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BCOE receives $400,000 for teacher prep programs


KENNESAW, Ga.  (March 3, 2014) — At a press conference at the state capitol today, Gov. Nathan Deal announced the Bagwell College of Education has been selected as one of five Georgia institutions for the Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellowship, a growing national initiative that seeks to increase the supply of outstanding teachers in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields and to change how they are prepared to teach.
Georgia is the first state in the South to join the fellowship foundation.
“STEM education plays a critical role in our state’s competitiveness and future economic prosperity,” Deal said. “The most important thing we can do for our students in this field is ensure they have effective teachers. The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships will encourage more partnerships between institutes of higher education and our K-12 schools to improve educational opportunities for students in this critical area.”
Kennesaw State, along with Columbus State University, Georgia State University, Mercer University and Piedmont College, each will receive $400,000 matching grants to develop their teacher preparation programs based on standards set by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The institutions will develop a model master’s-level teacher preparation program, offering fellows a rigorous yearlong experience in local classrooms.
“KSU is ideally suited for this collaboration as illustrated through our strong track record in increasing the quantity and quality of math and science teachers, as well as engaging in teacher education reform efforts that have resulted in the creation of models of exemplary practice,” said Kennesaw State University President Daniel S. Papp. “Annually, we are a leading producer of teachers for Georgia and a leading producer of science and mathematics teachers.”
The fellowships are similar to a physician’s hospital-based training in conjunction with a medical school. Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows receive $30,000 stipends to use during the 15-month, 36-credit hour master’s program, followed by three years of teaching and mentoring. Preparation extends into the first three years of teaching in urban or rural schools, incorporating induction and mentoring programs that feature ongoing school-university cooperation. Two cohorts of 15 fellows will be funded.
“The Woodrow Wilson STEM Teaching Fellowship Program is a superb opportunity to ensure that there are well prepared mathematics and science teachers facilitating the learning of Georgia’s youth,” said Dean Arlinda Eaton.
The Woodrow Wilson Foundation will create and administer the program, with in-state coordination by the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and support from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. The university partners have 19 months to tailor programs that meet the fellowship’s standards for intensive clinical work and rigorous related coursework. The first fellows will be selected in spring 2015, start their academic programs in fall 2015, and be ready to teach in fall 2016.
“Study after study shows that teachers are the single most important in-school factor in improving student achievement,” said Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. “Yet urban and rural schools consistently struggle to attract and retain strong math and science teachers – nationally, 30 to 40 percent of all teachers leave the profession during their first three years in the classrooms, and more in high-need districts. So there’s a genuine need for these new teachers, and for innovative preparation that will help keep them in the classroom.”

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 24,600 from 130 countries.

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