Kenyatta University-Syracuse University Partnership on Building Capacity through Quality Teacher Preparation

Funding Level:
US $1.3 million

March 2011 – September 2014

Activity Goals:

  • Strengthen the capacity of Kenyatta University Teacher Education faculty members resulting in improved teacher preparation for the education sector in Kenya
  • Strengthen the research capacity of the Kenyatta University Teacher Education programs resulting in improved knowledge that produces more effective education
  • Enhance Kenyatta University Teacher Education program resulting in improved instructional capacity
  • Provide quality service to education stakeholders resulting in improved instruction in secondary schools in Kenya

Activity Accomplishments:

  • Two Kenyatta University faculty graduated from long-term degree programs to strengthen their academic qualifications
  • One hundred and one Kenyatta University faculty, students, and other staff completed intensive short-term trainings
  • In 2013, six research projects were implemented jointly by the Kenyatta University and Syracuse University partners
  • In 2013, Kenyatta University and Syracuse University partners conducted training using mobile technology at two secondary schools: Thika School for the Blind and Kibos School for the Visually Impaired

Activity Location:
Nairobi, Kenya

Key Partners:
Ministry of Education, Science and Technology

American Council on Education - Office of Higher Education for Development


The Kenyatta University-Syracuse University Partnership is a joint project of Kenyatta University and Syracuse University aimed at improving the quality of secondary school teaching and education in Kenya through expanding and enhancing teacher preparation and professional development. The partnership is focused on building the capacity of the education system through secondary pre-service teacher training and mentoring of new and practicing teachers for continuous professional growth.


The Kenyatta University-Syracuse University Partnership builds sustainable human and institutional capacity in teacher education, academics and research through scholar exchanges in which faculty members from one partner university are taken to the other for extended periods of time, usually two to six months.  These exchanges enable faculty members to visit secondary schools, observe their classes, make use of library research databases and attend national professional conferences in the United States. Scholar exchanges build capacity by engaging faculty members in technological and research training activities.


Revision of curricula for 21 courses and trainings are changing how teacher education faculty members at Kenyatta University instruct their students. In total, 40 faculty members have participated in professional development workshops to gain new skills for the improvement of courses and teaching methodologies. They have learned how to support all students and manage large classes through the use of technologies such as e-learning platforms, Internet resources, multimedia case studies, and simulations.

In addition, 11 lecturers spent two months at Syracuse University observing classes, learning more about how to integrate technology into classrooms, and participating and presenting at a conference in the United States. Faculty members now discuss methods to increase interactivity, even with the current configuration of large classes, as well as how to help all students through the integration of technology. 

“I have never applied integration of technology in teaching and have never used simulations before this training,” said Michael Waititu, a faculty member at Kenyatta University who teaches physics education courses and also spent a year at Syracuse University in the certificate program. “I was able to gain new knowledge in research methods and technology and was able to develop and defend my Ph.D. proposal successfully,” he added. Waititu is collecting data for his dissertation study on gender equity in Kenyan secondary physics teaching.

“I am particularly excited to use video clips from multimedia case studies filmed in Kenyan secondary classrooms in the methods course I teach to prepare physics teachers,” Waititu said.  

USAID Contact:
Dr. T. Wambui Gathenya, Activity Manager
Education and Youth Office
Tel: +254 20 862 2000

Kenyatta University-Syracuse University Partnership Contact:
Dr. Teshome Alemneh, PHD
Program Officer, Africa
Higher Education for Development (HED)
Tel: +254 20 243 7684

Updated January 2014



Last updated: April 07, 2014

Share This Page