Clarkson University has been awarded a five-year $2.52 million grant from the National Professional Development Program through the U. S. Department of Education's Office of English Language Acquisition.
The funding will be used to support a professional development and research project called "Advancing Language and Literacy for English Learners" (ALL4ELs).
Assistant Professors of Education Gretchen Oliver and Karen Gregory, co-directors of the department's Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program, are the principal investigator and co-principal investigator, respectively, of the grant.
Clarkson offers an online Master of Arts in TESOL program as well as an online Certificate of Advanced Study in TESOL.
Over a five-year period, the ALL4ELs project will support 120 in-service teachers and school leaders from partnering school districts, as well as 30 pre-service teachers from Clarkson University’s Master of Arts in Teaching program, with scholarship money for graduate coursework.
"The participants, who will be referred to as TESOL Scholars, will learn how to use evidence-based strategies to support language and literacy development among their K-12 English learner students," says Oliver. "They will be invited to reflect on their teaching and learning as they interact with other teachers in 'communities of practice.'"
ALL4ELs will also provide the TESOL Scholars with opportunities to design and implement a variety of family literacy events in their local school communities and to integrate instructional technology into their teaching practice in an effort to support language and literacy development.
"ALL4ELs is unique in its approach to professional development as it brings together in-service teachers, school leaders, and pre-service teachers for the purpose of expanding their knowledge base for using evidence-based practices for language and literacy development," says Gregory.
Oliver and Gregory will research the effects of this professional development on English learner students’ language and literacy development, the TESOL Scholars’ preparedness for teaching them, and the use of cohort models to develop communities of practice and build capacity in schools.
Clarkson's Master of Arts in TESOL combines the flexibility of online coursework with the valuable experience of a full-year residency, allowing students to reside anywhere in New York as they work toward their career goals. Likewise, its fully online Certificate of Advanced Study in TESOL provides K-12 teachers with an additional certification in ENL, thus expanding their repertoire and ability to meet the unique needs of English learner students in their mainstream classrooms.
The Clarkson University online TESOL programs were created for aspiring teachers who want to work with culturally and linguistically diverse student populations. The Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program offers candidates a full 39-credit master’s degree in the discipline, while the CAS program offers a 16-credit advanced certificate in TESOL. Graduates are endorsed by Clarkson as candidates for initial or professional pre-kindergarten to 12th-grade certification in ESOL.