KSU awarded $8.9 million grant from U.S. Department of Education

Bagwell College of Education Bldg

  Bagwell College, Cobb County Schools partner to enhance K-12 teacher quality   KENNESAW…

Georgia (Oct 8, 2009) —  

Bagwell College, Cobb County Schools partner to enhance K-12 teacher quality
KENNESAW, Ga. (October 6, 2009) — Kennesaw State University was awarded an $8.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to establish an innovative K-12 teacher preparation program in high-need, urban schools in Cobb County.
“This grant is a significant achievement for Kennesaw State as we continue on the path towards becoming a research intensive university,” said KSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Lendley C. Black. “Going forward, we expect to continue tapping into various sources of external funding and attracting grant monies that fund valuable research and initiatives such as this.”
The five-year grant, the largest ever awarded to Kennesaw State, will support the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP), an initiative of the university’s Bagwell College and seven schools in the Cobb County School District, one of the largest school districts in the state.
“The goal is to develop a model that could be replicated in similar urban areas of the country,” said Arlinda Eaton, dean of the Bagwell College of Education and co-principal investigator for the program. “The TQP program provides resources to prepare teachers to teach in high-need schools and support them in their first critical years. We are eager to engage in a research agenda that will allow us to contribute to the efforts being made to link teacher preparation and effectiveness to K-12 student learning.”
The Bagwell College of Education and teacher preparation partners in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Science and Mathematics at KSU will work with the Cobb County School District to develop, implement and evaluate teacher preparation within seven “professional development schools.”
The partnership seeks to reform teacher preparation programs to prepare candidates to teach in resource-poor, diverse, urban communities. The programs will be offered onsite at the schools, where candidates will have intensive clinical experiences combined with coursework co-taught by KSU/Cobb County School District faculty.
“We know that among all the variables that affect student achievement, the quality of the classroom teacher is the most significant,” said Steve Constantino, associate superintendent for the Cobb County School District and co-principal investigator. “Our Board of Education has identified teacher quality as a priority for our strategic plan. This grant allows Cobb and KSU to produce better quality teachers through a professional development school model where teachers not only learn about effective teaching, but are able to apply that learning almost immediately. The staff of these schools will also benefit from the rich professional learning that will occur. This is a win-win for Cobb and KSU.”
Reforms will address needs in literacy, technology and the role of family as stakeholders in learning. They will also include the development of high-need teacher preparation concentrations such as ESOL, reading, economics and special education.
The schools that comprise the partnership are Birney Elementary School, Fair Oaks Elementary School, Hollydale Elementary School, LaBelle Elementary School, Milford Elementary School, Smitha Middle School and Osborne High School.  
As part of the TQP, Bagwell College will develop an Urban Education Emphasis within its undergraduate teaching programs in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Middle Grades Education and Secondary Education, specifically in the disciplines of math, science, English and social studies.
It additionally seeks to establish several graduate-level programs for teachers within the seven professional development schools, including an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership, an Ed.S. in Teacher Leadership, a Coaching Endorsement program, a Teacher Leader Endorsement program and an Assessment Certificate program.
The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement as part of the federal government’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu