Winthrop’s College of Education Receives $3.8 Million Grant for Efforts in Three S.C. School Districts
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Winthrop’s College of Education Receives $3.8 Million Grant for Teacher Retention Efforts in Three S.C. School Districts

October 02, 2019

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Network for Sustained Educational Residencies that Value Equity (NetSERVE) grant will establish a teacher residency program over five years to prepare individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree to become teachers through a graduate Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program.   
  • The school districts are Chester County, Chesterfield County and Fairfield County. 

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - The Richard W. Riley College of Education at Winthrop University was recently awarded a $3.8 million Teacher Quality Partnership federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help with teacher recruitment and retention in three South Carolina rural school districts. 

The Network for Sustained Educational Residencies that Value Equity (NetSERVE) grant will establish a teacher residency program over five years to prepare individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree to become teachers through a graduate Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program.   

Winthrop President Dan Mahony said the program will have a community-based focus and strong collaborations to support the NetSERVE teacher candidates and other teachers in the districts. “NetSERVE’s residency programs represent a key way in which Winthrop is working closely with community partners to meet the growing demand for highly effective teachers in South Carolina,” Mahony said. “Winthrop is continuing the tradition as a teacher education leader in our state and successfully leveraging grant funding to support South Carolina students.” 

Education Dean Jennie Rakestraw said that the Palmetto state is experiencing an alarming teacher shortage. “An astounding 5,300 teachers left their jobs in 2018 with only 1,642 new educators prepared to enter the profession,” Rakestraw said. “This results in an obvious, and hard-hitting, discrepancy in supply and demand.” 

As a result, Winthrop’s education program has been collaborating with partner districts on ways to increase the number of graduates who can meet the demand for teachers across the state.  

“The greatest need for teachers is in rural districts, and we believe it is important to prepare teachers to work in rural and high-poverty settings; and we also believe it is important to work closely in partnership with school districts as we prepare teachers and consider each school’s needs,” Rakestraw said. “With the NetSERVE Teacher Residency Program, I believe we will be fulfilling these goals.” 

Grant partners are three rural school districts: Chester County, Chesterfield County and Fairfield County, along with Bank Street College of Education’s Prepared to Teach, South Carolina’s Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA), S.C. Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Children of Poverty, and the S.C. Department of Education’s Office of Personalized Learning and Office of Career and Technology Education.   

Two associate deans, Lisa Johnson of the College of Education (co-author of the NetSERVE grant) and Robert Prickett of the College of Arts and Sciences, will oversee the $3,861,745 grant, which comes from the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education within the U.S. Department of Education. The federal award is nearly half of the total project amount. The other 53 percent, which totals $4,283,870, is funded through non-governmental sources. 

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or longshawj@winthrop.edu.

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Last Updated: 10/2/19