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35 Million Federal Grant to Recruit Train Teachers for High-Need School Districts Awarded to Drexel

September 11, 2007

A $3.5 million grant, awarded to Drexel University by the U.S. Department of Education’s Transition To Teaching (TTT) program, will help increase the number of highly qualified teachers into struggling, hard-to-staff schools including seven Philadelphia-area charter schools (within the School District of Philadelphia), the Mobile County Public School System in Alabama, and the Charleston County School District (Charleston, S.C.). The five-year grant is the largest of the TTT grants awarded in Pennsylvania and sixth largest in the nation.

The 2007 grant will be Drexel’s third TTT since 2002, bringing the total funding for this initiative to almost $10 million. Grant activities have resulted in an outcome of approximately 300 certified teachers.

Fredricka Reisman, Ph.D., a professor in Drexel’s Goodwin College of Professional Studies, has served as principle investigator (PI) for all three grants. Co-PIs for the most recent grant are William Lynch, Ph.D., dean of the Goodwin College and director of the School of Education, and Kristine Lewis, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the School of Education.

Funds from Drexel’s most recent TTT grant, which will begin in October, will be used for tuition for online education students, as well as a variety of program enhancements including a Saturday creativity workshop, training in classroom use of science activities, academic support from the MathForum @ Drexel, and on-site visits preparing individuals in science, mathematics, and other related fields in industry and business to become certified K-12 teachers.

The specific objectives are as follows: • Utilizing Drexel's online teacher education program, 210 mid-career professionals and recent college graduates in the areas of mathematics and science will be prepared to serve as teachers in the high-need areas of mathematics and science and assigned to teach in a high-need (i.e., lacking in financial resources) school in partner school districts. • Train teacher participants in using the MathForum @ Drexel as an online classroom support tool, as well as other online mathematics and science support (with assistance from Drexel’s College of Engineering), to help ensure that the teacher participants are able to provide their students with the content knowledge and skills needed in the 21st century workplace. • Continue development and modifications of an artificial intelligence system (started through funding from Drexel’s first TTT grant), for recruitment/screening, hiring, and tracking of teacher participants. • Production of a video series of classroom-based simulations of critical issues encountered by novice teachers for the teachers' use with just-in-time access and support.

Since 2002, TTT has awarded 150 grants to higher education institutions, state and local educational agencies, and nonprofit organizations to develop, implement and evaluate innovative strategies in the recruitment, selection, preparation and support of highly qualified teachers in high-need districts and schools.

For additional information on the TTT program, visit: http://www.ed.gov/programs/transitionteach/index.html

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News Media Contact: Niki Gianakaris, Assistant Director, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-6741, 215-778-7752 (cell) or ngianakaris@drexel.edu

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