Chowan Teacher Education Department Receives Grant via NCICU
The Chowan University Department of Teacher Education has been awarded a grant via the North Carolina Independent College and Universities (NCICU) to help better prepare prospective educators for teaching reading. The impact of the grant on a state scale is positive for supporting the teaching of reading across the state of North Carolina and aims to meet the demands of every child and provide a level playing field for literacy development.
NCICU received funding from the Goodnight Education Foundation for the purpose of supporting Educator Preparation Programs (EPP) in their pursuit of implementing the “Science of Reading Curriculum.” The newly funded grant comes in response to the NC General Assembly enacting legislation requiring Educator Preparation Programs to begin providing coursework in the “Science of Reading” which focuses on multiple aspects of phonics, spelling, oral language, and comprehension. The law phases in the requirement to offer the coursework, beginning with EPPs renewing state program approval on or after July 1, 2022.
Dr. Mary Earp, Assistant Professor of Education, has been an integral part of the application process, which began in the early spring of 2022. Having spearheaded operations, Dr. Earp stated that “as we prepare future teachers, it is vital that we ensure they have a toolbox full of effective, research-based strategies that meet the needs of all the children in their future classrooms. This grant will provide reading resources and materials (Science of Reading and LETRS) we will implement as an Educator Preparation Program to fill the instructional toolboxes for the Chowan students so they will be able to walk into the profession with confidence.”
Dr. Earp has been accompanied heartily by Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Tomica Crosby in bringing the grant to Chowan. Dr. Tomica Crosby commented, “LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers in Reading and Spelling) for educators is an investment in teachers’ literacy knowledge and professional practice. Because of the grant, Chowan students will gain essential skills to master the fundamentals of literacy instruction required to apply and transform student learning.”
Due to their wide experience in the public schools, Dr. Crosby and Dr. Earp recognize the challenges educators face and know that the grant will provide opportunities for Chowan Teacher Education students to be better equipped to teach students. Using multiple modalities within the new literacies, students will be able to blend the old with the new and thus become better readers and improve their comprehension and forge a new frontier with a love of reading. Kicking off the efforts, Dr. Crosby, Dr. Earp, and Dr. Tinkham participated in the Science of Reading Summer Institute sponsored by North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) at Elon University on June 6-7. “We are excited that in our Chowan teacher education classrooms this fall, our students will have the opportunity to experience working with excellent resources that are at the forefront of the best methodology to teach reading today,” shared Dr. Brenda Tinkham, Dean of the School of Education and Professional Studies. “We are thankful for NCICU and the Goodnight Education Foundation for providing the funds to aid in these efforts.”For more information on the Chowan University Department of Teacher Education, please contact Dr. Brenda Tinkham or visit chowan.edu/education.