FRAMINGHAM – Framingham State University has been awarded a $47,520 EPIC (Elevate Preparation: Impact Children) Partnership Innovation Grant from the Commonwealth that will be used to develop innovative models for student teaching placements and assessments.
“I want to thank you for your commitment to improving educator effectiveness through strong, intentional partnerships between public school districts and educator preparation organizations,” states a letter signed by Gov. Charlie Baker announcing the grant. “With this award, we hope to cultivate innovative partnership models such as yours in order to ensure that all students in the Commonwealth have access to high-quality teachers.”
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education created the EPIC Partnership Innovation Grant to support partnerships between educator preparation organizations and school districts designed to improve the recruitment, development, and placement of high quality teachers in K-12 employment.
The money will be used to develop a comprehensive student placement plan that establishes more effective methods of evaluating teacher candidates using research, mentorship and best practices. The plan will also detail how to identify exemplary schools and supervising practitioners, as well as how to provide students with diverse practicum experiences.
“Student teaching is a critical aspect of teacher preparation,” says Julia Zoino-Jeannetti, chair of the University’s Education Department. “FSU prides itself on offering a robust and effective student-teaching model. This grant is going to help us build on our efforts in this area.”
Framingham State applied for the grant in collaboration with TEC (The Education Cooperative), a non-profit organization that develops and coordinates educational and organizational programs to meet the needs of its member communities and their students.
Member communities include the towns of Canton, Dedham, Dover, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medfield, Millis, Natick, Needham, Norwood, Sherborn, Walpole, Wayland and Westwood.
Framingham State places approximately 60 education majors in these districts for student teaching experiences each year.
“We are grateful to Governor Charlie Baker, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and The Education Cooperative for supporting this effort,” said Framingham State President F. Javier Cevallos. “Ever since Framingham State University’s founding in 1839 as the nation’s first public normal school, preparing outstanding teachers has been a central part of our mission. This effort will ensure that FSU continues to lead in this area by establishing the most effective student teaching experience in the state.”