High Quality Partnerships: Exploring Cross-Institutional Professional Development



Cross-institutional professional development emphasizes the partnership between institution of higher education (IHE) and professional development school (PDS) professionals and benefits from the experts on both campuses. As we explore supporting pre- and in-service teachers and administrators, bringing together PDS and IHE professionals within and across campuses, several advantages emerge.

Cross-institutional professional development provides opportunities for teachers to collaborate with colleagues from different institutions, which can expand their perspectives and expose them to new ideas and best practices. This exposure to diverse perspectives can help teachers to become more effective educators and better serve the needs of their students.

By participating in cross-institutional professional development, teachers can gain access to experts in their field who may not be available at their institution. This can help them to learn about the latest research, teaching strategies, and technologies, which they can then bring back to their classrooms.

Cross-institutional professional development can also provide networking opportunities for teachers. By meeting and collaborating with educators from other institutions, they can build professional relationships that may lead to future collaborations.

Participating in cross-institutional professional development can help pre- and in-service teachers, administrators, and teacher educators to grow professionally and keep up with the latest developments in their field. This can help them to stay relevant and to continue to be effective educators throughout their careers.

The theme of this special issue  of the School-University Partnerships journal is to explore the ways that cross-institutional professional development impacts collaboration, knowledge sharing, and professional growth among educators.

Proposed topics for this special issue could include, but are not limited to, the following:

Relevant Professional Development

  • How does good professional development ensure that it is relevant to the needs and interests of the participants?
  • How can needs assessments, surveys, or other pre-assessments aid in the creation of professional development?

Cross-Institutional Collaboration

  • What elements contribute to collaborating across institutions? Are there specific actions, structures, or programs that establish, preserve, or strengthen these partnerships?
  • How does the school-university partnership model lend itself to this kind of collaboration?
  • What are the benefits and challenges of this kind of collaboration? How do IHE and PDS professionals work to overcome these challenges? 


  • How can cross-institutional professional development meet the needs of different participants, including those with varying levels of experience, expertise, and scheduling constraints?
  • What modalities lend themselves best to these kinds of collaborations?
  • What kinds of spaces and places might work best to host cross-institutional professional development?

Follow-up and Support

  • What access to coaching, mentoring, or supplemental materials after professional development can help participants apply what they learn?
  • How can partnerships continue post-professional development?
  • What kinds of follow-up and support can strengthen learning outcomes from professional development?

Publication of the Themed Issue

This themed issue will be published in early 2024

Submission/Author Guidelines

Articles should be a collaboration between PK-12 school-based staff, students, university faculty, and/or student interns. Authors must identify at least one of the National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS) “Nine Essentials” addressed by the submission in the manuscript. Article authors do not have to be NAPDS members. Article submission indicates that the authors have not submitted substantially similar reports to any other journal or publication.
For full consideration, articles must be submitted to the Guest Editors by October 15, 2023.


Submission Guidelines –

Articles should be a maximum of 10,000 words in length. This includes all text, the structured abstract, references, tables, figures and appendices. Article files should be provided in Microsoft Word format and follow APA 7 guidelines.  More details can be found on the SUP website under the author guidelines tab.

Submissions must be blinded, including a blinded title page and abstract, and a cover page with author name, affiliation, and email addresses plus a maximum 100 word biographies for all authors. Each submission will undergo double blind peer review. Authors will be notified of publication decisions by November 19, 2023.


Tentative Schedule for Publication

  • Call for manuscripts: June 2023
  • Submission of full articles: October 15, 2023
  • Authors will be notified of publication decisions and receive feedback through a double-blind peer review process: November 19, 2023
  • Final article revisions submitted: December 10, 2023

Proposal Submission

Please submit themed issue articles via the online system found on the journal's homepage

You may address questions to the Guest Editors:
Jess Smith: [email protected]
Ryann N. Shelton: [email protected]