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Georgia 2007 Grantee Abstracts

Grantee Name:DeKalb County School System
Project Name:PACES - Preparation of Alternatively Certified Educators for Special Education
Project Director:Sonja Hollins-Alexander 678-676-0322
Partner Districts/LEAs:DeKalb County School System (DCSS)

PACES is a collaborative project between the DeKalb County School System (DCSS) and the University of Georgia (UGA) to recruit, train, place, support, and retain talented career-changing professionals, highly qualified paraprofessionals with bachelor's degrees, and recent college graduates without education backgrounds, as teachers in the high-need area of special education. This project will recruit a minimum of 100 candidates, place them in special education general curriculum positions, and provide them with an alternative route to certification that is comprehensive, research-based, affordable, convenient, and supportive. Four cohorts of 25 candidates each will participate in UGA's online SETWEB (Special Education Training through the Web) program leading to certification within two years. PACES will provide several layers of support for each candidate in order to increase retention, including a site-based teacher mentor certified in special education, a UGA professor, a collaborative teacher, a school principal and department chairperson, and the professional learning community of fellow cohort members. Two full-time PACES Coaches will provide Cognitive Coaching SM, monitor and support the candidates' progress toward certification, and facilitate monthly cohort activities. The impacts of the project include 100 new DCSS special education teachers with unique skills and experiences, equipped to enrich DCSS students and to mentor new special education teachers as well as an expanded collaborative relationship between DCSS and UGA to improve teaching.

Grantee Name:Georgia State University
Project Name:Partnership Alternative Certification Teacher Pathways (PACT+): Joining Urban School Partners in Building a Highly Qualified Future Workforce
Project Director:Diane M. Truscott 404-413-8218
Partner Districts/LEAs:DeKalb County School System

The PACT+ program is a partnership between the DeKalb County School System and the Department of Early Childhood Education at Georgia State University. The program facilitates participant recruitment and develops a professional development school network for training and retention activities. The program works with the current Urban Alternative Preparation Program to provide K-5 certification with an additional ESOL endorsement at the end of year 1 and a Masters degree in year 2. PACT+ will recruit and train each year 20-30 participants who represent mid-career professionals, recent college graduates, and/or paraprofessionals from partnering schools, resulting in 135 newly certified teachers. The project also impacts approximately 8,740 children in high-need urban schools, develops four PDS schools and involves approximately 60 university faculty and school mentor teachers and leaders. Specialized curriculum, site-based activities, and new teacher professional learning communities are distinctive project activities that contribute to the PDS design. Strong research components complement the mixed method program evaluation plan.

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Last Modified: 09/15/2008