Mercy College School of Education Receives $2.3 Million NYSED's "Race To The Top" Competition

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Grant to Support State-Wide Graduate Pilot Program Preparing Teachers to Teach in High Needs Schools

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In the “Race to the Top” competition of the New York State Education Department, the Mercy College School of Education was awarded $2.3 million in grant funding—one of the largest among institutions that were awarded the grant throughout the state --for a Graduate Level Clinically Rich Teacher-Preparation Pilot Program. The state-wide pilot program will effectively prepare teachers for high needs schools and increase retention of these teachers in order to positively impact student growth and achievement.

The Race to the Top fund is designed to encourage and reward states that are creating the conditions for education innovation and reform in order to enhance student performance, raise and close achievement gaps, improve high school graduation rates, and bolster preparing for success in college and in the workplace.

“The School of Education at Mercy College is recognized as a leader in the preparation and certification of outstanding teachers in its graduate education programs,” said Dr. Kimberly R. Cline, president of Mercy College. “Mercy College sustains a deep commitment to serving the needs of teachers and students from historically underrepresented and underserved populations. We are committed to preparing teachers seeking initial or professional certification and serving the needs of school districts with large concentrations of disadvantaged students.”

An estimated 50 percent of new teachers in high needs schools leave within the first five years. Research shows that preparation grounded in a skills-based clinical approach increases teacher retention and leaves teachers better prepared fore the realities of the classroom. In efforts to improve the retention and effectiveness of novice teachers in high needs schools, the New York State Education Department issued a request for proposal inviting institutions to participate in a pilot project to address the teacher shortage issues through a graduate level clinically-rich teacher preparation program.

In addition to Mercy College, the other academic institutions that received grants included Syracuse University, New York University, Fordham University, Union College, Adelphi University, Lehman College (CUNY), Queens College (CUNY), SUNY Albany and SUNY Oswego.

“Our goal is to provide prospective teachers with the tools they will need to ensure their students succeed; Yet, this grant gives us the opportunity to provide an innovative procedure which otherwise might not be possible.” said Dr. Alfred S. Posamentier, dean of Mercy College School of Education. “The participants in this program will be provided a unique form of professional preparation which could pave the way for significant enhancement to the development of math teachers.”

The grant will be used to underwrite a partnership between Mercy College School of Education and Yonkers Public Schools (seven schools in total) for the development of a corps of secondary mathematics teachers equipped to integrate content, clinical experience, and professional knowledge with the goal of improving the mathematical performance of general education students of diverse backgrounds, including English language learners and students with disabilities in high needs schools.

Fifty candidates will be recruited for this pilot program, which consists of a 14-month residency extending over two summers and one academic year. After having completed the 42-credit program, candidates will graduate from Mercy College with a Masters of Science Degree in Mathematics Education and a Certificate in Special Education.

This Graduate Level Clinically Rich Teacher Preparation Pilot Program and its activities are supported, in whole or in part, by a grant from the New York State Education Department.

About Mercy College
Mercy College is a private, nonprofit institution founded in 1950 offering students the opportunity to earn degrees in more than 90 undergraduate and graduate programs within five schools: Business, Education, Health and Natural Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Liberal Arts. An engaging and personalized learning experience, that includes the College’s revolutionary Personalized Achievement Contract (PACT) program, is offered at the main campus in Dobbs Ferry, as well as campuses in the Bronx, Manhattan, Yorktown Heights and White Plains. 877-MERCY-GO.


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