August 22, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Melissa Lankford, NC TEACH
Telephone Number: 919-843-7303
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website Address: www.ncteach.net
NC TEACH Receives $2.7-million Grant to Recruit and Retain Teachers for High-Need School Districts
CHAPEL HILL -- NC TEACH (North Carolina Teachers of Excellence for All CHildren), an alternative teacher preparation program administered by the 16-campus University of North Carolina, has received a $2.7-million Transition to Teaching grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The Transition to Teaching program supports projects that recruit and retain highly qualified mid-career professionals and recent college graduates as teachers for high-need schools in high-need local school districts.
NC TEACH will use the five-year federal grant to expand and strengthen its current services for lateral-entry teachers and provide a new focus on identified high-need school districts in North Carolina. First offered in 1999 in collaboration with the NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI), NC TEACH has since prepared about 1,500 new classroom teachers across the state. An on-line component was added in 2003 through the joint involvement of UNC, DPI, and LEARN NC. As a result, NC TEACH programs and services are now available through East Carolina University, Fayetteville State University, Lenoir Rhyne College, NC Central University, NC State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC Greensboro, UNC Wilmington, Western Carolina University, and Winston-Salem State University. In addition, UNC Charlotte offers a variety of NC TEACH affiliate programs, and NC A&T State University plans to begin offering the program in the near future.
The expanded program, to be called NC TEACH II, will work directly with school districts to develop additional satellite host site locations, offer increased access to the NC TEACH OnLine model, and in collaboration with LEARN NC, develop online content courses for middle grades and secondary science and math lateral-entry teachers. Initially, four UNC campuses—ECU, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC Pembroke, and WCU—will participate in NC TEACH II, and additional sites may be added.
NC TEACH II will recruit and prepare 100 to 125 additional lateral-entry teachers per year with a focus on math, science, special populations, and other licensure areas needed by participating school districts. Upon making a commitment to remain employed in a high-need school district for at least three years, qualified program participants will receive laptop computers and stipends.
Dr. Dorothy Mebane, executive director of NC TEACH said of the grant, “We are thrilled about this opportunity to expand our services and, more specifically, to focus on high-need districts in North Carolina. To be able to offer stipends and computers to new lateral-entry teachers is no small thing, particularly given the investment they must make in retraining for a career in teaching. This award reflects the tremendous ongoing commitment of UNC’s 15 Schools of Education to produce more teachers, the strong vision of UNC President Erskine Bowles, and the collective efforts of universities and school districts to find and retain high-quality teachers for all students. I am confident that the success we have witnessed in our original program will be repeated as we move forward.”
For more information about NC TEACH, visit www.ncteach.net.