The William Carey University School of Education has been awarded a $90,000 grant for teacher quality improvement under Title II of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
Title II grants, which are awarded in Mississippi by the Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning, focus on preparing, training and recruiting high-quality teachers and principals. Twelve grants were awarded in the state this year.
In order to be considered for the Title II grants, an institution had to partner with a local education agency (LEA), such as a school district, and submit a project adequately addressing the College and Career Readiness Standards by assisting teachers in adopting the new standards. Priority consideration was given to projects partnering with high-need LEAs in addressing the needs of teachers and in developing sustainable, intensive and high-quality professional development activities.
The WCU project is a Teacher Leader Institute partnering with school districts in Covington, Forrest, Lamar, Marion and Wayne counties, as well as Forrest County Agricultural High School and the Hattiesburg and Petal city districts. The Institute’s goal is to increase student achievement through instructional leadership.
The Institute will meet from June 1-26 and will provide opportunities for participants to analyze data specific to their core subjects and schools in order to improve their instructional practices to the rigorous levels required by new state standards. Participants will also prepare targeted and ongoing professional development for their schools.
Twenty teachers from the partnering districts will attend the Institute as students in the university’s educational leadership program. Funds from the grant will be used to pay a stipend to the students as well as their tuition for the Institute.
“This is the first time we have been awarded such a grant, thanks to the hard work of the faculty, our assisting consultant and the support of Dr. Susan Lee at the State Institutions of Higher Learning,” said Dr. Ben Burnett, dean of the School of Education. “The grant is also renewable, so we are hopeful this will become an ongoing project.”