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Higher Education in Maryland

February 2009 Press Release



For immediate release: February 9, 2009                                          Media Contact: Christopher Falkenhagen
                                                                                                                     Communications: (410) 260-4511



MHEC Awards Over $1 Million to Support Teacher Professional Development

ANNAPOLIS, MD (February 9, 2009) – The Maryland Higher Education Commission awarded over $1 million in grants to higher education institutions to provide professional development to K-12 teachers. The competitive grant program, Improving Teacher Quality, part of the federal government’s No Child Left Behind Act, is in its seventh year. These grants support partnerships between Colleges and Schools of Arts & Sciences, teacher preparation programs and local school systems that meet certain federal criteria to provide professional development. The grant program goals are to improve teacher quality, increase the number of highly qualified teachers, principals and selected para-educators, and to increase the academic achievement of Maryland students.

Awards support three types of professional development including intensive graduate-level instruction aimed at cultivating highly qualified secondary-level teachers in core academic courses areas such as the physical and life sciences, mathematics and foreign languages, new teacher support and preparation for state and national content area certification testing, and programs for principals, assistant principals, curriculum supervisors, and other administrators to develop stronger instructional leadership skills.

“I am pleased that MHEC is able to provide these grants to assist professional development of teachers who will be teaching in Maryland’s school system which was recently ranked No. 1 in the country by Education Week magazine,” Secretary of Higher Education James E. Lyons, Sr. said. “Under the leadership of Governor O’Malley, I anticipate that ranking to remain the same for many years to come. His commitment to education from pre-school to graduate school has been second to none and he has the record to show it.”

This year’s funded programs include:

The Praxis Preparation Project, Coppin State University - assists new Baltimore City middle and high school teachers prepare for and pass the Math Praxis II certification test;

Teacher Professional Development to Increase Student Achievement in Biology and Algebra through Project-based Learning, Morgan State University – assists Baltimore City high school teachers in developing strategies to help high school seniors pass math and science exams required for graduation;

The Eastern Shore Partnership for Real-world Information Technology in Science Visualization, Salisbury University – provides professional development in science technology applications for Somerset, Wicomico and Worchester County middle and high school science teachers;

Pedagogical Experts in Educational Technologies for Teaching Science, Enhancing Language Competencies in Spanish and French Teachers, Improving Content Knowledge for Para-educators Teaching a Diverse Population, and Preparing Literacy Coaches for Low Achieving Middle and High Schools, University of Maryland, College Park – four programs that provide Prince George’s County and Baltimore City K-12 teachers and/or para-educators with professional development opportunities in science, foreign languages, math and literacy coaching for underachieving students.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission is a 12-member coordinating board responsible for establishing statewide policies for Maryland public and independent colleges and universities and private career schools. It serves as an advocate for more than 326,000 college students in Maryland, for the State and its needs, and for business and industry in Maryland.



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