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Educator Preparation

Educator preparation programs train the next generation of teachers, school leaders, and other educators. EPIC’s work explores the effects of university-based and non-traditional preparation programs.

two teachers discussing collaborating

Educator Quality Research Initiative

The UNC System has 15 colleges or schools of education that prepare teachers, school leaders, and other educators to serve in schools in North Carolina and across the country. EPIC collaborates with the UNC System Office to study educator preparation practices at UNC System Institutions.  This research draws connections from educator preparation to the employment, effectiveness, and retention of educators in North Carolina public schools. This work provides the UNC System Office and UNC System Institutions with actionable evidence to improve educator preparation practices and increase the quality of newly trained educators. Please contact Kevin Bastian for more information.

UNC System Literacy Innovation Leaders

The UNC System and five UNC System institutions are collaborating to improve the quality of literacy preparation for teacher candidates. This involves teacher educators redesigning aspects of their coursework, curriculum, and clinical experiences and both teacher educators and teacher candidates taking part in intensive literacy professional development. EPIC is evaluating the Literacy Innovation Leaders pilot to determine the extent to which preparation programs change, what enabled or limited that change, and what changes to literacy preparation mean for the knowledge and skills of teacher candidates. Please contact contact Kevin Bastian or Julie Marks for more information.

US PREP Evaluation

US PREP is a technical assistance provider for university-based educator preparation programs that aims to improve preparation practices, deepen relationships between educator preparation programs and K-12 districts, and enable richer data analysis and use. EPIC partners with US PREP to understand the implementation and outcomes of their engagement with member institutions. The evaluation combines evidence from site visits to participating universities, surveys of teacher candidates and teacher educators, and analyses of state and program-level outcome data. This work provides US PREP with data to improve its technical assistance and to provide participating institutions with evidence to strengthen their preparation practices. Please contact Kevin Bastian or Simona Goldin for more information.

North Carolina Principal Fellows Program Evaluation

The North Carolina Principal Fellows Program awards funding, through competitive grant cycles, to school leader preparation programs in North Carolina. These programs work in close partnership with K-12 districts to recruit highly competitive school leader candidates, provide high-quality preparation and internship experiences, and pay for candidates’ tuition, fees, and salary as a principal intern. EPIC partners with the NC Principal Fellows Commission and the UNC System Office to evaluate the program. This includes analyses of programmatic inputs, candidate/graduate surveys, interviews with program administrators and district partners, and workforce data on the employment, performance, and retention of NC Principal Fellow graduates. Please contact Kevin Bastian, Sarah Fuller, or Jillian La Serna for more information.

Evaluation of the Central Carolina Teaching Initiative

The Central Carolina Teaching Initiative (CCTI) is a district-run educator preparation program operated by the Central Carolina Regional Education Service Alliance. In this project, sponsored by the North Carolina State Board of Education, EPIC evaluates the CCTI and analyzes program completion rates, survey responses, program costs data, and administrative data on teacher performance and retention. Please contact Kevin Bastian for more information.

Evaluation of Innovative Staffing Models and Technical Assistance

A number of technical assistance centers have designed technical assistance programs to support partnerships between EPPs and K-12 LEAs. These programs seek to provide assistance for the design, implementation, and support of innovative strategic staffing models that aim to support paid residencies.  In these models, candidates spend a full year on a teaching team in a K-12 school, under the supervision of an intentionally selected and trained mentor teacher and working alongside other teachers at the site. This structure is designed to provide residents with extensive opportunities to observe and lead instruction and to receive frequent and high-quality coaching/feedback from their mentor teacher and other colleagues. The key elements of these interventions — ample opportunities to practice, the intentional selection and training of mentors, frequent coaching/feedback, and the receipt of a financial stipend–have the potential to positively impact the development of student teachers and their outcomes as teachers-of-record. Likewise, by providing greater opportunities for teacher leadership and collaboration and by providing a year-long resident to classrooms, strategic staffing interventions may positively impact student and teacher outcomes at the host site.The ultimate goal of this work is to expand children’s access to equitable and ambitious teaching and learning, and to understand how and in what ways innovative strategic staffing designs provide actionable opportunities to do so.  EPIC’s evaluation will provide usable, formative and summative analyses on the impacts of innovative staffing.  Please contact Simona Goldin, Danielle Allen, or Kevin Bastian for more information.

Evaluation of the UTEP Teacher Quality Partnership Grant

The University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) has received a Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant from the US Department of Education focused on strengthening their community college to teacher education pipeline, sustaining their yearlong residency experience, and creating a new beginning teacher induction program with partner K-12 districts. EPIC and UTEP have previously collaborated as part of an evaluation of US PREP and now EPIC is serving as an external evaluator and research partner for UTEP’s TQP activities. As part of this work EPIC will be developing and administering surveys to a range of stakeholders (prospective teacher candidates, teacher candidates, university personnel, and K-12 teachers), analyzing data on cooperating and mentor teachers (to aid UTEP’s placement processes), and assessing the performance and retention of UTEP teachers in local districts. Please contact Kevin Bastian and Sarah Fuller for more information.