Tarleton receives $100K grant to host CORE Academy in 2017

TSU Media Relations

Tarleton State University is one of two schools to receive a $100,000 grant to host a Collaborative Regional Education (CORE) Initiative Academy in summer 2017.

Partnering with the Stephenville Independent School District and its annual iChampion Summit, the CORE academy will provide professional development opportunities for using technology in rural classrooms and will enable area teachers to share their experiences and ideas with others.

Funded by an $11.97-million grant to Jacksonville State University (JSU) from the U.S. Department of Education in 2015, CORE aims to transform K-12 and higher education through innovative technology and teaching methods. Tarleton was one of seven universities selected earlier this year to partner with JSU to expand the initiative via a rigorous research study of some 40 classrooms in eighth through 12th grades across the nation.

“When our partnership with JSU and the CORE Initiative began, I expected great things, and I have been more than pleased,” said Dr. Jordan Barkley, dean of Tarleton’s College of Education. “In addition to our work to assist with validating their original study related to technology in the rural classroom, we now have the opportunity to replicate their summer professional development conference focusing on teaching and technology.”

The partnership with Stephenville ISD increases the potential to reach thousands of Texas students, he explained. “I am excited to see the power of combining JSU’s model for a summer conference, Stephenville’s iChampion initiative and Tarleton’s talented faculty,” which will help close the gap between teaching instruction and actual practice.

Julie Ward, Tarleton assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, will lead the CORE Academy planning effort and is joined by a team of Stephenville ISD professionals, including Matt Underwood, superintendent; Brianna Hodges, director of digital learning; and Shelby Womack, executive director of technology and digital learning.

“Stephenville ISD and Tarleton are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to showcase a new type of professional learning by combining the iChampion Summit and CORE Academy grant opportunities,” Underwood said. “The collaborative work between our two institutions will provide an exemplary example of what public and higher education partnerships should provide to the pursuit of academic excellence in rural settings.”