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January 2021

US PREP Awards Four Coalition Partners Innovation Pilot Grants

To foster innovation amongst educator preparation programs and school district partners in the coalition, US PREP reserves funding every two years for pilot programming proposals that foster innovation in the field of teacher preparation. The topics for the Innovation Pilots are developed by the coalition members and their school district partners with the goal of proactively addressing unmet needs and future trends in teaching and learning.

Jackson State University and Southeastern Louisiana University were the inaugural recipients of the first Innovation Pilot Grants, which focused on Social & Emotional Learning. In 2018, the coalition developed a new Innovation Pilot focused on Culturally Relevant Teaching (CRT), which was spearheaded by Sam Houston State University and the learnings & materials are currently in the process of being shared through a series of webinars

The year 2020 presented opportunities to think differently. University-school partners joined together to best support their teacher candidates and PK-12 students in ways that they had not previously done before due to the pandemic. To capitalize on these innovations, the 2020 Innovation Pilot Proposal did not address a specific problem of practice developed by the coalition, but rather, it allowed partners to derive a topic that would directly address challenges in their own contexts.  The proposal required participants to provide: 

  • A description of an authentic problem occurring within the school-university teacher preparation partnership context that has an impact on disrupting inequities in PK-12 schools via teacher candidate readiness.

  • Evidence that the problem of practice is of importance to both school and university partners.

  • Evidence of the school-university partnership’s clarity about how the problem of practice impacts both teacher candidates and K-12 students.

  • Justification for how the problem of practice relates to a larger audience--specifically other coalition universities.

  • Evidence that the problem of practice supports diversity, equity, and inclusivity goals set by either the university provider, PK-12 schools, and/or both.

Each of the four university-school partners that were awarded the US PREP Innovation Pilot Grants have problems of practice that are both unique to the field and replicable innovations if the outcomes of the pilot prove to be successful. Click on the buttons below to read the details of each college of education's innovation pilot. 

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