School Department News

School of Education

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - 3:24pm
William Carey University is one of three universities in Mississippi working with the CEEDAR Mississippi Partnership, an effort to improve overall educational services to students with disabilities throughout the state.
Carey partnered with the Mississippi Department of Education, the University of Mississippi and Delta State University to receive a multi-year grant for the project from the CEEDAR (Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform) Center, a national center dedicated to support states in their efforts to develop teachers and leaders who can successfully prepare students with disabilities to achieve college and career-ready standards.
The CEEDAR grant will provide the state with consultative services along with off-site and online services and products in order to reform, restructure and improve professional learning systems. The partnership initiatives include licensure and certification reform; preparation reform with a focus on curriculum and pedagogy; and program evaluation, improvement and accountability.
The partnership's leadership team includes representatives from the education faculty of the three universities and from the state education department. Carey's representatives include Dr. Ben Burnett, dean of the School of Education; Dr. Greg Bullock, chair of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation; Dr. Barry Morris, associate professor of education; Dr. Brenda Thomas, associate professor of education; and Dr. Liesa Weaver, chair of the Department of Educational Leadership.
The leadership team held their first meeting on May 22 and designed initial blueprints for the partnership under the direction of Dr. Meg Kamman and Dr. Erica McCray, representatives of the CEEDAR Center. Beginning in August, Carey faculty members will focus on licensure reform and will receive technical assistance from the center along with one formal site visit. The center will provide additional financial and technical assistance throughout the lifetime of the grant, which will run through 2019.
To learn more about the CEEDAR Center, visit For more information about the Carey School of Education, visit
Friday, July 10, 2015 - 9:29am
Eighteen area school teachers recently participated in a month-long teacher quality improvement institute hosted by the William Carey University School of Education.
The Teacher Leader Institute, held throughout the month of June at the Hattiesburg campus, allowed participating teachers to analyze data specific to their core subjects and schools in order to improve their instructional practices to levels required by new state educational standards. Participating teachers also prepared targeted and ongoing professional development for their school districts.
Teachers from the Forrest County, Covington County, Marion County, Wayne County, Lamar County, Petal and Hattiesburg school districts attended the institute, which was funded through a $90,000 grant given under the authority of Title II of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Twelve Title II grants were awarded in Mississippi by the Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning.
In order to be considered for a grant, an institution had to partner with a local education agency, such as a school district, and submit a project adequately addressing Mississippi's new College and Career Readiness Standards by assisting teachers in adopting the new standards. Priority consideration was given to projects partnering with high-need education agencies in addressing the needs of teachers and in developing sustainable, intensive and high-quality professional development activities.
The grant funds were used to pay a stipend to the teacher participants as well as their tuition for the institute.
"We had a great group of energetic teachers," said Dr. Ben Burnett, dean of the School of Education. "I am confident they will take skills honed during the institute and provide leadership in their respective school districts."
Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 11:42am
The William Carey University Center for Creative Scholars will host the Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead! Creativity Exploration Camp for students in grades two through eight at the Hattiesburg campus from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on July 21-23.
During the camp, students will explore their creative potential through activities in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. The camp will engage participants through critical thinking and problem-solving with a creative arts emphasis.
"Research shows that gifted learners thrive in summer programs," said Dr. Christina Liverett, center director and an assistant professor of education at Carey. "This camp will give students an opportunity to grow and network with other gifted learners as they learn about these fields."
In order to attend, students must be nominated by parents, teachers, peers or self-nomination. The cost for the camp is $75, which includes tuition, lunch and instructional materials. The registration deadline is July 16.
For more information or to register, contact Liverett at (601) 318-6609 or by email at
Monday, June 22, 2015 - 2:08pm
Individuals interested in pursuing a Mississippi teacher's license through the alternate route can take the two necessary courses during the five-week second summer term in July and August at William Carey University.
The courses, including classroom management and tests, measurements and evaluations, will meet beginning the week of July 6 and will end the week of August 7. In order to become licensed, teacher candidates must successfully complete both courses and have passing scores on both the Praxis Core and Praxis II examinations.
After completion of all requirements, candidates are eligible to receive a three-year interim teacher's license and can be employed by a school district. During this time, candidates are also enrolled in an internship course in which they are monitored in their classrooms and attend planned Saturday learning sessions. After completion of the one-year internship course, candidates are eligible to receive a five-year license.
For more information on the alternate route, contact the School of Education at (601) 318-6600 or email Dr. Ben Burnett, dean, at Students may apply online and view course schedules at
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 - 3:05pm
The William Carey University School of Education recently received a $296,200 grant from the Robert M. Hearin Foundation to create a Science and Mathematics Alternate Route Teacher, or SMART, program at the main campus in Hattiesburg and the Tradition campus in Biloxi.
The SMART program will provide an opportunity for non-education graduates to enter the teaching profession by obtaining new job skills and will also provide licensed teachers in critical teacher shortage areas in mathematics and science, said Dr. Ben Burnett, dean of the education school.
"There will be a dual benefit from this program in that we increase the number of qualified teachers in these shortage areas while also ensuring more students have access to qualified mathematics and science teachers," said Burnett.
The Hearin grant will be distributed to Carey at $98,000 per year for three years and will fund scholarships for students entering the alternate route program at Carey. The program will work with Carey's current Master of Education degree in the art of teaching and will utilize current admission requirements for the art of teaching degree, including completion of two courses in classroom management and tests, measurements and evaluations. Candidates are also required to have a passing score on both the Praxis Core and Praxis II examinations.
Upon completion of the admission requirements, candidates are eligible to receive a three-year interim educator license and can be employed by a school district in the appropriate mathematics and science subject area. Program participants are then enrolled in an internship course in which they are monitored in their classrooms and attend planned Saturday learning sessions. After completion of the one-year internship course, participants will be eligible to receive a five-year educator license.
Funds from the grant will allow up to 20 scholarships to be given throughout a school year for a total of 60 scholarships during the life of the program. In addition to covering the cost of 12 semester hours for each participant, textbooks and other supplies will also be covered under the grant. Additional funds will be used to provide workshops for participants prior to the Praxis examinations and to pay the cost of the examinations.
"The Hearin Foundation has been generous to Carey in providing general scholarship grants, special grants for the nursing program and now this education program to meet critical needs in our state," said Dr. Tommy King, Carey president.
Burnett said the new program was great news not only for Carey but also for local school districts.
"We are thankful to the Hearin Foundation for their support of Carey's mission and their desire to fill teacher vacancies in these shortage areas," said Burnett.
The SMART program will begin in July. The application deadline is June 22. Applicants must have a 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average. Interested candidates may email Burnett at, call the School of Education at (601) 318-6600 or visit The program application can be viewed at
The Hearin Foundation, which supports Mississippi higher education as well as economic development, was established in the will of the late Robert M. Hearin Sr., a former chairman and chief executive officer of Mississippi Valley Gas.