Since its inception in 1980 NCSSM has provided professional development as part of its outreach mission: “…. To act as a catalyst for educational improvement throughout North Carolina and the nation.” NCSSM offers a variety of professional development opportunities year-round; these activities include workshops, conferences, hour long sessions, collaborations and more.
The Collaborative Experience is a one-to-one partnership between an NCSSM mentor and a teacher at a distant site. The collaboration provides teachers with an opportunity to integrate technology or to introduce new content or teaching strategies into their course. The teachers and the NCSSM mentor collaborate to instruct the students. The distant site teachers maintain primary responsibility for instruction and evaluation of their students. This is a particularly effective opportunity for educators who are new to their field or who are teaching out of field to observe and experience discovery-based learning, new approaches to introducing new units/topics, different approaches to teaching difficult topics, and demonstrations of labs and other types of learning activities. NCSSM Distance Education teachers partner with high schools to create teacher collaborations. The collaboration provides teachers with an opportunity to integrate technology and new approaches into an existing course, adopt a new course or develop an AP course. Teachers involved in collaborations meet once per week with the class and once per week to plan and to discuss issues. Collaborations are effective for new teachers and teachers teaching out of field. Collaboration opportunities vary by semester.