NCCU School of Education Receives $300,000 BranchED Collaborative Grant

Posted February 16, 2024, 1:03PM

The North Carolina Central University (NCCU) School of Education has landed a $300,000 grant from the Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity to transform teacher preparation standards, focusing on the development of compassionate and adaptive educators. 

With the grant, NCCU will extend its existing collaboration with Durham Public Schools to address the critical issue of educational equity for all students, spanning early prekindergarten through high school graduation. 

"We are thrilled to collaborate with the Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity to enhance our programs and provide teacher candidates with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in today’s diverse classrooms,” said Audrey Beard, Ed.D., School of Education dean. “Having Durham Public Schools as our partner will also allow us to enhance the teaching and learning experience for the teachers and students in the city." 

The grant team, led by co-principal investigators Nigel Pierce, Ph.D., and Gregory Downing, Ph.D., from NCCU’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction, is dedicated to an interconnected ecosystem approach. This involves strategic collaboration, communication, and engagement among stakeholders to implement scaled, high-quality, sustainable programming, ultimately maximizing the learning, well-being and achievement of cradle-to-career learners. 

Over the next three years, NCCU, Durham Public Schools and the Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity will collaborate on an Individualized Transformation Plan (ITP) organized around five key domains: (1) ecosystem, access and success; (2) teacher candidate learning; (3) culture of inquiry; (4) teacher educators; and (5) transformation work for educators. 

This collaborative effort aims to recruit and prepare diverse, highly qualified teacher candidates equipped to address the needs of racially, ethnically, linguistically and culturally diverse students. 

"We have partnered with North Carolina Central University to produce teacher candidates with targeted competencies who meet the needs of diverse P-12 students, particularly Black, Latinx, and low-income students," said Alvers Lesane, Ed.D., assistant superintendent for human resources for Durham Public Schools. 

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