October 2016 AASA News

Posted on September 29, 2016


U.S. Department of Education Awards $5 Million to Recruit, Train and Support Teachers to Focus on Rural Communities

September 27, 2016

The U.S. Department of Education announced today four new five-year grants totaling $5.1 million through its Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) program, which funds innovative teacher preparation models to improve the preparedness of prospective and new teachers serving high-need communities.

“Ensuring that every student has access to great teachers has been a key priority for this Administration,” U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. said. “Helping communities nurture new and innovative pathways into teaching is critical to providing all students with opportunities to learn, and these grants will help ensure our educators have the skills, experiences and knowledge to succeed in our rural classrooms.”

TQP funds teacher preparation programs at the undergraduate or “fifth-year” level, or teaching residency programs for individuals new to teaching with strong academic and professional backgrounds. The central feature of all TQP grantees is a strong partnership between the teacher preparation program and the school districts they serve, which is often facilitated by mentor teachers that coach and train incoming educators.

Gwen Benson, associate dean of School, Community, and International Partnerships at the College of Education and Human Development at Georgia State University—a recipient of a 2014 TQP grant—believes that this strong partnership is critical in preparing teachers for the challenges they will face when they have graduated and found jobs in high-need schools. Benson said of the teachers in their program, “If they have strong support from both the school district and the university, they’re more likely to grow in their teaching positions, enjoy what they do, and continue teaching.”

This year’s TQP grantees join a cohort of 64 grantees comprising almost $400 million invested since 2009. The four new grantees will serve 13 high-need school districts, with a particular focus on 11 rural communities. This year’s grantees include two Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs)—Coppin State University and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University—that will serve rural and urban communities in Maryland and rural communities North Carolina. In addition, grants to the University of New Hampshire and University of West Alabama will enable them to serve rural communities in those states.

Please see below for the list of grantees, first year grant amounts, and total estimated funding (contingent on future Congressional appropriations).

Teacher Quality Partnership Grantees:

Grantee Name Model FY 2016 Funding Total Estimated Funding
Coppin State University Pre-bac



North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Residency



University of New Hampshire Residency



University of West Alabama Pre-bac