The United States Department of Education Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) has awarded a $3.6 million grant to the College of Education (CEd) at North Carolina A&T State University to increase the number of highly qualified teachers produced for high-need K-12 public schools in rural communities.
“This award will provide scholarship funds to highly-qualified graduate candidates who pursue Master of Arts in Teaching degrees in high-need areas and who desire to positively impact student learning in our rural communities—areas of our state that are often under resourced,” said Dr. Anthony Graham, dean of the College of Education. “Our engagement with our rural school districts demonstrates the faculty’s commitment to equity, access, and advocacy as we strive to prepare teacher leaders for the entire state of North Carolina.”
The goal of the “North Carolina A&T Rural Teacher Residency Program” is to increase the number of fully credentialed teachers who effectively address the needs of children in high-need rural public school districts in North Carolina.
Focusing on the teacher shortages in North Carolina, the project strengthens CEd’s Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education, Elementary Education, Biology Education, Chemistry Education, and Mathematics Education degree programs by establishing a teacher residency model. This approach uses an elongated classroom-based authentic immersion experience that emphasizes research-verified pedagogical strategies that will improve learning outcomes for students in rural communities.
TQP funds teacher preparation programs at the undergraduate or “fifth-year” level, or teaching residency programs for individuals new to teaching with strong academic and professional backgrounds. The central feature of all TQP grantees is a strong partnership between the teacher preparation program and the school districts they serve, which is often facilitated by mentor teachers that coach and train incoming educators.
“Faculty in the College of Education are extremely excited about this grant award as it provides funding that will completely reform the model we use to prepare classroom teachers,” said Graham.
N.C. A&T is one of two Historically Black Colleges and Universities that will serve rural and urban communities; the other, Coppin State University. In addition, grants were given to the University of New Hampshire and University of West Alabama.
Funding to N.C. A&T will be awarded over a period of five years. Dr. Kim Erwin, Dr. Nichole Smith, Dr. Alisa Taliaferro, and Graham in the College of Education and Dr. Cailisha Petty in the College of Science and Technology are the Principal Investigators.