At the 2012 Bradley PDS Spring Celebration, Drs. Helja Antola Crowe and Sherrie Pardieck were recognized for their many years of service to the Bradley PDS Partnership. Pictured (L to R): Dr. Jana Hunzicker, William T. Kemper Fellow; Dr. Helja Antola Crowe; Dr. Sherrie Pardieck; and Dr. Joan L. Sattler, Dean of the College  of Education and Health Sciences.

The mission of the Bradley Professional Development School (PDS) Partnership is to promote academic and professional development for P-12 students, pre-professionals, practitioners, and professors.


In 1995, Bradley University’s College of Education and Health Sciences first obtained funding from the William T. Kemper Foundation-Commerce Bank, Trustee to establish a school-community learning partnership. The purpose of the partnership was to create an extended learning environment that addressed and responded to the changing needs of learners from pre-primary through higher education (P-20). During this time, partnerships were initiated with Peoria Public School District 150, Pekin Public School District 108, and Marquette Heights School District 102. The William T. Kemper Teaching Academy, designed to explore challenges, opportunities, and solutions for improved learning and teaching, was also established. During the first decade of the partnership, six William T. Kemper Fellows for Teaching Excellence were selected to lead the partnership: Dr. Lori Russell-Chapin and Dr. Therese Kiley (1995-1997), Dr. Rosalyn Templeton (1997-1999), Dr. Robert Wolffe (2000-2001), Dr. Heljä Antola Crowe (2001-2003), and Dr. Janet Jackson (2003-2005).

In 2006, with continued funding from the William T. Kemper Foundation-Commerce Bank, Trustee, the theme of the partnership was modified to “Building Leaders and Learning Community for Children and Families”. From 2006 to 2009, the partnership included four schools in Peoria Public School District 150: Manual High School, Roosevelt Magnet School, Valeska Hinton Early Childhood Center, and Whittier Primary School, with St. Mark Catholic School joining as a fifth PDS site in 2010. During this time, the partnership’s core values focused on innovation, collaboration, shared decision-making, leadership, appreciation and promotion of diversity, and extended learning environments. Examples of school-university projects included classroom management training; creating safe, positive learning environments; student visits to Bradley’s campus; engaging students in daily, meaningful writing; inquiry-based learning; and supplementing classroom instruction with instructional software. Once again, Dr. Heljä Antola Crowe led the partnership as the William T. Kemper Fellow for Teaching Excellence (2005-2011). 

In 2012, the theme of the Bradley PDS Partnership was modified to “Lifelong Learning and Leadership”, and three additional schools were added: Glen Oak Community Learning Center, Harrison Community Learning Center, and Trewyn School. Inspired by the full service community schools model, the current term of the Bradley PDS Partnership emphasizes effective teaching and learning in urban education settings through course connections, clinical experiences, professional development, and special projects/events. Dr. Jana Hunzicker currently leads the Bradley PDS Partnership as the William T. Kemper Fellow.