Improved teacher education and teacher retention are goals for a Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant awarded to the University of Tennessee at Martin by the U.S. Department of Education. UT Martin was one of 24 U.S. institutions to receive the grant. This $3,324,314 grant will fund the Teacher Preparation Reinvention for Optimizing Continuous Improvement for Effectiveness and Student Success (T-PROCESS) project at UTM.
The TQP program provides resources to partnerships among colleges and universities, high-need local educational agencies and high-need schools to prepare teachers to teach in high-need schools and support them in their critical first years. Research has demonstrated that teachers are the single most important element in improving student learning and achievement. Professional development will be offered to PK-12 teachers, covering such topics as STEM lessons, new teacher induction and training, RTI2, technology integration, universal design, high quality questioning, and classroom management.
The grant will support the continuous improvement efforts of the university’s Educator Preparation Program (EPP) over the five years of funding to include mechanisms to engage and collaborate regularly with local school systems to establish mutually agreed upon goals, to receive feedback, and to guide improvement. Admissions standards for EPP candidates have been increased to include an ACT score of 21 or a passing score on the Praxis Core Exam.
One of the challenges identified for West Tennessee schools is recruiting students to become highly qualified teachers in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. To address that need, a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Center for Teaching and Learning will be open in Spring 2017 on the UT Martin campus. The STEM Center for Teaching and Learning will also provide instruction and resources to P-12 teachers and students, as well as UTM students.
“The strategies presented can be used in multiple grade levels and across the curriculum. They are practical and teacher-friendly. Students will be thinking deeply without realizing it, while being actively engaged in these fun activities.” -- 5th Grade Teacher
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