Professional Development

In 2001 the Department of Education established the Professional Educators Partnership (PEP) with twenty five schools. Today there are fourteen elementary, twelve middle schools and nine high schools from across the region were invited to participate.

The mission of the partnership is to establish mutually beneficial relationships between Valparaiso University and community educators. The partnership has evolved into many new professional relationships with administrators, professors, principals, teachers and teacher candidates. The partnership sponsors several professional development opportunities for the community including the Autumn Harvest Middle School Conference, IASP Regional Workshop, and a spring Literacy Workshop. See upcoming events for more information.

Mission Statement

The Professional Educators Partnership (PEP) seeks to establish mutually beneficial relationships between Valparaiso University and community educators for the purpose of more effectively preparing teacher candidates while benefiting area schools with access to Valparaiso University resources.


Save the Date

Be sure to mark you calendar and plan to attend one or all of this year's workshops sponsored through PEP.  

Early bird registration $100

Registration is required.


September 25, 2014 – Literacy Workshop (K-6)  


Literacy Expert Comprehension Strategies that Work, Nonfiction Matters

Keynote Speaker: Stephanie Harvey

The theme for our fall event for elementary teachers, Strategies that Work, Nonfiction Matters, features internationally recognized literacy expert, Stephanie Harvey.  How can teachers' immerse their students in the passion and wonder of learning?  Why curiosity, thinking and collaboration matters in the 21st Century classroom?  How do teachers teach thinking in the active literacy classroom?  Harvey will focus on strategies that work best with nonfiction and also present the research on inquiry circles and how they work.  

View more information >>

Download Registration Form

Early bird registration through June 20, 2014 


December 9, 2014 – PLC Workshop (Secondary, 5- 12) 


Character Matters for Academic Success: How Grit and Perseverance are Strong Predictors 

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Scott Seider, Boston University

The theme for the secondary event, Character Matters for Academic Success provides information on how grit and perseverance are strong predictors of success.  Scott Seider, author of Character Compass:  How Powerful School Culture Can Point Students toward Success will give the opening keynote address.  Seider emphasizes the importance of instilling a growth mindset, in which effort is emphasized, rather than a fixed mindset, in which students believe they are limited by their perception of their aptitude.  Current research suggests that qualities such as perseverance and self-discipline are stronger predictors of achievement than IQ tests in populations ranging form urban middle school students to West Point cadets to championship spelling bees.

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Keynote Info

Breakout Sessions

Registration opens October 10, 2014


February 11, 2015 – Middle School Conference


Improving Student Success: Managing the Madness

Keynote Speaker: Jack Berckemeyer, Award Winning Author

Award winning author, Jack Berckemeyer, Managing the Madness will be featured at the middle school conference.  Jack is known to so many as "Mr. Middle School", as his knowledge of the middle level student and his ability to relate to middle school teachers are without equal.  The workshop will focus on student motivation and effective classroom management for young adolescents. Come prepared to have your thinking challenged with creative ways to motivate students.  

Registration opens January 2015