In developing its teacher education program, RTEC was guided by research on exemplary licensure programs, and RTEC faculty experience with education programs at Mary Baldwin and the University of Virginia. Among the researchers whose work helped shape its program are Linda Darling-Hammond and John Bransford (2005), J. H. Stronge (2007), and Arthur Levine (2006). In particular, RTEC has focused on qualities identified by Arthur Levine in his 2006 report, Educating School Teachers. Levine states that strong teacher education programs:
In addition, the ten principles for teacher education and licensure established by the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) and the work of Charlotte Danielson, Enhancing Professional Practice: A framework for teaching (2007), directly influenced the objectives and content of all RTEC education courses. Ultimately, RTEC aligned its mission components, fieldwork, and student teaching with the INTASC principles, the requirements of the Virginia Department of Education and the principles set by Charlotte Danielson (2007). A chart showing the alignment of these guiding principles can be found in Appendix D.
The mission of the Rockbridge Teacher Education Consortium was formulated to capitalize on the strengths of its member institutions. Therefore, RTEC's mission is to prepare teachers who are intelligent, compassionate, honorable, and dynamic leaders in their classrooms, schools, and communities. RTEC's mission rests on the four core components of leadership, rigor, service and diversity.
The four components that shape RTEC are both attributes to be developed in RTEC's teacher candidates and values that characterize the overall program.
Those components are: