Largest grant in school history will be implemented in Beaufort County School District
From staff reports
The University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB) received a $5.1 million Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant earlier this month from the U.S. Department of Education and will partner with Beaufort County School District to implement it.
Called MASTERY (Melding Academics, Support, and Training of Educators for higher Retention Yields), this grant project will expand USCB’s recruitment, preparation, and support of highly qualified, diverse teacher candidates for 21 high-need schools in the Beaufort County School District (BCSD).
Aligned with local community needs, MASTERY will focus on developing teacher candidates in the critical shortage areas of early childhood education, Gifted and Talented education, middle and high school math and science (STEM), special education, and English as a Second Language. The grant also will provide teacher candidates and working teachers with university-based and district-level support.
“The TQP grant is a game-changer that will drive better access, better preparation and better outcomes. At the end of the day, we have to show improved metrics across the board. This grant enables us to recruit and train high-quality, diverse educators who will positively impact the trajectory of so many young people,” USCB Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Eric Skipper said in a release.
The Department of Education awards TQP grants through a competitive application and review process. The University of South Carolina Beaufort, in partnership with Beaufort County School District, received one of only 22 grants awarded nationwide. This is the largest grant in the University’s history.
MASTERY is designed to enhance the already strong partnership between USCB and BCSD, by recruiting more people who want to become teachers, supporting the work of in-service teachers, and improving the learning outcomes for students in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. This initiative is expected to produce more than 100 new teachers for BCSD.
“Our district is excited to collaborate with our local higher education partner USCB on the MASTERY Teacher Quality Partnership Program to grow educators right here in Beaufort County who will possess specialized regional skills directly aligned to our students’ needs,” Superintendent Frank Rodriguez said. “We look forward to welcoming future USCB MASTERY education graduates as BCSD teachers and the many positive impacts they will have on our students for years to come.”
Over the next five years, the grant will provide support for USCB to:
• Hire an Induction Coordinator to support first-year teachers and their teacher mentors;
• Employ three new faculty members: two in Early Childhood Education and one in STEM Education;
• Strengthen the Teacher Cadet program at local high schools;
• Expand the University’s Call Me MISTER program, which supports men of color interested in teaching at the early childhood or elementary level.
The TQP grant also provides material support for BCSD to purchase makerspace equipment such as 3D printers and robotics technology for each of the 21 identified high-needs schools. The grant also will allow USCB to create a state-of-the-art curriculum lab for its teacher education program.