TSU Hosts 2-Week National STEM Education Teacher Training for Thurgood Marshall College FundNASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – For the second year in a row, 25 junior and senior education and STEM majors from colleges and university across the United States and the Caribbean are participating in a two-week Teacher Quality and Retention Program at Tennessee State University.
The program, sponsored by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, is a math and science summer institute that offers aspiring K-12 educators the opportunity to work with master teachers and one another to become National Board Certified Teachers who can “effectively” serve in higher need rural and urban schools.
In addition to classroom work, seminars and field experiences, participants will address effective classroom management, alignment of science and math lessons with state and national standards, differentiated instruction, and systematic self-reflection on teaching practices.
According to the TMCF Vice President for Programs, Dr. Misha Lesley, the TQRP is part of a partnership between the Fund and 100Kin10, a national movement with a goal of strategically addressing the nation’s shortage of STEM teachers and improving STEM learning for all students by training 100,000 “excellent” science, technology, engineering and math teachers over the next decade.
“This program is also intended to make it easier for participants to make the transition from their college experience and work to the classroom,” Dr. Lesley said. “That is why they are being taught by experienced teachers who are exceptional communicators and who know how to connect with their students.”
All of the instructors participating in the program are master teachers from the Metro Nashville Public System, Lesley added.
She said TSU was selected because of its “unique” location and because of the cooperation of the office of the Dean (College of Education) and the “strong” support of the campus staff, and for the University’s role in previous TMCF programs.
“TMCF is pleased to partner with TSU in working to provide STEM teachers to the region,” Dr. Lesley said. “The University’s proposal to host the institute was very compelling, and the offer of campus and staff support and cooperation was very strong. Additionally, for many years TSU has sent top students to our annual leadership institute in New York.”
Dr. Heraldo Richards, interim Dean of the College of Education, said TSU welcomes the opportunity to provide the environment and support needed to recruit, train and retrain “teaching fellows” to serve in high-need urban and rural schools.
“When the participants complete this program they will be familiar with the Common Core State Standards that are meant to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them,” Dr. Richards said. “These standards (adopted by 48 states including Tennessee) are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.”
Roderick Langston, of Elberton, Ga., a participant in the program, who just completed his bachelor’s degree in Middle Grades Education from Fort Valley State University, called the TQRP “an excellent” program for anyone aspiring to be a K-12 teacher.
“I could not have asked for a better opportunity than to come here and be taught by successful master teachers who know what it takes to be effective in the classroom,” said Langston, who also participated in the program last year. “No matter where I end up this program is equipping me to be prepared for whatever challenge comes later.”
TSU is one of only two universities in the nation hosting the TQRP under a three-year $1 million funding provided by Altria, a major business conglomerate. The other school is Virginia State University in Petersburg, Va., where the program also got underway Monday.
According to Dr. Richards, TSU received a $30,000 grant to host the summer institute.
Participants are from Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and several others states. The island of St. Lucia and the Virgin Islands are also represented, Dr. Lesley said.