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Professional Learning Institutes


The 2020 Virtual Summer Professional Learning Institutes bring together educators across Texas around a shared commitment to advance learning and instruction for student success. This growing network of high school instructors, administrators, counselors, and college faculty have the opportunity to collaborate across campuses, deepen their expertise on innovative teaching practices through distance learning; and share best practices around engagement, recruitment, and retention strategies and academic outcomes.

Returning to OnRamps

June 23-25: Returning Instructor Virtual Summer Professional Learning Institute

Instructors returning to the same OnRamps course come together to deepen their pedagogical content knowledge for the benefit of students and their communities of practice. UT Austin faculty and OnRamps course staff facilitate synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences that promote collaboration between Returning Instructors across districts and finetune their pedagogy and skills in distance learning. Returning Instructors spend the first two days of their virtual PLI focused on course-specific learning and activity before culminating on the third day with the OnRamps Virtual Summit.

June 25: OnRamps Virtual Summit

Campus and district administrators, counselors, and faculty members will convene along with returning OnRamps Instructors in this virtual event to examine this year’s theme of The Power of Many: Aligning High School to College Expectations Through Quality and Agency.

Featuring over 50 synchronous sessions and a keynote by Dr. David Yeager on mindset practices, participants will also engage in discussion and sessions ranging on the topics of distance learning, advanced academics, preparing students for success in college and the workplace, and metacognition as a college readiness strategy.

New to OnRamps

July 14-24: New Instructor Virtual Summer Professional Learning Institute

Instructors teaching OnRamps courses for the first time prepare for effective course implementation at their campus by virtually collaborating with UT Austin faculty and OnRamps staff to learn essential course content and pedagogical skills. During this two-week learning experience, Instructors familiarize themselves with course-specific technology and set year one expectations for themselves and students. Throughout, Instructors share experiences with OnRamps peers across the state, partner with Mentor Instructors, and reflect on problems of practice with OnRamps Implementation Coaches.

July 23-24: New Partner Virtual Symposium

Campus and district administrators and counselors new to OnRamps virtually connect with one another and with members of the OnRamps Partnership team to kick-off their first year of implementation. As members of a facilitated synchronous learning experience, they will dive deep into OnRamps’ four-pillar model, distance education and professional learning and development milestones, and key recruitment and retention strategies that support student and instructor growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you anticipate the dates of Summer Professional Learning Institutes changing or being postponed?

No, we do not anticipate any date changes as we have shifted all of our Summer Professional Learning experiences to a virtual format.

How does OnRamps plan to move Summer Professional Learning Institutes to a virtual format?

Attendees of our Summer Professional Learning Institutes can expect to engage in synchronous and asynchronous learning as we transition to all virtual.

Asynchronous experiences will include pre-institute activities for returning and new instructors; assigned activities within the Virtual Instructor Institutes; and completing pre-assigned modules.

Synchronous engagement will occur during the OnRamps Summit, New Partner Symposium, and specific portions of the Returning and New Instructor Virtual Summer Institute.

Do the Summer Professional Learning Institutes for Instructors include fees to participate in either the OnRamps Summit or New Partner Symposium?

Yes, the Instructor fee covers the full year of professional learning and development for the Instructors. This includes Summer Institutes, Fall and Spring Professional Learning Institutes, virtual support, and one-to-one support.

Will OnRamps be using Zoom for the Summer Professional Institutes?

OnRamps uses a multitude of online systems and tools to ensure the needs of our students and instructors are met. As such, we will continue utilizing these tools during our Virtual Summer Institutes.

OnRamps Instructors will use Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) and Zoom. We will incorporate a variety of digital and online tools to provide the highest quality experience. Access to these tools will not incur additional cost.

What technology or systems requirements should I have to participate in the Virtual Summer Professional Learning Institutes?

All registered attendees will be emailed detailed information about technology and system requirements. At a minimum, they should have a computer with audio and video capabilities (preferably not a Chromebook), headphones, and an internet connection that can support participation in virtual conference calls.

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