GSU partnerships support innovative education programs

Posted On August 18, 2011
Categories Goal 1

Contact: Leah Seupersad, 404-413-1354
University Relations

ATLANTA-Georgia State University will have two new opportunities to help improve the quality of education in Georgia after two metro Atlanta school programs were awarded funding through the Race to the Top program.

GSU has partnerships with both the Drew Charter School Partners of Innovation program and the KIPP Teacher Fellows Program, both of which were among five projects recently awarded a total $19.4 million in Innovation Fund Grants announced by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.

Through the Drew Charter School Partner of Innovation project, Georgia State will help create one of Georgia’s first STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) models of education. STEAM incorporates the arts into the STEM curriculum, which focuses on developing student capacities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

At a personal appearance at the school on Aug. 8, Deal awarded the project a $1 million grant and stated that Drew’s STEAM model of education is one to emulate. Drew has partnered with Georgia State, the Georgia Institute for Technology, and the Westminster Schools on the project.

“This grant will provide professional development to integrate innovative technology projects into music education curricula for GSU undergraduate and graduate music students, Charles R. Drew and area school music educators, while directly impacting the performance of students at Drew,” said Katie Carlisle, GSU music education professor, director of the GSU Center for Educational Partnerships, and now GSU partner STEAM grant associate project director.

Carlisle said students will be creating original music through technology tools such as iPad2, music notation software, and composing music by writing computer code using the Massachusetts Institute for Technology multi-media coding program for children, Scratch.

The GSU School of Music and Drew Charter School have collaborated for several years incorporating arts into many aspects of their curriculum, including innovative music education programs such as Sound Learning and Inspire.

“We firmly believe that by adding the “A” to STEM, making the acronym STEAM, will serve as a national research model proving that the arts are as vital a component to the education of our children as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” said Dwight Coleman, director of the School of Music.

Through another $1 million grant, Georgia State University College of Education students will also have the opportunity to become Kipp Teacher Fellows at Kipp Metro Atlanta Schools. KIPP was awarded a grant to help recruit and retain highly effective teachers, by creating a teacher fellow program and selecting promising teachers from both Georgia State and Mercer University.

GSU’s College of Education worked with KIPP Metro Atlanta by sharing a teacher residency model that was created as part of the COE’s Network for Enhancing Teacher Quality (NET-Q) grant. KIPP was able to adapt this model to form its own for the KIPP Teacher Fellows Program, which will provide an intense year-long teacher residency program for teachers who show great promise to be ready for a full-time teaching position within one year.

“Georgia State University College of Education is pleased to partner with KIPP Academy in their efforts to improve teacher quality and retention with the ultimate goal of improving student academic performance,” said Gwendolyn Benson, the College of Education’s associate dean of school and community partnerships.