full statement can be found here.)

  • Essential 1 A comprehensive mission:  A professional development school (PDS) is a learning community guided by a comprehensive, articulated mission that is broader than the goals of any single partner, and that aims to advance equity, antiracism, and social justice within and among schools, colleges/universities, and their respective community and professional partners
  • Essential 2 Clinical Preparation: A PDS embraces the preparation of education through clinical practice 
  • Essential 3 Professional Learning and Leading:  A PDS is a context for continuous professional learning and leading for all participants, guided by need and a spirit and practice of inquiry
  • Essential 4 Reflection and Innovation:  A PDS makes a shared commitment to reflective practice, responsive innovation, and generative knowledge.
  • Essential 5 Research and Results:  A PDS is a community that engages in collaborative research and participates in the public sharing of results in a variety of outlets.
  • Essential 6 Articulated Agreements:  A PDS requires intentionally evolving written articulated agreement(s) that delineate the commitments, expectations, roles, and responsibilities of all involved.
  • Essential 7 Shared Governance Structures:  A PDS is built upon shared, sustainable governance structures that promote collaboration, foster reflection, and honor and value all participants’ voices.
  • Essential 8  Boundary Spanning Roles:  A PDS creates space for, advocates for, and supports college/university and P–12 faculty to operate in well-defined, boundary-spanning roles that transcend institutional settings.
  • Essential 9 Resources and Recognition:  A PDS provides dedicated and shared resources and establishes traditions to recognize, enhance, celebrate, and sustain the work of partners and the partnership.


The NASUP Awards Committee, consisting of individuals with a balanced representation from the P-12 and college/university communities, will use the selection criteria to determine how the PDS Partnership fulfills the Essentials presented and will recommend the recipient(s) of the award to the NASUP Leadership Team. Upon approval of the Leadership Team, the recipient(s) will be notified immediately in order to encourage partnership representation at the awards ceremony of the annual conference.


The chair of the NASUP Awards Committee will present the award to the winner at the awards ceremony of the annual conference.


The award shall be publicized in the publications of the NASUP, on its website, and in other appropriate NASUP venues. The primary contact persons for the partnership will receive a formal press release to use in publicizing the award.

Previous Award Recipients


  • University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Isaac Bear Early College & Southeast Area Technical College


  • Centreville Elementary School and George Mason University


  • Kansas State University and Manahattan-Ogden USD Partnership
  • Notre Dame of Maryland University Professional Development Schools Network
  • William Paterson University and Paterson Public Schools


  • Bowie State University Professional Development Schools Network
  • California Lutheran Professional Development Schools Network
  • University of North Carolina Charlotte – Kannapolis City Elementary Schools PDS Partnership
  • Salisbury University PDS Partnership with the Wicomico County Public Schools


  • Brigham Young University Public School PDS Partnership
  • George Mason University Daniels Run Elementary PDS Partnership
  • Rowan University PDS Network


  • University of South Florida and Mort Elementary Community Partnership PDS
  • University of South Carolina PDS Network


  • SUNY Buffalo State Professional Development School Consortium
  • Federal Hocking Local Schools/Ohio University C.A.R.E. Professional Development School Partnership
  • Penn State University/State College Area School District Professional Development School Partnership
  • Waco Independent School District/Baylor University Professional Development School Partnership


  • Baylor University/Midway ISD Professional Development School Partnership
  • Monmouth University Professional Development School Partnership
  • Salisbury University PDS Partnership with Snow Hill Elementary School


  • George Mason University, Fairfax County Public Schools, Prince Williams County Schools, Manassas Park City Schools
  • Quinnipiac University School of Education, Side by Side Charter School Fair Haven Elementary School


  • Bowie State University PDS Network
  • Emporia State University Professional Development School
  • North Springs Elementary School and the University of South Carolina
  • Salisbury University and Mardela Middle & High School PDS
  • Clarke County School District & University of Georgia College of Education Professional Development School District
  • PDS Relationship between Dreher High School and the University of South Carolina


  • Athens City Schools and the Patton College Center for PDS Partnerships at Ohio University
  • Millersville University Secondary Education Professional Development School
  • The Elementary Block Network in the Watson College of Education Professional Development System at the University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • The University of South Florida College of Education Partnership with the Hillsborough County Public Schools


  • Professional Development School Collaboration between Lake Carolina Elementary School and the University of South Carolina
  • Winthrop University University-School Partnership Network
  • Professional Development School Collaboration between Friendship Elementary School and the University of Central Florida
  • Professional Development School Collaboration between Holly Glen Elementary and Edward R. Johnstone Elementary Schools, and Rowan University


  • Benedum Collaborative (West Virginia)
  • Brigham Young University – Public School Partnership
  • Marietta Middle School/Kennesaw State University PDS
  • Minnesota State University Mankato PDS Partnership
  • Timbercrest – University of Central Florida PDS


  • Buffalo State College, School of Education, Department of Elementary Education and Reading Professional Development School Consortium
  • Cleveland State University Master of Urban Secondary Teaching and Cleveland School of Science and Medicine
  • Kansas State University College of Education PDS Partnership
  • Rice Creek Elementary School and the University of South Carolina PDS
  • Salisbury University and Worcester County Public Schools Snow Hill Elementary/Worcester Elementary PDS Cluster


  • The Indiana State University Professional Development School Partnership
  • The Queens University of Charlotte/ Myers Park Traditional Elementary School PDS
  • The Towson University -Waterloo-Ilchester-Bellows Spring Elementary Education-Special Education Dual Certification PDS
  • The University of South Carolina Professional Development School Network


  • Penn State University and State College Area School District Elementary Professional Development School Collaborative
  • North Springs Elementary School – Columbia, SC
  • North Florida Urban Professional Development School Partnership