The RETA Professional Development Model: Real Teachers, Real Changes

April 1, 2003

The Regional Educational Technology Assistance (RETA) program offers professional development opportunities to educators across the state of New Mexico in the integration of technology into academic content. The program emphasizes developing regional expertise among classroom teachers who can act as peer technology mentors in their communities. In addition, the program addresses issues of education technology policy at a statewide level and provides resources to pre-and in-service teachers through partnerships with institutions of higher education at several Regional Resource Centers (RRCs) throughout the state. The program works to reach teachers of students who are often underserved by more traditional professional development efforts. This paper address findings from the year 4 evaluation of the RETA program. A complete copy of the evaluation report can be found under Further Reading.

The state of New Mexico has one of the highest percentages of at-risk students in the country due to poverty and language diversity. The state is a minority majority state with approximately one-third of all students coming from homes where English is a second language. In addition, close to a quarter of New Mexico students do not complete high school, compared to the national average of approximately 18%. Compounding these problems are issues faced by educators working in a state with geographically isolated populations and limited access for many teachers to professional development opportunities.

The RETA program was designed to meet the multiple and unique needs of New Mexico's teaching population and to provide:

  • Locally available professional development addressing specific concerns of schools and teachers
  • Opportunity to earn graduate credit in a local setting
  • Guidance from experienced teachers in integrating technology
  • Guidance from experienced teachers in pedagogically appropriate practice
  • Opportunity to network and develop a community of peers

This is an excerpt from the presentation paper. To read the entire document, click on the Word file in the title bar.


Noga Admon
Carmen Gonzales