Winthrop University: Winthrop’s Education College Collaborates with Mississippi State on Rural Teaching Project
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Winthrop’s Education College Collaborates with Mississippi State on Rural Teaching Project

June 08, 2022

HIGHLIGHTS

  • MSU partnered with 14 other higher education institutions nationwide, selecting Winthrop due to the population and area it serves and the fact that it had a Noyce Teacher Scholarship grant program (WISE – Winthrop Initiative for STEM Educators). 
  • Winthrop will provide MSU with data from its STEM teacher graduates and has already shared information on the university’s teacher education program structure and the specific supports in place for students who are WISE graduates and non-WISE STEM graduates. 

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Winthrop University’s Richard W. Riley College of Education is collaborating with a Mississippi State University (MSU)-led project that is investigating the preparation of educators for teaching in rural settings.

MSU received a $2.4 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for the project, “Investigating STEM Teacher Preparation and Rural Teacher Persistence and Retention,” which explores how educator preparation programs impact future STEM teachers’ intentions to teach in rural schools as well as their retention rates once they are in the workforce at those schools. Studies have shown that rural schools struggle to recruit and retain teachers.

MSU partnered with 14 other higher education institutions nationwide, selecting Winthrop due to the population and area it serves and the fact that it had a Noyce Teacher Scholarship grant program (WISE – Winthrop Initiative for STEM Educators). 

“During the [MSU’S NSF] project development phase, the grant-writing team was primarily looking at institutions in which the vast majority of graduates taught in rural districts,” said Beth Costner, dean of Winthrop’s College of Education. “When they learned we send graduates to a variety of settings, they saw the opportunity to consider how you prepare teachers for a variety of school types and the success of that since our graduates teach in rural, suburban and urban schools.”

The Winthrop faculty members working on the project are Kelly Costner, associate professor of education; Lisa Johnson, interim associate dean and professor of education; Jessie Hamm, associate professor of mathematics; and Cassandra Bell, instructor of biology. 

Winthrop will provide MSU with data from its STEM teacher graduates and has already shared information on the university’s teacher education program structure and the specific supports in place for students who are WISE graduates and non-WISE STEM graduates. 

For more information on Winthrop’s teacher education programs, visit https://www.winthrop.edu/coe/sas/ugprograms.aspx

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Last Updated: 7/13/22