(UNDATED) - The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has awarded more than $900,000 to four Indiana colleges and nine school corporations as part of the federal Improving Teacher Quality Partnership program.
The competitive two year grant matches colleges with high-need school districts to support teacher professional development in an effort to increase student academic achievement.
"Having an engaged and effective teacher in the classroom is one of the strongest factors in ensuring our students are successful in school and in life," said Teresa Lubbers, Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education. "This grant gives current Indiana teachers the opportunity to work closely with our colleges to expand their skill set and bring new and innovative practices into the classroom."
Of the eight Indiana colleges that applied, four were selected to receive the grant for the 2017-18 school year: Ball State University, Butler University, Indiana University and the University of Notre Dame.
The colleges will partner with nine school districts: Brown County Schools, Edinburgh Community School Corporation, Indianapolis Public Schools, Marion Community Schools, Michigan City Area Schools, Muncie Community Schools, Randolph Central School Corporation, South Bend Community School Corporation and Yorktown Community Schools. See program descriptions below for details.
"Great and effective teachers in the classroom produce strong and successful students," said Dr. Jennifer McCormick, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction. "This partnership between higher education institutions and local school districts will create valuable opportunities and I am excited to see the product of their hard work."
Indiana University will work with the Edinburgh Community School Corporation and Brown County Schools to support teachers as they use literacy to foster students' scientific reasoning abilities. The Science the "Write" Way project will extend the development and mobilization of a comprehensive support network of teachers, science education experts, literacy experts, and local rural community resources to aid teachers in making necessary curricular changes to meet the new Indiana Academic Science Standards.
Ball State University
Ball State University will partner with Randolph Central School Corporation and Yorktown Community Schools to increase scientifically-based reading instruction and strengthen its alignment to Indiana's Academic Standards in English, Language Arts and Social Studies. They will also help teachers improve student achievement in these content areas by supporting assessment-driven instruction and an online assessment resource portal that will be available to all teachers. Finally, they will develop methods to help teachers measure and document the quality of their instruction.
The Butler University Reading, Writing and Mathematics Workshop Project will support K - 8 classroom teachers in Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) with a focus on improving student achievement in English, Language Arts and Mathematics. Butler's College of Education and English Department, along with the Indiana Partnership for Young Writers, will collaborate to create continuous professional development opportunities based on the Teachers Colleges Reading and Writing Project model at Columbia University. This program places a priority on the professional development of pre-service and early to mid-career minority teachers.
University of Notre Dame
The University of Notre Dame will provide support to schools who are growing their Advanced Placement (AP) Math, Science and English programs. The program will focus on four high-need school districts; Marion Community Schools, Michigan City Area Schools, Muncie Community Schools and South Bend Community School Corporation. Professional development events and mentors will aid teachers in honing their content knowledge of AP Math, Science and English courses.
For more information about the Commission's grant programs visit www.che.in.gov.
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